1. The main visa issuing post in Turkey
is located at the Consulate General in Istanbul processing approx.
64,000 applications per year. However, following the economic
crisis in February 2001 in Turkey, applications overall have fallen
by approximately 17 per cent this year to date. The Embassy in
Ankara only process applications from Turkish Diplomatic, Special
and Service passports holdersroughly 5,000 applications
2. Straightforward applications are processed
within twenty four hours of receipt with 81 per cent issued on
the same day. Fewer than seven per cent of applications are refused.
The visa operation is conducted in accordance with the Joint Entry
Clearance Unit's (JECU) Best Practice Guidelines. However, for
applications which require a second interview, waiting time is
currently running at over eighty days. JECU and Istanbul are looking
closely at the reasons for this and will make recommendations
to improve the throughput of applications. A dedicated telephone
line from 14.00-16.00 hours each working day has been allocated
for callers enquiring about an earlier/cancelled visa interview
3. Since the introduction of Family Visit
Appeals in October 2000, approximately 4,000 such applications
have been processed in Istanbul, with a 12 per cent refusal rate.
Of that total refused, only 39 oral hearing appeals and 19 paper
appeals have been received at post. The cost of an oral hearing
stands at £120.
4. Postal applications are accepted in Istanbul
only and are designed to spare the applicant unnecessary travel.
Messenger applications can be sent to both Ankara and Istanbul,
or applicants can appear in person. The level of permanent visa
staffing (both UK based and locally engaged) is adjusted where
possible to take account of the level of applications. Currently
nine UK based staff and 33 locally engaged staff, are employed
over both visa operations in Ankara and Istanbul. The section
takes on temporary staff to assist in busy summer months.