Egypt travel agents cancel Turkey trips over clearance

Abdel-A'al, the treasurer of the state-run Egyptian Travel Agents Association, said travel movement to the targeted countries would be negatively affected

Egypt travel agents cancel Turkey trips over clearance

World Bulletin/News Desk

Some of Egypt's travel agencies have cancelled trips to Turkey following a decision that any traveler to Turkey, among a few other countries, must obtain in-advance security clearance from the interior ministry.

"Some tour operators have cancelled flights while others have scaled down their programs since the government's decision," Ehab Abdel-Aal, the treasurer of the state-run Egyptian Travel Agents Association, told The Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

He said travel movement to the targeted countries would be negatively affected, noting that many Egyptians do not want to implicate themselves in protracted paperwork or problems with security agencies.

Egyptians between the ages of 18 and 40 are reportedly required to get in-advance clearance from the Interior Ministry's Homeland Security Department before travelling to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Qatar, Libya and Yemen.

Mohssen Abdel-Gelil, a travel agency owner, insisted that the decision aims to regulate travel to these countries, not prevent it.

"We all need to show commitment to decisions like this one," he told AA.

Abdel-Gelil noted, however, that travel agencies run a major risk by making travel plans and later discover that some of the clients, who mostly belong to the targeted age group, might fail to get the security clearance on time.

"This means that travel agencies and airlines stand to lose," he asserted, lamenting that the security clearance decision was taken during the tourist season with no grace period.

Relations between Egypt and Turkey deteriorated severely after the army's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi in July of last year, with both countries downgrading their respective diplomatic representation.

Turkish officials describe Morsi's ouster, which followed mass protests against his one-year presidency, as a "military coup."

Last Mod: 07 Aralık 2014, 23:36
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