FIDE Congress & Suspension of Visa Services for Travel to Turkey

The government of Turkey announced the suspension of visa services to U.S. citizens, effective October 8, 2017.  According to the government’s announcement, this includes the issuance of physical “sticker” visas at border posts, and the online Turkish electronic visa (e-visa).  U.S. citizens planning travel to Turkey, and who have questions regarding this regulation, should contact the closest Embassy or Consulate of Turkey, or the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Several US Chess members have expressed concern for the safety of our US Chess members attending the 88th FIDE Congress in Antalya, Turkey, currently in progress.  The US Chess Director of Events contacted the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and the American Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.  They have assured us that the suspension of visa services applies only to those seeking visas for future travel and does not affect those who are already in Turkey.  Further, they have stated that this suspension will not affect their return home.  The US Chess Director of Events also contacted FIDE officials and organizers of the FIDE Congress.  They are well aware of the situation, had already addressed it with the local officials, and informed our FIDE Congress participants.  In addition, we have alerted our US Chess members there and asked them to take precautions.  The members of the US Chess Delegation are Zonal President Ruth Haring, FIDE Delegate Michael Khodarkovsky, US Chess Manager of FIDE Ratings, Titles and Certifications Grant Oen and FIDE Qualification Commission Councillor Walter Brown.  Also attending is FIDE Arbiters' Commission Member Carol Jarecki who represents the British Virgin Islands but resides in New York.  The FIDE Congress concludes on October 14, and our attendees will be traveling back the next day.  Members of our US Chess delegation are currently working on a mid-Congress report for US Chess News.  

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