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I think Turkey's fairly liberal visa on arrival regime helps a lot also.
Pretty much anyone with a couple of hours in transit can go and check out Istanbul, the most beautiful major city in the world ;)
I think Turkey has had zero fee visas for the Schengen states for years now. Not sure if they need visas at all now with this whole refugee deal, but even when they did there was no charge. The UK doesn't charge them for visas, I've seen this on UK visa forms. Ireland is not part of schengen since it's not contiguous with the mainland and a UK visa doesn't get you into ireland (unless you're willing to fly to Northern Ireland and sneak over the soft border). That's why Ireland is the only one that stands out within the EU - all the mainland countries are schengen states and UK doesn't charge. I don't know the politics about why Ireland charges the Turks.
Turkey lets people from India, Pakistan etc in without an advance visa when they're flying through istanbul as long as they have a proper visa for an OECD country. They kinda outsource their visa checks to the first world :) Dubai and middle eastern countries charge a lot for a 72 hour transit visa and there's not much to see there other than conspicuous consumption.
US, UK, Canada etc all pay a reciprocal fee in Turkey also.
I totally agree about your comment about Ataturk aiport. I love that lounge. The turkish delight, the food, the transit sleeping rooms, the cinema, the billiards table and golf simulator. It really is great. Dubai has great first class lounges but the business class lounge is very crowded.
Turkish Airlines story is actually the story of Turkey: Vibrant, energetic, entrepreneurial, young and determined. Let me also add respectful.
Both are making sure that any relationship that they forge is mutually beneficial and seeing eye to eye.
No wonder the crises of the last decade: soft/hard coup attempts, wars in surrounding countries, terrorist attacks, hidden embargo and depression of the global economy did nothing but made both an extremely resilient force that has no par.
Despite this colonialist trash's repeated quack assertions, both did not die but are stronger. TE, however, should jump on the bandwagon before it becomes a laughing stock in media circles.
Must be a reciprocal fee?
Turkish soap operas are intriquing the World during the past decade.
As long as Turkish soap producers pump out fascinating novelas,
more foreigners will visit Turkey and Turkish Airlines will keep growing.
Lets not forget that the Turkish Airline planes are new and the airline crew is young,
beautiful, energetic, and very friendly.
I am not Turkish, have never lived there, but have followed developments out of the country for over twenty years.
What never ceases to amaze me about Turkey is how resilient it is as a country. Only a year ago, the country was being pounded by terrorist attacks, a failed coup and a tanking economy.
Now we are talking a tourism revival, the world's biggest airport, one of the fastest growing airlines, and even a GDP growth rate of up to 7 percent ( 11 percent ) in the last quarter.
Turkey never fails to be a fascinating country to follow.
you are correct - just checked and it is, embarrassingly, twice that ($60). There is clearly a story behind this, as its the only EU/EEA exception
I transit through that region 10-12 times a year. In terms of preference of airline it would be Etihad or Emirates, with Turkish very much the poor relation, in terms of customer service in-flight comfort and in-flight entertainment. However Istanbul airport is a lot easier (though not easy) to handle and has the best business class lounge (well laid out, ample seating and a more interesting array of food-pods).
I would agree that the staff seem more genuine/natural in their interaction, though this makes them a little more laid back about safety issues, which, given Turkey's terrorist history, gives me momentary pause before boarding their flights.
A decade ago I lived in Dubai, and found it was quicker, time-wise, to drive to Abu Dhabi ( though it is 145km away) as the airport was smaller and more informal. That is sadly no longer the case.
except the Irish, who alone in the EU have to pay $30 for the privilege.