Portugal, Turkey Sign Partial Visa Exemption Deal
During an official visit to Lisbon by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey and Portugal signed a deal envisioning mutual and partial visa exemption for each other's citizens.
According to the agreement signed on July 14,2010 Turkish citizens who have special or service passports and Portuguese citizens who have special passports will be able to travel to each other's country without a visa for 90 days within a six-month-period.
The agreement will go into force after ratification processes in both Turkey and Portugal are finalized.
Ankara has been demanding that the European Union lift visa requirements for Turkish nationals traveling to EU member countries, saying agreements signed by the EU and Turkey necessitate that Turks be exempted from visas.
The government has stepped up its calls on the EU to lift visa requirements for Turks after the EU offered free travel to nationals of three Balkan countries -- Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro -- in December. Last year, the European Court of Justice also issued a ruling paving the way for Turkish businesspeople providing services in EU member states to enter the EU without having to obtain visas first under a 1973 deal called the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement.
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