Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
2268 Paraiso St., Dasmariñas Village, Makati, Metro Manila
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I went to Turkiye in April 2013 and secured my tourist visa less than a month before my flight date. I think securing the approval for a tourist visa application per se is easy as long as you have a confirmed hotel booking and round-trip plane ticket. The consular staff barely asked me any question, just maybe 2 to clarify my itinerary, and she simply checked my documents for completeness. A week or 2 later, I already had my tourist visa. The difficulties lie in getting to the actual submission of the visa application, which are:
1. There is no online version of their visa application nor list of requirements. If you call them for a copy, they will advise you to get hard copies from the embassy. Which leads to the next problem...
2. Dasmarinas Village requires that all persons who visit any embassy located in their village for visa purposes take the community bus (which is really just an a/c fiera) which starts at the Alphaland gate. So if you brought a car and tried to enter at the Pasay Road gate, you will be redirected to the Alphaland gate and forced to leave the comfort of your private vehicle, and thereafter wait for an interminably long period at the waiting area (with benches naman) in humid weather, then board the fiera with strangers (including foreign nationals visiting their own embassies), packed like sardines in a small tin can (by this time you begin to miss your car), then brought to the administration office for you to pay P150 as fare for the fiera you were forced to take, then wait for all of your busmates to pay their transportation fare before being finally brought to the embassy following a fixed route. I was tempted to shout to the driver, "Mama, para!" as I neared the Turkish Embassy. After your business with the embassy, you will then have to wait again under the sweltering heat for the fiera to bring you back to the Alphaland gate. Kudos to anyone who chooses to walk back to the gate.
So for all of you who think you're so much smarter, wondering why I disclosed my destination to the village guard instead of claiming I'm just going to a friend's house or to Colegio de San Agustin, two things. First, if you say you're going to a friend's house in Dasma, they will call them to confirm. So you better tell them in advance. If you manage to go in Dasma with your car, you will not be allowed to park in front of or near any embassy. So, you better bring a driver who can leave and just come back for you when you're done.
I understand that the residents are just trying to address the heavy traffic arising from non-residents visiting the embassies in the village, but that is no excuse for the crappy public system they've established. For P150, I expect that they would have at least provided visitors with a coaster or a van, which would have provided a similar level of comfort as the private vehicle I was forced to abandon at Alphaland mall. For those residents who think I'm just being too whiney, I dare them to abandon their private vehicles and actually go through the entire procedure/system they have established. Then look straight into the eyes of that tall foreigner you forced to crouch inside the fiera and say, "Getting a visa, it's more fun in the Philippines!"
So what did I take away from all these? Get a travel agent who will get the visa for you. Personal appearance is not required anyway.
Of course, all these happened 4 months ago. Things could have changed since then.
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