Earlier last month Russia and Turkey had announced a visa-free travel for citizens of both countries. And now, Turkey and Georgia took their visa-free travel policy a step further on Monday, initiating a passport-free travel regime under which their nationals will be able to visit each others country with national identity cards alone.
The beginning of the new travel regime coincided with a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Georgia. He had talks with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in Batumi and the two later attended a ceremony for the opening of the modernized customs gate at the Sarp border crossing.
By implementing a passport-free travel regime at the Sarp border gate, through which approximately 2 million people pass each year, the traffic at the gate will also be eased. It is the main gate between the two neighbors and accounts for almost 90 percent of road transport between the two countries. Turkey and Georgia lifted visa requirements for their nationals in 2009.
On Tuesday, the two countries also witnessed the first direct flight between Ankara and Batumi. An Anadolu Jet plane took off at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning from Ankara Esenboğa Airport and landed in Batumi at 11:40 a.m. Anadolu Jet is a subsidiary of Turkey’s national carrier, Turkish Airlines (THY), and primarily offers domestic flights at more economical prices than THY.