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I am a Cuban citizen flying from Cuba to Africa. I am changing planes in Istanbul Airport, with a layover of about 10 hours before going to Zimbabwe in Africa. My issue is that I am using 2 non aligned airlines, Aeroflot from Cuba to Istabnul and Egypt Air from Istanbul to Zimbabwe, Africa. I do not want to leave the airport. Do I need a transit visa, since I have to collect my bags and check in again for the other airline?

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Whether or not you need a transit visa depends on 2 factors:

  1. Which country your passport belongs to
  2. If you need to leave the airport transit lounge

Information for Cuban citizens going to Turkey is provided here.

I live in Ottawa (Canada) and as per the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa:

Transit visa is valid for up to three months and allows the person to travel to another country through transiting the Turkish territory. If the connecting flight to the third country does not require an overnight stay in Turkey, then no visa is necessary. In other words, Turkey does not issue Airport Transit Visa (ATV).

From the Timaticweb application, here is the information specific to your situation.

It says that if you hold a confirmed onward ticket, you don't need a visa.

Personal experience: I travelled from Toronto to Dubai via Instanbul as an Indian citizen and didn't need a transit visa but my situation differs because both my flights were on the same Turkish Airlines ticket.

Recommendation: Contact the Turkish Embassy in Cuba and verify with them. The fact that your onward flight is on a separate ticket may complicate the situation.

And finally, since you have a 10 hour wait, do consider...

[EDIT: I just realized that this is only for Turkish Airlines passengers and you aren't a THY passenger. However, I'm leaving it on here since it might be of use to others.]

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