We plan to flight me, my wife and our daughter to Bulgaria and one option is to flight from Geneva to Istanbul, then Istanbul-Varna.

The question is: As a Swiss citizen I can normally go to Bulgaria just with an ID card (Bulgaria is in European Union since 2007); But by passing through Turkey, should I need my passport even I stay in the transit area?

The question is the same for my wife but she own a bulgarian ID card (and passport).

I guessed while staying in the transit area, we do not need visa.

  • Note that there is no EEC anymore, Bulgaria is a full EU member (and, as such, also an EEA member).
    – Relaxed
    Mar 8 '14 at 23:43
  • Thanks I forgot about all these aronyms. But yes I was thinking about fully entry in EU in 2007.
    – рüффп
    Mar 9 '14 at 23:20

Needing a visa and needing a passport are two different things. Generally speaking, you need a passport when going abroad. Many countries do treat transit differently when it comes to visa requirements but there is certainly no general exception to the passport requirement.

That said, Turkey accepts ID cards (even for entry) for a handful of nationalities including Switzerland but not, as far as I can tell, Bulgaria. There is no need to get a visa for transit either (provided you don't need to leave the “transit lounge” of the airport) and Bulgarian citizens can also enter Turkey without a visa.

Consequently, it seems you could travel with only your Swiss ID, while your wife should take her passport with her but will not need any extra paperwork or payment (visa or e-visa). Note that the airline will check this before boarding the plane in Switzerland so you should probably ask them what they require for your trip (for example I heard about some people who had difficulties to convince the airline to let them take a flight to Turkey with an expired passport even though it's perfectly legal to enter Turkey with one in some cases).

(Your daughter also needs some document but I assume she is also Bulgarian and/or Swiss so being on one of your passports or having a Swiss ID card should be enough – but I am not 100% sure.)

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