I am an Indian citizen. I need to go to Tbilisi (Georgia) via Istanbul (Turkey) from Berlin (Germany).

I booked the two flights separately from two different companies. Do I need a transit visa for Turkey?

I do not have a cabin baggage. I guess if I have a cabin baggage, I would have to pick up the baggage at the Istanbul airport and would need a visa because I have to pass the immigration first?


2 Answers 2


I am assuming you have schengen visa and also visa to enter Georgia. I don't think you need transit visa at istanbul airport, if you are just changing planes.

To answer to your question whether you need transit visa in Istanbul: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/frequently-asked-questions.en.mfa

Its says there:

Question: I will be flying to Europe. I know that our aircraft will land in İstanbul. I am not planning to leave the transit lounge. Do I need to get transit visa?

Answer: If you will not leave the transit lounge at the airport you are not required to have transit visa. Otherwise, you have to make visa application to the nearest Turkish Representation. Contact information of the said missions can be reached through www.mfa.gov.tr (Ministry/Turkish Representations).

Also, refer to this official page: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

It says this:

India: Diplomatic passport holders are exempt from visa for their travels to Turkey up to 90 days. Ordinary, Special and Service passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. Ordinary, Special and Service passport holders with a valid Schengen or OECD member's visa or residence permit may get their single entry e-Visas valid for one month via the website www.evisa.gov.tr, provided that they meet certain conditions.

If you want to enter istanbul, just apply for e-visa online to enter istanbul. Remember you collect baggage ONLY after passport control.

I am also indian passport holder, entered through istanbul airport several times needed no transit visa, to change planes to another destination within the terminal.


Per Timatic, the database used by airlines:

TWOV (Transit Without Visa): - Passengers with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight to a third country within 24 hours. They must stay in the international transit area of the airport and have documents required for the next destination

As you write, if having luggage to pick up you would need a visa.

However, the fact is, even if you don't, in practice most check-in staff will consider Istanbul your final destination if you're on separate tickets, and thus deny you boarding without a visa. This is largely because if something goes wrong with your connection, you not "insured" and the airline that flew you to Istanbul could end up having to take you back.

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