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Turkey grants visa-free travel to Bulgarian citizens

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Bulgarian tourists will no longer need a visa to visit Turkey, according to the Official Gazette, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

The visa exemption was granted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for tourists and travelers transiting the country with a maximum residence of 90 days within an 180-day period. From now on Bulgarian citizens will be able to travel to Turkey only with their IDs, without the need for a passport.

Turkey became a popular venue for Bulgarian tourists after the beleaguered Turkish lira lost significant value against foreign currencies, making shopping in neighboring Turkey attractive and cheaper for Bulgarians.

One Bulgarian lev equaled 9.30 Turkish lira as of July 27. Bulgaria is an EU member but has not adopted the euro.

The lira has crashed under the weight of an unusual economic experiment President Erdoğan is conducting in a bid to boost support before elections due by mid-2023.

Erdoğan has forced the central bank not to raise interest rates in a strong belief that this will finally cure Turkey’s chronic inflation problem.

It has — as economists had universally predicted — done the exact opposite.

Consumer prices are climbing at an annual rate of more than 70 percent.

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