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Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

Bali, Indonesia
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Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

Hi guys, just wanted to issue a quick warning for anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation as well as get some feedback from anyone this has happened to.

So, I'm a Korean national and I booked a flight that would transition through China - with a roughly 14 hour layover in Shanghai. Since South Korea is listed among the 24-hour visa free pass countries and I'd already visited China a few times before, I figured there'd be no issue.

Totally wrong. At passport control, the guy flipped through my passport several times and then started to question me about my visits to Turkey. He then called his supervisor and I was asked to wait. I ended up waiting for 2 hours while various passport control officers came to:

1. Ask why I'd been in Turkey, why I'd been there more than once, why I'd stayed so long, did I have property there, have family there, etc. I explained it was all tourism related, that Turkey's a huge country with lots of places to go and see and things to do but apparently, this wasn't satisfactory.

2. Eventually, I was told that I would not be allowed into China and moreover, they wouldn't even let me transfer to my next flight (which I could've done without passing through customs). Instead, I was told to wait (without internet access so I could contact my family) and given one option: go to Hong Kong. No explanations, just repeated "THIS IS NEW POLICY." There were no real options given, just intimidation all around. They even had an officer - albeit a friendly one - escort me all the way to my plane to make sure I got on it. Again, no explanations as to why I was treated like a criminal.

So here I am in Hong Kong now at 2AM in the morning without a plane ticket out, no hotel booked and without my luggage, wondering...what the hell just happened. I'm an obvious traveler, been to around 50 different countries as evident from my passport and this is the first time something akin to this has occurred. Even Israel wasn't so crazy about my visits to various Muslim countries.

Anyway, wanted to warn people who are considering booking a transit through China that they can arbitrarily deny entry for no discernible reason and have your travel plans completed screwed.

If you can transit through another country - DO IT! I, for sure, will never be repeating this again.

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Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai Region, China
20 replies to this topic
Dublin, California
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1. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

Wonder if this has anything to do with the National Congress.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

I can't believe that a visit to Turkey would be a problem alone. There are Turkish consulates, issuing visas for travel to Turkey & Turkish Airlines flies into CAN. I visited Turkey as a holiday out of China & had no problem returning to China.

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Toronto
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for Tokyo
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3. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

People flew to Turkey, went on to neighbouring countries by land. Repeated trips. Long stays. No property or relatives in Turkey. Training camps?

If that’s not a security risk, what is?

Edited: 25 September 2017, 00:48
Sherbrooke, Canada
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4. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

Previous trips to Turkey have been a problem for months now for people trying to get a visa. So I am not totally surprised.

Beijing, China
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5. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

For a TWOV passenger from a normally low-risk country like South Korea, I think definitely this has to do with tightening security because of the upcoming Party Congress. A fistful of stamps from Muslim countries including more than one visit to Turkey would definitely make for a red flag situation with the Chinese--they are noticeably paranoid right now.

San Francisco
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for Guangzhou
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6. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

Korean in Indonesia with a name cook me and eat me, passport full of stamps in wrong neighborhoods, what’d you do if you are the gatekeeper? You fit the profile perfectly any day, you scared the daylight out of them. They’ve done their jobs. Get rid of this guy ASAP.

Beijing, China
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7. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

My boyfriend has the same problem, He applied twice but got rejected twice. The consulate didn't give any reason, but my boyfriend figured out maybe because he worked in Turkey as an English teacher for one year. And I am thinking if it's because of national congress meeting. I' m not sure if he can apply again.

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8. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

I have a Egyptian visa in my passport from this spring and worried now. Trip is in two weeks. Planning to get the free 72h visa in Beijing

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9. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

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Bali, Indonesia
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10. Re: Denied 24-hour transit in China for past travels to Turkey?

@zhuhai2007 Turkey's a pretty popular travel destination and I've met tons of Koreans and Chinese who've visited so I was surprised by this as well.

@JPDeM Ahh, I wish I'd known that.

Edited: 25 September 2017, 15:40
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