Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stories of a Visa Application - Part III: R:112, G:66, B:43

Fast forward to Part IV: http://ocavusoglu.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/stories-of-visa-application-part-iv.html

I had arranged according to my schedule for the 2nd trial for the visa application back home:

Get home Thursday night, go to the bank first thing Friday morning, enquire about the joint account between me and my mother, get a letter from the bank. If any problems arise, settle them by Monday, prepare all other documents and go for the visa application that I already scheduled for Tuesday 10:00 AM.

Nothing went the way planned...

Turkey was not far behind than the UK in changing its laws, especially in the banking system. Never mind what the Prime Minister and the other ministers have been saying about how the global credit crunch did not affect Turkey much, despite the truth that Turkey has also been hit hard. What is happening is that Turkey may feel the depression a little later than countries like the US or the UK, and that is the time Erdogan is trying to win until the local elections, to be held at the end of March 2009, in order to keep his party's popularity.

Thus, the banking regulations have been ever more tightened in Turkey, giving me a huge pain early on Friday morning, 19.12.2008, to finalise the transaction for the joint account between my mother and me. Remember that I have to show I have had £2,800 in a "personal bank account" for the last 3 months now.

I call a few friends to ask them once again what procedures they went through. Over and over I hear that the regulations have changed. Bummer! It changed in the UK just before I left it. Apparently it changed here again just as I came back.

From Noon till around 3 PM, I sit in the living room, completely devastated. I do not want to go back to the UK right away to make my second application from there before my visa runs out, 05.01.2009. I have to make quick decisions. Instead, I start writing down my story. It keeps my mind fresh...

I call the Home Office in the UK and ask them a bizarre question:

- Can I send my visa application to you from a UK Post Office but physically be somewhere outside the UK?

- No, you have to remain in the country while your application is in process.

My idea of sending my passport there and apply as a UK application, avoiding the £2,800 deal does not work.

Then, I start enquiring my chances of going through with the bank account deal via a bank outside Turkey. My sister's account in UAE? D.'s account in A. or G.? A few more phone calls, some more motivation messages but nothing in concrete.

I left my laptop charger back in London, I am running out of money in my cell phone, I am spending the Friday going through hell...

I call the Visa Application Centre in Istanbul and get some more puzzling messages. Then I send them an email and head back to the bank. Now at around 5:10 PM, they tell me they can arrange it on Monday. Maybe...

I go to the nearby Vodafone and find out that I can switch my phone line to them and keep my same number and even get some free call minutes and SMS. I go buy some necessary stuff and make a few phone calls. I take out some money and start planning for the evening. It feels like there is some progress.

Finally at around 7 PM, I decide to end the day's debates and leave it for Monday. I re-schedule my visa application appointment to Wednesday, 24 December, at noon time.

I go out, meet a bunch of friends, stay out long withouth having to think where it would be open at 3 AM because it is a 24-hour city. I leave the shitty day behind. I am tempted to call it an almost "Black Friday" but the small hopes of progress in the evening make it a bit more brownish:

A shitty brown-day. Red: 112, Green: 66, Blue: 43 coded.

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