Startup Istanbul is a flagship startup event that takes places every year in the heart of Istanbul.
It features a mix of startups, entrepreneurs, VCs and mentors from around the world for 4 days of networking and inspiration.
One part of the event is the “Top 100 Startups”, in which startups pitch their products and services and get advice and feedback from top mentors around the world. Aside from the usual crop of people attending the event, four startups from Pakistan made it to the Top 100 this year.
Last year, over 100 Pakistanis made their way to Turkey to take part in the event.
Unfortunately, with the event almost upon us (it starts this Friday), dozens of people from Pakistan (up to 100) are still waiting for their visas to be approved. There has been no official communication on the matter apart from a statement that the Turkish embassy is waiting for approval from Ankara.
Some people, who are going to Turkey from Pakistan and got their visas, have dual nationalities, making the nature of the issue pretty clear.
It’s disappointing to see that while our government is changing management for one of the top schools in the country and deporting beloved teachers back to Turkey at the behest of the Turkish government, the very same government is blocking visas for bright entrepreneurs from Pakistan.
We encourage stakeholders in the industry and government to look at the matter promptly and resolve the situation.