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Cyber attacks interrupt visa applications at Irish embassy in Turkey

The embassy has warned that it cannot “effectively” respond to consular queries.

THE IRISH EMBASSY in Turkey is temporarily unable to process visa applications due to “persistent” cyber attacks, according to the embassy.

Additionally, it has warned that it cannot “effectively” respond to consular queries.

The embassy issued a notice on social media this morning advising that cyber attacks were interrupting its services.

“[The] Embassy of Ireland regrets that due to persistent cyber attacks, we are currently prevented from processing visa applications and effectively responding to consular queries,” it said.

“The attacks have been brought to the attention of the relevant authorities.”

The Journal has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs for comment.

The embassy, led by Ambassador Sonya McGuiness, is located in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city. 

It processes applications for visas to Ireland from people in Turkey, as well as Azerbaijan and Qatar.

The wait for a visa to be processed at the embassy ranges from two weeks for long-stay employment to six months for an English-language long-stay study visa and six to 12 months for a visa to join a family member. 

The embassy also provides consular services for Irish citizens, such as foreign birth registrations and emergency assistance. 

In February, a major report on the Defence Forces warned that Ireland should strengthen military intelligence and cyber capabilities to counter espionage threats.

The report recommended an additional 100 cyber defence specialists be recruited to the Defence Forces. 

In Ireland, the Turkish embassy has separately informed the public of an anticipated two-hour interruption to e-visa applications on Thursday morning attributed to routine work.

“Since the infrastructure work will be carried out on the virtual POS infrastructure of Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş. (the bank through which payments are made) on 9 June 2022 between 4am and 6am in the morning, e-visa applications will not be made within the aforementioned time period,” the Turkish embassy said.

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