Talk:Kosovo

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Formatting and language conventions

For articles about Kosovo, please use the 24-hour clock to show times, e.g. 09:00-12:00 and 18:00-00:00.

Please show prices in this format: €100 — not EUR 100, 100€, nor 100 euros. {{EUR|2}} will give you: €2

Please use American spelling.

Comments on and improvements to the article are appreciated. Just started it this afternoon on a whim and it is still very much a work in progress... Once finished I'll be moving on to do a detailed Montenegro, which will be a huge amount of work as well as more detailed info on Bosnia. (WT-en) Aburda 09:09, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)

parts when talking about "Stay safe", where it calls Albanians as Xenophobic, are not appropriate. Thus, I will remove it. Keep this article apolotical, please! (WT-en) Ilirpz 19:21, 26 March 2006 (EST)


You seem to know quite a bit about the region, so I'd encourage you to re-write some of it with the mindset of a neutral party! Write with these guidelines in mind: No direct references to the reader ("you"), no narration ("Well, actually its not that hard" and in particular the "Ahh" preceding the main section), and a focus on facts rather than viewpoints ("Many in Kosovo have said" versus "People from Kosovo are"). Good luck, I know I'm curious about the Kosovo region myself! (WT-en) Experia 02:52, 10 January 2007 (EST)

Independence[edit]

So, I'm not set to believe Kosovo is an independent country. Russia, Greece, Spain, and Serbia are not going to recognize this declaration of independence as legit. Therefore, I suggest that we do not declare Kosovo as an independent country or a "former" province of Serbia. Kosovo needs legitimize its declaration before we make such declarations - that's what we did with Montenegro. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 13:07, 17 February 2008 (EST)

The traveller comes first, so once Kosovo starts acting like an independent country (eg. requiring Kosovan visas instead of Serbian ones), it's an independent country in my book. Cf. eg. Northern Cyprus or Palestine, which aren't independent by most measures, but are treated more or less as countries anyway. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:07, 18 February 2008 (EST)
I agree -- the traveller comes first. -- (WT-en) Colin 18:23, 18 February 2008 (EST)
Agreed. The US is already talking about setting up a mission there ([1]) and it would seem that, for all practical purposes, it is an independent country. While that's not the issue, I don't see how this can be reversed anyway (short of an all out war).--(WT-en) Wandering 16:19, 18 February 2008 (EST)
Well, I wouldn't rule out forcible retaliation against Kosovo's government by the federal government despite the Serbian President's assurances. The leader of the Kosovar branch of the Serb Orthodox Church has encouraged the army to intervene and to purchase weapons from Russia and ethnic Serbs are very angry about the declaration. I'd propose dealing with this like the Palestinian Territories by saying the government is "Palestinian Authority and Israel" (Gaza Strip guide). That way we're fair to all sides and travelers. There are ways for Serbia to subvert the traveler and Kosovo's claim that it's declaration of independence is legitimate. Plus, Kosovars are waving Albanian flags around, so who knows if it will possibly end up to be absorbed by Albania. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 18:06, 18 February 2008 (EST)
Aside from adding a quickbar, what would change if we call it a country? I see no reason to get overly involved in cataloging the politics—we don't need to declare anything. All that's important IMHO is who you need to go to to get your visa, and whose laws you must obey while traveling there. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 22:25, 18 February 2008 (EST)
My crystal ball foresees lots of stupid edit wars over the isIn|Serbia-vs-Mediterranean Europe bit... but I've now added the quickbar, changed the intro and moved Kosovo into Med Europe. (WT-en) Jpatokal 23:19, 18 February 2008 (EST)

Insurance payment[edit]

Hi! I've been to Kosovo late last year (entered December 30, left December 31, 2008). At the entry point, there was no need for an insurance to be bought. Our (German) insurance had told us prior to the journey that Kosovo was dealt with like Albania (!). While I assume the situation is still in flux in some way it might be sensitive to have the "Get in by car" section re-worded a bit to make it sound less rock-solid. Thanks. --141.35.15.102 12:16, 28 January 2009 (EST)

Regions[edit]

What about the regions of Kosovo? Personally I don't think it needs any regions. IF (only if), we have to do something, we could use the UNMIK subdivisions [2], but I think we could do with just listing these cities in the city list. --(WT-en) globe-trotter 08:24, 11 January 2010 (EST)

If we some day have an awesome guide to Kosovo with tons of content, then it would make sense to add regions. But for now it's probably best to leave it as our standard light grey, a la Andorra. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 13:50, 11 January 2010 (EST)
No regions makes sense to me. I can easily create this map from my Serbia map. --(WT-en) Burmesedays 02:21, 21 April 2010 (EDT)

Fixing the map[edit]

The map of Kosovo is not separated Central, Western, Southern, Northern and South-eastern Kosovo although the regions are color coded.

Also the region's map is always on the top of the "Central Kosovo" descripitions for some reason and I can't fix.

"The country"[edit]

In my opinion, the anonymous edit which removed every single instance of Kosovo being described as a country, and added the caveat of "administrative" to the description of the border with Serbia, is not "tidy[ing] up...neutrality issues" as was claimed in the edit summary, but is actually taking a Serbian nationalist perspective, rather than that of travellers. So I am taking up the IP user on his or her kind offer to talk things over here and invite other users to join in too. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:34, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

Right you've made a number of glaring errors. The Serbian "nationalist" perspective is that Montenegro, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Krajina, Macedonia and Kosovo all belong to Serbia. The Serbian "government" position is different, and that is that Kosovo is an autonomous province of Serbia. Stating it is a de facto country is still heavily weighted towards the Kosovo/western position. So by saying "administrative border", it respects neutrality and removes the need for bigger circumventing (the territories that Belgrade and Pristina control are known). --Juicy Oranges (talk) 16:09, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
See this edit, too. A country recognized by half the world is not merely a "de facto country". Can we please stop with these political edits? This is not a debating society on Balkan issues; it is a travel guide. I don't think we should be in the business of characterizing countries as "de facto" and "de jure" on this site, anyway, as the only point on a travel guide is what authority the traveler needs to approach for permission to enter and travel within an area of land (sea, etc.). Any problems a traveler might encounter from the governments of other places that don't recognize the independence or legitimacy of another country or are enforcing sanctions against it are also obviously relevant, but can we please stop setting ourselves up as legal authorities here? Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:48, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with number of recognitions. "De facto" means this is the way it operates. More than de facto is "de jure" and no convention exists to determine this factor. As for more than half the world, Kosovo pales in comparison to State of Palestine by about 20 countries, but click that article and see the biased pro-western narrative of the article. So if Transnistria is de facto, no reason for Kosovo to be different. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 16:08, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
The original edit seemed more-or-less unobjectionable to me, but the user seems dead-set on preventing the word country from appearing anywhere in the page, even if it refers to the countryside of Kosovo or to Russia. I am leaning towards reverting the changes to the use of "country" wholly, if that is an option being considered. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 16:14, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
As an act of good faith, I am happy to review it. I only meant to modify references to the political unit and I assure you I never intended to project some form of Serbian bias. I can see one instance definitely where I went overboard and I will fx that one as soon as this is posted. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 16:18, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Asides that, I'll happily pore over all other instances one by one to see where there is agreement and where there isn't. Where we have no agreement, we can explore "what else can we try" rather than pushing harder for the point that was rejected. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 16:23, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

For travelers, de facto control of access and travel within a zone are the only issues, other than potential visa problems in entering other countries that don't recognize each other. So the issue with Palestine is precisely that they don't exercise much de facto control over access to their own country. I do agree that we should treat Transnistria - and indeed every place with stable control over access and travel within an area - the same way as Kosovo, except inasmuch as we mention something about how many countries recognize its independence in the "Understand" section. I have no interest in either "western" or "eastern" points of view on whether a place is a country or not, and at my earliest opportunity, I will propose doing away with all references to countries being "de facto", as not within the purview of a travel guide. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:33, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
I am slowly coming around but let's try at least to get some consensus. I have these past minutes looked at other examples and in truth, there is clearly no one-size-fits-all policy on Wikivoyage. So how would you feel about an intro similar to Crimea? Get it out the way early on that dispute exists but due - not so much to number of recognitions but to facts on the ground - we will treat Kosovo like a sovereign state because that is precisely what matters to a visitor. Then we can forget de facto and even "administrative" as a qualifier before "border". --Juicy Oranges (talk) 16:46, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
It may be time to revisit some of the contents of the disclaimer in the Crimea guide, as for example, war there seems quite unlikely for the foreseeable future. My feeling is, go ahead and write your proposed disclaimer text for discussion here. But I do think that the larger issue is really that deviation from a strict policy of recognizing all stable de facto conditions ill serves the site, and any hint of bias in any direction in regard to borders and declarations of independence should be removed, in keeping with Wikivoyage:Be fair. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:19, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks but I never meant anything as drastic or complicated as that. I mean (roughly, not verbatim), "despite being unrecognised by Serbia from whom it declared independence, we treat Kosovo as an independent state because this reflects the facts on the ground". Hereinafter, we can go back to the original references. I'll have to check again what they are because a blanket revert would remove my additional material... --Juicy Oranges (talk) 17:27, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

If anyone now wants to tweak or adjust my edit then that will be fine. I'll return tomorrow to check as I'm out the rest of the evening and I only use PC and never phone. Cheers to all and thanks once again to each person for discussing. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 17:37, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

As IK said, "write your proposal for discussion here" and wait for consensus to be achieved BEFORE changing the page. Until so, it will be reverted every time. Ibaman (talk)

I think we should perhaps have a page (in "Wikivoyage" space) that clearly explains our stance on these political issues. This problem has come up before. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:41, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
Wikivoyage:Be_fair#Political_disputes -- ϒψιλον (talk) 20:46, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
Sure, but I mean a separate page just about political issues like this. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:48, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
I'd suggest we'd expand that section and if it looks like there will be a lot to say about how we handle places like Kosovo or Taiwan, then it can be split into a separate policy page. Though there isn't much to say; if someone going to the country X that is regarded as part of country Y by some but has its own immigration rules, borders, visa, currency etc. and the visitor will experience it as a different country, then we handle country X as a different country. ϒψιλον (talk) 21:09, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
I can do a userspace draft like we did with WV:Deny recognition, but I don't have the time to do it at the moment — maybe I could start later today. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:41, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

I am happy with the compromising tone struck by User:Juicy Oranges above, but would like a bit more detail on what (s)he is proposing in order to fully understand it.

I am of the same opinion as Ypsi that a whole new policy page - even as a draft - probably isn't needed at this stage. Expand Wikivoyage:Be_fair#Political_disputes.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:09, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

We just need to follow the be fair policy more closely, as I outline in Travellers' pub#"De facto countries". Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:02, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
@ThunderingTyphoons! In my case it's he but thanks for pointing out the ambiguity. Basically after making an amassment of changes that were neither intended to present Kosovo as a sovereign state (pro-independence viewpoint) nor as a Serbian province (anti-independence viewpoint), I came to realise that the wider Wikivoyage projects observe facts on the ground more than de jure status or controversy. On this note I began to dismantle my earlier changes but felt that the page would best be served by an initial note explaining that despite robustly divergent standpoints dividing the world in almost two equal halves, that as a project WV editors do not mean to flagrantly disregard this crisis but as an online travel guide merely seek to explain things to visitors in such a way that is relevant to them. I mean if most are not happy then we can go back to a "neither fish not fowl" arrangement but my hunches for improvement lie with the first option. --Juicy Oranges (talk) 13:27, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

Any more thoughts here? --Juicy Oranges (talk) 12:14, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm happy with the changes made by User:ARR8 which follow our policies at Be fair, and think we adequately explain the situation to travellers in the lede and Understand section. Time to move on to different things, I'd say.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 13:08, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

I have protected Kosovo so it can only be edited by administrators, until February 1, 2019. This should prevent any more edit warring until then. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:55, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

For the record, I believe this is an overreaction, and is more likely to discourage the new contributor than welcome them. The user has shown every sign of good faith and a willingness to discuss and compromise, so recommend you rethink.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:01, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
Agree with this (and that). The rules have been explained since the accusations of edit warring; we should demonstrate we trust the user to follow them. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 23:47, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
Protection changes to autoconfirmed users accordingly, and maybe even that is overprotection. I don't think this reversion generally improved things, either, though I haven't touched it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:48, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Sure, but may I please explain something in the privacy of an abuse filter? It's relevant. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 03:31, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
OK, sorry if I created a problem. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:36, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

"De facto countries"[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There is currently a discussion on Talk:Kosovo about how to label the country, and indeed whether it should be referred to as a country at all. For this travel guide, this kind of discussion totally misses the point. Wikivoyage by policy recognizes all de facto conditions, perhaps with the caveat that they should seem reasonably stable (which is why we never had an article about the IS "caliphate" in Mesopotamia).

In practice, however, I would argue that we have deviated from this policy fairly systematically, by referring to some places as "de facto countries". Can we please stop? All we need to write is "X is a country in Y area. It declared its independence from Country Z in such-and-such year, though no other country/only Country A recognizes its independence."

A related issue is not recognizing de facto borders in maps. The portion of the Golan Heights controlled by Israel should appear as Israeli territory on Wikivoyage maps, period, and be treated in Israel#Regions as simply a region of Israel - not because we approve (or disapprove) of Israeli control or annexation but simply because we recognize all de facto conditions as a matter of policy.

To summarize: As you can see in the Talk:Kosovo thread, the site suffers more from deviating from a strictly utilitarian policy of recognition of all de facto conditions than by following it, because when we follow it religiously, we can defuse all political arguments over the legitimacy of a country's existence or control of disputed territory by pointing to our strict, objective policy of indiscriminate recognition. Otherwise, we create problems a travel guide is ill-suited to handle. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:06, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

Agree with this. It's the best way to ensure fairness without deviating from travel content, and has the bonus of already being policy. Besides, the current ("de facto") approach may be misleading: the Golan Heights' treatment on the Israel page seems to imply danger or unsuitability for travel, but they are arguably even safer than many other regions and beautiful besides. ARR8 (talk | contribs) 17:17, 26 January 2019 (UTC)
That said, is the way we handle the Vatican appropriate then? It's now listed as part of Rome, but as everyone knows, it's technically a different country. Sure, it's surrounded by Rome with no border controls, so the only way to get to the Vatican is to go through Rome, and visiting the Vatican is probably no different in procedure from visiting any of Rome's tourist sites. But every country, including Italy, recognises it as a separate country; there is absolutely no dispute on that. And let's say you commit a crime in the Vatican and get caught; Italian law won't apply because it's technically a different country, and you will have to be tried under Vatican law instead. The dog2 (talk) 02:02, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
The Vatican is an exception, for the sake of travelers, because it is part of the city of Rome. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:43, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Ikan Kekek about the Vatican, though I've never been there. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 03:29, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
I have. You just take a bus or subway from another part of Rome and walk there, no border formalities whatsoever. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:35, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

[unindent] If you all agree with me, there are a bunch of articles that need to be substantially edited. Without checking, some that come to mind would include Transnistria, Somaliland, Abkhazia... Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:56, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

I think the basic idea, not to get involved with politics, is sound, but the "It declared its independence from Country Z in such-and-such year, though no other country/only Country A recognizes its independence." part is important. Such issues should be told up front. No need to go into details in the lead, if the situation is complicated (leave that to Understand), but use some phrase that makes it clear that use of the word "country" in controversial. The Understand or Get in should of course also discuss possible problems for the traveller. --LPfi (talk) 10:25, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
I think it's also important to remember that many countries refuse to recognize a country like Abkhazia for reasons beside those on the surface. IMHO, the reason Russia wants to see Abkhazia and South Ossetia secede from Georgia (the country) is that Russia intends to use those countries to have more power in the region; but if those Abkhazia, etc. are not recognized by the U.S. and the EU, then it gives Russia much less right to occupy the "de facto countries" or use them to gain influence in Georgia.
Therefore, it may be best in a few cases to go along with saying "de facto country" or something similar. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:16, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
If it were clear where to draw the line I would agree, but if we cannot call all disputed countries "de facto" countries, there will be a never ending dispute on some of them (Kosovo being the most obvious example). Refusing to accept the de facto situation not to allow some country to take advantage of the de facto acceptance is a political statement. What about Taiwan? Our refusing to accept its independence helps China while our accepting its independence helps its government, Western interests and arguably its people. The same with Kosovo. What legitimate interests are we supposed to support? --LPfi (talk) 14:59, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
Those of the traveller, of course, which is why we should give the facts that exist on the ground.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:15, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
"De facto" simply means that it exist in real life and functions either on a country or a subnational level. If the word country feels like a political statement, the word entity is neutral and could be virtually anything. Perhaps we should make it policy to call anything disputed for an entity (or perhaps a word even better suited)? Philaweb (talk) 15:48, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
But please remember that we do not have to try to be "neutral" , we have to WV:be fair and write from the traveller's point of view. If a place is de facto a country, then from the point of view of a foreigner who has to legally gain entry to that place, it's a country. Calling something an "entity" is so imprecise, it's practically meaningless. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:56, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
And making a distinction between "countries" and "entities" is not very different from making the distinction between "countries" and "de facto countries". Or would you also call Sweden "an entity in northern Europe"? You could find a better word, but not calling countries countries would still be odd. --LPfi (talk) 18:07, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
Since Sweden is not disputed... no, I would not call it an entity. When someone calls some place for "de facto" something, you can be sure it is disputed, and you will always have this conversation... a conversation that is mostly about being neutral. If this discussion is not about neutrality, why do we even have it then? Philaweb (talk) 19:13, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
There is no legal definition of a "country". The United Kingdom considers itself to be four countries governed by one parliament and one monarch. It's ridiculous to get hung up on whether Kosovo or anywhere else is a country. We should just clarify that its independence is not recognized by Serbia and some other countries, and leave it there. Fussing over not calling it a country, when it operates exactly like an independent country, plays into the agenda of Serb chauvinists, and there is no reason we would do that. Ground Zero (talk) 19:30, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
Agreed, and you would not see anyone write "the de facto country England" since "de facto" implies that it would be a disputed fact. I agree on the current policy and Ikan's initial post. Philaweb (talk) 19:57, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
And for clarity, I also agree with the current policy and Ikan Kekek's post. Ground Zero (talk) 20:46, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
I hope it's clear that I do too. Therefore, with a near-unanimity, we can start to do as Ikan proposed and start bringing the relevant articles into line with what we've agreed. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 21:10, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've had a go at implementing this for Transnistria, South Ossetia, Artsakh and Abkhazia. Take a look and see what you think. Anywhere else applicable?--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:50, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

Somaliland looks OK, so I'm not sure what else there is. We can also look at controversial parts of countries, like Crimea and the Golan Heights. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:58, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps some of the French overseas territories. Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana for instance are legally considered to be just as French as any part of Metropolitan France, and have the same visa requirements as the Schengen Area. So should we list these ones under France? The dog2 (talk) 23:58, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
You mean like this? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 00:15, 30 January 2019 (UTC)
I don't think so, because geography wins out for travelers. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:19, 30 January 2019 (UTC)
IMHO: the problem I see with an article like Somaliland is that the first sentence could give the reader the wrong impression: that we're some website full of strange conspiracy theorists that "believe in" certain countries that no one else considers to be independent. At the same time, though, if a country has its own government and really operates by itself, then it only makes sense to consider the country independent.
I agree with User:Ikan Kekek that while French Guiana and Martinique, etc. may be politically just the same as France, you've got to consider how far they are from mainland France. What it would boil down to is, do travelers who visit overseas departments/territories visit the "mother country" on the same vacation generally, or do they just visit the territory? If they generally just visit the territory on its own, from the traveller's point of view it's a separate country; if they visit the "mother country" and the territory in one go, it's pretty likely that the two are closely associated, again from the traveller's point of view. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:08, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
Somaliland is certainly functionally independent, and has been so for years. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:50, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

This is probably the correct way to go about it for the traveler's sake but as a small clarification, Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, and Transnistria really only exist because of the largesse of another state and are not actually independent even in a casual sense. They are just extensions of Russia and Turkey on others' sovereign territory. I can't speak to Artsakh as I'm too ignorant but this is a clear distinction from the Republic of China on Taiwan, Kosovo, Somaliland, or the SADR in Western Sahara. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:47, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

Artsakh, which we call Nagorno-Karabakh because that's a better known name in English-speaking countries for now, exists due to the largesse of Armenia, so it fits into the pattern you're discussing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:31, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
Sounds about rite. In that sense, they are actually pretty reasonable as "Go Next" destinations from their shell overlords. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:19, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
The dependence on a large country should be made clear in the Understand ("A separated from B with the support of C, which still is the only country recognizing it"). Often of course the dependence is denied by the large country, so we should mostly keep to the undeniable facts and be careful when stating the obvious result (not "lead by a puppet regime" if we can avoid that wording). (Kosovo is not necessarily an exception, it separated from Serbia with heavy military support from NATO, and recognizing it was part of the same Western campaign of gaining influence in the former East.)
And about the overseas dependencies, I hope we are not starting to call Svalbard or New Caledonia "countries", there is no need for that, as there is no controversy.
--LPfi (talk) 10:10, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

It is interesting that the discussion about "de facto" has turned into a discussion about "independence", and both of these words have absolutely no relevance on whether people travel there or not, they just do. Philaweb (talk) 11:58, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

I don't see anything wrong with that. So far, I think this has been a constructive discussion. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:26, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong in a discussion. My point is that if we use terms like "de facto", "independent" and "feels like a separate country" about areas that are disputed, it will eventually lead to edits to the articles that will be unconstructive. I think we should settle at describing the actual hurdles when travelling to a disputed area, and not dwell on whether they are independent, want to be independent or whatever. Just the logistics. You need to apply for the visa in another place than the one you are going to etc. Personally, I think there is too much detail in much of the nitty gritty of the local conflicts and aspirations. But that may just be my perception. If I need to read about stuff like that there are better venues. Philaweb (talk) 16:33, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
What makes Transnistria an interesting place to visit is that it had been in this twilight zone of unrecognized independence for over 25 years. It was fascinating to learn about their struggles and how they live in this weird state. If Transnistria ever rejoins Moldova, or somehow becomes part of Russia, there will no longer be any reason to go. There's really very little of touristic interest there. So the question of independence is paramount travel information, at least for Transnistria. I can't comment on the others. Ground Zero (talk) 16:53, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
It seems you can get convicted or denied entry in other countries if you got a stamp in your passport in some of these, which definitely is worth mentioning. And even in a place like Kosovo, I think the struggle for independence, and some of the nuances about it, is something you should be aware of as a tourist. --LPfi (talk) 16:59, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I definitely agree with User:Philaweb about not getting too bogged down in using de facto, independent etc. But equally I was about to post a similar comment to User:Ground Zero's (edit: and User:LPfi's). The 'twilight zone' is a key part of these countries' attraction. Plus, the unrecognised status is an essential thing to know about a place you're going to visit. We always note details about a country's government no matter which article it is.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:03, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
@Ground Zero - "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and that goes for travel as well. Your comment on Transnistria can be applied to many places on earth, and it has very little to do with independency (most of the places are independent). A president used the term sh*thole for countries like that, not a word I would use. Transnistria is a Soviet Union open-air museum frozen in time (even more so than Belarus). I have experienced places like that and it's a once in a lifetime experience - but not because of their legal status or their aspirations.
@LPfi, @ThunderingTyphoons - what you mention is part of the logistics, stuff that you need to consider when planning a trip. Philaweb (talk) 17:31, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
With regards to whether or not you visit it in the same trip, Hawaii is actually quite far from the mainland US, and the native Hawaiians are actually related to the citizens of Pacific island nations such as Fiji and Tonga. But I know that many Japanese tourists visit Hawaii (and Guam) without visiting the mainland U.S., to the point that ANA purchased A380s specifically to fly to Hawaii. So whether or not you visit them in one trip is not a good criterion.
But that said, I understand that it would be a challenge to have a fix set of criteria as to what defines a country here on WV. Speaking of which, if you've heard the news, the Chinese government has said that businesses have to explicitly refer to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as part of China in order to do be allowed to do business there. I'm not sure if WV is blocked in China yet, but if it does come to that, perhaps it might be worth discussing what policy we wish to adopt regarding these. Of course, we'd like our site to be accessible to as many people as possible, and that includes Chinese netizens, but should we compromise our long-held rules for that? The dog2 (talk) 18:27, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
You make a good point, but do you not see the difference between including all 50 U.S. States in the United States of America article and having different articles for French Guiana, Mayotte, and other Departements Outre-Mer which are so distant from the bulk of France? I mean, yes, Hawaii is extremely distant from mainland America, but it's not appreciably further than from California to New York, and it takes a bit less time to travel from LAX to Hilo than it does to travel from New York to either SFO or LAX, if I remember correctly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:41, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
We do say that both the governments in Beijing and Taipei officially recognize Taiwan as part of China, and that we treat Taiwan as a country only for practical reasons having nothing to do with politics or whether Taiwan truly is an independent country de jure, which neither side claims. There is also no contention that Hong Kong or Macau are independent, only that visa procedures and currencies are different. I don't see how we would change things in order to conform to the Chinese government's party line and still serve travelers as well as possible. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:47, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm also fine with the status quo that we have. I just brought these up because I think it would be helpful for us to be clear on policy with regard to some of these ambiguous cases. The dog2 (talk) 19:17, 1 February 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, and I think the dividing line is between what I believe the U.S. calls an "overseas territory" vs. a state. Even if the state is not contiguous with the rest of the country, it's still likely to be a lot more connected than a territory is going to be. Still, it's good to get that sort of thing clear.

So do we have any consensus on how to treat de facto countries? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:21, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

As countries, with relevant explanations of their limited international recognition, etc.


Also, tangentially, be careful about considering every far-flung French possession analogous to a U.S. overseas territory. Some of them are Departements Outre-Mer, and therefore, integral parts of France that are politically much more analogous to Hawaii and Alaska, although we give them separate articles for practical reasons. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:50, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
I see. I mean Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana — the ones that were mentioned earlier in this discussion. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:14, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, those are DOMs. But they're thousands of miles away from the Metropole so are covered separately, yet mentioned in the main France article's 'Regions' section. Same goes for British Overseas Territories, though those are not integral parts of the UK.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:20, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
And for Hong Kong and Macau, while they are contiguous with mainland China, you really do feel like you're in a different country. I don't know how to put it, but the best description I can put together is that Hong Kong and Macau feel more orderly, while mainland China feels a bit more like a free-for-all. And you'll definitely notice a big difference in how the commuters behave when taking the Hong Kong MTR vs the Shenzhen Metro; I would say that Hong Kong commuters are a little more polite. And while I haven't been to Kinmen and Matsu and therefore can't comment on those, politics aside, as far as the main island goes, Taiwan also feels like a different country. So until we start getting blocked by the Great Firewall of China (if that happens, then perhaps we can re-hash those topics again), those should be treated as separate countries on WV. The dog2 (talk) 23:26, 2 February 2019 (UTC)