Greek islands are set to welcome Turkish visitors for the first time under a new visa scheme.

3 Min Read


Could the opening of travel to the Greek islands for Turkish citizens be the first step towards solving the ‘Cyprus problem’?


Turkish travelers will now be able to visit ten Greek islands under a new scheme announced this week.

Authorities on the popular island of Rhodes have opened a new visa terminal for Turkish visitors as part of diplomatic efforts to ease long-standing tensions between the two countries.

The limited-access visa will allow Turks to visit the Greek islands for up to a week without having to apply for full access to the EU’s passport-free travel zone, also known as the Schengen area.

NATO members Greece and Turkey launched a series of initiatives last year to try to resolve decades-old disputes – mostly maritime boundaries, mineral rights in the Aegean Sea and ownership of Cyprus. The new focus on trade is also positive for tourism.

Which Greek Islands are included in the Express Visa scheme and how much does it cost?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in December visited Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will sign several bilateral cooperation agreements in Athens.

Mitsotakis is scheduled to visit Turkey next month. Ahead of the meeting, he wrote on social media, “Express visas can be issued all year round, not just in summer. This initiative is designed to promote tourism in areas and times of the year when there are There is not a lot of traffic, so it will help local economies.

All the islands included in the visa program are located near the Turkish coastline. These include Lesbos, Limnos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Symi and Kastellorizo, with smaller islands joining the scheme in June.

The new visa issued at participating Greek ports will cost €60 per passenger and will include a passport check and fingerprint recording.

Greek authorities have made it clear that visitors to the islands will not be allowed to travel to other EU member states without the correct paperwork.

Turkey has long called for more relaxed travel rules for its citizens visiting the EU, including efforts to curb illegal immigration in exchange for cooperation with member states.

Tourism is an important industry for the Greek economy. According to central bank figures, it welcomed 32.7 million visitors last year alone, raising €20.5 billion.

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Share this Article
Leave a comment