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Greece Plans Visa-on-Arrival Program for Turkish Travelers in Bid to Improve Relations

In an effort to mend strained ties with Turkey, Greek authorities are in the process of establishing a one-year visa-on-arrival program for Turkish travelers. Following a meeting between the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, both countries' local media reported Greece's initiative to introduce an automatic visa system allowing Turkish nationals to visit ten Greek islands under simplified visa rules.

Greece Plans Visa-on-Arrival Program for Turkish Travelers in Bid to Improve Relations

During a joint press conference after the meeting, Prime Minister Mitsotakis announced that Greece had secured approval from the EU Commission for the proposed scheme. The visa-on-arrival program is expected to facilitate travel for Turkish citizens to ten islands with either refugee structures or ferry connections to Turkey. The visa will be granted on the spot and will be valid for a maximum of seven days with a single entry.


Greek Minister of Immigration, Dimitris Kairides, emphasized that the measure aims to bring Greeks and Turks closer. The designated islands for the new visa scheme include Lemnos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Rhodes, Symi, and Kastelorizo.


Prime Minister Mitsotakis also expressed support for Turkey's request to gain visa-free access to the Schengen Area. He stated, "Regarding Greece’s constant support for Turkey’s European accession process, our country supports the facilitation of visas, always within the framework of the European acquis, so that Turkey’s new generation, scientists, businessmen, students can develop closer relations with Europe."

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This initiative comes amid ongoing efforts to improve diplomatic relations between the two nations. The meeting between the Prime Ministers marked the fifth in a series, and a declaration on Friendship and Good Neighborly Relations was signed, focusing on strengthening ties, collaborative efforts, and enhancing bilateral relations.


As of now, Turkish citizens are required to apply for Schengen visas to visit Greece for tourism, including the islands. In 2022, Turkish citizens submitted the highest number of Schengen visa applications at Schengen consulates in Turkey, with 164,829 applications filed at the Greek consulate, making Greece the second-highest recipient of applications from Turkish citizens after Germany. In an effort to mend strained ties with Turkey, Greek authorities are in the process of establishing a one-year visa-on-arrival program for Turkish travelers. Following a meeting between the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, both countries' local media reported Greece's initiative to introduce an automatic visa system allowing Turkish nationals to visit ten Greek islands under simplified visa rules.


During a joint press conference after the meeting, Prime Minister Mitsotakis announced that Greece had secured approval from the EU Commission for the proposed scheme. The visa-on-arrival program is expected to facilitate travel for Turkish citizens to ten islands with either refugee structures or ferry connections to Turkey. The visa will be granted on the spot and will be valid for a maximum of seven days with a single entry.


Greek Minister of Immigration, Dimitris Kairides, emphasized that the measure aims to bring Greeks and Turks closer. The designated islands for the new visa scheme include Lemnos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Rhodes, Symi, and Kastelorizo.


Prime Minister Mitsotakis also expressed support for Turkey's request to gain visa-free access to the Schengen Area. He stated, "Regarding Greece’s constant support for Turkey’s European accession process, our country supports the facilitation of visas, always within the framework of the European acquis, so that Turkey’s new generation, scientists, businessmen, students can develop closer relations with Europe."


This initiative comes amid ongoing efforts to improve diplomatic relations between the two nations. The meeting between the Prime Ministers marked the fifth in a series, and a declaration on Friendship and Good Neighborly Relations was signed, focusing on strengthening ties, collaborative efforts, and enhancing bilateral relations.


As of now, Turkish citizens are required to apply for Schengen visas to visit Greece for tourism, including the islands. In 2022, Turkish citizens submitted the highest number of Schengen visa applications at Schengen consulates in Turkey, with 164,829 applications filed at the Greek consulate, making Greece the second-highest recipient of applications from Turkish citizens after Germany.

By fLEXI tEAM

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