Turkey Lifts Ban on Turkish Ships Sailing to Greek Islands

Turkey’s ban on Turkish ships sailing to the Greek islands has been lifted following a meeting between Greek Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis and Turkish Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan in Athens.

According to Mr. Arslan, passenger ferry services will continue to run normally since the two sides recognized each other’s importance in tourism and the economy.

As he said, a mission from Greece is due to visit Turkey next week to speed up technical procedures to lift the ban on tourist vessels.

“We intend to overcome the problem,” he said, stressing that the Turkish side’s intention is to lift the ban. He noted that the ban on commercial yachts of less than 24 meters would be continued.

In a letter sent to the local port authorities, the Turkish Ministry of Transport imposed a ban on Turkish-flagged vessels bound for Greece from September 25, as well as regular shipping lines from October 12 onward, citing the Paris MoU List’s oversight.

As the Turkish Minister explained, the problem arose because Turkey could not take the risk of losing the white flag on the list.