Greece Continues Visa Program for Turkish Tourists

Greece will provide short-term visas to Turkish nationals wishing to visit Greek islands again this year, the Foreign Ministry has confirmed.

A ministry statement said the European Commission agreed to extend the system into 2018, so that Turkish tourists and third-country nationals residing in Turkey may visit Greek islands in the Aegean for a maximum one-week stay.

“The visa program, which has been successfully implemented in recent years, is particularly critical for island economies,” the ministry announcement read.

“For this reason, its continuation into this year was a standing request of all local agencies,” it added.

Greece was named as one of the top holiday destinations for Turkish tourists in 2017.

A record-breaking 739,000 Turks visited Greece in the first nine months of 2017; a number significantly higher than the equivalent period in 2016, when 635,000 Turks visited the country.

The number of Greek tourists who visit Turkey has also risen in 2017, with Istanbul, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Cesme and Cappadocia being the favorite destinations.