Greece Allows Visa on Arrival for Turkish Citizens to 10 Aegean Islands

After a meeting between the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the President of the Republic of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, local media in both countries reported Greece’s plans to launch an automatic visa system, allowing Turkish citizens to visit ten of its islands under facilitated visa rules.

In a joint press conference, Prime Minister Mitsotakis stated that his government has already received the approval of the EU Commission for introducing such a scheme.

Greece requested and secured EU approval to activate the possibility for Turks and their families to visit all year round ten of our islands with refugee structures or a ferry connection with Türkiye. Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis

The visa will be granted on the spot and valid for a maximum of seven days, one entry. The islands included in this new scheme are Lemnos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Rhodes, Symi, and Kastelorizo.

During the press conference, Prime Minister Mitsotakis supported Türkiye’s request to gain visa-free access to the Schengen Area. Regarding Greece’s constant support for Turkey’s European accession process, he stated, “Our country supports facilitating visa procedures, always within the framework of the European acquis, so that Turkey’s new generation, scientists, businessmen, and students can develop closer relations with Europe.”

The meeting between the prime ministers is the fifth in a series of meetings between the two countries. A declaration on Friendship and Good neighbor relations has also been signed, focused on strengthening ties and working together to benefit both societies.

Turkish citizens need to apply for Schengen visas to visit Greece for tourism purposes, including the islands. According to Schengen Visa Statistics, in 2022, Turkish citizens filed the highest number of Schengen visas at the Schengen consulates in Türkiye, totaling 778,409 applications. The Greek consulate received 164,829 applications, making Greece the second-highest country in the number of applications received by Turkish citizens, following Germany, which received 223,699 applications in the same year.

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