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Greece announces fast-track visa for Turkish tourists wishing to visit ten Greek islands

Greece announces fast-track visa for Turkish tourists wishing to visit ten Greek islands


Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has officially introduced an expedited temporary visa for Turkish visitors to ten Greek islands, as part of a strategy to fill the void left by dwindling numbers of Israeli tourists.

This agreement is the result of the historic meeting last December between Mr. Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during which this idea was conceived.

The seven-day on-site visa will provide access to the islands of Kalymnos, Limnos, Leros, Kos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, Symi and Kastellorizo.

These ten islands are all close to the Turkish coast and have always been very popular with Turkish visitors, despite strained relations between Greece and Turkey.

Lefteris Papakalodoukas, Mayor of Symi, highly appreciated this initiative and highlighted the close ties in tourism and culture between Greece and Turkey.

He cited as an example the popularity of Symi among Turkish boaters, with the island seeing a significantly higher number of boat arrivals than others like Rhodes.

The move will greatly simplify things for Turkish visitors, who previously had to face a lengthy visa process through the Greek consulate in Izmir, and it already appears to have generated a lot of interest.

Giannis Papavasileiou, president of the Hotel Owners Association, said this should lead to an increase in the number of Turkish visitors, which would help compensate for the lack of Israeli tourists and thus help benefit the local economy.

Locals are reportedly pushing for this fast-track visa to be implemented as soon as possible, hoping to welcome more Turkish visitors starting this summer.




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