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Politics

Greece Offering Quick Visas for Turkish Tourists for 10 Nearby Islands

February 22, 2024

ATHENS – With a thaw in relations between the countries, Greece will expedite visa processing for Turkish tourists wishing to visit ten nearby islands, which are currently popular destinations for Israelis affected by their country’s conflict in the Gaza Strip.

These visas will be valid for seven days for the islands of Kalymnos, Limnos, Leros, Kos, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, Symi, and Kastelorizo, all situated near Turkey’s coast and historically favored by Turkish visitors, as reported by EuroNews. Symi Mayor Lefteris Papakalodoukas welcomed the initiative, emphasizing the strong ties in tourism and culture between Greece and Turkey, particularly highlighting the island’s appeal to Turkish yachters.

Previously, Turkish visitors encountered a cumbersome visa process through the Greek Consulate in Izmir. The new expedited system simplifies entry, with thousands already expressing interest, according to the report.

Giannis Papavasileiou, President of the Hotel Owners Association, anticipates an influx of Turkish visitors to compensate for an anticipated decrease in Israeli tourists this summer.

Ironically, Turkey has been promoting its own coastline in the region as the “TurkAegean” and “Turkish Riviera,” aiming to attract tourists in direct competition with the Greek islands, some of which are visible from Turkish shores.

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