Relations Warming, Greece Will Give Turks Visas for Island Visits

December 10, 2023

ATHENS – The tightening of ties and ratcheting down of tensions between Greece and Turkey will see Turks be able to get temporary visas to visit some Aegean islands for limited periods, creating a bridge between the countries.

That came during a meeting in Athens between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who said they want to put provocations aside in favor of diplomacy to settle issues and disputes.

The European Commission has approved Athens’ decision to grant this temporary visa an official not named told the Bloomberg news agency, although Erdogan earlier said he coveted return of some Aegean islands ceded to Greece under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that he doesn’t recognize.


Speaking to Turkey’s Anadolu agency, Greek Migration and Asylum Minister Dimitris Kairidis, said, “It was undoubtedly a very good day for Turkish-Greek relations after a long time. And I think we can be much more optimistic today than we were before. Everything went very well. Better even than expected.”

Pointing out the role of the politicians in managing the bilateral relations, the minister asserted: “We, politicians from both the Turkish and Greek sides, want to solve problems, not to perpetuate, or increase them.”

Kairidis said the visa facilitation scheme he pushed was an important part of improving relations and opening doors between the countries, especially on the Aegean islands where there is so much shared heritage.

He noted that Turkey is the only European Union candidate country that doesn’t have visa-free access to the Schengen area and that Greece has both supported Turkey’s EU hopes and for visa-free access to the bloc.

He said Greece wants more Turkish tourists that he said are valued and big spenders and help the sector financially as well as culturally, with so many shared values between Greeks and Turks among families.

“We eventually managed to convince the European Commission about the benefits of the scheme in bringing the Turks and Greeks together,” he said.

As such, Kairidis added: “This is truly a win-win solution for both countries.”

Kairidis explained that the program will permit Turkish citizens, throughout the year, to visit 10 Greek islands  – including Lemnos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Rhodes, Kastelorizo – up to seven days.

That would be done by having their special type of visa issued by the Greek police upon their arrival, after their data is checked on the Schengen visa and Europol databases, instead of going through a regular visa application process.



ATHENS - If the Bank of Greece did not operate under the protection of the institutional framework of independence, after what happened in 2015, the country would have perhaps left the eurozone, Bank of Greece (BoG) governor, Yannis Stournaras, said on Saturday during the Kathimerini conference in a panel titled: "In the next 50 years, is Democracy safe?" Is Greece reformable?" "Who doubts that if it wasn't for the Bank of Greece, we might not be in the euro after the adventure of 2015?" he said.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Truck Driver Pulled to Safety After Crash Leaves Vehicle Dangling over Bridge Across Ohio River

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The driver of a semi-truck was pulled to safety Friday by firefighters following a crash that left the vehicle dangling over a bridge across the Ohio River.

Donald Trump has won Missouri's Republican caucuses, one of three events Saturday that will award delegates for the GOP presidential nomination.

ANAHEIM, CA  – The Minoan Dancers of Marin County, California, participated in the 47th Annual Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival (FDF), held February 15-18 in Anaheim, CA.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Iditarod, the annual sled dog race celebrating Alaska's official state sport, is set to get underway Saturday with a new focus on safety after five dogs died and eight were injured in collisions with snowmobiles while training on shared, multi-use trails.