New Visa Rules for Cruising in Turkey

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New visa rules for visitors to Turkey are to start on February 1, 2012, before the main tourist season starts.

This ruling comes under Turkish Law No.5683 concerning the Law on Residence and Travel of Foreigners in Turkey. Visitors will be allowed to stay for up to 90 days only, within a 180 day period.

There are still a few practicalities that require explanation. For example, how and in what circumstances can you renew your visa and for what nationalities this new ruling refers to.

In the meantime, it’s business as usual. Even if you get one of the new 90/180 day stickers in your passport, the more favorable old 90 day rules still apply until January 31, 2012.

Those who live aboard in marinas can bypass the 90 day tourist restriction by applying for a residency visa, good for the duration of their marina contract. The process in Marmaris is not expensive or difficult and does not require an agent (see procedure for the application for a residence visa). However, there appears to be an allowance for each port of call or air entry point to interpret prices as they see fit. Alanya, for example, has a ludicrous charge for a year’s residence visa of $12,000. For foreign cruisers and liveaboards, they will need to take the bus to get to a less expensive immigration city.

For cruisers planning a summer cruising Turkey next year, it will no longer be possible to just “pop across” to Rhodes to renew the 90 day visa, limiting time in Turkey to just 3 months.

Local liveaboards in Marmaris advise any cruisers spending a long time in Turkey who are concerned about this new ruling to consult their marina management and ask them to call the authorities and confirm that this particular law will go into effect. It is often the case in Turkey that rules/laws get talked about and are issued publicly, and then everyone gets all agitated and the rules change or are withdrawn or put on the back burner.

With information from Kalkan Turkish Local News and cruisers Gwen Bylund and Nancy Zapf.


Author: Blue Water Sailing