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Greek government launches special visit visas for Turks to improve ties

April 8, 2024 at 4:33 pm

View Of Rhodes International Airport Diagoras [Getty]

Officials on the Greek island of Rhodes opened a new vacation visa terminal for Turkish visitors on 1 April as part of a diplomatic effort to ease long-standing tensions between the two countries, Turkish local media reports.

According to the report, the limited-access visa will allow Turks to visit 10 Greek islands for up to a week without applying for full access to the European Union’s passport-free travel zone, known as the Schengen area.

NATO members, Greece and Turkiye, launched several initiatives last year to try and sidestep decades-old disputes – mostly over sea boundaries and mineral rights in the Aegean Sea- to focus on trade.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in December to sign a series of bilateral cooperation agreements in Athens.

“The express visa can be issued in summer and year-round. The measure is designed to boost tourism in areas and at times of the year when there is not a lot of traffic so that it will help the local economies,” Mitsotakis wrote in a weekly magazine.

Granted at participating Greek ports, the new visa will cost 60 Euros ($64.45) and include a passport check and fingerprint recording, while visitors will not be allowed to travel to other EU member states, Greek officials said.

READ: Turkiye and Greece leaders meet in Athens