Greece, which has been working with EU officials to remove visa requirements for Turkish tourists at some of its islands in the Aegean Sea, on Wednesday officially launched a no-visa regime for five islands, but reports from passengers, tourism agencies and travelers indicate that formalities that have to be observed in gaining entry to the islands have not reduced.
On Thursday, the first tourists traveling under the new regime took a boat from Ayvalık, Balıkesir, to Lesbos. But the number of people who exited Turkey was limited to 10. However, reports indicate that there is not much of a point to the visa-free regime, as the procedures for making use of it are exactly the same as those for obtaining a Schengen visa. The permissions to enter the islands -- which are in practice visas -- are given for a single entry and valid for 15 days. Furthermore, agencies note that officials in Greece still demand a large number of documents prior to visits to the island, with no significant difference from the time, effort and money put into acquiring a Schengen visa.
Visa Free Regime With Greek Islands No Picnic For Turkish Travelers
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