Greece to continue providing short-term visas to Turkish nationals for visits to Greek islands

Greece will provide short-term visas to Turkish nationals wishing to visit Greek islands again this year, following an iniative of EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

A ministry statement said that Avramopoulos informed Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos through a letter that the European Commission agrees to extend the system into 2018, so that Turkish tourists and third nationals residing in Turkey may visit Greek islands in the Aegean for a maximum one-week stay.

“The visa program, which has been successfully implemented in recent years, is particularly critical for island economies,” the ministry announcement said. “For this reason, its continuation into this year was a standing request of all local agencies,” it added.

According to Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) sources in Brussels, Avramopoulos noted in his letter to Katrougalos that this pilot program must be supported and border controls and processes at the islands strictly observed.