Turkey is set to lift its visa regime that had previously been imposed on 5 Schengen Member States and the UK as of 02 March 2020, making it possible for citizens of these countries to experience short-term travel for tourism purposes to Turkey visa-free.
The Schengen countries included in the agreement are:
- The Netherlands
Although visas are no longer required for short-term travel for the above mentioned countries, travelers should not stay in Tukey more than 90 days within a 180-day period.
“As of 2 March 2020, Turkey has decided to exempt visa requirements for the members of the European Union Schengen area, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland as well as the United Kingdom citizens for touristic travels to Turkey for every 90 days within 180-day periods,” Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara announced via a statement published on its website.
Turkish authorities advise that a traveler’s passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date they enter Turkey and that it contains a full blank page for entry and exit stamps.
The lift of the visa regime comes as an attempt to encourage European tourism to Turkey, as well as to develop economic, trade, and cultural relations between the mentioned nations.
Its new tourism strategy aims to attract more than 75 million tourists and make over $65 billion in revenue by 2023. European countries are one of the main target markets for the Turkish tourism industry.
Over 45 million people traveled to Turkey in 2019, making it one of the most-visited countries in the world. This is a record number for the country, and a 14% increase since 2018, according to official data.
Not all EU and Schengen citizens are exempt from short-term visa-free travel to Turkey. If a visa agreement is met between the EU and Turkey, it would necessitate that Turkey abolishes visa requirements for the rest of the members of the EU and Schengen Area. For now, nationals of EU countries that do not have an agreement with Turkey will still have to apply for a Turkish e-visa for travel there. At the moment, nationals of 78 different countries worldwide are allowed to travel short-term to turkey visa-free for tourism purposes. This includes citizens of several EU and/or Schengen members: Germany, Finland, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, and Ireland.