Every Briton entering Turkey can stay for a total of 90 days, but those that are here full-time have been able to stay in Turkey long-term by relying on back-to-back stays by taking a day trip to Greece before returning to Turkey and renewing their regulation 90 days.
But that is now due to end, with one of the most far reaching changes in a decade.
Britons are now being issued with a stamp on their passport on entry to Turkey that states they can only stay in Turkey for 90 days in 180 days.
If they were to complete a full 90 day block, they would then have to leave the country for the remainder of the 180 days and only then could they re-enter.
If they complete a 90-day block, then the only viable alternative particularly if they live here full-time is to apply for a residency visa, which varies from one-day to five years.
The new stamp allows multiple visits which would provide flexibility for those people who like to come out on holiday more than once a year. The new rules mean you can stay a total of up to 90 days, split into separate visits over a 180 day period – so for example, you could do 30 days in May, another 30 days in July and another 30 days in September, but within 180 days overall from the date of issue of your visa.
However, there is a possibility that residents will not know this until they leave the country on their old 90-day stamp, and re-enter when the new stamp will be issued and their 90 day stay in 180 kicks in.
Effectively, anyone doing a full 90-day block, will face major fines for over staying or be kicked out of the country for the remainder of the 90 days.
The new stamp says: Multiple entry visa valid for an intended stay of no more than 90 days per period.180 days duration begins on the date of entry to Turkey. Holder has no right to work.
This compares to the old stamp stating: Multiple entry visa valid for 90 days. Duration begins on the date of entry to Turkey. Holder has no right to work.
But the change seems to have been slipped in unnoticed and caught the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Embassy in Turkey and its consulates completely off-guard.
This has been backed up by advice on the FCO website – which still advises British citizens may obtain a multiple entry visitor’s visa valid for 90 days at the port of entry . The entry was still posted in its website on Monday night.
Voices has received many emails expressing concern at the lack of an announcement from the Turkish authorities.
When we challenged the British Consulate at Izmir, an officer said: We have spoken to the passport police at Izmir Airport and they have told us that people from Europe are now being issued with a 90-day-in-180-day stamp.
This has only been given us to verbally and the British Embassy is now seeking written clarification from Turkeys Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the change before any information can be given.
She added: It seems the change began in June but only became effective from July 14.
We appreciate this is a major change in the way some residents stay here, but they
It seems the changes could affect nationals from 44 countries are impacted by the changes. Other nationals affected include those from Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain. Countries not affected include France, Germany and Italy.
The impact on this could see ferry cruises to the Greek islands being particularly hit hard. For other British residents, it could the final nail in the coffin to staying here full-time rather than shell out for a residency visa, which was hiked up by a massive percentage at the start of the year.
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