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Old 03-02-2012, 01:10   #1
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Help Extend Cruising Time in Turkey

We are currently in Turkey. The rule changes here on visas will make it difficult to enjoy the country. Currently, you can stay 90 days, then take a one-day trip to a Greek island, get a stamp, and return for another 90-day cycle.

Under the new rules, you can only stay for 90 out of 180 days. (The same system as most of Europe's Schengen rule.) Turkey is neither part of the EU nor party to Schengen visa rules. There is debate within Turkey whether it is economically beneficial for it to become part of the EU. Turkey's economy is quite strong. The country is modernizing rapidly and growing by leaps and bounds. Debate is beginning to center on staying independent of the EU. Until or unless it joins the EU, there is no need to change the visa rules.

90 days may seem like a lot already, but not if you come all the way from the US. In that case, you will want to winter somewhere here in the Mediterranean. You can't winter in other northern Mediterranean countries, since they have Schengen rules. So until now, Turkey has the big wintering ports. But if you spend December, January and February in port wintering, then the new rules would kick you out just as the cruising season begins.

If you are planning to spend time cruising in the Mediterranean, then please help extend the cruising period. Please read this appeal below.

Thanks,
-Mathias

From Umit Golgeci, Front Office and Harbour Chief, Makmarin Kas Marina, Turkey.

I was at the London Boat Show and recently at Dusseldorf. The most important question there was the 180/90 days visa regulation problems.

We had the opportunity to meet there with the Turkish Tourism Ministry Officers, Attaches, Consuls and Ambassadors. We had big talks with them about the latest visa regulation problems.

As marina administrators of Turkey, we tried to explain to them just "How BIG the problem is". We forwarded all reaction emails from concerned yachties to them that we had received. We very much hope to get their help on this serious matter.

What we propose is you contact members of the Turkish Tourism Ministry and other important departments with your help. If the visa changes affect your annual cruising plans, please email your concerns to the contacts below:

List of Contact Details:

1) Mr. GÜNAY, Ertuğrul; Minister of Culture and Tourism.
E-mail: ertugrul.gunay@kultur.gov.tr

2)Mr. TAŞBAŞI, Cumhur Güven; General Director of Promotion,Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
E-mail: cumhurguven@kultur.gov.tr

3)Mr. KARAMAN, Cemil Ferhat; Deputy Director General Ministry of Foreign Affairs
E-mail: cemil.karaman@mfa.gov.tr

4)Mr. ÖZBEK, Mesut; Head of Department of External Relations and E.U Coordination, Ministry of Culture and Tourism
E-mail: mesut.ozbek@kultur.gov.tr

5)Mr. TÜZÜN, Kemal; Head of Department,Ministry of Foreign Affairs
E-mail: kemal.tuzun@mfa.gov.tr

6)Mr. EŞIT, Zafer; Head of Division External Relations and E.U Coordination,Ministry of Culture and Tourism
E-mail: zaferesit@hotmail.com

7)Ms. AYTUN, Serra; Head of Division External Relations and E.U Coordination,Ministry of Culture and Tourism
E-mail: aytun.serra@gmail.com

8)Mr ÇETINEL, Orhan; Chief of Section,Ministry of Foreign Affairs
E-mail: ocetinel@mfa.gov.tr

9)Mr TUNAY, Ali;First Secretary,Office of the President of Republic
E-mail: almin1at@yahoo.com
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:26   #2
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

So what is it your asking for then? to remain in a foreign country for more than 90 days without paying anything towards that country in the form of taxes

90 days strikes me as ample for a tourist.

Pete
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:43   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7
So what is it your asking for then? to remain in a foreign country for more than 90 days without paying anything towards that country in the form of taxes

90 days strikes me as ample for a tourist.

Pete
Why would a tourist who is spending money towards staying in a country, pay any taxes too?! It is the companies that receive he tourist's money that pay tax over that, so that toursts not only ontribute to local economy but also fill the state coffers indirectly.

Taxing them is something you would do to get rid of them.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:43   #4
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

I want to accomplish the same thing you want, but I really encourage you to change part of what was posted which reads:

"What we propose is "Email Bombing" all members of the Turkish Tourism Ministry and other important departments with your help. If the visa changes affect your annual cruising plans, please email your concerns to the contacts below:"

Wikipedia defines email bombing: In Internet usage, an email bomb is a form of net abuse consisting of sending huge volumes of email to an address in an attempt to overflow the mailbox or overwhelm the server where the email address is hosted in a denial-of-service attack.

At the same time, I want to thank you for all of your efforrts.

Best,

Bill ROUSE
Yacht BeBe
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:58   #5
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Why would a tourist who is spending money towards staying in a country, pay any taxes too?! It is the companies that receive he tourist's money that pay tax over that, so that toursts not only ontribute to local economy but also fill the state coffers indirectly.

Taxing them is something you would do to get rid of them.

ciao!
Nick.
I think the argument goes that after 3 months are not so much a Tourist , more a resident....or an illegal immigrant .

Hell, if I had any visitors stay more than 3 months they would have long since gone past the point of welcome guest. and would be charged rent .

PITA for sure, but countries don't run on fresh air - as we have all been discovering lately.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:08   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey

I think the argument goes that after 3 months are not so much a Tourist , more a resident....or an illegal immigrant .

Hell, if I had any visitors stay more than 3 months they would have long since gone past the point of welcome guest. and would be charged rent .

PITA for sure, but countries don't run on fresh air - as we have all been discovering lately.
Charged rent? After paying for a hotel room or marina already? The only thing I can think of that would hurt the economy is if the tourist starts working, taking away jobs and income from others.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:25   #7
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

My understanding is the Turkey lawmakers are trying to stop an influx of workers from coming in and taking jobs from residents. As it is now, they come in, get a job, at 90 days they go across the border and come back the same day and get another 90 days and on and on. Just like we did when we were there cruising.
However the lawmakers have failed to understand the effect this will have on cruisers who actually bring money into the country and spend it. I have heard that countries who do have this law simply do not enforce it with cruisers.
I'm sure the marina lobby will let them know and that is what the OP is all about, letting them know in bulk. We fully intend to return to Turkey for as long as a year so I will email the ministers. I encourage everyone with an interest to do the same.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:16   #8
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
I think the argument goes that after 3 months are not so much a Tourist , more a resident....or an illegal immigrant .

Hell, if I had any visitors stay more than 3 months they would have long since gone past the point of welcome guest. and would be charged rent .

PITA for sure, but countries don't run on fresh air - as we have all been discovering lately.
You neglect the point that cruisers are usually not in the same place for all 90 days; therefore, could hardly be considered residents. Except during the winter months when weather discourages sailing, we are constantly on the move. 3 or 4 days in any one port is normally enough for me. Then it is time to move on to the next anchorage.

Turkey is a very large country with a very long coastline. 90 days is insufficient time to see a country this large. Think more like Australia. It was extremely easy to obtain a 1-yr tourist visa for Australia. They realize tourists bring in money and that it takes more than 90 days to tour their country.

I do realize that there is a very large UK population that has been 'resident' in Turkey for years. Those people fit your definition of resident. They don't go anywhere. But they are supporting the local areas by paying marina fees, restaurants and bars, and all the normal expenses of life; and the normal expenses of maintaining a yacht. All that money goes into the Turkish economy. IMHO, Turkey will sorely miss that income if the 90-in/90-out rule is effected and enforced.

Judy
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:40   #9
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
So what is it your asking for then? to remain in a foreign country for more than 90 days without paying anything towards that country in the form of taxes

90 days strikes me as ample for a tourist.

Pete
During our 6-weeks in Turkey in 2011 we spent more than 2500 TRY in various sales taxes and VAT on marinas and haul-out and local goods purchases. This doesn't include taxes included in prices of airline tickets, rental cars, hotels and tickets to tourist sites which we also paid. During our 3 months in Greece in 2011 we spent about 800 Euro in VAT. Cruisers do pay taxes in the countries which they visit.

Turkey has a coastline of approximately 7200 km. Most of us travel in a boat averaging about 5 knots per hour or slower. Add summer meltimis and inclement winter weather to the equation and 90 days is just not enough time for cruising tourists to see this large country and do any inland touring to the historic sites.

Turkey should follow the example of Australia and develop a mechanism to issue a 1-yr tourist visa. Turkey could charge additional fees for this longer tourist visa. Frankly, I would be happy to pay an additional 200 Euro for the privilege for a multi-entry tourist visa for a period of 12 months.

Judy
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:02   #10
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

Judy, without getting too political, Europe is broke (so is the US). Turkey is a major exporter to Europe, so if Europe catches a cold then a couple of years later so do the Turks.

Politicals across the southern European counties have a problem, no money. So change a few rules and tax people. To help make it look good they promise to tax the filthy rich boat owners which always goes down well with the great unwashed even if as you and I both know it's far from the truth. It just looks good in the papers. They will also crack down on people staying in their country who might or might not be working on the black economy so saving jobs for Turks. I am afraid you and lots of other yachties are just going to get caught in the cross fire.

Bottom line is, if you want to live in Europe with 600m other people, in the future its going to cost either by direct taxation or indirect.

Pete
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:08   #11
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Judy, without getting too political, Europe is broke (so is the US). Turkey is a major exporter to Europe, so if Europe catches a cold then a couple of years later so do the Turks.

Politicals across the southern European counties have a problem, no money. So change a few rules and tax people. To help make it look good they promise to tax the filthy rich boat owners which always goes down well with the great unwashed even if as you and I both know it's far from the truth. It just looks good in the papers. They will also crack down on people staying in their country who might or might not be working on the black economy so saving jobs for Turks. I am afraid you and lots of other yachties are just going to get caught in the cross fire.

Bottom line is, if you want to live in Europe with 600m other people, in the future its going to cost either by direct taxation or indirect.

Pete
If that is their intent, wouldn't it make much more sense to add additional taxes to marinas and yacht related businesses and labor and increase the cruising tax rather than to limit the number of days a person can visit their country? Seems like something along the lines of 600 Euro per 90-day cruising tax plus 200 Euro per 12-month tourist visa, possibly in addition to increased taxes levied on yacht related needs would be far more palatable to the general public as "taxing the rich yachties" and would make more sense economically to Turkey than merely restricting tourists to 90-in/90-out. This new scheme is not well thought out.

Judy
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:15   #12
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

How hard would it be to make an exemption for yachts? It's not like all the foreign workers that Turkey is dealing with are sailing across the world to get there.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:26   #13
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

I emailed the first guy:


Quote:
Mr. Günay;

I am writing this letter in the hopes that there is another option for visiting yachts, and their owners, to be able to stay for more than 90 days in Turkey.

My family and I do a lot of sailing and will be in Turkey next year, as well as other parts of the Mediterranean. We do not earn income while there; instead we spend money that we’ve brought with us. Exploring your country, buying your goods, dining at your restaurants.

Making the visa policy 180 days would solve much of the issue, as it’s the winter weather that keeps most boats in Turkey. Perhaps applying it only to yachts, or allowing for such visas to be issues in advance via embassies would solve the issue.

I do not understand all of the aspects involved in this issue from a policy prospective. But from a yachting prospective and that of tourists who wish to enjoy your country, the 90 day visa creates a serious limitation.

Thank you for your time and warm regards,

Eric
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Old 03-02-2012, 14:44   #14
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

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How hard would it be to make an exemption for yachts? It's not like all the foreign workers that Turkey is dealing with are sailing across the world to get there.
Well it would be possible, but have a think about the number of people involved. How many cruisers are there in Turkey that would be affected? say 5000 perhaps? and how many of them would vote in an local election, they answer is none.

So there will little political will to do anything for them, even worse as the Italians are doing now, boat owners make an easy target to throw some mud at and deflect attention from other very real issues like tax rises for locals.

Imagine they did give a 1 year exemption for boat owners, what would the headlines in the local press say?

"Filthy Rich Foreign Boat Owners Given Tax breaks"

Bit dramatic perhaps but you get the picture.

Peter
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Old 03-02-2012, 15:01   #15
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Re: Help extend cruising time in Turkey

So Pete7, Turkey will benefit economically if tourists will get out of Turkey?
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