90 day rule to be dropped –

NEW visa rules for tourists and visitors to Turkey will take effect from early 2012.

The new visa rule – where visitors will be able to stay up to 90 days only in an 180 day period – is highly anticipated to begin on February 1.

The news has yet to break on the British Embassy website, but the information has been outlined on a Turkish government website. On the website -(click here for link)- the 90 day law, which has been enjoyed by Britons coming to Turkey for many years, was repealed by the Turkish Government on October 10 and officially confirmed on October 24.

According to this website, the 90-day visa will officially end on January 31, and then the 90 days in 180 day period will kick in from February 1, 2012. This ruling comes under Turkish Law No.5683, concerning the Law on Residence and Travel of Foreigners in Turkey. It is broadly in line with the Turkish government’s intention to bring the law into effect before the main tourism season.

However, many British, if not all, visitors entering Turkey have received these 90-in180 day stamps since early 2010 although they have still enjoyed the back to back 90-day visa.

British Embassy officials were alerted when the 90-in-180 day stamps were brought in without warning last year, and after the Embassy lobbied its counterparts in the Turkish government, the practice was quietly dropped, although the stamps were still issued.

The Embassy was assured it would be given advance notice to warn British visitors – but it seems that, according to its own information website, that has yet to filter through.

For the moment and up until January 31, anyone entering the country it is business as usual. Even if you get one of the new 90/180 day stickers in your passport, the old 90 day rules still applies.

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