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From the Stripes Travel mailbag: Visas for Turkey

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 6, 2003

Greetings, fellow travelers:

I have to admit that the only reason I ever buy Stars and Stripes is because of the Thursday travel section.

I enjoy traveling and have been to many European countries more than once. I was a soldier in southern Bavaria from 1975 to 1979.

The reason I am writing concerns the article “Gasps and giggles in Istanbul” from the Jan. 9, 2003, edition. I realize that it is impossible to please everyone, but there seems to be one thing lacking in every article concerning Turkey. That is the requirement for, and the price of, a visa for Americans.

My wife and I went to Antalya in 2000. The price for a visa for Americans was $45. We went back this past Christmas holiday fully expecting to pay the $45 for the visa, but when we got to customs, the price has risen to $100 (that’s for each person) for Americans.

Americans are No. 1 on the top of the list and pay the most. All other countries were $45 or less.

Now, I’m not politically minded, so I can only assume that there are two reasons behind Turkey putting a high price on visas for Americans. It is either because they believe we are all rich and will pay without complaining (not much you can do since you’re held captive at the airport for a weeklong vacation — technically you can’t even enter the rest of the airport to catch a return flight home without buying one) or they do not want Americans in their country so they inflate the price so ridiculously high.

If anyone else has a third or even a fourth possible option, I am willing to listen. As for me, it really doesn’t matter because, unless I get deployed there, I’ve visited Turkey for the last time!

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my visits to Turkey, but I think this is VERY important information that all American travelers should know prior to even thinking about Turkey as a travel destination.

Thanks for listening.

Bill Elwell
Bamberg, Germany


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