Symi Visitor Accommodation Travel Blog

Flights, ferries, and travel tips to help visitors to the Greek island of Symi

Symi Visitor Travel blog

Turkish ferries

Update – ferry crisis now resolved after talks at ministerial level between Greece and Turkey.

Followers of international news will know that President Erdogan of Turkey recently issued a decree banning Turkish-registered passenger vessels from sailing to Greece. There has been a great deal of confusion about what exactly is meant, which ships are covered, when the ban takes effect, and why he thinks it is necessary.

It is claimed to be in retaliation for Greek seizures of 11 smallish commercial yachts for breaches of international regulations. The Turkish ban took effect on 25 September for commercial yachts (chartered yachts and gulets). It is supposed to start today (12 October) for larger cruise ships and passenger ferries. However, Turkish registered ferries have arrived today in both Rhodes and Kos, so maybe the implementation date is for sailings leaving after 12 October rather than on that date, or implementation has been suspended, or the shipping operators are ignoring the ban. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

There’s not been a ban on Greek-registered passenger ships sailing to Turkey, (which would be against international law), or on people sailing on Turkish registered yachts they own themselves.

But I’d certainly avoid planning any kind of holiday that involves crossing between Turkey and Greece by sea for next year until things get clearer.

This comes in addition to the current spat between Turkey and the USA which involves the suspension of issuing visas to each other’s citizens. Visas already issued will be honoured.


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