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turkish  yachties detained in greece

They crossed  the Aegean Sea and half the Ionian  sea  without visas and  documents, but eventually arrested in the mainland port of Killini.


The two men arrived at  the port of Zakynthos island on April 12 and on April 17 they sailed to Kyllini. When port  authorities checked  them, turns out  they had not entered the country in accordance with the lawful procedures and were arrested by the Coast Guard.


On April 26 they were handed over to the police officers of the Lechena Department and a case was filed against them for illegal entry into the country. The two Turks then filed an appeal with the Court . Their appeal was granted  since they declared their home  address to be  the Turkish Consulate in Athens.


The two Turkish citizens were finally released, but remained in Greece on their  sailboat, waiting for  proper  paperwork to continue their travel. 


Tips for  Sailing Between Greece & Turkey 


Since 2010 it has become possible and popular to cross the border by simply changing the courtesy flag half-way while avoiding the bigger ports (i.e. start and finish in a small port or bay). This illegal practice is now widely condoned: all  customs most likely will send the yacht back if caught. In fact, the Turkish transit log for a yacht out of Greece will only be valid officially for one day now. It is strongly recommended to use a yacht that holds the necessary papers!


In case that you wish to do the formalities by yourself you will have to go through the following steps:

Once still in Greece you will have to go through Customs & Passport Control. All passports of the crew members and yacht documents must be presented to the relative Greek Customs and Passport Control Office. Then they will provide you with the Port Police authorisation for departure. After that you are ready to depart for Turkey. 

Do not forget to raise the Turkish flag when entering Turkish waters. The precise position of the border is at various places disputed by the two countries. A good estimate with borderline coordinates can found just below the charts of Samos, Leros & Kalymnos and Kos.



As soon as you arrive in Turkey (Port or Marina), you must report at once at the Port Authorities, having all the necessary documents with you (passports, yacht documents and certificates). You will be then asked to pay (or not) the Visa charge per person depending on your nationality. Please check official  charts containing the Visa charges for visiting Turkey.
Citizens of almost all countries can obtain Tourist Visa without difficulty on entry to Turkey at Ports of Entry or airports. Citizens of other eastern European countries should confirm their situation before arriving in Turkey.


Transit log

Applicable to the yacht entry and departure in Turkey.

Yachts entering or leaving Turkey must make their entry or departure only at designated Customs entry and exit points. They must obtain or surrender (as appropriate) a Transit Log, referred to in some official documents as the “Yacht Registration Certificate”.
The current Turkish Law allows yachtsmen to enter Turkey without paying Transit log for their yacht if they visit only one major Turkish entry-exit port. In case that you wish to visit more than one Turkish port then you will have to pay the Transit log at the Port Police authorities. The transit log costs around 150 Euros always depending on the registered gross tonnage of your (charter) yacht.


Re-entering Greece


You are now ready to re-enter Greece and hoist the Greek courtesy flag again. As mentioned before you must exit Turkey and enter Greece from one of the above designated ports. Every movement of your vessel from or to Greece and Turkey must be reported and therefore authorised by the relative authorities, and that is exactly what you will have to do in order to re-enter Greece. Once you arrive back in Greece you will have to report immediately to Customs and Passport Control, and after that to the local Port Police station. Besides logical items like fire arms, also check for more surprising items like codeine medication which are illegal in Greece.


* Please note that following info is given in good faith according to the regulations found at the time these were issued. Any information may change without a notice and  Information on this web site is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied



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