The Turkish Visa application clip art is Grown-up Dora the Explorer and Hipster Ariel — “I left the ocean, it was too current.”
I’m vaguely planning out my next journey and looked up the handy online guides to what countries need a tourist visa. It reminded me of the absolute mind and cluster fuck the China visa was in 2011. The other time I needed a visa was to go to Turkey. Let me recount this simple story:
— You go online to evisa.gov.tr. You fill out the form, pay $20, download, print and take it with you to Passport Control. Since November 2014, you can no longer purchase a visa at the airport, so adjust accordingly.
— Did all that, arrived in Istanbul from Athens, got to the passport control agent, agent never asked for my visa, stamped my passport, I was on my way.
Well, then. I’m so glad I provided my credit card information to the Turkish government and spent $20 for nothing.
I chalk my experience up to the phenomenon as “Whoever You Get”. Example, when you go through TSA, you’re either going to get the dick agent who’s making it hard for everyone or the guy who just wants to go home. Another example, when I was 16, I tried to get into a rated-R movie. One ticket guy wouldn’t sell me a ticket since I was underage. Went to another line, no problems.
This frustrating phenomenon happens in all aspects of life. It’s the inconsistent guidelines that creates unnecessary bureaucracy. The randomness is a gamble, “Do I spend the $20 or save $20 and hope I get the agent who doesn’t care?”
This begs the question, why do we need a visa to get into Turkey in the first place? What did they do to Americans and vice versa? You don’t a need a visa to get into neighboring Greece or Bulgaria.
I haven’t found a concrete answer, which means that your $20 is not a visa but a way to fleece you as you come into Turkey like a tax or toll. If that’s the idea, than you just tell us that. Don’t BS us into thinking it’s some sort of security measure.
As a result, scams are popping up over the internet that claims to get you a visa when they are not the official Turkish website. Just make sure you have the fun clip art and the address https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/.