Terry and Barbara Podmore knew when they returned to Turkey in May this year that their multiple tourist visa would expire during their stay but assurances from the visa officer at Dalaman airport convinced them they would be fine. So it was a shock when they ended up with a hefty fine and 3 month ban when they tried to go home.
The couple hail from the county of Staffordshire in the UK and have been coming to Turkey for many years.
Terry, a business man, and his wife Barbara bought a villa in the popular resort town of Ovacik some two years ago and have been staying at their second home for extended periods ever since.
[inset side=right]The officer stated that our visas were out of date and that would result in a fine and a three month ban on returning to Turkey[/inset]The couple are well versed with the tourist visa rules, but when they landed at Dalaman in May this year they were confused when the visa official told them they didn’t need a new visa.
They had already worked out that their 10 GBP multiple entry visa would expire during their stay but the visa officer was insistent that they would be OK for the length of their stay and they were sent off with their existing visas.
But when they returned to the airport for their return flight some 3 weeks later the alarm bells started to ring when the immigration officer checked their visa and made a call.
“Another officer arrived at the immigration booth and firmly led my wife and I into an office within the new airport complex.”
“The officer stated that our visas were out of date and that would result in a fine and a three month ban on returning to Turkey”
“When I explained the conversation on our arrival at the visa booth he dismissed my excuse. He said because we owned property in Turkey we should know the rules regarding the visa. He then said if we believed we had a reasonable excuse then we should explain our case to the Turkish Embassy in London”.
The next thing Terry and Barbara knew they were requested to pay a fine of just shy of 600 TL (240 GBP) and were given an official form that forbade their entry into Turkey for 3 months.
They paid the fine and later boarded their plane for the flight back to the UK.
Luckily the couple hadn’t booked any other flights back to Turkey in the period of the ban or the financial implications would have been worse.
Terry said the experience was sobering and that he and his wife are now considering obtaining residency permits to avoid any further problems in the future.