Calculating visa and customs days for Turkey: how to stay longer than 90 out of 180 days in Turkey (May 2023)

The calculation of visa and customs days in Turkey is one of the most confusing topics I’ve come across so far.

These Infos are based on my personal experiences with my German passport and my in Germany registered car and what I’ve heard directly from other travelers in December 2022 up to May 2023.

I guess what makes it so confusing is this sentence from the official Turkish website about visas on Turkey: “The length of stay provided by visa or visa exemption cannot exceed 90 days within each 180 days.” (source).

From my experience this is absolutely right BUT the complexity begins when you want to stay more days after the 180 days of your initial stay have passed.

Travelers think they can calculate like the following example: You enter Turkey and the 180 days period starts. Within these 180 days you can leave and re-enter Turkey without problems. Every day you spend inside counts towards the 90 days you are allowed to stay within the 180 days timespan. So far, so good.

But now the complexity starts: One may think that when the 180 days are over another 180 days period will start and you get another 90 days in this period but that’s not the case. The Turkish border controls calculate your visa and customs days like this:

When you re-enter Turkey after your first 180 days timespan, the officials take the amount of days that you had left from your initial 90 days and add up the amount of days that have passed since your initial 180 timespan had ended. The result is the amount of days you are allowed to stay in the next 180 days timespan that starts with you entering Turkey.

One example:

  • You enter Turkey and use 80 days of the 90 days you are allowed in the timespan of 180 days.
  • You leave Turkey after these 80 days and enter the northern part of Cyprus or another country because you think it’s a nice way to get more visa days in Turkey.
  • After your initial 180 days timespan for Turkey has passed for 20 days you re-enter Turkey. So it’s been 200 days since you first had entered Turkey.
  • The amount of days you are allowed to stay in Turkey within the upcoming 180 days is: 10 days (you had left from your initial 180 days timespan) + 20 days (which you started “gathering” after your first 180 days timespan had ended).

And this “gathering of days” nobody would expect. But from my own experience and what I’ve heard from others, it’s what the officials at the border are doing.

The penalties for staying longer than allowed seem to vary a lot: One friend paid around 400€ for overdoing ten days. Another paid 30€ for overdoing 30 days.