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Overnight Stay in Istanbul
Krolik
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U.S. citizens traveling from Riga, Latvia to Washington DC this July and the best flight option includes an overnight stay in Istanbul. The Turkish consulate website has this to say:

Passengers who will have to wait at the Turkish International Airports for their next connecting flights are not required to have an “Airport Transit Visa (ATV)”. However, should those passengers wish to take a tour at the city or stay over, they have to either obtain their transit visas at the Turkish Embassies/Consulates in advance or they should ask for a “permission document” from the Turkish border security officials upon their arrival. Please be informed that the Turkish border security officials have the authority to grant or deny permission.

Has anyone done this before? Is it best to go ahead and get transit visas? Are there any sleeping accommodations in the airport?

Thanks!

mim
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Visa stamps are issued at the border/airport/etc for $20. It is unlikely you will be denied a visa.

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

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Don
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Never been, but this site came to mind: http://www.sleepingi…

oldlady
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I think Turkish immigration officials can let you into the country for a short period of time without paying for a visa. We were on a cruise ship that docked in Kusadasi. I actually had a valid Turkish Visa, but most of the passengers on this Greek cruise ship did not. When we got off the ship, we were herded through an immigration office. Turkish officials collected our passports and issued fairly non-descript cards with name and passport number written on them. The official just looked at the picture/information page on my passport. He did not even leaf through it to look for the Turkish visa and I did not say that I had one. The card allowed you to spend some period of time (we were there about 8 hours) in Turkey. We got our passports back when we turned in the cards on the way back to the ship. We did not have to pay anything. While it’s possible that the cruise line paid something, I doubt that was the case.

As mim says, If this fails, just pay the $20 (I thought it was $15) and get a visa. I would make a point of having the correct amount (they won’t make change) in fairly crisp US bills — with no tears in them, in case you want to or need to get a visa..

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It was $15 when I went, but I think the fee went up five bucks. And I wholly agree with what OL said — good clean US currency. (literally _clean; not figuratively — as that could be a problem) Wink

I am leaving from New York, NY and traveling for 64 days
Reykjavik, London, Lille, Berlin, Kraków, Lviv, Istanbul, Selçuk, Pamukkale, Kızkalesi, Göreme, Kars, Bat'umi, Akhalts'ikhe, Tbilisi, Telavi, Istanbul

Eurotrip Managing Editor