Will the Consulate of Greece in Istanbul end the discriminatory practice?

It is revealed that Greece imposes different visa requirements to Greek Orthodox community in Hatay and Istanbul.

Greek Orthodox community in Istanbul are given a privilege in their visa application, exempting them from the visa fee. A baptism document from the Ecumenical Patriarchate is accepted as a proof showing that they are Greek. When they make an application with such a document, their application is evaluated differently. This practice aims to make easier to get Schengen visa for Greeks. 

However, Greek Orthodox community in Hatay, since they don't have baptism documents from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, are not treated like Greeks in Istanbul and pay the visa fee. On the other hand, the ones who are graduated from Greek High School don't pay the fee, since they speak Greek.

On October 5, Greek Embassy to Turkey issued an executive order. According to this order, the ones who don't have a document from the Ecumenical Patriarchate or who are registered to Hatay, regardless of being a Greek speaker, will pay the visa fee. Thus, Greek High School graduates in Hatay lost their right of free visa.

Speaking to Agos, officials from the Consulate of Greece in Istanbul stated that they are working for reversing this situation. 


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Aleksia Kotam