Bulgaria and Turkey

The government of Turkey has recently taken a decision in favour of Bulgarian citizens. The country has made a no–visa requirement to attract more shoppers from Bulgaria, mainly to the provinces on the common border.

The official Gazette has published visa-free travel for Bulgarian citizens to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days. The move is designed to lure more and more visitors from the neighbouring country to boost the hard currency earnings. Over the past year, the province of Edirne has been crowded with Bulgarian shoppers. These shoppers buy food, clothing and other materials.


This is considered a step taken by Turkey to appeal to more and more visitors and to flourish their marketplace. Clothing is most popular among the visitors. Kemal Cingoz, head of the Edirne Tradesmen and Artisans’ Associations (EDESOB), said that the new decision on the visa-free visit would likely increase the number of tourists visiting the country.

The decision that came from Turkey had a very positive and expected response. The Bulgarians rushed towards Edirne by local transport or personal vehicles. The impact of the decision was evident. Local businesses are seeing the effects. It is a weekday, and the market is full of shoppers, said Metin Dogan, a local shop owner said.

‘’Bulgarian citizens are looking quite in favour of the decision. I buy almost anything cheese, olives. I am pleased that the government of Turkey has taken this decision,’’ said
Sevgi Rasonova, a visitor from Bulgaria.

In May alone, Turkey was visited by about 270,000 Bulgarians. In the first five months of 2022, nearly 1.3 million tourists visited Edirne, according to the latest Cultural and Tourism Ministry data. This is to be noted that it is a one-sided decision, and Turkish citizens are still required to obtain a visa to visit Bulgaria.