Nationals of the following countries ( among others) don't need a visa to visit Turkey for up to three months: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Nationals of Australia, Austria, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the UK and USA do need a visa, but this is just a sticker bought on arrival at the airport or border post rather than at an embassy in advance (Make sure to join the queue to buy your Visa before the queue for immigration).
The standard Visa is valid for 3 months and depending on your nationality, usually allows for multiple entries.
As of April 17, 2013, electronic visa replaced sticker visa which was issued at the border crossings.
e-Visa application is possible from any place with internet connection. Applicants just need to log on to evisa.gov.tr, provide the requested information, (after the application is approved) make online payment and download their e-Visa. The whole process takes no more than 10 minutes.
Please note that e-visa is only valid when the purpose of travel is tourism or commerce. Other purposes, such as work and study, require regular visa given by Embassies or Consulates.
If you plan to stay in Turkey for more than 3 months you can apply for an ikamet tezkeresi (Residence permit), which is usually valid for 1 to 2 years. You will need to contact the local emniyet müdürlüğü ( Security police) and show that you have some means of supporting yourself ( savings a steady income from outside the country) Or legal work within the country. As the permit costs a whopping €320 for a year, many expats find it more convenient and cheaper to cross the border every 3 months.
In theory a Turkish visa can be renewed once after 3 months at the nearest branch of the emniyet müdürlüğü but the bureaucracy and costs involved mean that it's much easier to leave the country (usually to a Greek Island) and then come back in again on a fresh visa. Unless you speak Turkish, dealing with the emniyet müdürlüğü is complicated.
It's best to obtain a çalışma vizesi (working visa) from the Turkish embassy or consulate before you leave your home country. At least 2 months before your departure date submit in person the completed visa form, Your passport, a photo of yourself, your proof of employment ( a contact or letter from your employer) and the required fee (between €140 and €200, depending on your nationality). After about 3 weeks ( Inşallah(€320 God willing), your passport will be returned with the VISA stamped inside.
Once you arrive in Turkey we'd ever work permit, you must obtain a’ pink book’ ( a combined work permit and residence permit) from the emniyet müdürlüğü (security police).If your employer doesn't do this for you, apply with your passport, 5 passport photos and the processing fee (€320 for a year,but check as it rises regularly). Your pink book should be ready in three or four working days and replaces the visa in your passport . It is renewable every year as long as you can prove you are still working.
Most people who are working in Turkey illegally (is private English tutors, poor example) cross the border into Greece, Northern Cyprus or Bulgaria every 3 months rather than bother with the cost and hassle of trying to extend their visa or get residency. In theory an immigration officer could query a passport full of recent Turkish stamps.However, in our experience most of them happily turn a blind eye to this bending of the rules.
note that rules seem to change regularly, So see www.e-konsolosluk.net and the Turkish Embassy or consulate in your home country for the latest information about Visa requirements .