I understand that Turkey does not belong to Schengen area. So would I need to have a visa to visit Turkey?
NOTE: Due to changing circumstances related to US citizens this answer is NOT currently correct. Turkey is no longer issuing e-visas to US citizens, and visa-on-arrivals are only available to US citizens under very restricted circumstances (non-US residents, and some people related to Turkish citizens).
Exact circumstances are changing every few weeks, so I would suggest researching the exact situation before visiting Turkey as any answers on Travel.SE may be outdated quickly
Yes you need a visa to enter Turkey, according to Turkish Ministry Of Foreign Affairs
United States of America: Ordinary and official passport holders are required to have visa to enter Turkey. They can obtain three month-multiple entry visas from Turkish diplomatic representations abroad and also via the website www.evisa.gov.tr.
Please note, no more visa stickers on border crossings, you have to obtain the e-visa in advance:
As of April 17, 2013, electronic visa (e-Visa) replaces “sticker visa” which was issued at the border crossings. Applicants just need to log on to www.evisa.gov.tr , provide the requested information, (after the application is approved) make online payment and download their e-Visa.
The e-visa is easy to obtain and takes 24 hours to be issued, as mentioned in the FAQ page:
Your e-Visa will be e-mailed to you within 24 hours after completion of your application.
Note: The e-Visa's introduced in 2013 are now becoming mandatory. Sticker visas will not be available at border crossings beginning April 10th, 2014. If you needed a visa before, you must now obtain it in advance. This includes US citizens. There are even more restrictions on arrival for many other countries.
As of April 2016, it looks like on-arrival visas are still available, but only for certain countries (US citizens can still get one, along with 35 other countries).
From the Turkish e-Visa webpage: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/info/i-do-not-want-to-apply-for-an-e-visa-can-i-get-a-visa-on-arrival/
Q: I do not want to apply for an e-Visa. Can I get a visa on arrival?
A: Yes. If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below and you meet the required criteria, you can obtain a visa on arrival. Kindly visit the Ministry's website (www.mfa.gov.tr) to learn more about these requirements.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Dominican Republic
- Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus
- Hong Kong (BN(O))
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- United Kingdom
They're out of order on the website, so apologies for that :)
I would still suggest doing it online when possible, as it will greatly reduce the amount of headache you'll deal with on arrival. It is suggested to apply for your e-Visa more than 48hrs before arrival.
I'm an American citizen and I entered Turkey about a year ago and just obtained the visa upon arrival (at the airport). The cost was about $20. I did not have to obtain the visa ahead of time. For a US citizen, the following website is useful to determine if a visa is needed ahead of time for all destinations.
As stated here, visas can still be obtained on arrival at airports for certain nationalities (the ones listed), either in sticker form or as e-visas through kiosks depending on the airport.
No visas on arrival at land crossings though - when I crossed from Georgia at Sarp now in April the visa desk was completely desolate.
The E-visa Website confirms the same.
So the other answers are only partially correct.