Istanbul, Jan 31, 2019 (AFP) - Nearly 40 million foreign tourists visited Turkey in 2018, an increase of more than 21 percent, according to tourism ministry figures released on Thursday. The Turkish tourism industry has been recovering over the last couple of years after a spate of terror attacks in 2015 and 2016 seriously dented the sector as well as a failed coup in July 2016. "Tourism in Turkey continues to rise and break the records of recent years," the ministry said, adding that there was a rise of 21.84 percent in 2018 from 2017.
Turkey welcomed just over 46 million visitors in 2018, including 39.49 million foreigners and 6.62 million Turkish citizens from abroad. The number exceeded that of 2015 when 42 million visitors came to Turkey, before a decline of 24.6 percent was recorded in 2016. The last major terror attack to hit Turkey was during New Year celebrations in 2017 when a gunman killed 39 people at an elite Istanbul nightclub.
Tourism income increased by 12.3 percent to reach $29.5 billion in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to official statistics published by the Turkish statistics office (TUIK) on Thursday. The 2018 figure was up from $26.3 billion in the previous year, TUIK said. Official data revealed that 81.8 percent of the income came from foreign visitors and 18.2 percent from Turkish citizens living abroad. Nearly six million foreigners coming to Turkey in 2018 were from Russia -- an increase of 26.49 percent compared with 2017 -- and 4.5 million visitors were from Germany, up by 25.88 percent from the previous year, according to the ministry's statement.
Around 1.5 million people visited Ephesus in western Turkey -- where the remains of one of the "Seven Wonders of the World", the famous Temple of Artemis lies -- in 2018. But in 2017, the figure was lower at 996,800 visitors, the tourism ministry said. During one weekend in January, several groups of tourists were enjoying the Ephesus ruins, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2015 and is the fifth most visited site in Turkey. Some of my friends warned me: 'you know all the events that happened two, three years ago?' Shi, a Chinese tourist at Ephesus, said. "I think now it is OK. I don't worry about that."
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2019 14:27:53 +0100
Ankara, Jan 27, 2019 (AFP) - A tornado hit the Turkish resort of Antalya, injuring a dozen people, overturning buses and damaging airplanes at the airport with officials warning on Sunday of the risk of more bad weather. After the tornado battered the area in the south on Saturday, Antalya Governor Munir Karaloglu said 12 people were injured and two buses were blown over at the airport. Two planes and a police helicopter were also partly damaged, Karaloglu said. It was the fifth tornado in three days, the governor's office said. The governorate on Sunday warned the public on Twitter that the risk of another tornado as well as strong winds, flooding and lightning remained in the province's east. Former Antalya MP and current Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday told reporters that two people were killed after storms and flooding in the east of the province.
Turkish state news agency Anadolu had reported on Thursday that two people had died after a tornado hit Kumluca and Finike districts, while at least 10 others were wounded. Search and rescue teams on Sunday were looking for a 20-year-old university student who went missing after her car was hit by the tornado as she was on her way to visit her mother and father, Anadolu said. Environment Minister Murat Kurum said 315 buildings had been damaged in the past two days in the province because of bad weather. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said during a rally in Antalya that the material damage had reached nearly 100 million Turkish lira ($19 million; 16.6 million euros).
Turkey has been hit by a new anthrax outbreak in the southeast, as a district in Turkey's southeastern province of Bitlis has been quarantined after 81 cows died over a week because of anthrax, Cumhuriyet newspaper said on Thursday [6 Sep 2018], citing a Milli Gazete [Turkish newspaper] report. All cattle in the Gunkiri district in Bitlis have been vaccinated, and local authorities have said the animals in surrounding areas will also be vaccinated as a precaution against an outbreak. Security forces have been checking cattle entering and leaving the district, and sales of meat and dairy products have been banned.
Dozens were taken to hospital on Saturday [1 Sep 2018] over suspicions of anthrax in Istanbul, after anthrax was detected in Turkey's capital of Ankara and eastern province of Sivas among cattle imported from Brazil. The Turkish Animal Rights Federation on Thursday [6 Sep 2018] claimed that a Panama-flagged ship allegedly carrying anthrax-infected animals has been waiting at the southern entrance of Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait. "We also received reports that animals dying of anthrax were thrown into Marmara Sea," the animal rights group said on Twitter.
Ali Seker, a deputy of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), has filed a parliamentary question asking the Minister of Agriculture to inform the public about the ship, which he said had been waiting at Istanbul's Ahirkapi anchor point for 20 days and carried cattle bought from Brazil, Cumhuriyet reported on Thursday [6 Sep 2018].
Meanwhile, reports of anthrax outbreaks in different parts of Turkey have created panic and outcry on social media. "Help! Doesn't this country have willpower? We are being poisoned," Gokhan Ozoguz, the singer of the famous Turkish band Athena said on Twitter on Thursday [6 Sep 2018]. "Not just anyone would be able to add the fear of contracting anthrax when we eat meatballs for lunch to all our other day-to-day worries. I'd like to congratulate all those involved," another Twitter user said.
Binali Yildirim, Turkey's former Prime Minister and Parliamentary Spokesperson in office, asked the Minister of Health to taste the meat first during a reception in Turkish Parliament on Wednesday [5 Sep 2018], Diken news site reported. Yet pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Tuesday [4 Sep 2018] said that some domestic producers, which it labeled as "meat barons," were using the reports of anthrax outbreaks to manipulate the market and increase prices.
[To find Bitlis province on the western side of Lake Van, go to
Anthrax is enzootic in eastern Turkey and a constant problem, so I am puzzled as to why this outbreak in Bitlis got away from them. Getting all the district cattle promptly vaccinated after the event will slow down new cases. It is hoped that authorities are getting on with vaccinating the cattle in the surrounding districts as well because with 81 sick and dead cows to feed on, the Gunkiri tabanid female flies will be ranging outward to snack with their mouthparts already contaminated on cattle and even the occasional human. - ProMED Mod.MHJ]
Berlin, July 21, 2018 (AFP) - Germany has lifted economic sanctions on Turkey and relaxed its travel advice to the country, Berlin said Saturday, after Ankara ended its two-year state of emergency. A 1.5 billion-euro ($1.7 billion) limit on export guarantees to Turkey would not be renewed this year, Germany's economy ministry told AFP, confirming an earlier report by the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The measure was imposed in July 2017 as a way to pressure Ankara after the detention of a German human right campaigner and five other activists, including the head of Amnesty International in Turkey. Opposition parties in Germany have accused the 1.5 billion-euro limit of being too timid, given that the value of export guarantees increased from 1.1 billion euros in 2016 to 1.46 billion euros the following year. Germany's foreign ministry also removed a warning on its website about its nationals facing a high risk of arrest when visiting Turkey.
Turkey's state of emergency, which was imposed after a failed 2016 coup and saw the biggest purge of officials in the country's modern history, came to an end on Thursday. However the country's opposition has accused the government of moving to permanently formalise some of the measure's harshest aspects. On Friday, Turkey and the Netherlands ended months of enmity and agreed to restore diplomatic ties after two Turkish ministers were barred from a Rotterdam rally.
Date: Wed, 30 May 2018 17:36:17 +0200
Istanbul, May 30, 2018 (AFP) - A 30-year-old British man died in an incident at an airport terminal in southwest Turkey before he was to fly back to Britain, his airline said Wednesday. Turkish media reports said that the man fell to his death from the gate at Dalaman airport on Tuesday morning following a dispute with the Jet2 airline's crew.
The British budget carrier confirmed that one of its passengers had died at the airport "following an incident inside the terminal". "Contrary to some reports, we can confirm that the customer was not injured on our aircraft or in the vicinity of our aircraft," it said, saying it would not give further comment while the investigation continues.
A British foreign ministry spokesperson said: "We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Turkey and we are in touch with the local authorities." Dogan news agency said there was a dispute between the man and crew as he boarded the flight. The cabin crew informed the pilot and the man was forced to leave the plane on the grounds of jeopardising flight safety. After he was taken out of the plane, he fell from airport's personnel exit gate, at a height of 15 metres (50 feet) on the second floor of the building.
The heavily wounded man, who lost consciousness and suffered rib fractures, was taken to hospital but could not be saved, Dogan said. It said he had been waiting at Dalaman airport for three days to find an air ticket back to Britain. It was not immediately clear if he had a valid boarding pass for that fight or why he had been unable to find a ticket for three days. Dalaman is a popular entry point for British tourists to Turkey, providing easy access to popular holiday spots including Fethiye and Marmaris.