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Turkey’s tourism office reassures travellers

The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has claimed there are “no problems” facing tourists planning on travelling to the country. However, protests in the country have spread to tourist areas over the weekend, although the ministry insists there is still no threat to security or transport.

The message from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has come following a series of demonstrations in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Adana, Hatay, Tunceli and other cities across turkey, some of which have turned violent.
Damage in Taksim

“As shown in the international media in the last few days, there have been protests in Istanbul and a number of other provinces regarding the redevelopment of Taksim's Gezi Park,” said a spokesperson for the ministry. “As of today, there are currently no problems being experienced with either transport or security in Istanbul or any of our tourism regions and thus every sort of touristic activity is carrying on as normal.”

Tour operators in Turkey have reported only peaceful demonstrations in popular tourist areas, and have said they are continuing to monitor the situation. However, the president of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, Basaran Ulusoy, has said that the protests were having an impact on the number of people flying to Turkey, according to the Sunday Times.
Protester in Istanbul

"I'm confident it will not last too long. It's a shame that it's this time of year in the late booking period. It can put people off confirming their holiday,” said Akin Koc, managing director of Anatolian Sky Holidays. “I'm frustrated to see it go out of proportion and concerned that young travel agency staff may be influenced by the news."

Despite reassurance from both the ministry and multiple travel agencies, British tourists are still cancelling their holiday to Turkey. Travellers have been warned that they may face losing their money if they cancel their holidays, as the Foreign Office has not advised against travel to the country. 

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