Terror attacks target tourism in Turkey | DW Travel | DW | 29.06.2016
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


Terror attacks target tourism in Turkey

Popular tourist destination Turkey has been shaken by yet another terrorist attack. As the already damaged local tourist sector takes another hit, people have begun calling it "Black June."

Mehmet Tekerek has been in the tourism business for 15 years - but in all that time he's never experienced a season that was quite so bad. "This year has been a catastrophe," he says, adding, "There are no tourists at all."
He is referring to Konyaalti, which is one of the best known beaches in the district of Antalya. He blames the government and their wrong policies, saying, "Things are being permanently blown-up and our foreign relations are bad."
To compound matters further, it's currently the fasting time of Ramadan and there are the European Football Championship finals being held in France. His demand to the Turkish government is very clear: "It has to improve relations with other countries and support the tourism sector."
Normally, the beaches are full of holidaymakers from Russia, Germany and other European countries. But this year, the Turkish tourism sector is in a deep crisis.
At the end of last year, the Russian visitors stopped coming, after president Vladimir Putin announced wide-ranging sanctions following a Russian fighter plane being shot down by Turkish jets. Back then the Turkish travel sector hoped to compensate for the lack of Russian visitors with holidaymakers from Europe.
Then, terror attacks on tourists in Istanbul by the Jihadist group "Islamic State" (IS) have unsettled many. Added to this, the PKK, the banned Kurdish worker's party, has repeatedly threatened to carry out attacks on holidaymakers - even though this has never actually happened to date.
The Turkish ministry for tourism says that the number of visitors in April has seen a significant decline of 28 percent compared to the same time the previous year.
These numbers are even more dramatic in the case of the Antalya district, which relies heavily on tourism. Turkish media, citing figures provided by Antalya airport, report that the first two weeks of June saw 59 percent fewer holidaymakers arrive: 45 percent fewer Germans and virtually no Russians. The papers are calling it "Black June."
For Tekerek, who provides water sports services to tourists, these numbers mean he's facing bankruptcy. In 2015, he had a daily turnover of 500 euros ($554) a day. That has now declined to 100 euros - and some days he makes no money at all.
He lists all his overheads: rent for boat moorings, taxes, wages and insurance for his employees. He's had to fire two of his five employees before the start of the season. The summer earnings should just about be enough to get him through the winter, Tekerek says.
Many in the Anatalya region voice the same worries and concerns. Traders aren't selling anything; hotels have lots of empty rooms and are forced to slash prices.
In the holiday resort of Side, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Antalya, the beach is a little livelier - but locals say it's dead compared to last year.
This is where many Germans spend their holidays. A huge percentage of those who come here are repeat customers.
"Many are worried about terror attacks, but that could happen anywhere - so it ultimately didn't stop us from coming," says Ingeborg Wackelnagel. A lot of their friends did however question if they'd really carefully considered their plans. Her husband Ekkehard is of the opinion that there is no better place than Turkey to spend your holiday: "Service is excellent, the prices cheap, the hotel clean and the people are super-friendly," he explains.
Tour guide Hajo Hayati Simsek says the regulars have not been frightened off. Speaking in fluent German, he explains that what's more important is to reassure those who don't know Turkey. Despite the bad outlook he wants to remain positive: "Next season, everything will surely change," he says, adding: "Those who are currently spending their holidays in Spain or Italy will miss our Turkish friendliness."

is/sbc (dpa)

DW recommends