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Turkish Tourism Industry suffering under President Erdogan

Turkish Tourism Industry suffering under President Erdogan

Die Welt, a national German newspaper’s lead headline today is: “Germany is losing patience with Turkey.”  The German ambassador was recalled to Berlin, the German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel interrupted his summer vacation to deal with the increasingly aggressive and hostile behavior by the Turkish president Erdogan, who is seen as using dictatorial methods to rule his country. Well-respected and known journalists are in jail accused of terrorism when reporting critical about the Turkish president. Among them are journalists from major German publications including ‘Die Welt.”  Representatives of Amnesty International are in jail and tourists are scared to travel to this otherwise friendly and welcoming country.

Turkish Airlines just announced its 300th destination and seems to be expanding, but the travel and tourism industry is hurting in Turkey. Germany argues the jailing of Peter Steudtner, a German human right activist in Turkey demonstrated that something similar could happen to any German citizen in Turkey and his country is working on issuing more severe travel warnings against Turkey.

This comes in the midst of the high travel season, and besides Turkey dealing with fears of terror attacks, the tourism industry is now worried about what industry professionals in Turkey call “politically motivated travel warnings” to hurt travel and tourism even more.

Tourism is a major source of income and jobs in Turkey.

Millions of Turkish citizens and Turkish native German citizens have generations of ties between the two countries. Turkey has been a favorite among German travelers for many years.

It is strongly advised not to make public political statements against the Turkish state and to express sympathy for terrorist organizations.”

The Turkish criminal code has an article that covers insults against the nation itself and a number of government institutions. Historically, Article 301 was used to stamp out criticism of the government, like the crackdowns on the Kurdish minorities.

Turkey is trying hard to attract travelers from outside Europe and has been successful with vacationers from countries including Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, and Russia.

Even though numbers increased, the revenue did not.

Ironically TV ads by the Turkish Government shown on the German News channel N24 is trying to attract German investments for Turkey.