Russian tourists have again decided in favor of Turkey for their vacations, which is seen by a 10%-15% rise in demand for Turkish tourist packages compared to the same period last year, the business association said.
Sector representatives indicate that Turkey is a much more attractive holiday spot compared to its competitors due to the climate, affordable prices and high quality offerings.
According to the Antalya Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, the holiday resort city hosted about 1.25 million Russian tourists in the first five months of this year, a 20% increase year-on-year.
Officials expect 6 million Russian tourists to visit Turkey this year, about the same number as in 2018.
The Ambassador of Turkey to the Russian Federation, Mehmet Samsar, says that the preferences of Russians on holidays in Turkey have changed in recent years. “Russian tourists began to visit Turkey not only for the beach, but also for cultural and recreational rest at the hot springs. Interest in Cappadocia, Izmir, Istanbul, as well as the beaches of Dalaman and Bodrum increased,” he said.
Samsar added that about 35-40 million foreign tourists visit Turkey annually, and the country has a great potential to increase tourist traffic.
“Even if 600,000 more tourists arrive in 2019, this is already good growth,” he said.
Erdogan says he will not declare ceasefire in northern Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear to U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northern Syria and will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region.
Turkey forged ahead with its offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and calls for it to stop, while Syria’s Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces.
The YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.
On Monday, Trump announced sanctions on Turkey to punish it for the offensive. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.
However, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its aims, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.
Woman killed in Russian apartment building blast
A woman died and other young woman sustained injuries when a five-story building partially collapsed following an explosion in Russian village of Novonezhino.
Around 17 apartments were damaged when the ceiling slab, wall and the stair case of the building collapsed, Emergency Department said.
“The people were evacuated, 17 apartments were damaged. Seven elders have been transferred to temporary accommodation center,” the authorities said.
Rescue crews were searching for people who are believed to be trapped under the rubble. Rescuers were assisting the residents save their pets and belongings from the damaged apartments.
Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine
The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.
The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios
The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October
19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan
Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence
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