Speaking at an event attended by representatives of the country’s tourism sector the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on Turkish citizens living abroad to “not just come to Turkey themselves,” but also “invite their neighbours and friends from the countries they are living in to holiday in Turkey”.
Announcing a new campaign, Erdogan said, “We are starting a ‘Bring along your neighbour’ campaign for our citizens living abroad. I am expecting our citizens abroad to have their weddings, engagements and circumcision parties in Turkey”.
Commenting on the fall in tourist numbers coming to Turkey, Erdogan said, “The recent problems we have been facing are not particular to us and have not been caused by us. The global financial crisis, the security concerns and humanitarian crises in our region, political rhetoric and splits have had an impact on us just as they have on the whole world.”
Turkey was hit hard by a ban Moscow introduced on all Russian tourists and chartered flights to Turkey after it shot down a Russian fighter jet it claimed infringed its border while conducting operations in Syria. Recently released figures by Turkey’s tourism ministry show the scale of the drop.