Joe McClain - Mar 14, 2016

Turkish tourism industry has suffered a considerable decrease in arrivals. There are several factors that can be seen as the collective cause – but most of them lead back to President Erdogan’s activities.

Beautiful beaches, comfortable hotels and friendly people can make any holiday in Turkey something to remember. However, all that is being tarnished by recent politics and external circumstances caused by President Erdogan and the AKP.

Especially Russian tourists currently stay away from the country. The main causes are the political differences between Ankara and Moscow and the recent shooting of a Russian bomber by Turkey’s air force in North Syria.

Millions of Russians, who would usually be found populating Turkish beaches, now stay away from the country. Only the coming years will show how forgiving Russians are.

The conflict of the country with the Kurds adds to the unfavorable situation in Turkish tourism, while the probability of terror attacks in popular tourist centers by communist-separatist terror organizations keeps on rising. This scares off European tourists as well – combined with a constant fear of IS bombings.

Not to forget the AKP’s and Erdogan’s increasingly dictatorial leadership – eliminating press freedom, a suppression of freedom of speech, and directly engaging in Syria and Iraq leads travelers from Europe to adopt a defensive position. It seems the entire country is being punished for the decisions of a party, which received roughly half of all votes not long ago.

Even though Turkish tourism may not be as important for the local economy as it was years ago, this “holiday boycott” takes its toll on the industry which brought USD 34 billion in revenues together with 40 million tourists in 2014.

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  1. Well, it is true that tourism suffers from political problems in the region but blaming all on the Turkish government does not make sense. There are things happening outside and obviously government has no control over them. Dictatorial regime? Come on, you cannot be serious. Mustafa Kemal was way more strict than Erdogan and the western world keeps praising him. How about Putin? is he not a dictator? lets name all the dictators if you are up to it.

    Turkey is more democratic than ever before but some people cannot take it... 49% at the last general election tells the story.

    Istanbul Guide (Turkey)
  2. Western european countries are actually very concerned about Erdogan. Especially our opposition parties. After all under his rule the freedom of press is basically no more. 2 award winning journalists face terrorism charges. Then the hostile take over of Hazam 2 weeks ago, Without freedom of press you cannot have democracy. As he that controls the flow of information controls the minds. Obviously this also applies to Putin which is far more popular within his country btw. About the government not being responsible well. They are partially. They cannot do much about the war in neighboring Syria. But they did shoot down a Russian jet without a good cause. That jet was not flying deep into Turk

    t (Turkey)

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