Turkey accuses the West of disrupting its tourism industry by issuing travel warnings

 Saturday, February 4, 2023 


A group of Western countries have temporarily closed down their consulates in Istanbul citing security concerns. This has drawn flak from Turkey who has accused these countries of waging “psychological warfare” and attempting to wreck Turkey’s tourism industry.

Germany, the Netherlands and Britain were among countries that shut down their consulates in the city of around 16 million people this week.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the consulate closures and travel warnings were part of an alleged Western plot to prevent a rebound in Turkey’s tourism sector following the coronavirus pandemic.

“On a day when we declared our aim of (attracting) 60 million tourists, at a time when 51.5 million tourists arrived and we obtained $46 billion in tourism revenue, they were on the verge of starting a new psychological warfare (against) Turkey,” said Soylu.

Quran burning incidents in some European countries has raised concerns in Germany fearing retaliatory attacks in Turkey on its citizens. The United States and other countries issued travel warnings urging citizens to exercise vigilance.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the ambassadors of nine countries — the United States, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Britain, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy — and formally protested the security warnings and consulate closures, officials said.

The envoys were told that Turkey provides security to all diplomatic missions “on the basis of international conventions” and that their actions served what the ministry said was “terrorist organizations’ sneaky agendas.”

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