Turkey

Number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey increasing: Report

Number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey increasing

Latest data have revealed that the number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey is increasing following Tel Aviv’s apology to Ankara over the 2010 killing of nine Turks aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship.

According to the latest statics released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, the number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey has increased over 111 percent since January, the English-language daily Today’s Zaman reported.

The report added that the number of Israeli tourists increased 111.2 percent between January and March 2013 compared to the corresponding period last year, when the number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey reached 20,268.

Turkish Association of Travel Agents (TURSAB) Chairman Basaran Ulusoy said they expect the number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey to greatly increase in the coming days, and that the number of Israeli tourists should exceed 1 million by the end of 2014.

On March 22, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized in a phone call to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a deadly naval raid against a Gaza-bound international flotilla.

The rapprochement was brokered by US President Barack Obama during a visit to Israel.

Netanyahu pledged compensation to the bereaved and agreed to ease a six-year blockade on the besieged Gaza.

Erdogan announced that the gestures met his conditions for normalizing relations with Tel Aviv.

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