US and Turkey visa row

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ISTANBUL, 9 October 2017: The United States and Turkey on Sunday scaled back visa issuing services in each other’s countries in a deepening diplomatic row sparked by the arrest of a Turkish staffer at the American mission in Istanbul.

The American embassy in Ankara said that “recent events” forced the US government to reassess Turkey’s “commitment” to the security of US mission services and personnel in the country.

In order to minimise the number of visitors while the assessment is carried out, “effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities in Turkey,” it said. Read more

Tourism: Too much of a good thing

August 18, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BARCELONA, 18 August 2017: “Never again a summer like this”: Exasperated with the hordes of visitors they blame for making their city unliveable, Barcelona residents have risen in protest.

The hugely popular Catalan metropolis has become the latest European hotspot to eye tourism with hostility.

From the romantic canals of Venice to the walled mediaeval town of Dubrovnik via the wilderness of Scotland’s Isle of Skye, tourism is morphing into a nightmare for many locals, despite the jobs and income it undoubtedly generates. Read more

Turkey takes a long holiday

August 17, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ANKARA, 17 August 2017: The Turkish government on Tuesday extended upcoming public holidays to 10 days in the hope of boosting the tourism sector which has been hit by a slump in foreign visitors.

Turks were already looking forward to several holidays in the next few weeks, with Victory Day on 30 August followed by the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice Festival from 31 August to 4 September.

But there had been pressure from the tourism sector for 28 to 29 August to be declared public holidays, creating a link to the previous weekend and giving people a full 10 days off. Read more

Battery flies and fires

July 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

ISTANBUL, 11 July 2017: An external battery pack caught fire late last week at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport after an angry passenger threw the object because of an electronic devices ban on flights to the UK, the airport operator said.

“A passenger declined to surrender a powerbank, while embarking on a UK bound flight. During the argument he crashed the item on a hard surface and the powerbank caught fire,” TAV Airports said on its official Twitter account.

“No one was injured during the incident,” TAV said, adding that electronic devices were not allowed in the cabin of Britain-bound flights. Read more

Turkey fumes over laptop ban

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

ANKARA, 23 March 2017: Turkey Wednesday stepped up its objections to US restrictions on large electronic devices on flights from some airports in the country and other regional hubs, saying it punished travellers instead of tackling the problem.

“It would be better to take measures together against those who are a threat instead of punishing normal passengers,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a visit to Washington.

“If there are concerns over security, our departments should come together and take the necessary measures. This work cannot be done with bans,” Cavusoglu added, quoted by state-run news agency Anadolu. Read more

Turkey’s tourism nosedives

February 1, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ANKARA, 1 February 2017: Turkey’s tourism revenue fell almost 30% in 2016, the country’s statistics office said Tuesday, after visitors stayed away following multiple terror attacks and a failed coup.

In 2016 income from tourism fell by 29.7% compared to the previous year, falling to USD22.1 billion (19.7 billion euros), the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) said on its website.

The country has been hit by a spate of attacks blamed on Islamic extremists and Kurdish militants while tourists were further spooked by the attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the 15 July failed coup and the subsequent crackdown. Read more

Turkey tourism falls 26%

January 17, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ISTANBUL, 17 January 2017: Yavuz Indere has worked as a hotel receptionist in Istanbul for nearly half a century, witnessing coups, unrest and economic crises.

But as a string of terror attacks erodes the backbone of Turkey’s key tourism sector, Indere admits he has never seen anything like this in the city.

“I’ve been doing this job for 45 years, obviously I’ve had tough years, but this time it was different,” he told AFP at his tiny hotel in the historic Sultanahmet area, the scene of a deadly attack, 12 January 2016, that rocked the tourism industry. Read more

Turkey’s travel fair carries on

January 10, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ISTANBUL, 10 January 2017: The EMITT Tourism Fair will go ahead, 26 to 29 January, despite recent terrorist attacks in Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines has confirmed a 30% discount on air fares for registered delegates attending the EMITT Tourism Fair.

Despite frequent security scares and the recent nightclub shooting that killed 13 foreign tourists, organisers say they are confident the event will succeed in attracting around 1,300 travel agents from 90 different countries. Read more

Icebound Istanbul grounds flights

January 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

ISTANBUL, 9 January 2017: Heavy snow blanketed Istanbul for a second day on Sunday, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights and more disruption for thousands of travellers.

The snowfall was forecast to lessen later in the day but unusually cold temperatures, even for the time of year, well below freezing were expected throughout the week

Flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) cancelled over 600 flights — including all domestic routes until the evening — as efforts continued to clear snow from its hub of Ataturk International Airport. Read more

Turkish flies troubled skies

October 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

ISTANBUL, 5 October 2016: In June, its main hub Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul was hit by suicide bomb attacks blamed on jihadists, and then in July put schists seeking to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to take control of Ataturk.

Both incidents caused the temporary closure of Turkey’s biggest airport, but the airline managed to resume flights the subsequent day, in a crucial message of business as usual and a symbol of Turkish Airlines’ importance for the country’s image and economy.

Yet while Turkish Airlines proudly boasts of its resilience in the face of the repeated attacks and the coup bid, Turkey’s traumatic 2016 has taken its toll on the group and its ambitions. Read more

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