There are fears that the souring of relations between Turkey and Russia after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 bomber near the Syrian border on Tuesday, will negatively affect the tourist industry in North Cyprus.
Minister for Tourism Faiz Sucuoglu told ‘Kibris Gazetesi’ that he hoped that the damaged relations between Turkey and Russia would improve soon. Such incidents scare the people, he said, noting that Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov had called on Russians to avoid visiting Turkey. After which, leading Russian tourist operators announced that they had stopped selling holidays for Turkey.
Sucuoglu pointed out that this situation will influence tourism in North Cyprus, because North Cyprus “does not seem much different than Turkey in the eyes of foreign countries”, he said.
The tourism minister noted that it was not easy to promote and market the TRNC in Russia, but they had succeeded and created a formula on the issue of flights. He pointed out that they are waiting now because of the crisis and added: “I’m not pessimistic. If the crisis continues, Turkey’s tourism and both countries’ economy could be seriously affected. I think that reason will prevail in both Turkey and Russia on this issue”.
Meanwhile, writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Diyalog’, columnist Resat Akar reports that Sucuoglu met yesterday with a leading Russian tour operator, who told him that, upon an instruction which came from above, they had included North Cyprus in their “boycott list”.
Kibris Gazetesi, Diyalog