TURKEY

Turkey expects over 5M tourists from Germany this year

Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has commended the normalization of ties between Turkey and Germany, saying he now expects to welcome more than 5 million German visitors this year.

Speaking at a news conference held at the ITB Berlin tourism fair, Kurtulmuş said: "Early booking data signals an increase in reservations by up to 100 percent compared with last year.

"This year we are hoping to welcome more than 5 million German visitors."

He said Ankara and Berlin were now normalizing their relations after Germany left behind a contentious election campaign during which parties embraced an anti-Turkey rhetoric.

"We are now experiencing a new momentum and we hope that we will have a very positive atmosphere in our relations," he said.

The minister underlined that despite their political differences over a number of issues, Turkey and Germany had been close partners, sharing common interests on many foreign policy topics.

Turkey has been one of the most popular travel destinations for German holidaymakers, but the number of visitors declined in recent years, due to conflicts in countries neighboring Turkey, as well as political tensions between Ankara and Berlin.

The number of German tourists visiting Turkey dropped from 5.5 million in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2016, according to official figures. In 2017, around 3.5 million German tourists traveled to Turkey.

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