Turkey’s immense diversity makes it extremely popular with Indians, Ambassador

Turkey working on increasing air connectivity and changes in visa policy to ensure better tourism engagement between the two countries

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H.E. Şakir Özkan Torunlar, Turkish Ambassador to India
Riding high on near 100 per cent growth in Indian tourists arrivals to Turkey, the Turkish Ambassador H.E. Şakir Özkan Torunlar recently hosted members of media at his residence in New Delhi to apprise them on Turkey’s diverse tourism attractiveness for Indian tourist, latest tourism trends, among others. He spoke about the need to grow bilateral tourism between the two countries, bound together by history, heritage and cultural connects.
Apart from tourism, the Turkish ambassador also interacted with media on Turkish culture, cuisine and his country’s growing attractiveness for destination weddings for Indians. The interactive meet was also addressed by Aysun ERGEZER, First Commercial Counsellor and Deniz ERSÖZ, Culture & Tourism Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in India as well as Arjun Kapoor, Regional Sales Manager – Northern & Eastern India, Turkish Airlines. Deputy Chief of Mission of Turkish Embassy in India Umit Alpaslan KILIC was also present on the occasion.  
“Turkey and India enjoy warm relations and also share a close historical relationship with strong cultural links. The relationship between Turkey and India has steadily grown year by year in both scope and depth and spans many different areas of cooperation. Turkey enjoys immense geographical, cultural & social diversity, which is why it is extremely popular with Indians. We are working towards tourism related verticals like increasing air connectivity and changes in visa policy so as to ensure better engagement between both countries,” Torunlar said.
The media interaction comes back on a staggering near 100 per cent growth that Turkey has witnessed this year. “In 2017, Turkey hosted more than 32 million international tourists while from India the number was 87,000. This year, from January to July, we recorded 25 per cent increase in the number of overall tourists. That means we will be hosting 40 million international tourists by the end of 2018. When we look at figures from India, we see 95 per cent increase for the sameperiod. If this trend continues we will be hosting almost 2 lakhs Indian tourists by the year end”, informed ERSÖZ.
Mr Ersöz further added, “Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Troy and Izmir are extremely popular with Indian travellers. However, Bodrum and Marmaris have also emerged as major tourist attractions in recent past. In addition to that, Konya where Celaleddin Rumi spent his last 45 years, the sacred site where he was buried is also among the popular destinations for Indians. When we talk about food, Turkish cuisine is amongst the richest cuisines in the world with influences of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines. Wellness is another area where Turkish hammams are well famous. There are some particular regions that focus on holistic wellness. And the traditional hammams of Turkey have visitors from all over the world. With world-class hotels, restaurants, pristine beaches, mountains, adventure sports, nightlife etc, there is plenty to see and explore in Turkey for everyone.”
Turkey is the home of unique nature, culture and deep-rooted historical and religious prestige which reflects in its 18 world heritage sites recognized by UNESCO. It also offers diverse cuisine and entertainment options, along with world class hotel and transportation services and the popular tourist sites while drawing attention to the emerging trends of adventure tourism, faith tourism, medical tourism and the country as a trending wedding destination.
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