World Bulletin/News Desk
Almost a million people chose Turkey's financial and cultural capital İstanbul as their tourist destination this quarter, a record number in the past 10 years.
The İstanbul Cultural and Tourism Directorate said on Tuesday that at least 838,201 tourists visited İstanbul in the first three months of this year, a 23.8 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
The directorate hailed the progress made by İstanbul in the tourism sector at a time when an economic recession was ongoing in Europe.
The data also showed that two out of every three tourists who came to Turkey between Oct. 2012 and March 2013 visited İstanbul.
On the list of countries with the highest number of visitors to İstanbul in the first quarter, 10 percent came from Germany, followed by Russia with 6 percent and the UK with 4 percent. The US came in fourth with 4 percent and France fifth with 4 percent. The number of visitors to İstanbul hit 9.5 million in 2012, with authorities expecting this figure exceed 10 million this year.
Tourists are expected to spend at least $11 billion this year. This figure, however, is roughly half the spending seen in international shopping capitals London and New York, which topped the list at $21.1 and $19.4 billion respectively.
"I find it hypocritical that some circles are telling Turkey to 'open your borders' while at the same time failing to tell Russia 'enough is enough'," Davutoglu says
State Dept. maintains US does not consider Syrian PYD a terrorist group
After an official visit to Saudi Arabia by the Turkish Chief of General Staff, it has been revealed that Turkey and Saudi Arabia will conduct joint military exercises.
Negotiations will reportedly focus on Gaza blockade and Hamas presence in Ankara
Mevlut Cavusoglu's remarks come after Washington's description of PYD as a 'reliable partner' in the fight against ISIL
Ahmet Davutoglu tells party faithful in Ankara that Turkey has become a shelter for Syrians
Several media organs reported that 150,000 troops from Saudi Arabia would soon be dispatched to Syria through Turkish borders
Deputy prime minister Kurtulmus warns of the worst case scenario
Turkish premier Davutoglu condemns attacks on civilians amid peace talks
'No one should assume that just because Turkey is taking in all the refugees that it should be expected to shoulder the refugee issue alone,' Turkish PM warns
Turkish Prime Minister says Turkey and Germany are to work together for NATO involvement in curbing refugee flow
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said Turkey did not have option to say 'no' to refugees fleeing from bombardments in Syria and Iraq
'We are not in a position to tell them not to come. If we do, we would be abandoning them to their deaths,' says deputy PM
'If they reached our door and have no other choice, if necessary, we have to and will let our brothers in,' President Erdogan says
Erdogan says western powers 'ignore' terrorist actions perpetrated by armed wing of PKK’s Syrian affiliate