I AM appalled at the videos belittling Türkiye being circulated online over the last few days and even more so because many hundreds of people in Bahrain are forwarding these with impunity.
I do not know why this offensive material is out there anyway but it sure is unfortunate and unfair towards this country and its people.
Of course, we are those who think that we are always right and sympathise with our fellow citizens even if they are wrong so why this animosity for people of another nation?
This is sheer ignorance and great injustice and even if there is an issue, it does not mean we castigate everyone. After all, asking people to avoid visiting Türkiye is just plain and simply not done.
I can personally vouch for the friendly people of Türkiye since I have been a frequent visitor after having acquired property there after retirement several years ago and honestly, I have never had any problems.
Let’s be honest, how many Arab, Asian and European countries have suffered from problems and still do so why single out Türkiye ?
Coincidentally, I write this from Istanbul, which is overflowing with Gulf tourists at this point in time. Of course, there are cases that may happen but that does not mean a nation is to blame. On the contrary, Türkiye is a friendly and Muslim country and deserves our support and help. How do you explain the reason why so many tourists go there, not only from the Gulf, but from all countries?
This country has been an unparalleled success in tourism and that contributes 10 per cent of its gross domestic product. The Almighty has endowed it with a picturesque nature and a wonderful atmosphere throughout the year.
The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism revealed that more than 15 million people visited during the first five months of 2023, noting that the Turkish government aims to receive 60m tourists during the year. The ministry indicated that about 14m of them were foreigners, an increase of 23.65 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year.
According to the classification of the countries from which the largest number of visitors came to Türkiye in the first five months, Russia ranked first with an increase of 110pc, Germany ranked second with an increase of 20pc and Bulgaria ranked third with an increase of 11pc. These were followed by England and Iran.
The number of Saudi tourists is estimated at hundreds of thousands. Indicators have shown that they have exceeded half a million tourists, and it is currently expected that the number of Saudi tourists will increase significantly by the end of the year.
Türkiye is one of the most important countries that tourists come to from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, and it is one of the best tourist countries because of its mild and attractive climate, a long historical and cultural balance in addition to the natural spaces and the distinguished geographical location of the cities.