07:50 GMT04 December 2020
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    The golden segment of Turkey's economy has been killed by a series of unforgivable domestic and foreign policy mistakes, columnist Mehmet Tezkan wrote in Wednesday’s issue of the Istanbul-based newspaper Milliyet.

    The first mistake was the decision to meddle in Syria, which resulted in the arrival in Turkey of almost 3 million refugees fleeing the civil war in the long-troubled Arab country. Thousands of them have drowned in the Aegean Sea, which many now call “The Sea of Death.”

    “Would you like to spend your vacation in a seaside town with such an image? Would you sail into a sea whose bottom is littered with the bodies of dead children?” Tezkan wrote.

    The second mistake was Ankara’s failure to acknowledge the threat posed by the rising wave of jihadism.

    “As a result, terrorists had no problem entering the country and Islamic State (Daesh) is now operating in Turkey often targeting foreign nationals visiting this country,” Mehmet Tezkan noted.

    Thirdly, Turkey's tourism industry has descended into one of its worst crises in history after the number of Russian tourists visiting the country dwindled following last year’s shooting down of a Russian bomber in Syria, forcing many seaside hotel owners to sell their property.

    “We broke off relations, we lost the Russians who kept our tourism industry afloat,” Tazkan emphasized.

    And, last, but not least, Ankara did nothing to prevent war with the Kurdistan Workers Party and seek a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem.

    “As a result of this, Turkish cities have descended into chaos, unseen since WW2. Small wonder that foreign tourists have stopped coming,” Mehmet Tazkan wrote in conclusion.

    Related:

    Ex-Minister: Turkey's Ruined Relations With Neighbors Killing Off Tourism
    Turkey's Tourism Tumbles: Terrorism, Kurdish Situation Take Toll on Travel
    Tags:
    terrorists, ill-advised policy, mistakes, tourism, Daesh, Mehmet Tezkan, Turkey
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