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    Russian tourists start trickling away from Turkey after bombs

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    Some Russians have canceled their holidays to Turkey in the wake of a series of bombings but no clear tendency has yet taken shape, the press secretary for Russia's leading tourist body said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Some Russians have canceled their holidays to Turkey in the wake of a series of bombings but no clear tendency has yet taken shape, the press secretary for Russia's leading tourist body said Tuesday.

    Four people were killed and 71, including two Russians, were hurt in a suspected bomb attack Monday in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya. Earlier Monday, explosions rocked the cities of Istanbul and Marmaris, injuring 21 people.

    "Yesterday there were no reservations of tours for Marmaris, [and] in the evening some operators confirmed cancellations," said Irina Tyurina of the Russian Tourist Industry Union.

    But she said these were isolated cases and the situation would be monitored throughout Tuesday.

    A separatist group calling itself the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons claimed responsibility for the bloody attacks and warned prospective holidaymakers to stay away. But whether this scares off Russian tourists remains to be seen. Turkey, with a visa at the airport and cheap resorts, is a favorite destination for Russians, who also have something of a reputation for traveling to what could be termed as dangerous destinations.

    Asked whether tour operators had returned money for tours that had been canceled, Tyurina said a refund depended on the situation in question. She added that operators had the right not to return the money if a tourist decided to cancel the trip at the last moment, because the operator in this case would incur losses.

    At the same time, she said, courts sided with consumers when hearing such cases, so travel firms preferred to settle problems before trial. She said companies that valued their clients usually tried to return part of the money spent or offered discounts on future trips.

    The Federal Tourism Agency advised tour operators to follow the example of western European travel operators, which refunded some tourists who canceled their holidays in the wake of bomb attacks in Egypt this April.

    "No one is denying the interests of business," press secretary Sergei Sinitsyn said. But he added that when tourists canceled their vacations because they feared for their lives, operators should offer other destinations or refunds.

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