23:24 GMT25 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Ksenia Shakalova - Turkey expects six million Russian tourists to visit the country in 2018, which is a 1.3-million increase compared to the previous year, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmus told Sputnik on Tuesday, adding that it was "a good sign."

    "Regarding tour operators who dominate the Russian market, according to my quick observation from there, we are expecting approximately six million Russian tourists will come and visit Turkey this year, according to the numbers of early reservations they have. So it is a very good sign," Kurtulmus said on the sidelines of the Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (MITT), pointing out that last year the number of Russian tourists in Turkey had amounted to 4.7 million.

    READ MORE: Russia Agrees to Speed Air Defense System Delivery to Turkey

    The minister noted that after a worsening of bilateral ties in 2015, the two countries had managed to quickly restore cooperation in the tourism industry.

    "We have so many good opportunities in Turkey. We have very diversified options in Turkish tourism. We hope some of these areas will attract the attention of Russians to come and visit these particular lands," Kurtulmus said.

    He also praised the beauty and rich culture of Russia.

    "You also have a very beautiful country… So we will also encourage our Russian counterparts to come and make some marketing activities in Turkey to attract the Turkish visitors to come and visit Russia," Kurtulmus concluded.

    Moscow-Ankara ties have significantly worsened after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft flying on an anti-terror mission over Syria. Russia's retaliatory measures against Ankara included restrictions on the activities of Turkish organizations in Russia, a hiring freeze on Russian employers seeking to employ Turkish workers and a ban on certain food imports since January 1, 2016.

    Bilateral ties began to improve following Turkey's apology in June 2016, and on May 22, 2017, Moscow and Ankara signed an agreement on the mutual lifting of multiple restrictions.


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