08:03 GMT +323 February 2018
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    Tourists take a bath in a warm mineral water in the ancient city of Hierapolis built in the 2nd century BC and located 17 km off the city of Denizli, Turkey

    Turkey Expects About 1Mln Russian Tourists in 2016

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    Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci said that Ankara hopes that about one million Russian tourists will visit Turkey this year.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – Turkey expects about one million Russian tourists to visit the country by the end of the year, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci said Monday.

    "We hope that about one million Russian tourists will come to [visit] us this year. From next year, we expect to return to earlier figures," Avci told the NTV television channel.

    He added that the crisis in the country’s tourism industry negatively affected 56 areas linked to it.

    Ties between Moscow and Ankara soured last fall after a Turkish jet downed a Russian plane over Syria. Russia suspended charter flights and the sale of package tours to Turkey as part of measures taken in response to Ankara's actions.

    In 2015, 3.65 million Russian tourists visited Turkey. After the incident with the Russian jet, the number of Russian tourists who visited Turkey's Antalya between January and May 2016 decreased 26 times compared to previous year.

    Last month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had apologized for the November incident in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin. By doing so Ankara fulfilled Moscow’s condition for restoring the long-term partnership between the two countries. The letter also said legal proceedings had been commenced against a Turkish citizen suspected of involvement in the death of the pilot of the downed plane, which was another condition established by Moscow.

    On June 29, Erdogan and Putin agreed during a phone call to meet in person later this year. Putin then lifted the ban on charter flights to Turkey and ordered the government to negotiate the revival bilateral trade with Ankara.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    tourism, Nabi Avci, Russia, Turkey
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