Tourism minister: Turkey doesn’t want to lose Russian visitors

“Due to Antalya’s tourist infrastructure, there are those coming even from Spain to research our hotels. Countries are using our system as a model. To say ‘if the Russians don’t come, good’ would be improper,” Unal said, adding that steps were being taken to ensure Turkey would be able to maintain its tourist infrastructure and international reputation.

Turkey shot down a Russian jet that edged into its airspace last month, instantly resulting in a spat between the two countries, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying Turkey would regret its decision “more than once.”

Putin signed a decree implementing various sanctions, including a ban on imports of Turkish fruits and vegetables. “Such an infrastructure ending up without tourists is out of the question. We will diversify our markets in Antalya and throughout Turkey, and will solve this problem; but in doing this, we do not want to lose our Russian market,” Unal said.