Türkiye: The country that criticizes the West for ‘harming’ the tourism industry
Ankara, Turkey –
Türkiye on Thursday criticized a group of Western countries that temporarily closed their consulates in Istanbul over security concerns, accusing them of waging “psychological warfare” and trying to sabotage the tourism industry. by Türkiye.
Germany, the Netherlands and Britain are among countries to close their consulates in the city of about 16 million this week. The German embassy cited the possible risk of retaliatory attacks following the Quranic burnings in several European countries. Meanwhile, the United States and other countries have issued travel warnings urging citizens to remain vigilant.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said that the consulate closures and travel warnings were part of a Western plot to harm the recovery in Türkiye’s tourism sector after the coronavirus pandemic.
“On a day when we announced our target of (attracting) 60 million travelers, by the time 50.5 million travelers arrived and we had $46 billion in tourism revenue, they were preparing start a new psychological war (against) Türkiye,” said the minister, who is known for his anti-Western rhetoric.
Soylu said Türkiye has conducted up to 60 operations against the Islamic State group this year and arrested 95 people. He said last year, nearly 2,000 IS suspects were arrested in more than 1,000 operations against the group.
Earlier this week, the Interior Ministry said Turkish authorities had arrested a number of suspects following warnings from a “friendly country”, but had not found any weapons, ammunition or signs of one. planned violence.
In November, six people were killed and several others injured in a bombing on busy Istiklal Avenue in downtown Istanbul. Turkish authorities blamed the attack on Kurdish fighters. Several consulates are located near Istiklal.