Heatwave to push south coast past 40 degrees
Istanbul Airport scheduled for 2018 finish
Istanbul’s third airport- set to be the world’s largest - will be opening in early 2018, according to an official.
In February, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the first phase would be completed by October 29, 2017, the date marking the anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic. This phase will involve the construction of two runways and the main terminal.
When the final phase, phase four, is completed, the Istanbul airport will have six runways, four terminals and the capacity to handle 150 million annual passengers.
Historic fortified city added to UNESCO list
A site in southeastern Turkey has joined the UNESCO heritage list.
The United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture has added the Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens in the Diyarbakir province, bringing the number of Turkish UNESCO sites to 14.
Perched on an escarpment of the Upper Tigres River Basin, the fortified city of Diyarbakir and the landscape around it has been a hub since 300 BC, home to Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman empires. The site includes an inner castle, the 5.8km city walls, which include towers, gates, buttresses and inscriptions, and Hevsel Gardens.
Other UNESCO sites in Turkey include Ephesus, Selimiye Mosque and the ancient site of Troy.
Antalya Airport passengers hit all-time high
Antalya International Airport, located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, hit an all-time passenger high on July 18, with 169,000 passengers taking off or landing on 1012 aeroplanes.
In 2014 the airport served 28 million passengers, an increase of 4.7 percent over 2013.
Gulluk’s new marina close to completion
Gulluk Marina, the latest marina to be constructed in Bodrum, is almost completed and should be open before the end of the year. The group responsible for the marina, Egesu Marina, has completed two marinas in three years.
A spokesperson for Egesu Marina said the Gulluk marina will have capacity to berth superyachts up to 65 metres, as well as have all the facilities expected for a high-quality marina. It’s also convenient to the airport by road, and is also a great starting point to explore the peninsula and further afield, such as the Greek island of Kos.
Marina visitors to Turkey are attracted by the quieter waters and unexplored destinations along the Turkish Riviera. Marina infrastructure is rapidly improving along the south coast.
Antalya takes top spot for business meetings
Antalya is officially the country’s top spot for business meetings and conferences. The Mediterranean resort was the most popular for business meet-ups in Turkey, followed by Istanbul, Mugla and Izmir and Ankara.
The MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) sector makes up 30 percent of global tourism activities, and Turkey has huge potential to grow its share of this sector.
Eid gives Turkish tourism a boost
The four-day long Eid al-Fitr holiday has given the tourism sector in Turkey a boost.
Many hotels are experiencing 100 percent occupancy, according to the chairman of the Professional Hotel Managers Association. Ali Kizildag said the domestic demand is driving the spike, and the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts are very busy.
Kizildag said that around 150,000 people have headed to Turkey’s coasts this Eid, spending between US$90 - $300 per night.
Antalya City has been the number one spot for most travellers heading to the southern coast, followed by Kemer, Belek, Side and Alanya.
The Eid holiday is expected to provide between $90 - $100 million for the tourism sector.
African heatwave to hit the coast
A wave of heat from the African continent will scorch Turkey this week, raising temperatures to more than 40 degrees Celsius in the Mediterranean region.
Meteorologist Orhan Sen at the Istanbul Technical University said the heatwave, currently hitting Europe, will reach Turkey on Wednesday, sending temperatures above 40 degrees - 5-6 degrees more than normal.
The phenomenon known as El Nino, also responsible for water surface temperatures, sends temperatures skyward around the world, causing droughts and fires.
Authorities are urging people to take precautions in the high temperatures, staying indoors when the heat reaches a peak and taking care against possible forest fires.
Rising German tourist numbers offset Russian drop
An increase in the number of Germans visiting Turkey helped offset the decline in Russian tourists, according to the Tourism Ministry.
The number of German tourists rose by 26.4 percent in the first five months of the year compared to the same period the previous year.
Overall the number of tourists visiting Turkey decreased by 1.2 percent in the first five months of the year. This was due to a dramatic drop in the numbers of visiting Russians. In the first five months of 2014 there were around 700,000 Russian visitors in Turkey, however, this figure dropped to 500,000 this year.
Around 624,000 German visitors visited Turkey in the first five months of the year.
Tourist numbers in Turkey are expected to exceed 42 million by the end of this year, earning US$35 billion for the tourist sector. Last year, 37 million foreign visitors came to Turkey, an increase of 5.5 percent over the previous year.