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Monday, July 05, 2010

Muslims asked to vacation in Turkey to replace $400 million in lost revenue from Jews

Scenes like the one at the top of this post have led most Israelis who had plans to visit Turkey this summer to cancel those plans. The Turkish tourist industry estimates that it will lose $400 million in revenues from Israelis canceling their plans to visit Turkey this summer. And they've asked the Muslim world to make up the shortfall.
A number of Muslim scholars and leaders issued a statement on June 17 praising Turkey’s position regarding Israel and welcoming Ankara’s efforts to “lift the siege on Gaza and the Palestinian people.” It called on Arabs and Muslims to show support for Turkey by boosting economic ties.

The statement called on “families and groups planning to travel to Europe, the US or elsewhere, to choose Turkey – where mosques and historic monuments of ancient and natural beauty exist – as a vacation destination instead.”

Issued from Doha, Qatar, the statement was signed by such influential leaders as Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars; Abdullah Bin Baih, president of the Global Center for Renewal and Guidance; Dr. Salman al-Odah, chairman of the Islam Today Group; Chakib Ben Makhlouf, head of the Islamic Organizations in Europe; and Islamic thinker Dr. Muhammad Amara.

“The fleet of freedom was a giant step that opened the door to bring the international focus on the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and was an attempt by the Turkish people, who believe in justice and have a sense of deep belonging to their Islamic roots, to break the siege,” read the statement, which was first aired on Al- Jazeera and was widely reported in the Arab media.

According to a report last week in the popular Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, more than 100,000 Israelis out of 150,000 with reservations have canceled their summer vacation bookings to Turkish resorts since the flotilla incident on May 31, causing a loss of about $400m.


The report in Hürriyet included an interview with the owner of Levantin Tours, which has been bringing tourists from Israel to Turkey for more than 15 years. Levent Guner told the paper that his company had already posted a loss of some 3.5m. Turkish Liras (about $2.2m.) due to canceled reservations.

The company had hoped to bring in 17,000 Israeli tourists this year, but is bringing only 200, the report said.
The article goes on to cite Turkish claims that they're not being hurt by Israelis not coming, because the Gulf Arabs spend more money anyway. But if that were true, they wouldn't be making such a big deal out of begging Muslims to come. It sounds like we've managed to hurt them where it hurts the most.



At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fools should just ask Obama to apologize and send money.

At 12:12 AM, Blogger Neshama said...

That's a great idea. Let them spend their own money, and Israelis keep the shekels INSIDE Eretz HaKodesh!
Support your Brothers and Sisters.


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