Balkan Tourists Stuck on Turkey

According to  a new story in the SE Times tourists from the Balkan countries have not been turned off a Turkish holiday by the recent unrest in Istanbul. Turkey has been bogged down by news of the protests since the end of May. Some say it’s a storm in a teacup, others say that the government’s response has turned what should have been a molehill protest into a mountain of unrest and upset. Whatever the truth the Balkans seem determined not to stay away according to the local press.

“At the moment, we already have about 120 tourists from Macedonia in Turkey. We have contacts with them every day and there is no problem,” Sonja Naumovska, a sales agent at the Skopje-based TA Fibula agency, said in the story. “Our agency recently even organised a trip to Istanbul. They don’t have any complains.”

Naumovska added that her Turkish partners have not suggested any restrictions or precau-tions for travellers to Turkey.

“So far no one has cancelled arrangements. Our costumers never mentioned the situation with demonstrations,” she said.

Skopje resident Ankica Stojanovska, 37, said that she does not intend to cancel her plans to vacation in Turkey.

“I have friends who live in Turkey, I have contacted them and they told me that the coastal areas of the country are quite safe, so in the second half of August, I will go on vacation,” she said.

The Golden Tours agency from Tuzla sent representatives to tourist destinations in Turkey at the beginning of June to evaluate conditions there. Few problems were evident, they said.

“They called us and said that these places on [the Mediterranean] are perfectly safe and hotel managers are waiting for our tourists. The first group of travellers went in the second week of June and they came back with nice memories,” sales representative Adisa Pandur said, adding that none of her customers have cancelled trips to Turkey.