The U.S Department of State has updated its travel warning for Turkey post the political turmoil and attacks by Islamic State and the PKK (the Kurdish Worker’s Party).
“U.S. citizens should avoid travel to southeast Turkey and carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country,” the most recent travel advisor says.
“Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous organizations in Turkey.”
Already battered tourism which declined by 80% over the past 16 months in Turkey has received another blow with the latest travel advisory.
According to Mehmet Nuri Osden, incoming manager of Argeus, a tourist agency in Turkey, foreign tourism has dropped some 80% with a 90% drop in American tourists.
At its peak, the country saw roughly 37 million tourists in 2014, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, as of July 2016, income from tourism decreased by almost 36% and the number of departing visitors shrank by one third.
The country has been embroiled in a bloody five year civil war since 2015. In June 2016, ISIS terrorists attacked Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Turkey’s busiest international hub, killing some 45 people followed by a coup to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government organized under the Peace at Home Council and said to be followers of the self-exiled, US-based cleric, Fetullah Gulen.
In August, a teenage suicide bomber killed some 53 people at a wedding party near the Syrian border. Most recently, on October 9, a car bomb killed roughly 18 people in southeastern Turkey.
All these has had a tumultuous effect on the once booming tourism sector in Turkey.