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There’s history, adventure and luxury

Staff Reporter
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Turkey promotes itself as a wedding, golf and honeymoon destination

Exotic, enigmatic:Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya are the destinations being promoted by the Turkish Tourism Board representatives who visited Bangalore recently.— File photo: Kamal Narang
Exotic, enigmatic:Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya are the destinations being promoted by the Turkish Tourism Board representatives who visited Bangalore recently.— File photo: Kamal Narang

Bollywood seems to be continuing the relationship medieval Indian rulers had with Constantinople, the capital of Turkish rulers. With movies such as Mission Istanbul, Ek Tha Tiger and to-be-released Race 2 partly set in Istanbul — the city that evolved from Constantinople — Indian audiences continue to be treated with the best from this Gateway to Europe in the ancient Silk Route.

Riding high on the success of Salman Khan starrer Ek Tha Tiger that showed glimpses of Turkey, Turkish Tourism Board representatives were here to woo Indian tourists.

At a trade show on Monday, the Turkish delegation screened a few scenes from the latest Bollywood movie Ek Tha Tiger to promote Istanbul as a tourist destination. The delegation from this Eurasian nation was promoting Cappadocia and Antalya besides Istanbul.

“We see that these days, a lot of Bollywood (productions) are coming to Turkey,” Ozgur Ayturk, Culture and Tourism Counsellor at Turkish Embassy in New Delhi, told presspersons. “We first made a move to collaborate with Indian Tourism in 2008 and since then, both the countries have done incredibly well in this matter in such a short time.” A vibrant market city, Istanbul is known for its spice market; grand bazaar; Blue Mosque, a 6th century structure built by Byzantines; Hagia Sophia, a church-turned-mosque turned into a museum; and Dolmabahce Palace.

While Cappadocia is famous for its underground cities, rich culture, wines and balloon rides, Antalya with its mountains, is popular among adventure-seeking tourists for indulging in snow skiing and water skiing.

For Indian tourists

Turkey, among the Indian tourists, is being promoted as wedding, golf and honeymoon destination, he said. “As many as one lakh Indian tourists visited Turkey in 2011. It is an untapped luxury destination of the world.”

There are many in Turkey who wish to come to India for holidays, he said, underlining the relationship that the two countries have shared for centuries. Osman Ayk, ex-chairman of the Board of Mediterranean Tourist Hoteliers Association, said: “Turkey is fast becoming a holiday destination and we have many Indians coming every year. We are diversifying our products and transforming them to meet the needs of our customers.”

The road show had been organised by The Turkish Tourism Board and the Turkish Hoteliers Federation as part of a five-city show in India.

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