Conflict & Justice

Why Arab Tourists are Heading to Turkey


Istanbul, Turkey (Photo: Flickr commons)

We are visiting Turkey for the Geo Quiz: the country is a hot travel destination for tourists from around the world, but especially these days for Arabs. There are many things to like about Turkey if you live in the Middle East.

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It's not too far, you can hop on a short flight from Jordan, Iraq, or Saudi Arabia. It's a whole lot cooler than most of those places, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins in August. Most Turks are Muslims and there are many historical Islamic sites and monuments to visit, yet this country is also gateway to the west.

Can you name Turkey's three largest cities then?

Number 3 is Izmir, number 2 Ankara, and Turkey's largest city with a population of more than 10 million is Istanbul.

It's probably Turkey's most fascinating city, too. This summer, it's almost impossible to find a hotel room there. A tour guide in Istanbul, Ziya Gokmen, says Turkey is more popular than ever these days, especially with Arab tourists.