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Antalya’s Governor: “We are no longer safe anywhere”. How the city increased security to protect tourists

The violence acts that occurred in Turkey in the last year hit very strong the country’s tourism, along with the ban on charter flights from Russia, decreased the number of foreign visitors by 37 percent in 2016, compared to the previous year. Thus, in order to make people feel safe during their vacations, Turkish authorities focused on increasing the security measures.

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Despite the fact that his country was hit by outbreaks of violence, Antalya’s Governor says people are not safe anywhere now, but he emphasised that Antalya increased the security to ensure foreign visitors that they will have a safe vacation.

“We do not have any safety problems. I assure you that Antalya is probably a safer city than others in Europe. Unfortunately, terror does not choose city or country. We are practically no longer safe anywhere. In the last year, there were attacks # in Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Stockholm. We must fight together against terrorism, but in the case of Antalya you do not have to worry, I assure you that nothing is going to happen here because security here is very high. We’ve done everything to keep Antalya safe now,” said Münir Karaloğlu, the Governor of Antalya.

According to the Turkish official, the harsher security measures, which have been in place for about a year and a half, focus on airports, as well as all areas of the city, without making a difference between the two of them.

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“At the entrance of the city, there are 60 points where video cameras are placed and where every citizen entering the city has his face scanned and practically this is how we know who enters the city. Of course, security is also higher at hotels and on shore, “the Antalya Governor explained.

The same opinion was shared by Osman Ayık the president of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED).

“Security is such an issue that it is a problem everywhere, all the time. Maybe we are very close to this boiling area, as compared to the others competitors, but it should be noted that in the last couple of years terrorism and terrorist attacks happened everywhere all over the world. This means that all countries, all the nations, actually fight against terrorism and cooperate for security altogether. Now our country is quite safe, and you can see that everything is so nice, so calm and you can travel everywhere and go around even at night, we don’t have problems at the moment and our government is really taking so many precautions and we are happy that this situation will go on like this and we will do our job for our visitors,” he said.

Madeline Gorthon