No Turkey Trips for Now

No Turkey Trips for NowNo Turkey Trips for Now

The ban imposed on tours to Turkey following the failed coup attempt against the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this month will hold under further notice.

Following an attempt by a faction of the Turkish military to topple the ruling party in Turkey on July 15, Iran canceled all flights to and from Turkey and placed an indefinite ban on tours to the popular destination.

While Iranians were not harmed in the coup attempt, the unrest left more than 260 people dead.

Around 10,000 Iranian tourists were stranded in the neighboring country, but they managed to return home gradually on planes sent to Turkey for that specific purpose.

Flights between the two countries resumed a few days later, but tours are still banned, ISNA reported.

Last week, Turkey declared an unprecedented three-month state of emergency in a move seen by the international community as a sign of major security issues in the country.

Nevertheless, Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Reza Hakan Tekin implored Iranian officials to lift the ban on tours, insisting that the state of emergency “is to ensure there is no repeat of the coup attempt.”

In response, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said travel agencies will be able to resume their operations once the conditions in Turkey “return to normal.”

“The two countries have always had close ties and recent incidents in Turkey will not change that,” he said.

“There is no doubt that once the situation in Turkey is resolved and everything is back to normal, Iranians eager to travel to the neighboring state will be able to do so without a problem.”

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday at the embassy, Tekin said if Iranian businesspeople or tourists suffer losses in Turkey during the state of emergency, “we will do everything in our power to compensate.”

This is while Iranian tourists who were left stranded in Turkey were forced to pay more than they had planned for accommodation without receiving discounts from hotels, while travel agencies refused to shoulder at least a portion of the costs.

Furthermore, Turkish hotels are reportedly pressuring Iranian tour operators and even airlines to repay the loss of revenue as a result of Iranian tourists cutting their vacation short and returning home on free flights offered by the Iranian government.

Despite the ban on tours to Turkey, many travel agencies are reportedly still offering tours and some airlines have not suspended their flights.

“Offering tours to Turkey is illegal at this time and those found in violation will be fined,” Vali Teymouri, director of the Assessment and Monitoring of Tourism Services Office at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, was quoted as saying by the local media last week.