Monday, August 24, 2009
As an article here in Turkish states. Note, however, that this is due to financial and political reasons alone, not because of any bad blood between the two countries; in fact, the article is mostly about why Iranians like visiting Turkey so much. Reasons given for liking Turkey as a tourist destination are: having the same religion and similar culture, not needing a visa to visit (this is the biggest reason), and having lots of places to shop.
A lot of shared history between the two countries is also a major reason to visit Turkey, as many Iranians that visit Anatolia will visit not just the sea but also spend quite a bit of time in tourist and historical areas.
Usually there are 200,000 Iranians a year visiting Turkey, but this year the number has been reduced. The total number so far has not been given but apparently last year there were 12 airplanes a week from Iran carrying Iranian tourists whereas this year that has dropped to 4 or 5. The financial crisis is the reason given in the article but there are certainly also political reasons - the runup to the election was over a month, then the protests afterward and developments until now; there's simply too much going on at home for most to take off for a jaunt in Turkey or another country.
The average Iranian tourist stays in Turkey for 7 days according to the article.