Home Travel Alternative Tourism in Turkey: Role, Potential Development and Sustainability
Visits by Jews
The Jews who left Turkey frequently come to the environments where their ancestors had lived, and they visit to the synagogues in the places concerned (particularly in Istanbul, Bursa, and Izmir). Besides, the Mekor Hayim Synagogue with no community in ^anakkale at the present is a place where a quite interesting example of visit is observed. About 100 people from the young generations of the Jews who left ^anakkale and settled in Israel and Istanbul in the past agree to meet on a specific day and come to ^anakkale every year. Coming with the chief rabbi, the group opens the synagogue and worship.
Visits by Armenians
Of the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Armenia is the country which sends the smallest number of tourists per year (73,365 people in 2013). This is undoubtedly due to the problems experienced in the historical past. Although both countries share a common border, they have always had distant relations. Today, however, there is a pro-moderate policy between the two countries. The most important factor to play a role in the development of this policy is tourism. The desire of the Armenians living in Turkey to see and visit the ancestral territory is an essential phenomenon which develops the tourism activity between the two countries. The cities drawing the attention of Armenian tourists are Artvin, Ardahan, Bitlis, Erzurum, Igdir, Kars, Mu§, and Van, predominantly located in the east and north-east of Turkey. These cities used to be densely populated by the Armenians who later emigrated abroad. The most important reason why Armenian tourists desire to see these places is that they regard this environment as their ancestral territory. Many of these destinations are considered sacred by the Armenians. For example, the ruins of Ani in Kars, the Akdamar Church in Van, and Mt. Agri (Ararat) are all important points on the route these Armenian tourists follow while they are in Turkey.
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