While many Turkish citizens cross borders from the Aegean province Balıkesir's Ayvalık district to Greece's Lesbos Island every year, this time Greek tourists flocked to Ayvalık for shopping, taking advantage of the rise in euro against Turkish lira.
There is record-breaking level of activity at Ayvalık Sea Border Gate's Turkey entrance this year. The Greeks who have come to Turkey from the islands in the Aegean Sea, mainly from Lesbos, for shopping have created the rush in the region. Greek tourists who prefer Turkey for shopping have filled the ferries. Hundreds of Greek citizens flocked to the neighborhood market in Ayvalık, returning to their homes with full shopping bags in their hands.
Fatih Jale, the owner of a tourism firm in the Aegean district said the people of Lesbos flocked to the neighborhood markets in Ayvalık, pointing out that the number of arrivals from the island to Ayvalık has increased recently.
"Since the euro is high against TL, the people of Lesbos wanted to get all their shopping from Ayvalık and filled the ferries. Last Thursday, 400 Greeks came to the region's largest neighborhood market in Ayvalık," Jale said. "All of them went back to Lesbos on the evening cruise, filling their bags after shopping. They shopped so much that there was not much room left to sit on the ferry." Jale also added that nowadays, they mostly shop for construction materials like steel doors, ceramics, kitchen cabinets, wardrobes and furniture, as well as clothing.
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