The economic crisis in Greece is also turning out to be bad news for a small Turkish seaside town located not far from a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. While Greece has spent another year marked with a change of administration, another phase of the bailout deal and a worsening economy, residents of Datça are worried too. Nestled in a serene peninsula on Turkey's southwestern tip, the small town of 11,000 people relies on tourism revenue. Greece is the main source of tourists as the town is located just a few miles away from the Greek island of Simi.
However, last year, locals saw a dramatic drop in the number of Greek tourists who visited Datça both for vacation and shopping, compared to previous years when the numbers gradually declined.
A marketplace in the town center once swarming with Greek visitors shopping for everything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and electronic goods now has few foreign visitors. In 2015, only 108 people from Greece visited Datça, a considerable decline from the usual 5,000 visitors every year, locals say.
Datça Mayor Gürsel Uçar says his town was popular especially among residents from Simi island who would do their weekly shopping in Datça. "This is a great economic loss for us. We have to do something about it," the mayor said. "We are aware that people's purchasing power decreased because of the crisis but our town is the closest to Simi where the range of products you can find is limited. I believe they will eventually come for shopping," the mayor optimistically added.
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