Russian women who married Turkish men and settled in Antalya have been inviting their fellow citizens to the resort city for vacation in the upcoming tourism season.The women, who send their children to Turkish schools, said they supported the projects that were initiated to encourage Russian tourists to pick Antalya as their vacation destination.
Irina Balcı, president of the Russian Art and Culture Association, told the Anadolu Agency that she came to Antalya 10 years ago and saw this city as her "second hometown."
Explaining that Russia and Turkey mean the same thing to her, Balcı said this city is a place from heaven.
She underlined that everyone who has come to Antalya starts to love its land and people.
"It's not just about the climate. Of course, it has sun, the sea, and nice fruits and vegetables, but there are also nice people living here. Antalya is a very comfortable and free place for tourists and locals," Balcı said.
"Indeed, our lives are very comfortable here under normal circumstances and in times of crisis." she added, noting that the city has a peaceful environment, neighborly relations and nice people.
‘This is a great opportunity
Balcı noted that thanks to Russian tourists flocking in for the holidays in May, the summer season has started well in Antalya.
She underlined that tourism is important for both Turkish citizens and the Russians living in Antalya.
She pointed out that her fellow Russians were pretty upset since they could not come here last year for a nice and affordable holiday.
"I think this year started very well. I hope it will continue like this through the whole season. The Russians should come now. This is a quiet, beautiful and happy place with very good services. Turks working in tourism were a bit upset. They were waiting for the Russians for good service. Russians and their families should come and have a nice time here," she said. Meanwhile, Yulya Avşar, a mother of two who has been living in Turkey for the past 13 years, said that Antalya is "like a paradise." Avşar stressed that Turkey was the most beautiful place for their children to live and grow up.
"We are not afraid here. No one ever treated us badly just because we were foreigners. My children became Turkish citizens here, and they go to Turkish schools. My relatives and friends, who came to Antalya before, want to come again. Some of them have even made the move to come and live here," she said. Avşar added that Antalya is suitable for every person and every culture and that everyone is welcomed here.
"As Russians, we feel at home. Because it's now the center. All the food we normally eat back home can be found here. The sea is unique and very clean. I love this place," she said, recommending everyone to visit Antalya.
"There is nothing to fear here. I hope more tourists come here. We live happily together," she said, expressing that there was no risk in terms of terror in Antalya.
‘Antalya is definitely
the place to vacation'
Violetta Arıkan, who married her Turkish husband in Antalya 15 years ago, also stated that she is very happy here with her 13-year-old daughter. Pointing out that tourists have started to come with the start of the summer season, Arıkan said, "Antalya is the most beautiful place since it has the sea and historical places. It is such a beautiful city that everyone should definitely come to Antalya for a vacation." Likewise, Ekaterina Kula, another Russian mother who has been living in Antalya for the last 10 years with her husband, said that living is very nice.
"Russians love Antalya very much. It is the most comfortable place for vacation. It has always been like that. Russians love Turkey and Antalya and they always come here to spend their holiday," Kula said, recalling that although there were problems between Turkey and Russia last year everything was better now.