Although the Ministry of Culture and Tourism received the lowest share of the government budget, at a rate of five per thousand, it has put together a public-private sector cooperation model to realize more projects.
Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said they will prioritize honorable projects in the coming period during a Most Beautiful Heritage from History: Peace and Tolerance meeting organized by the Turkish Business Women's Association (TİKAD) as part of the UNESCO International Day for Tolerance events.
"It's impossible to run all the projects alone. That's why we will commission the private sector. The public-private sector cooperation model is on our agenda, and we are working on it," he added.
Referring to tourism figures, Kurtulmuş said nearly 3 million German tourists came to Turkey in the first nine months of 2017.
"Almost every day during the German elections ‘Do not go to Turkey' campaigns were run. After these negative campaigns, very few German tourists should have come, but politics and tourism are two different languages," the minister said.
He also noted that another important example was bringing back the Sarcophagus of Heracles to Turkey. Recalling that at a time when smear campaigns were constantly being run against Turkey, Kurtulmuş said in the UNESCO executive board elections that Turkey received the votes of 154 out of 184 nations. He highlighted that Turkey is a very powerful country even in the most difficult of times.
Since the early 1980s, Turkey has been implementing numerous projects with public-private partnerships (PPP) to build highways, airports, railways, hospitals, energy facilities and ports, but PPP projects for tourism facilities were minimal.
According to data compiled by the Ministry of Development, nine tourism facilities were constructed using a PPP model in 2015 and five more were under construction. Since 1986, 17 marina and tourism facilities were built through the PPP program at a cost of $1 billion.
Kurtulmuş was accompanied by Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin, Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan, TİKAD President Nilüfer Bulut, TİKAD board members, numerous businesswomen and academicians.
In the meeting, Bulut emphasized that the association is ready to support the tourism sector just like any other field, saying, "We will work harder to shatter the perception operation run against our country abroad."
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