Tourism operators are attempting to turn the economic crisis in Greece to their advantage by appealing to the Greek Embassy in Ankara to rent islands in the Aegean to add to Turkey's tourism options.
The petition was drafted by the Professional Tourism Administrators Volunteer Union (PTYB) and was faxed to the embassy from the Post Office in Karşıyaka, Istanbul. The PTYB's Trabzon Representative Yusuf Altuntaş explains that the petition emphasizes the fact that Greece is currently facing an economic crisis and offers the proposal that islands located near Turkey be rented out to Turkish investors or allow for joint investments which could be part of Turkey's tourism industry.
While it is yet unclear how exactly Greece will react to this petition, PTYB Chairman Umut Çakırhan says, ''People may draw up maps, however borders are determined by geography. A number of Greek islands are just swimming distance to us. Due to the distance of these islands to the nation's center of Athens these locations are unable to benefit from investments. We however, have the power to transform these islands into investments," states Çakırhan.
The PTYB has nearly 18,000 members and is Turkey's sole volunteer tourism union.