The Jordanian government has announced that they will facilitate procedures for Turkish Muslim pilgrims who arrive in Amman before they head to Mecca or Jerusalem, Tourism Minister Nayef al-Fayez said on Monday.
The ministry has also set up a special program for Turkish pilgrims, which includes tours of Jordan's Muslim sites, al-Fayez said at a meeting with Nezaket Atasoy, head of the Confederation of Turkish Industrialist Businessmen and Businesswomen.
Al-Fayez noted that the measures were being taken in line with a directive issued by Jordan's King Abdullah II aimed at facilitating visits to Jerusalem by Turkish nationals.
Jordanian Ambassador to Turkey Amjad al-Adaileh had told the press earlier that Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs had issued a fatwa (religious decree) permitting Turks to visit Israeli-occupied Jerusalem, but only if they traveled via Jordan.
Atasoy, for her part, said she was looking forward to cooperating with Jordanian businesspeople and Jordan's Tourism Ministry.
"Turkish pilgrims sometimes face difficulties visiting Jerusalem after performing pilgrimage [in Saudi Arabia]," Atasoy said.
"But we're sure this will get easier owing to the support of Jordan and King Abdullah II," she added.
The number of Jordanian tourists to Turkey stands at about 130,000 every year, while Jordan only receives some 12,000 Turkish tourists annually, according to Tourism Ministry undersecretary Issa Gammoh.
Turkish investment in Jordan has reached $114 million since commercial partnerships were established between the two nations in the 1980s.
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