Tourists from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland for whom Turkey is a favorite holiday destination came together in the southern city of Antalya to denounce what they call an unfair campaign abroad that claims Turkey is not safe for foreigners. The meeting is the brainchild of Swedish tourist Matilda Axelsson who travels to Antalya's Side town every summer on holiday. She brought together 100 tourists at a restaurant run by a Swedish resident of Antalya's Manavgat district. Axelsson has invited people from Scandinavian countries to spend their holiday every September in Turkey in a social media campaign. Axelsson told Doğan News Agency that Turkey was the victim of an unfair campaign abroad after a string of terror attacks.
She said no country is safe from terrorism today and it was wrong to single out Turkey as an unsafe destination. "I happily vacation here every year. I spend about five months every year here. This is a great place," she says. Malin Larsson, who runs the restaurant in Manavgat with her Turkish spouse, says there was a negative perception of Turkey in other countries. "They are simply not true. Things are very positive both in [Antalya and Turkey]," she said.
Marianne Lindström, who was among the tourists attending the meeting, says she first traveled to Turkey in 1979 when "police and soldiers were everywhere" because of political turmoil one year before a coup. "Turkey incredibly changed since then," she says. Lindström says she has traveled to many countries but never met people as warm and hospitable as Turks elsewhere.