Ergün Tos - Cavit Akgün / Muğla, Aug 18 () - The mayors of three Aegean resort towns in Turkey have called on the Education Ministry and Culture Ministry to postpone the reopening of schools by two weeks, in order for the tourism sector to compensate for the losses it has suffered this summer.
The mayors of three districts in Muğla province issued a joint press statement calling for the school year opening date to be postponed by two weeks, in order to incorporate the Feast of Sacrifice four-and-a-half-day official holiday.
Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Marmaris Mayor Ali Acar from the CHP, and Fethiye Mayor Behçet Saatcı from the Democratic Party (DP), had held a meeting to discuss the tourism situation amid a sharp drop in the number of visitors this season.
Stating that the 2015-2016 school year was due to start on Sept. 14, just one week before the Feast of Sacrifice holiday, the three mayors urged the ministries to postpone the opening of schools so that local tourists have more time to travel freely and thus boost the flagging sector.
“We request that the opening of the schools be delayed until after the Feast of Sacrifice holiday, believing that this will positively benefit our domestic tourism and economy, offer a partial recovery to the tourism enterprises that have undergone great loses, and allow families to plan their holidays beforehand” the joint statement read.
The bad economic situation of Russia, the war in neighboring Syria, the recent terror attacks inside Turkey by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the Turkish military’s operations against PKK camps in northern Iraq and within Turkey have all had a negative effect on the income from tourism across the country.