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Coronavirus not stopping flow of Israeli tourists to Turkey

Even before the coronavirus pandemic there was a significant increase in the number of Israelis visiting Turkey, and it seems that the trend continues despite the virus outbreak.
A group of tourists walk past Hagia Sophia as they go toward the historical Sultanahmet district on July 28, 2020 in Istanbul. - The Council of State, the highest administrative court, on July 10, 2020 unanimously cancelled a 1934 decision by modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to turn it into a museum, saying it was registered as a mosque in its property deeds. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)
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For many years, Turkey was the top tourist destination for Israelis. All-inclusive deals offered Israeli travelers a vacation at attractive prices, and the deals were snapped up by Israeli tourists wishing to get as much as they could on the cheap. The Turks are considered hospitable and warm hosts, and it seemed that this friendship could never be ruined. Then came the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010.

The flotilla that sailed from Turkey carrying hundreds of activists, mostly Turks, sought to break the maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip. When Israeli naval commandos boarded the deck of the Mavi Marmara, they were unexpectedly attacked and were forced to use live ammunition. The result: 10 Turkish activists were killed and an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Ankara ensued. Only in March 2013, following pressure from then-US President Barack Obama, did Israel apologize for the event. Later on, Israel agreed to compensate the families of those killed and injured, but this was reconciliation on paper only. Israelis preferred to refrain from visiting the country that was seen to be hostile to them.  

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