German tour giant TUI offers free cancelation of Istanbul trips
AP photoGerman tourism giant TUI said that customers who had booked trips to Istanbul can switch destination without penalties, after a suicide attack in the Turkish city on early Jan. 12 claimed 10 lives, nine of them Germans, as reported by Agence France-Presse.
The operator said customers can also opt to postpone their trip to Istanbul without penalties for the next six days.
TUI added that all 10 Germans currently travelling with it in Istanbul have been accounted for, adding it is currently off-peak season in the Turkish city.
An Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant killed at least 10 foreign nationals, most of them Germans, and wounded 15 other people after blowing himself up at a tourist spot in Istanbul’s old city on Jan. 12.
Nabil Fadli, a 28-year-old ISIL militant of Syrian origin who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1988, blew himself up after blending into a tourist group of 33 German citizens on a visit to the Obelisk of Theodosius in Sultanahmet Square near the Blue Mosque in the morning hours of Jan. 12.
Shortly after the attack, Germany’s foreign ministry issued a warning calling on its nationals to avoid tourist sites in Istanbul, a city of 14 million that has been hit several times by deadly blasts.
Germany’s federation of tour operators has urged German tourists to contact their travel agents and to follow the foreign ministry’s advice.
Germany has been the largest source of tourists visiting Turkey with around 16 percent of share in the total.