Turkey’s tourist industry does not require any tourists from Israel, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has told an Israeli paper in reference to recent threats by Tel Aviv to support a tourism boycott of Turkey.
A possible tourism boycott will not have any affect on the Turkish economy, the prime minister said during an interview with Israeli daily Maariv.
"We don't need Israeli tourists," Erdoğan was quoted as saying. "Thirty-one million tourists came to Turkey last year. Israel's tourism boycott won't affect us."
Erdoğan said Israel
needed to take three necessary steps if it wanted to improve bilateral relations with Turkey, namely, apologizing for the commando raid that killed nine Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara in 2010, paying compensation to their families and removing the blockade against Gaza.
Israeli state officials warned citizens not travel to Turkey on March 13, 2012.