Greek, Bulgarian tourists enjoy shopping spree in Turkey’s Edirne
Posters celebrating the New Year in Turkish, Greek and Bulgarian languages have been hung all over the walls and windows of the stores in Turkey’s northwestern province of Edirne, which has been attracting more tourists from the neighboring two countries in the last six months.
“We have prepared New Year celebratory posters in order to encourage them to come more often and to feel more comfortable with the shopkeepers and businesspeople here. These posters were published in Bulgarian and Greek as well as in Turkish. The history of Edirne is alike. During the Ottoman era a century ago, daily life in Edirne was multi-lingual, multi-cultural and and multi-faith,” Edirne Mayor Recep Gürkan told state-run Anadolu Agency on Dec. 29.
“On occasions the tourists come up short on money and they make the purchase on credit. They pay back the next time they come from their country,” Gürkan said.
The depreciation in Turkish Lira’s value against euro and dollar - around 30 percent since the start of 2018 - has supported the increase in number of visitors from Greece and Bulgaria, according to Gürkan’s remarks.
“Edirne has been a shopping heaven for Greek and Bulgarian tourists. Our historical bazaars and shopping malls have been redesigned in accordance with Greek and Bulgarian tourists’ senses,” said Bülent Bacıoğlu, the head of Edirne Publicity and Tourism Association.
The tourism sector in the city has been transformed especially in the last six months, he added: “Now they have a good mastery of our gastronomy and shopping market. They purchase most of the consumer products here. They do the Christmas shopping here, they also buy the daily needs here. They have a good knowledge of our country’s clothing trademarks.”
The shopkeepers of Edirne have been attending language courses to serve the tourists better, Bacıoğlu said.
Tourists also enjoy the Turkish-Bulgarian and Turkish-Greek nights, he also said.
“Shopping tourism in Edirne has had a dynamic pattern in the last six months. We would like to maintain it permanently,” Bacıoğlu added.