Museum visitors in Turkey down almost half
Ömer Erbil - ISTANBULThe number of visitors to Turkey’s museums fell by almost half in the first three months of this year, while the number of foreign visitors also dropped by 60 percent.
The sharp decline is thought to have been caused by a number of terrorist attacks hitting Turkish cities, which has led to a big drop in the overall number of tourists visiting Turkey.
Because of the decrease, the country’s annual “Week of Museums” event, marked between May 18 and 24, had a subdued start this year.
Turkey’s top tourist attraction, the Topkapı Palace Museum in Istanbul, was visited by 604,531 people in the first three months of 2014 and 596,323 in the same period of 2015, but this year only 338,763 people visited it.
Revenues from entrance to the museum were 3 million Turkish Liras last year but regressed to just 1 million liras this year, with the number of free-of-charge visitors at 41,930.
The Hagia Sophia Museum, also in Istanbul, welcomed 610,000 people between January and March 2015, but this number fell to 344,346 this year, marking a sharp decrease of 45 percent.
Around 4,000 people visit the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace on average per day.