Over 1.8 million expats travel to Türkiye for vacation

Over 1.8 million expats travel to Türkiye for vacation

EDİRNE - Demirören News Agency
Over 1.8 million expats travel to Türkiye for vacation

More than 1.8 million expatriates have visited Türkiye to spend their summer vacations, the official data showed.

More than 190,000 vehicles carrying over 1.8 million expatriates have entered Türkiye through the Kapıkule, Hamzabeyli, and Dereköy border gates with Bulgaria, and Greece’s İpsala and Pazarkule crossings, since June 1, while around 1.4 million Turks living abroad came to the country in the same period of last year.

While this year had the largest in recent years, 1.7 million Turks arrived in their homeland with 412,795 vehicles in the same period of 2019.

The number of expatriates who preferred Türkiye for a summer vacation in 2020 decreased to 492,942 due to the pandemic. Over 800,000 of the expatriates completing their annual leave returned to their countries of residence.

Kilometers-long queue of vehicles at gates

While there was congestion at the border gates during the return, the expatriates who were going to leave through the Pazarkule, the northwestern province of Edirne’s border gate with Greece, formed a kilometers-long queue of cars.

There was also a density on the highway.

Facilities were opened for expatriates returning from the city, where the air temperature soars to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), to take a break. Authorities aimed to accelerate the exit of expatriates by increasing the number of platforms, personnel and the measures taken at the border gates.

Mustafa Pektaş, who set out from the northwestern province of Kocaeli to return to Germany, said he was in deep sorrow to leave the country.

“We cry with joy when we come and with sadness when we leave,“ Pektaş said.

“It is very difficult, but those living in Türkiye cannot understand this. They say that everything is fine abroad, but we are homesick,”

Stating he started counting the days again, Pektaş said, “I hope we will come to Türkiye every year as there is nothing better than our homeland.”

Özlem Doğan, who traveled from Germany to the northwestern province of Balıkesir’s Edremit district, said her holiday was very good and she doesn’t want to go back.

“We are very sad to leave the family behind. Being in your hometown and speaking Turkish is very relaxing,” said Doğan, adding that they made very good memories and started to dream of coming back next year.

The total number of expatriates visiting the country by the end of this year is expected to reach considerably higher figures compared to last year.