How are tourist attractions in Türkiye after the earthquake?

Turkey is about to enter the peak tourist season, famous destinations far away from the earthquake are expected to attract tourists again after a quiet time.

2023 is expected to be a golden year for the Turkish tourism industry when destinations and personnel are ready to revive after Covid-19. But the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6 left more than 45,000 people dead, more than 12,000 buildings collapsed, causing difficulties for this country.

Many in the tourism industry share the same fear: will the disaster scare away guests? In the next few weeks, Türkiye will enter the peak tourist season and the whole industry is "holding its breath" in anticipation. Kaan Kavaloğlu, president of the Mediterranean Association of Tourist Hotel Owners, said signs of tourism recovery were "very good". Flights have operated normally in most major cities and resorts. Businesses have reopened. Kavaloğlu believes the country will "have a better year".


City of Istanbul. Photo: Adobe Stock

Not the capital, but Istanbul is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. In 2022, international visitors spent more than $13 billion on arrivals, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Due to being 800 kilometers away from the earthquake site, Istanbul was mostly unaffected. However, those working in the city's tourism industry are still worried that tourists have not returned during the peak summer season.

Büke Yurdadoğ, manager of the famous public bath Çukurcuma Hamamı, said that compared to last year, business activity is decreasing. Even so, she still believes that tourists will be attracted by the city's diversity in culture, history, and architecture. "We're trying to engage guests in the best possible way," she said.

Recommended destinations: the church of Sveti Stefan, the alleys around the Galata tower, the Bosphorus, the Sakıp Sabancı museum, the Moda and Kuzguncuk neighborhoods.


Antalya coastal city. Photo: Adobe Stock

This Mediterranean coastal city in addition to beaches is also a destination for lovers of history, rock climbing, and hiking. After the earthquake, tourism activity in the area decreased, significantly affecting the work of people in the industry.

Mehmet Ali Börtücene, a chef at a local hotel, says tourism is one of the most important sources of income. After the earthquake, Antalya opened its doors to many homeless people . Therefore, tourists coming here now make more sense, when indirectly supporting those affected by the disaster.

Suggested spots: beaches, pine forests, ancient ruins in Çıralı, Olympos and Phaselis. Guests can also go hiking on the Lycian Way along the coast, visit the historic Gelidonya lighthouse, the village of Uçoluk


It is known as a summer hotspot, with resorts and nightclubs, and quiet seaside villages where visitors can spend the evening watching the moon reflect on the water.

Inside a market, Gallery owner Mustafa and his son, sell tapestries, kilns and hand-embroidered pillowcases. He said the quake caused regular customers to call to express concern. However, he still believes that the tourism industry will not be affected.

Many resorts here have opened their doors to receive earthquake victims. "Tourism is one of the biggest sources of income in the country. So we need tourists. We have a lot of people making a living from this industry, and in every region," he said.

Recommended destinations: Bodrum castle, theater and tomb at Halicarnassus, Dibeklihan Arts and Culture village


As the country's third most populous city, Izmir draws crowds who come in the summer to hang out in Alaçatı town, dance at beach clubs in Çeşme or taste wine in Urla. CiftCioğlu Ipekci, communications director of a local hotel, said many guests have called to cancel their rooms. Even so, the majority of bookings are still coming this summer.

Recommended destinations: UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Ephesus and Bergama, the seaside village of Ildır, the historic village of Birgi and beautiful bays, vineyards and seafood restaurants.


Cappadocia is famous for its "fairy smokestacks", which are stone columns formed from a volcanic eruption 3 million years ago. Photo: Adobe Stock

Cappadocia is one of the most crowded places in Türkiye. With its mystical landscape of wind-formed "fairy chimneys", stone churches and underground cities, Cappadocia is unlike any other place on earth, CNN describes . This is also a place where visitors can experience, take photos and watch hundreds of hot air balloons every morning.

300 kilometers from the quake, Cappadocia is "completely safe" according to Deniz Karkın, manager of the Argos hotel. This is also the place with the lowest earthquake risk in the country. "Those who are planning to go to Türkiye can safely choose Cappadocia," Karkın said.

Recommended destinations: UNESCO World Heritage Site - Goreme open-air museum, the underground cities of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu, Pasabag Valley with its fairy chimneys and Kızılcukur, where the best sunsets are seen.

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