Ghana, Turkey urged to explore potentials in tourism sector

The Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Nesrin Bayazit has called on the Ghanaian business community to turn their attention to the huge tourism potentials that exists in her country.

This according to her would not only further strengthen the ties between the two but would also boost tourism promotion for the mutual benefit of both countries

“There are a lot of Turkish investments in Ghana and vice versa, but most of these businesses have been in the area of manufacturing, construction and commerce. I think this is the time for business people to turn their attention to the tourism potential of the two countries,” she stressed.

Madam Bayazit made the call at the launch of Helgard-Turkish-Botswana Tour in Accra on Wednesday.

She said one area of tourism that could be exploited by Ghanaians was in the area of faith based tourism, stressing that “Turkey possesses the historical sites that forms the very foundation of Christianity.”

The Ambassador explained that since 1993, her country through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism had been promoting faith based tourism and had designated a number of sites as important places for Christianity.

The sites she said included; St. Pierre Museum in Hatay, St Paul Museum in Tarsus, Church of Virgin Mary in Selcuk, the Church of St Nicholas in Demre, St Sophia Mosque in Iznik, Synagogue of Sardis in Manisa and the church of Alasehir in Manisa.

In addition to these, were the ancient city of Pisidia in Isparta, the Orthodox Church of Derinkuya in Nevsehir and the Ancient City of Laodikya in Denizil.

She noted the misconception that Turkey was an Islamic state was one of the reasons for which many people especially Christians had failed to take advantage of the huge historical relevance of Turkey to the Christian Faith.

She said Turkey was a secular society that believed in liberalism even though Muslims constituted majority of the population, stressing that “In spite of the fact that Muslims are in the majority in my country, there is also a sizeable number of Christians including the Orthodox Christian Church in Turkey.”

Madam Bayazit explained that the Seven Churches of Revelation and the Journeys of St Paul were all firmly rooted in Turkey, adding that “it is important to emphasise that no one can talk about Christianity without talking about Turkey.”

“I am also happy to stress that around 35million tourists visited Turkey last year. We would like to see more Ghanaians visiting Turkey. Besides pleasure, tourism also connects people from different cultures, countries and civilizations,” she reiterated.

She therefore called on the Christian community in Ghana to take advantage of their faith and patronise the numerous Christian sites in turkey.

On his part, the Honorary Consul of Bostwana in Ghana, Mr Thomas Okyere appealed to Ghanaian investors to take advantage of the positive economic climate in that country and invest there.

He said Bostwana had no barriers in terms of investment and once the legal requirements were satisfied, anyone can commence business in that country.

By Cliff Ekuful

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