“Our relations with Germany will improve slowly, just wait and see…”

While making this statement with a determined tone during our conversation, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, was certain that our relations with Germany will improve.

He had even given the signal for the “improvement” of those relations, which was the subject of our conversation, in the speech that he had made on the stage a few minutes ago:

“There may be differences of opinion between the politicians of different countries, there may be some problems. Our task is to overcome those problems through a sincere approach. We endeavor for this. Politicians must avoid punishing the public while having problems.”

Then he cited what a German citizen that he met while walking around the golf range in the morning hours said to him:

“I met a German man who has come to our country to play golf, he told me: “Our politicians try to poison us; they suggest us not to go to Turkey. But, here I see that English tourists are enjoying Antalya.”

He also thanked the tourists and tourism managers who preferred Turkey for vacation despite everything.

He added that the tourists who did not come to Turkey and went to other destinations this year were dissatisfied as they could not find there the same service quality of Turkey.

Minister Cavusoglu made this speech at the ceremony of the 25th foundation anniversary of OTI Holding which is regarded as one of the largest tour operators in the world, and has recently acquired the big German tourism company Ferien.

“I personally know the efforts of OTI Holding aiming at improving our relations with the countries”, he said.

He thanked Ayhan Bektas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OTI Holding, and his partners Coskun Yurt and Ahmet Bektas.

I went to him to talk to him when he set in his chair after completing his speech, and we began chatting.

He did not want to talk about the statements American President Trump made after the Raqqa campaign.

‘WAIT AND SEE’

At this stage, he was certain that the relations with Germany would improve, and said: “Our relations must and will improve, wait and see the result.”

It seems that diplomacy has started to make efforts to ease the tension between the two countries.

Business world and some non-governmental organizations which are concerned about this tension have also contributed to these efforts.

Hence, Dr. Michael Frenzel, former Chairman of TUI, the biggest tourism company of Germany, and Gerald Lawless, President of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) were sitting at the same table with Cavusoglu.

Leading names of the tourism sector from all over the world were sitting at the tables surrounding them to celebrate the 25th foundation anniversary of OTI Holding which carries 2 million 400 thousand tourists a year.

2018 WILL BE A GOOD YEAR

I had an opportunity to talk with Frenzel and Lawless before the ceremony.

Both of them were sure that the next year would be a better year for Turkish tourism.

Especially Frenzel, as the President of the Federal Association of German Tourism Industry, said: “The number of tourists coming to Turkey from Germany will significantly increase”.

“Tourists want to get their money’s worth”, he said.

Lawless who had just returned from his visit to Aspendos and Perge expressed his admiration at what he saw there, and criticized the visa obstacle imposed by some countries:

“292 million people make their living from tourism and create 10% of the gross revenue in the world; are they aware of this?”, he said.

He also drew attention to China sending 130 million tourists a year, and Asia.

Having a conversation with tourism professionals was like attending a session in the United Nations; everyone was impartial and hopeful…