Bomb attacks threaten Turkey tourism: Police suspect Kurds as series of blasts injures 23 people in Mediterranean resort

TURKEY'S tourist industry suffered a blow yesterday when a series of bomb attacks injured 23 people, including 12 foreign tourists.

No Britons were reported hurt in the four attacks in Antalya, an attractive Mediterranean port on Turkey's south coast. Eight of those who were wounded were Germans, mostly evening diners at the small Leta hotel and nearby restaurants.

No group said it was responsible for the Antalya attacks, but Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels did not deny involvement. Following the collapse of a two-month unilateral ceasefire in May, they had warned of 'all-out war', including attacks on tourism and economic targets. The Kurds also shocked Europe with co-ordinated attacks on Turkish targets in six countries last Thursday.

Smaller bombs also exploded at a bank in Antalya, and in the car park of the Sheraton-Voyager Hotel.

The Foreign Office called for special vigilance, but continued 'not to advise against travel to Turkey'. But it has long warned against travel to the distant Kurdish south-east, where a separatist Kurdish insurgency has been in progress for nine years, killing 6,200 people.

'Our programme is operating as normal; we follow the Foreign Office advice,' said Julie Angove, a spokeswoman for Thomson Holidays, one of the main British tour operators to Turkey. The group expects to take 80,000 British tourists to Turkey this year, up from 50,000 in 1992.

Militant Turkish Kurds have been condemned by Iraqi Kurds, fearing they will be tarred by the same terrorist brush. 'The Kurdish movement in general has adhered to honourable means of struggle,' said a joint statement by the Iraqi Kurdish leaders Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani.

Poised for a strong recovery this year from the blow delivered by the Gulf war, tourism income will be vital to close Turkey's widening trade gap.

Everyone prays that the Antalya bombings will not be repeated but with no change of Turkish or rebel policies in sight, more attacks will be no surprise.

Kurdish communities have sprung up all along the tourist coast. Some comprise rich families escaping the south-eastern troubles, but most Kurds work as poor builders remitting money to village families sympathetic to the separatist rebels.

The pleasant resort city of Antalya had returned to a superficial normality yesterday, but Turkish-Kurdish tension has been growing in recent months. Local reporters said police were once again scouring Kurdish neighbourhoods, arresting scores of people for interrogation.

It is still much safer to eat dinner in Antalya than to drive on Turkish roads - on which between 10 and 20 people are killed each day - but local tourism operators said they were bracing for the worst as news filtered through.

'Hotels are putting on more animations to keep people happy,' said Yasar Sabutay, owner of Antalya's Pamfilya tour company. 'But what happened is reality. There are no cancellations yet, but I expect new bookings will be slow. Later on, we don't know.'

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Courtney Love has admitted using heroin while pregnant with Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter with Kurt Cobain
people
Sport
Murray celebrates reaching the final
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Extras
indybest
News
Joel Grey, now 82, won several awards for his role in Cabaret
people
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
Harry Kane celebrates scoring the opening goal for Spurs
footballLive: All the latest transfer news as deadline day looms
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Secretary

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This major European Intellectual Propert...

Tradewind Recruitment: Humanities Teacher

£130 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Humanities Teacher Jan 2015 - July...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - 9-12 Months

£14500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Accounts Assistant is immedi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Communications Executive

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness