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Turkey Back On Russia's Tourism Good Side

Blue Mosque

Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturizm) has begun the process of restoring cooperation with Turkey tourism. The ban on sales of Turkish tours has been lifted, according to the agency. 

Still in effect, are concerns for the safety of Russian tourists, especially considering the most recent terror attacks at the country's largets airport.  Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, lifted the ban on the sale to Russians of tours to Turkey. The president also instructed the government to adopt measures envisioning cancelation of the ban on charter flights between Russia and Turkey.

A decree, signed back in November, banned tourism to Turkey, after a Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, involved in Russia's antiterrorism operation in Syria. At the time, Ankara claimed the Russian fighter-bomber had violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria. Turkish leadership was at first reticent to express an apologetic tone over the shooting down of the plane, or the death of the pilot, Oleg Peshkov, who was killed by militants from the ground after ejecting, the second pilot was rescued and taken to the Russian base. The incident was the cause of severe tension in between Ankara and Moscow, as the Turkish leadership refused to apologize for the downed jet and death of the pilot. Moscow put the blame for the incident on the Turkish authorities.

Earlier this week, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that President Tayyip Erdogan sent Russian President Vladimir Putin a message in which he apologized for the downed Su-24 plane and "underscored the readiness to do everything possible for restoration of the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia."

Turkey has suffered dramitic financial loses due to the ban on travel by Russians, and other sanctions imposed by Moscow. Earlier this year a BBC report suggested Turkey might lose upwards of $10 billion this year alone. As recently as March, other experts predicted the Russian sanctions might "boomberang" back onto the Putin administration, but clearly, this has not been the case.