The Turkey Love Affair – Pakistani’s Favourite Travel Destination!

Pandemic or not, Pakistanis have continued to flock to Turkey. FYI investigates the appeal of this beautiful country.

Pandemic or not, Pakistanis have continued to flock to Turkey. FYI investigates the appeal of this beautiful country.

A country where you can have it all, from historic sites to urban picturesque landscapes to cave hotels to astounding mosques and beaches, no wonder Turkey has become the ‘it’ vacation spot for Pakistanis and for people around the world. A country with the most beautiful ancient monuments and museums, its diversified rich culture and jaw-dropping sceneries contributes for everything Turkey has to offer.

From the past few years we  have witnessed a boom in Turkey’s tourism and it won’t be wrong to say that Pakistanis contribute a good number to it!

Turkey is far cheaper from other European countries (technically since of course it isn’t in Europe but just on the cusp) in terms of travel fare, food and accommodation. And being a Muslim state, Pakistanis don’t have to worry about having halal food. The food there is very different from here but who doesn’t like trying out new stuff, right? The best part is their food stalls where you can have a taste of their street food life, their authentic treats and confectionaries. Their doners, kebabs, turkish delight are all must haves.

Travelling to Turkey is not difficult as it might seem. Pakistanis can easily get a travel visa, the fare costs around 80,000 to 120,000 PKR depending on the season, so it won’t cost you a fortune and for a beautiful country like it is, it’s actually a great deal. They have an extensive public transport too.  

In Covid times, Turkey has actually really come through in providing a safe travelling experience for its tourists. There are strict adherences to SOP’s.

Coming to the breathtaking sites in the cities – Turkey is full of amazing tourist attractions in Intanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Capadoccia. In Istanbul alone, you have ike Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace, etc.

Turkey is one place where you can fulfill all your crazy adventures from sky diving, to bungee jumping, or flying on a hot balloon or parasailing – you can do it all in Turkey and can check off items from your adventurous bucket list to kick in your adrenaline rush.

Another crucial factor in the rise of tourism from Pakistan can be Turkish dramas especially Ertugrul. There’s been an increase in the google search stats since the drama started airing in Pakistan. It gave many Pakistanis a sense of connection with the Turks, be it from our religious point of view, cultural attire or some food similarities, but it surely widens their horizons of how people live in the other parts of the Muslim world. Ertugrul tomb has become yet another necessary site for the people to visit.

Once in Turkey, a lot of Pakistanis then get the opportunity to see how communities in other Muslim countries live. It is an appealing and attraction cross cultural exchange that perhaps allows Pakistanis to broaden their perspectives.

The outpouring of love towards Turkish stars and their response has also added to the bump in appeal of visiting Turkey. Many Turkish celebrities visited Pakistan to give back the love and recognition they received, and indeed, many actors have collaborated with Pakistani designers and directors and it’s been in the news that a collaborative Pak-Turk series based on the Khilafat movement is in works as well.

Another reason can be YouTube vlogs, as the vlogging culture is gaining immense popularity since many years and people religiously follow their favorite vloggers. When people like them show the beautiful sites of any country and share their experiences, it gives them a complete travel guide of where to stay, what to visit and what to eat, which becomes quite easier for people to plan their trip accordingly.

The Turkey love seems here to stay after its recent resurgence. The captivating views, the lip smacking food and of course the hospitality of the people is what making us Pakistanis pack our bags and just praise the beauty of the beautiful country that seems other worldly, yet just familiar enough.

By: Fatima Humayun

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