Tens of thousands of Israelis are disregarding the severe travel warning to Turkey the National Security Council issued on Monday.
Forty-three flights carrying 7,900 passengers were scheduled to fly from Ben-Gurion to Turkey on Tuesday.
“There are also terror attacks in Israel,” one passenger told Channel 12 News. Other passengers said that they already bought their tickets and it was too late to cancel. The Tourism Ministry has requested that airlines provide a refund to Israelis who cancel their tickets due to the travel warning.
A Ynet report on Monday quoted an Israeli tourist in Turkey as saying that she feels safe due to the heavy security in public spaces.
“We are speaking quietly and not shouting out in Hebrew,” Eti Tal told Ynet. “But we feel safe. There is a clear police and military presence everywhere you look. We are keeping a low profile and sometimes when we’re asked where we’re from, we claim to be from different countries.”
Meital Levy, a tour guide for Israelis in Istanbul, also told Ynet that although she feels safe, she is taking precautions. “Istanbul always had heavy security. I haven’t noticed an increase. But the areas frequented by Israelis are always guarded well so I feel safe.”
“I now conduct my tours in other languages and not in Hebrew and instruct my tour groups how to act. We also have a Turkish guide with us at all times to help hide the fact that we’re Israeli.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)