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Shop-tourism is running away from Istanbul in a panic because of a possible earthquake

Panic reigned in Laleli, a popular shopping district of Istanbul: shop tourism, frightened by predictions of a possible earthquake, is fleeing Istanbul. According to Turkish businessmen, wholesale foreign customers, fearing not receiving orders due to a possible natural disaster, “depart” en masse for China, and shop tourists “disappear” after them.

Note: Everyone in Turkey’s second capital is very concerned about the impending aftershocks. Details in the article “90,000 people could die in Istanbul: earthquake forecasts have caused an emergency“.

At the moment, according to the Turkish publication Hurriyet, the total number of orders has fallen by 35%. As the President of Laleli Association of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (LASİAD) Giyasettin Eyyupkoja said, after the earthquake in Kahramanmaras, the number of customers and shop-tourists began to decrease sharply. “Of course, you can warn tourists and businessmen that Istanbul is an earthquake-prone zone, but you have to do it in a way that doesn’t kill the economy. Customers are scared, they literally say – you are expecting an earthquake, we will cancel all your orders,” the entrepreneur said.

It will be recalled that Istanbul was called a “probable disaster zone” several times in discussions about earthquakes in Turkey. The last such forecast was announced by the Turkish professor Nasi Geryur, naming it among 11 provinces where natural disasters are most likely. At the same time, here he is waiting for an earthquake with the same catastrophic power as those that occurred in early February in the south of Turkey. According to him, the magnitude of an earthquake that can happen in Istanbul is a minimum of 7.2 and a maximum of 7.6.

Gürbüz Oruç, president of the Merter Association of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (MESIAD), also noted that the Turkish industry is “going through an earthquake in prices.” “Our clients are mainly Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Turkic republics, and the Balkans. There are also some in Europe and Russia. As a result, a client who previously placed an order with us for $500,000 is now going to China. Demand has fallen by 30%, there is a risk that it may decrease by up to 50%,” the publication states.

This also applies to retail buyers – industrialists there have calculated a decline of 35%, said Mr. Eyyupkoja: “The decline in organized retail trade is about 35% as of last month. Tourists from the Middle East used to come here, now they panic and refuse to come,” he explained.

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