THOUSANDS of British holidaymakers in Turkey and Greece have been caught up in an earthquake, which triggered a tsunami, early this morning.The disaster has killed two people and injured more than 120 others, as buildings collapsed on the Greek island of Kos.The 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck about 10 miles east of Kos but it was also felt on the island or Rhodes and Turkey, where the city of Bodrum was worst hit.There is also a risk of possible aftershocks, which could hit the area in the coming days.Every summer millions of holidaymakers head to Turkey and Greece in search of sunshine - but what happens if you're due to travel there in the coming days. We explain.You’re unlikely to be able to claim a refund if you cancel a trip because of safety fears - unless the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travel.At the moment the FCO has updated its travel advice for Greece and Turkey to warn holidaymakers about the recent earthquake.It advises those in the area to … [Read more...] about If you’re heading to Greece or Turkey, can you cancel your holiday and get your money back?
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TRAVEL firm Thomas Cook has said holidaymakers are beginning to return to Turkey and Egypt after terrorist attacks and political unrest hit demand.The group said while bookings to the destinations are still lower, it was seeing "early signs" of a recovery.Tourists are no doubt being drawn back to the country by the rock-bottom prices offered by hotels desperate to attract business.In Turkey, some properties are offering rooms at a 70 percent discount compared to their value in 2015.Thomas Cook also added that the wider holiday market was also enjoying a bounce back after a difficult 2016.Summer bookings were up by 10 percent overall, as sun-seekers have shifted to Greece and other European destinations including Cyprus, Bulgaria, Croatia and Portugal.Demand for trips to Turkey and Egypt plunged after the bombing of a plane from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and a violent attempted coup by the Turkish army, which has been followed by a string of terrorist attacks in the … [Read more...] about Thomas Cook says Brit holidaymakers are returning to Egypt and Turkey after terror attacks, despite FCO warnings
HORDES of tourists have fled to the airport on the Greek island of Kos today after a 6.7 magnitude earthquake.Crowds were spotted outside Kos International Airport as they tried to leave the holiday hot spot.Flights in and out of the island were cancelled yesterday causing delays, but schedules are due to return to normal today.Many travellers were forced to sit on the ground outside the terminal with their luggage.Thousands of Brits were caught up in a 6.7 magnitude quake which hit on Friday morning at around 1:30am.The quake, which hit the popular resorts of Bodrum and Kos, killed two, injured at least 100 others and triggered a tsunami last night.The government has warned British holidaymakers will face certain travel disruption at what is the busiest time of year - and should also be on alert for aftershocks.The latest guidance warns: "Flights and ferry services are being significantly disrupted as a result of the earthquake. Please contact your airline, ferry company or … [Read more...] about Brit tourists make a dash for the airport to escape Mediterranean holiday hell after huge earthquake killed two and injured 120 in Greece and Turkey
After a week-long conference in Geneva on the possible reconciliation of Cyprus' Greek and Turkish halves, statements from Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have left a possible reunification in serious doubt. At the center of the disagreement are the approximately 30,000 Turkish troops stationed on the island. "Our position remains... that we must agree on the withdrawal of the Turkish army," Anastasiades told reporters in Geneva on Friday. The Greek Cypriot foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, also said there was no way to reunify the island while "occupation" troops are still stationed on it. "A just solution [to division] means, first of all, eliminating what caused it, namely the occupation and presence of occupation forces," Kotzias said. At the same time, Erdogan said the removal of all Turkish troops from northern Cyprus was "out of the question." The Turkish president's strong words came after Turkish Foreign … [Read more...] about Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades and Turkey’s Erdogan clash over troops on Cyprus
ADAC spokesman Jochen Oesterle said an unusually large volume of German motorists caught in tailbacks into Austria and Italy's northern Lombardy region were clear signs that they were avoiding Turkey , previously a popular destination. "That the German vacation traffic clogs up so heavily in upper Italy … that's not what I have observed for a long time," Oesterle told the German news agency DPA on Sunday. "Many of those who are now driving to Italy would have flown previously to Turkey," he said, referring to anxieties over recent terror attacks in Turkey and post-coup tensions. Numerous road works were also causing delays across Europe, Oesterle added. Germany registered hundreds of tailbacks, some more than 20 kilometers (13 miles) long, also along its popular North Sea and Baltic Sea coastlines, around Hamburg and north of Berlin, over the weekend. Tunnel blocked on Austria's A9 Austria was coping late Sunday with traffic congestion on the outskirts of Vienna and Graz … [Read more...] about Motoring club ADAC reports Germans staying at home, avoiding Greece and Turkey
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Athens for talks on Friday with perhaps the highest profile entourage he could muster. Turkey's cabinet ministers for the economy, foreign trade, the interior, foreign affairs, transport, energy, education, tourism, the environment and European affairs are all part of the delegation, not to mention around 100 business leaders. Greece's and Turkey's historical differences have brought them to the brink of war on several occasions, and the two countries are looking for ways to normalize their ties. The visit is being hailed as historic in Turkey. While that may not yet be true, many analysts believe that now is the perfect time for the neighbors to put their past behind them. "It's definitely a perfect win-win situation," political scientist Cengiz Aktar of Bahcesehir University in Turkey told Deutsche Welle. "If these two countries can solve their joint problems once and for all, it will be fantastic for both." Greece and … [Read more...] about Old foes Greece and Turkey try to bury the hatchet
Turkey surprised European leaders at an emergency meeting in Brussels on Monday, tabling a last-minute proposal asking for more money and concessions in exchange for cooperation to help handle the migrant crisis. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu handed European leaders an ambitious proposal for Turkey to take in one refugee from the Greek islands in exchange for Europe agreeing to take a Syrian directly from Turkey. The plan would in theory lead to a more organized movement of legitimate asylum seekers to Europe from Turkey, home to nearly 3 million Syrian refugees. But it would also provide for Turkey to take back hundreds of thousands of economic migrants with little prospect of receiving asylum in Europe, a key demand coming from Brussels. Robust demands Turkey also came to the table with more robust demands for its cooperation, asking for an additional 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) over the next three years to provide for Syrian refugees and to keep them in Turkey; … [Read more...] about EU and Turkey continue haggling over pivotal deal for migrants
The United States sent its highest-ranking military officer to Ankara to limit any damage to relations between the US, Turkey and the rest of NATO. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, assured Ankara that the US would continue to support democracy in Turkey. He condemned the attempted military coup. It was the same message that the general secretary of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, had already given Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a telephone conversation two days after the coup attempt. But Stoltenberg also said that Turkey had to respect its own democratic order, rule of law and human rights. The Turkish government was displeased with what it regarded as this very restrained expression of solidarity. In interviews, Erdogan himself called for high-ranking foreign politicians to visit Turkey. Until now, NATO has not commented officially on the purge of suspected rebels from the Turkish military. The word from Brussels was that it is the right of … [Read more...] about NATO and Turkey: Allies, not friends
Negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus kicked off in Switzerland on Wednesday. Averof Neofytou, the chairman of the Greek Cypriot republic's governing right-wing Democratic Rally party, spoke to DW before the internationally-recognized, southern region's president and the leader of the northern Turkish Cypriot area descended on Crans-Montana for a fresh round of talks seen by many as a last-chance push for peace. DW: Factions have made several attempts at finding a solution to the Cyprus conflict in recent years. The last time was early this year in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland. How prepared are Greek and Turkish Cypriots for finding a solution this time around? Averof Neofytou: Our side has always wanted a solution. We want one now, and we are willing to work towards it. That is the only way that we will ever be able to end Turkish occupation of the island. But it takes two to tango. Everything depends on whether Turkey actually has the political will to solve … [Read more...] about Cyprus peace talks: an island caught between the EU and Turkey?
It's deja-vu all over again. Just six years after Turkey threatened Cyprus to pull the plug on a controversial energy project, Ankara is now warning of new reprisals, and has sent warships to shadow drilling vessels exploring for oil and gas off the coast of the war-divided Mediterranean island. Turkey doesn't want the drilling to proceed before securing a deal that would give the island's Turkish Cypriot community an equal share of the revenue. Yet faced with such prospects, a potential agreement went amiss this month as United Nations-sponsored talks to reunite the island's Greek and Turkish sides collapsed amid anger and recriminations, marking the end of a process seen as the most promising in recent years to resolve one of Europe's most intractable ethnic conflicts. Countless attempts to stitch Cyprus back together have failed since 1974 when Turkey invaded the island in the wake of a coup staged by nationalists supporting union with Greece. Since then Ankara has retained a … [Read more...] about Race for Cyprus gas and oil sparks tensions in the Mediterranean