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Tourism finally resumes in Istanbul

Police officers patrol the streets during a curfew, part of the new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 1, 2020

Istanbul, Nov 3 (UiTV/IANS) - Tourism in Turkey's largest city of Istanbul has gradually resumed, thanks to the progress in its vaccination drive against Covid-19, local media reported.

Istanbul has attracted 5.8 million foreign tourists in the first nine months in 2021, reports Xinhua news agenc citing the local Hurriyet daily as saying.

The number of foreign tourists has steadily increased since March compared to the same period of the previous year, the daily added.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry revealed that 72.4 per cent of citizens aged 18 and above in Istanbul have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

"The high vaccination rate in Istanbul gives confidence to tourists," Nalan Yesilyurt, board member of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, told Xinhua.

"It is good to see foreigners coming back to Istanbul," Yesilyurt added.

Istanbul is the most visited in Turkey for its Byzantine and Ottoman-era monuments, like ancient bazaars, mansions, and palaces, as well as hosting the Bosphorus Strait, which divides the European and Asian continents, the Istanbul Directorate of Culture and Tourism said.