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Turkish Tourism Officials Say Worst of Flooding is Over

September 14, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Although floods in Istanbul have killed more than 30 people in the past week, the Turkish government is assuring international visitors that Istanbul’s major tourism and business districts—including the “Old Istanbul” neighborhood known as Sultanahmet, where the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome are located, and Taksim, the city’s bustling business center—are both safe.

“We want to assure international visitors to Istanbul that the vast majority of the city—particularly those most frequented by foreign visitors—are safe and relatively unaffected by the flood conditions in Istanbul,” said Hasan Zongur, director of the Turkish Culture and Tourist Office in New York City last week. “Though there is certainly some flooding in these areas, they are more inconveniences than cause for concern.”

On Saturday, the Kilyos River overflowed its banks, flooding dozens of homes in the Saryer district of Istanbul.


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