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Consumer Protection Agency Threatens Ban on Travel to Turkey

The Federal Consumer Protection Agency has threatened to impose a ban on travel to Turkey if the number of Russian vacationers coming down sick in the country continues to grow.

Fifty Russian citizens have been poisoned this week at two resorts near the Turkish city of Antalya, a press release on the agency's website said Wednesday.

Another 70 cases were reported last week in Kemer, RIA Novosti reported.

Turkey is an immensely popular getaway for Russians, with more than 3.3 million tourists vacationing there last year.

Even Turkey's recent political turmoil has not substantially impacted the flow of tourists from Russia.

The hypothetical ban could have motives beyond the protection of Russian citizens. Although titled “On the Epidemiological Situation at Turkish Resorts,” seven of the statement's 13 paragraphs describe the pleasant conditions in Gelendzhik, a resort in Russia's Krasnodar region, noting that it has below average levels of both respiratory and intestinal diseases.

“Russian resorts are being discredited and objective information about Turkey is being suppressed in the media,” the statement says.

The release goes on to upbraid Russian tour operators for failing to meet their safety-related legal obligations and said that the agency “is examining the legal possibilities of evaluating the activities of tour operators.”

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