The number of foreign arrivals in Turkey surged 27.07% year-on-year in the first six months of 2021, the Culture and Tourism Ministry said on Friday.

Nearly 5.8 million foreign nationals visited the country between January and June, an increase from 4.5 million in the same period last year.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population and its top tourist draw, welcomed 2.8 million foreigners in the first six months of 2021, giving it a share of 47.49% in the overall figure.

It was followed by the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya with 1.5 million visitors and Edirne in northwestern Turkey with 611,306 visitors.

Ukrainians made up 13.9% – 772,437 – of all foreign visitors, followed by Russians at 13.04% (746,724) and Germans at 9.02% (more than 510,000).

The total number of visitors, including Turkish citizens living abroad, in the first six months of the year was 7.5 million, marking a 32.1% increase compared to the same period in 2020, the data showed.

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