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ICCA expresses solidarity with Turkey following bomb attacks

CEO and European regional director to visit city in February in show of support

Pictured: Outside the Vodafone arena, scene of one of the attacks

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has sent a message of  ‘solidarity and support’ to its members in Turkey following another terrorist attack in Istanbul.

ICCA president  Nina Freysen-Pretorius said the association was ‘shocked and appalled’ by the twin bomb attack outside a football stadium on Saturday that killed 38 and injured 160 others.

In a message to members in Turkey she wrote: “During these challenging times, it requires constant proactive, positive activity to put forward the argument for why international meetings should continue to select Turkey, and we urge all our members to keep up this vital work and not be disheartened.

She confirmed that ICCA chief executive Martin Sirk and European regional director David Bodor would be attending the ACE of MICE event in Istanbul, in February, where they would convene a special meeting, ‘to address what can be done in practical ways to safeguard existing conferences and to give confidence to other clients who are thinking about meeting in Turkey’.

In June, 45 people were killed in a shooting and bombing incident at Ataturk Airport. Weeks earlier a bus was attacked, killing seven. In March, five people were killed in a bombing in the Beyoglu district, and in January a suicide attack in the historic Sultanahmet area left 13 dead. 

There have been several other terrorist attacks across Turkey this year, including two deadly blasts in the capital Ankara, which left at least 67 dead, Pretorius added:  “We hope that ICCA’s strong commitment to our Turkish members will give you the confidence to keep marketing, keep bidding, and keep hoping for a more positive future.
Through the ICCA community you have the power to get across your message and to connect with key association clients; working alone your voices will never be heard. The number of congresses in Istanbul has increased dramatically over the last ten years.

 The city has risen from 40th to number eight in the ICCA rankings of meetings destinations and has been in the Top 10 since 2010. However recent events, including an attempted military coup, have left the city reeling and its reputation battered.

Earlier this year AIPC, an international association of convention centre managers, said it would be holding its 2018 congress in Istanbul.

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