Gaza aid flotilla could hit Turkey tourism 31May10 May 31, 2010

by Irit Rosenblum  -  Haaretz -    30 May 2010

Local trade unions might renew their explicit boycott of Turkey as a destination for their members, in view of Ankara’s role in organizing the aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip.

The boycott began more than a year ago, prompted by tension over the Israeli military operation in Gaza, but since the start of 2010 the number of Israelis vacationing in Turkey has risen by 18%. The aid flotilla and reports that Turkey’s Islamist ruling party is cooperating with Hamas in its organization have made the boycott newly relevant to Israeli worker organizations.

Yakov Alush, the CEO of Vaadim, which gathers data on union activity and membership benefits, said this weekend that the company will begin today to examine the possibility of officially renewing the boycott.

The First International Bank of Israel has already made its decision. “The flotilla to Gaza has put paid to the possibility of sending employees to Turkey in an organized manner,” FIBI union chairman Yona Goldschlager said. He noted that 600 FIBI executives are about to vacation together in Crete, despite the greater expense compared to Turkey. He said the union’s policy for mini-vacations for bank employees this summer is “anywhere but Turkey.”

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