Ukraine opens consulate in southern Turkey's Antalya – media
Ukraine on Sunday opened its consulate in southern Turkey's Antalya province with the participation of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran, Ukrainian nationals living in Antalya and a large crowd of guests attended the opening ceremony that comes one day after Poroshenko's meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Daily Sabah, a Turkish pro-government daily, has reported.
"We reaffirmed our commitment to close relations at our meeting with President Erdogan. Turkish and Ukrainian relations will never deteriorate," Poroshenko said at the opening ceremony, adding that the consulate was significant to show that Kyiv was determined "to bring services to its citizens living in the region."
Poroshenko said more than 1.3 million Ukrainians visit Turkey every year.
The president stressed the importance of opening the consulate, saying not only tourists come to Antalya for holidays, but also a large number of international summits take place in the southern city and Ukrainian diplomats will be able to take active part in such events.
Turkey and Ukraine signed an agreement to allow passport-free travel to their citizens last year. Turkey is among popular destinations for Ukrainian tourists who mostly prefer Antalya, a popular resort city with year-round warm weather.
In 2017, some 713,000 Ukrainian tourists arrived in Antalya and this number exceeded one million this year. Adding to their flourishing relations in recent years, both countries increased the number of flights and added new routes to flights between Turkey and Ukraine. Turkey is expected to conclude a free trade agreement with Ukraine by the end of this year.