eTN’s warning on Turkish Airlines clarified: ACE MICE partnership continues

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According to eTN Publisher Turkey remains a safe and desirable destination to visit. Yesterday eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz issued a warning for journalists when planning to fly on Turkish Airlines and canceled the eTN partnership with the ACE MICE trade show in Istanbul next week based on information received by the PR representative. Turkish Airlines is a key partner with ACE MICE and provides transportation.

Yesterdays eTN article received a wide response and eTurboNews is now pleased to report the situation can be updated. eTN is planning to continue the long year partnership with ACE MICE and is ready to reinstate a participation at that trade show next week.

Here is the background on our story: Yesterday eTN was informed in writing,  that our publication was “blacklisted” at Turkish Airlines for refusing to delete an article. Apparently, this happened due to a misinterpretation of a letter received in Turkish by an independent PR agent. The assumed result of this letter was then explained and forwarded to eTurboNews.

Yesterday’s letter furthermore said, a ticket for eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz cannot be issued by Turkish airlines due to him being personally blacklisted. The reason apparently again got lost in the translation between the Turkish Airlines PR agent and ACE MICE, and finally eTurboNews. Apparently this happened without Turkish Airlines management  knowing.

The email warning Steinmetz of the blacklist was received hours before Steinmetz was boarding the first leg of his flight in Honolulu. eTN tried to get immediate clarification from Turkish Airlines, but there is no phone line into the airline’s media room and emails were not responded to. With journalists having challenges reporting from and about Turkey, this publisher found the warning justified. Just today two German journalists were freed from prison.

In the meantime and after reaching out to Turkish Airlines through Linkedin, a response was received by the top management of the airline in the United States. eTN was assured no one associated with eTurboNews is on any Turkish Airlines blacklist. eTN was told the email received was triggered by information from an outside PR rep and not on an intention by the airline directly.

Steinmetz reached out to the Tourism Attache of the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC and is awaiting clarification.

In the meantime, the top management of ACE MICE was able to correct the situation with Turkish Airlines. The airline reinstated the booking for the eTN team.

Steinmetz said: “I am glad it looks like this was based on an error by people responsible for PR and not by Turkish Airlines management. I am overwhelmed by the friendly, professional and immediate responses coming in from the Turkish Airlines top management in the United States, by ACE MICE general manager Ms. Ayse Erise and representative Asli Altinok Erdal.

“I am personally a big fan of Turkish Airlines and Turkey Tourism, and more than 42,000 articles mentioning Turkey or Turkish Airlines over the last 20 years – 95% very positive – show a tremendous support for the Turkish people and the Turkish Tourism industry, and their excellent airline. I am planning to continue my journey to Istanbul, and we’re looking forward to exhibiting at ACE MICE, the premier event for the Turkish and international tourism industry.

I am waiting for a clarification by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism or by the Turkish Embassy in Washington to make my final decision.”

Steinmetz concluded: “I received responses from many readers representing hotels, travel agencies, and tour operators in Turkey. I never had any doubt that Turkey remains a safe and desirable destination for tourists. This was not the issue or concern when our article was published yesterday. I had been impressed by the level of visible security in place in Turkey, and personally always felt very safe and relaxed when touring Turkey.”

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.