Sunday, April 24, 2011


Learning from Istanbul  

by Orin Basuki

Istanbul lit by full sunlight at noon October 6, 2010, but the air still feels cool because the temperature is 8,000 years old city is in the range of 20 degrees celsius.

Cool air and bright sun is grounds for tourists to pack the Topkapi Palace, a heritage site of the Ottoman Empire that holds the objects are very valuable in a city that was inhabited by 15 million souls.

One of them is the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, who visited the palace deliberately because he wanted to see first hand valuable objects from the time of the Prophet Muhammad, from the sword that supposedly used to fight the Prophet, clothing, to drink equipment. Together with hundreds of other tourists, Minister willing to stand in line to witness the historic heritage through narrow doors and limited space inside the Topkapi.

The question that comes to her ,shortly after leaving the spacious balcony directly overlooking the Bosphorus Strait ,is how Indonesia can be visited by foreign tourists as much as Turkey . One idea that thought is quickly summoned ministers to seek an answer to his question was, once again trying to find solutions to concrete policies to attract foreign tourists to the tourist attractions in Indonesia.

As for Edgar (56), tourists from Britain, there are only two reasons to constantly travel to Istanbul, which is cost-effective and tourist location that is second to none in the world. The cost can indeed be saved because the location of Turkey from the UK are not so far away. In addition, the place where in the world that have been built since 8,000 years ago like Istanbul? The answer, very rare.

"About 23 years ago I was often to Asia, including Indonesia. But, now too far into Asia. It's better to Turkey alone, "he said.

Edgar never give up with every corner of Istanbul because the city was being exploited by local governments in order to really appeal to foreign tourists. Certainly there are big names that many well known historic sites, such as Topkapi Palace, Ayasofya Cathedral, or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque). However, not only that the attraction of Istanbul, but also there are ten reasons that make this city unforgettable

First, a strong political dimension, Istanbul's Asian or European? Both exist.

Secondly, of course, art and architecture that grew from 8,000 years ago still original and preserved.

Third, home to magnificent (Myklagar, said the Vikings) as there are in the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Strait that connects the Eastern and Western cultures.

Fourth, the social landscape of life, where Istanbul residents become citizens who understand all the issues.

 Fifth, modernity fused with the irreplaceable heritage classic.

Sixth, the development of talent and creativity because the city is often used as a festival of art from around the world.
 Seventh, that made ​​the city honed growing textile industry, especially carpet.
  Eighth, the city of trade, while silver sharpener still working in the Grand Bazaar, the financial markets continue to roll like a Manhattan in New York.

Ninth, the spiritual city, where a mosque, a synagogue (Jewish place of worship), and the church was built at a radius of 100 meters.
 Tenth, liquid city, where all languages ​​are used, ranging from Anatolia, the Balkans, to the Crimea.
 Well, ten tourists pull factors that make this city was visited by 30 million tourists every year. Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TYD) is proud to mention that foreign exchange is absorbed from the tourism sector could reach 23 billion U.S. dollars a year.

Compare with Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves during the 1997 crisis which lived about 18 billion U.S. dollars. Or compare it with Indonesia's current foreign exchange reserves, which reached the highest position in history, which is about 86.551 billion U.S. dollars (data from Bank Indonesia as of 30 September 2010). That means the Turks easily collect 26.57 percent of Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves, only from the tourism sector.

Pull conference

How do I take advantage of the tenth Istanbul's charm? They pull as many seminars, conferences and international forums.

"In one week, there can be five to seven international events held in Istanbul. This makes finding a hotel room number far more than the number of hotel rooms available, "said Bambang, an Indonesian citizen who live in Ankara, the capital of the Turkish government.

Difficult to find a hotel to make room rental price becomes extremely high. Imagine a hotel room with two beds, but is not equipped with cooking supplies hot water, views from the bedroom window is next to the building wall, and no free mineral water, rental price of 200 euros or USD 0.28 million last night (with a rate Rp 14,000 per euro). That's for the hotel located in downtown, such as Taksim Square area.

Overlooking the strait

The hotel room overlooking the Bosphorus Straits could be more expensive again. Standard rooms can be sold for 700 euros a night. In fact, for class president suite rooms, some are released with a price of 7000 euros or usd 0.98 million per night. It is also still selling.

With the number of rooms are so big search, rental pricing is really determined by the most basic economic factors, namely supply and demand. Who is the highest bid, he is to get a room. Therefore, it is often the case in Istanbul, a tourist who need room to negotiate with the receptionist. If the price offered is far more expensive than the official rate, usually two to three times, the rooms are always available.

"Often people who are already confirmed to get a room, even had handed over my passport, can be thrown out because the room is given to the highest bidder. Business ethics is no longer valid here, "said Bambang.

However, what about people like Edgar? Does the condition make it give up to Istanbul? The answer is, absolutely not. Tourist faithful as this is now sought Edgar Indonesia, a country which also has a long history as Turkey.


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