US embassy cable - 91IZMIR373

LIBYANS RETURN TO IZMIR; THEY ARE WELCOME AS LONG AS THEY BRING DOLLARS

Identifier: 91IZMIR373
Wikileaks: View 91IZMIR373 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Izmir
Created: 1991-06-06 12:34:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: ECON BEXP TU LY
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 061234Z JUN 91
FM AMCONSUL IZMIR
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9204
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
INFO AMCONSUL ISTANBUL
AMCONSUL ADANA
UNCLAS IZMIR 0373 
 
 
REF: IZMIR 335 (NOTAL) 
 
E.O.12356: N/A 
TAGS: ECON, BEXP, TU, LY 
SUBJECT: LIBYANS RETURN TO IZMIR; THEY ARE WELCOME AS LONG AS 
THEY BRING DOLLARS 
 
1. UNLIKE THE FIRST LIBYAN SHIP TO VISIT IZMIR AFTER A LONG HIATUS, 
WHICH ARRIVED WITHOUT FANFARE, (REFTEL), THE SECOND SHIP ARRIVED TO 
AN OFFICIAL GREETING BY THE MAYOR OF KONAK, AND REPRESENTATIVES 
OF SEVERAL MERCHANT'S ASSOCIATIONS. THE DEBARKING PASSENGERS WERE 
MET BY THE MUNICIPALITY BAND AND LOCAL OFFICIALS WITH WELCOMING 
GIFTS. MAYOR SARISIN NOTED IN HIS REMARKS THAT AFTER SUCESSFUL 
MEETING WITH THE LIBYAN AMBASSADOR IN ANKARA, AN AGREEMENT WAS 
REACHED FOR REGULAR LIBYAN FERRY VISITS TO IZMIR WITH A GOAL OF ONE 
SHIP A WEEK AND A PASSENGER TOTAL OF ALMOST TWO THOUSAND EACH 
MONTH. LOCAL OFFICIALS OPTIMISTICALLY HOPE THAT THE LIBYAN 
TOURISTS WILL LEAVE IZMIR MERCHANTS RICHER TO THE TUNE OF $50 
MILLION EACH MONTH. 
 
2. THE RESUMPTION OF THE LIBYAN FERRY SERVICE TO IZMIR IS WELCOMED 
BY MANY IZMIR MERCHANTS, MANY OF WHOM FIND BUSINESS SLOW, PARTLY 
DUE TO THE SLOW TOURIST SEASON. THESE LIBYAN FERRIES BRING 
SHOPPING TOURISTS WHO COME TO BUY EVERYTHING FROM STAPLES LIKE RICE 
AND FLOUR IN BULK, TO HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, CLOTHES AND LARGE 
APPLIANCES. THEY ALSO BRING THEIR CARS, OFTEN PUSHING THEM OFF 
THE FERRY FOR NEEDED REPAIRS. WE ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT MANY LOCAL 
DENTISTS AND DOCTORS HAVE AN ACTIVE PRACTICE CATERING TO THESE 
LIBYAN TOURISTS. 
 
3. COMMENT: WHILE THE EXPECTATIONS OF ECONOMIC BENEFITS FROM 
THESE LIBYAN SHOPPING TOURS ARE SOMEWHAT INFLATED, THEIR PRESENCE 
IS WELCOMED BY LOCAL MERCHANTS, ESPECIALLY DURING A SUMMER SEASON 
WHEN MANY RESIDENTS OF IZMIR PLAN VACATIONS INSTEAD OF PURCHASES, 
AND LEAVE FOR THEIR SUMMER QUARTERS ALONG THE SEA.  WITH FEW 
TOURISTS THIS YEAR, LIBYAN DOLLARS ARE DOUBLY WELCOME. 
 
 
ZAJAC 


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