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From a visitors perspective one concern is that

first_imgFrom a visitor’s perspective, one concern is that fighters from the Syrian conflict have been blamed for some of the terrorist outrages in Turkey. The Eastern Mediterranean has certainly been in the headlines – particularly because of the images of refugees fleeing conflict. This is a very serious humanitarian crisis, and some holidaymakers have commendably chosen to get involved in trying to help. But on my visits to the region over the past year, the movement of people has not had a significant impact on tourist areas. The Foreign Office advise that, while the threat of terrorism in Turkey is high: Why have a holiday in Turkey?Turkey is a vast nation, straddling Europe and Asia, full of beauty and rich in heritage. The country also has welcoming people, fabulous cuisine, great beaches – and low prices. I first visited Turkey in 1988, travelling along the Mediterranean coast to resorts including Olu Deniz and Marmaris, and exploring treasures such as the ruins of Ephesus. I have returned many times since then, both as an independent backpacker and on package holidays. I am particularly fond of the biggest metropolis, Istanbul, which is one of the most fascinating and rewarding cities in the world – and I am looking forward to exploring the country more deeply in years to come. “Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect places visited by foreigners.” Want an alternative to Turkey this year? Take a leaf out of Simon’s book, and choose the similarly sweeping Mediterranean coastline, ancient history and fascinating culture of the Greek Islands. Trending travel: places to visit in 2017 ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Not one but three destinations in Turkey made it into our top ten trending places to go in the world this year. Find out why here… As one of the world’s most visited cities, you can expect World Heritage sites, grand religious attractions and places of historical significance from Istanbul, as well as a vibrant arts scene and great nightlife. Are these perceptions about Turkey based on reality? Top 10 Istanbul: what to see in Turkey’s biggest city Terrorism is certainly an issue that travellers should be aware of before they decide on a holiday in Turkey. In the past year Turkey has seen a significant number of terrorist atrocities committed on its soil, in which nearly 200 people have died. The majority of attacks are against local people. But in some attacks tourists have been targeted. Risk assessment is complicated because there isn’t a single enemy: recent perpetrators of terrorist attacks include groups sympathetic to so-called Islamic State, Kurdish separatists and two far-left political factions. Top 20 Greek Islands to visit on holiday If you want to cancel your holiday, what are your rights?With no official warning against travel to tourist resorts in Turkey – and no likelihood of the Foreign Office issuing one – if you decide not to travel, you are likely to lose some or all of the money you have paid. You will not be able to claim on insurance for what is known as “disinclination to travel.”Would you take your family to Turkey?Yes: summer 2017 strikes me as the ideal time to visit Turkey, with a very favourable exchange rate and a refreshing lack of crowds. I also think it is important to help the many Turkish people whose livelihoods depend on tourism. However, finding a trip may be tricky. Airlines have cut back on the number of flights, and some operators have axed Turkey altogether from their programmes. Earlier this year I booked a package holiday to Turkey, only to be told a couple of months later that the tour operator had cancelled it. We switched to Lesbos in Greece. What should you do if you’ve already booked your holiday to Turkey?I would say look forward to it! The chances are you will have a fabulous trip, and you can expect an especially warm welcome this summer. Key places to visit in Turkey, such as the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and the surreal landscape of Cappadocia are also likely to be far less crowded than usual. Proximity to Syria is less of a concern for me. The sorts of places that most people would visit in Turkey are well away from the Syrian border. The Turkish armed forces are extremely strong, and there is no possibility that fighting from the war there will spill over as far as the resorts. *According to GfK sales figures for package holidays sold up to end-April, compared with same measure in 2015. For the most recent updates on tourism in Turkey, visit the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. The Foreign Office advises against travel to within 10km of the border with Syria, and to the provinces of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces. These are areas well away from holiday resorts and tourist sites. Here’s a map from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website to help you plan your next trip to Turkey: I can’t say that any destination is safe. But my view is that in the tourist areas in Turkey, in common with almost everywhere else on the planet, the risk of coming to harm is tolerably low. As far as I can tell from my discussions with prospective holidaymakers and travel industry insiders, some people may be avoiding the country this summer because of uncertainty about safety and concern about being caught up in a terrorist attack. Some travellers are also unsettled about Turkey’s proximity to Syria, where a war is taking place (Turkey shares a substantial portion of its southern border with Syria). Contributing to a general sense of unease is the perception that the eastern part of the Mediterranean is unstable. We’ve got more helpful tips on holidaying in the Eastern Mediterranean: Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hire. Are there any places in Turkey you think best avoided? Do you think it is safe to travel to Turkey this summer? RelatedEverything you need to know about travelling to EgyptIn light of recent safety scares in Egypt, we asked travel expert Simon Calder to tackle the big questions for Skyscanner readers: – Are major Egypt destinations like Sharm El Sheikh and the Pyramids at Giza safe to visit? – What if I want to cancel my Egypt holiday? -…Spain expected to be this year’s most visited destinationSpain becomes the UK’s most popular holiday destination in 2010.Summer tourists shun Greece: Turkey 159% more popular reports SkyscannerSummer tourists shun Greece: Turkey 159% more popular reports Skyscannerlast_img read more

European Medicines Agency will move to Amsterdam

first_imgThe European Medicines Agency’s new home will be Amsterdam. By Kai KupferschmidtNov. 20, 2017 , 2:50 PM European Medicines Agency will move to Amsterdam In the end, after three rounds of voting, it came down to a proverbial coin flip between the Dutch capital and an Italian fashion hub. The European Medicines Agency (EMA), charged with evaluating human and animal medicinal products for the European Union, will relocate to Amsterdam after it was selected in a draw of lots between it and Milan. The European Council announced the result on Monday evening after voting had taken place in Brussels. “It’s not very Dutch to be proud of the Netherlands,” says pharmacologist Adam Cohen, who heads the Centre for Human Drug Research in Leiden, the Netherlands. “But I always thought it was the best place for it.”Among the European Union’s most important scientific agencies, EMA was seen as one of the biggest spoils up for grabs after the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union made its more-than-2-decade-old London location untenable. Set up in 1995, it employs about 900 people and hosts tens of thousands of visitors for hundreds of meetings each year.Nineteen countries vied to be EMA’s new home, though three later dropped out. Candidate cities produced glossy videos and websites highlighting their international connections, quality of life, and international schools. But as is often the case in the European Union, much political horse-trading was also expected to play a role in the final decision. The council was also voting today on a new home for the European Banking Agency and no country was allowed to host both agencies. iStock.com/repistu Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img On Monday, the ministers of the 27 countries that will remain in the European Union met in Brussels to cast their votes at the General Affairs Council in a complicated voting process. In the first round, each country had six votes, with three going to the city of first choice, two to the second, and one to the third. After two rounds of voting only Amsterdam and Milan, Italy, advanced to the last round, which ended in a tie (with one country not casting its vote). The two cities were placed on lots in a bowl, and Amsterdam has its drawn.The move of EMA has raised concerns that it could slow down the approval of new drugs, especially if a lot of staff decide not to move with the agency. But in an assessment by EMA, Amsterdam was one of six candidate cities that met all requirements. It also scored highly in a survey of its employees that EMA undertook. If EMA had ended up someplace other than Amsterdam, it would probably have coped, Cohen says. “But it would have had to cope with a lot more problems regarding travel and language, and losing staff.”At a press conference on Tuesday morning in London, EMA Executive Director Guido Rasi expressed relief. “The decision is very welcome,” he said. “For the past one and a half years we have been living in uncertainty.” Amsterdam offers great connections, housing, hotels, and infrastructure, he pointed out, and 81% of EMA staff had indicated they would move to the Dutch capital, more than for any other city. However, that still means EMA will lose up to 200 people, Rasi cautioned. If those losses occur in a few specific areas of expertise, it might cause disruptions.The move itself is also a challenge. “It’s an extremely tight time frame,“ said Noel Wathion, who leads EMA’s relocation task force. Operations in Amsterdam are scheduled to start by 30 March 2019. By that time, EMA’s conference facilities should be available in a new building, but office space might take a little longer. EMA will have to continue paying rent for its London offices because the contract runs until 2039, an estimated total of €400 million.U.K. medical researchers have not been shy about their unhappingess with this outcome of the Brexit vote. For the United Kingdom the move is bad news, John Hardy, a geneticist at University College London said in a statement to the British Science Media Center in London, and not just because of jobs moving away. “A greater impact will be the tug this exerts on the pharmaceutical companies as they weigh up where to make their clinical research investments,” he argued. “Over time, this is likely to lead to a disinvestment in the UK of pharmaceutical industry jobs and this has been a major source of revenue and employment for the UK.”*Correction, 20 November, 4:45 p.m.: This story originally referred to a coin flip as deciding where the agency would move, but EU officials clarified that the names of both cities were placed in a bowl and Amsterdam’s was drawn.*Update, 21 November, 7 a.m.: Comments made at EMA’s press conference have been added. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. 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