BY JARED MALSIN/ISTANBUL | PHOTOGRAPHS BY EMIN OZMEN—MAGNUM FOR TIME
Over the past few years, ISIS has repeatedly targeted tourist hot spots across Europe and the wider Mediterranean region. The slaughter of holidaymakers has become a grim annual staple, from the massacre of 38 European beachgoers in Sousse, Tunisia, in June 2015; to the truck attack in July 2016 on mainly French tourists celebrating Bastille Day in Nice; to this year’s attacks on visitor attractions like London’s Borough Market and now the main artery of Spain’s second city.
Tourists do tend to gather in the public places that represent soft targets to attackers, but the strategy also brings a heavy economic blow to the countries they attack. In Tunisia, the killings at Sousse and at Tunis’ Bardo Museum in 2015 scared away European holiday-makers, resulting in a $2 billion hit that slowed economic growth to less than 1%. In Egypt, visitor numbers fell from 14 million in 2010 to just over 5 million last year, though the tourism industry is now showing signs of recovery.
Few economies have suffered a more sudden decline than that of Turkey, however, where a wave of attacks combined with several seasons of political upheaval has torpedoed the country’s tourism industry.