By Nilay Kar Onum
Some 70,000 international transit passengers have used Turkish Airlines’ free layover tours in Istanbul this year, the carrier said on Tuesday.
11,000 out of 70,000 passengers, who used the service called Touristanbul -- are Russian nationals, according to a video posted on
According to the video, 40,000 passengers visited Istanbul’s museums --17,000 out of them visited Topkapi Palace and 11,000 people visited the Hagia Sophia museum.
Some 79,000 passengers were also served a meal in the city in 2018, it said.
Turkish Airlines has been offering a free layover service for its international transit passengers who want to explore Istanbul.
Any passenger who flies through Istanbul and has a 6- to 24-hour layover time can apply for "Touristanbul", the flag carrier said on its website.
Instead of waiting at the airport, passengers can sign up for the tour at the Hotel Desk in the international arrivals terminal of the Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
The tour takes passengers through the most significant historic sites of the city, including Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, and Blue Mosque.
Passengers can also enjoy the Bosphorus view and taste Turkish and Ottoman traditional food.