In a case of unfortunate timing, Turkey, a likely staging area for a NATO-led attack on Syria, is floating a $50M advertising RFP to promote tourism.

turkeyThe country, which already has a restive Kurdish separatist movement, is home to more than 200,000 (and growing) Syrian refugees in 20 camps on Turkey’s border with Syria.

Turkey's Minister of Culture and Tourism believes the world does not appreciate the country's economic, social and cultural development made during the past decade.

It blames poor "reputation management" for the chasm between Turkey's reality and image. "Due to this difference, the level of development attained by our country in recent years is not perceived by the wider world to the extent due," according to the RFP. 

That's a job for PR, not advertising.

Germany, Russia and Britain send the most tourists to Turkey. Tourism is a $12B enterprise. Emerging markets are China, Japan, India and Brazil. Turkey’s goal is to increase the number of visitors from 31.8M in 2012 to 50M in 2023. It envisions total tourism receipts of $50B.

Part of Turkey's communications strategy is to stress the "hospitality of the Turkish people" and add the "human aspect in promotion by presenting segments of daily life."

Turkey has set Sept. 27 as the deadline to respond to the RFP. The work will be handled out of Berlin.

All the best to the Turks and their tourism development plan, but the best way to increase traffic there is to settle the political situation within Turkey and in the immediate neighborhood of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.