Crawley firm Jewel in the Crown Holidays goes bust

Bodrum beach in Turkey
Image caption Jewel in the Crown sent up to 18,000 holidaymakers a year to Turkey

A UK holiday firm specialising in travel to Turkey has gone into liquidation, blaming the country's political situation.

Jewel in the Crown Holidays, based in West Sussex, has been trading for 29 years and claimed to be the largest independent tour operator to Turkey.

The company, which sent up to 18,000 holidaymakers a year to the country, ceased trading on Friday.

It said there were currently no passengers overseas.

A statement on the Crawley company's website said the business to Turkey had been challenging for the last two years.

"We had hoped that the political situation in Turkey would improve but sadly this has not happened," it said.

"The directors of Jewel in the Crown Holidays Ltd would like to apologise to both our UK and overseas staff."

It said it had holiday bookings for this summer but they could not be honoured because negotiations with airlines had failed.

All 11 staff have been made redundant.

Turkey travel advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises the threat from terrorism in Turkey remains high.

It says that over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year and it is generally safe to travel.

But, visitors are advised to take additional safety precautions, be alert to their surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with tourists.

The FCO advises against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and the city of Diyarbakir and against all but essential travel to adjacent areas.

Customers or travel agents were advised to submit a claim under the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (Atol) scheme managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or to their credit card providers.

The CAA said travel agents who held bookings with Jewel In The Crown Holidays Ltd should not issue refunds but wait for instructions from Atol.

Joint liquidator Richard Keley said: "Tourism to the region has been badly hit as a result of the political instability.

"This has severely affected the business's cash flow and its ability to continue trading."

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