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BELGRADE (Serbia), December 8 (SeeNews) - Serbia's government said on Thursday the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) plans to finance the reconstruction of Ottoman-era tourist attractions in Belgrade next year.
TIKA has invested a total of 20 million euro ($21.3 million) in Serbia so far and intends to finance the reconstruction of the Ram fortress, in northern Serbia, and Belgrade's Kalemegdan fortress, the director of TIKA Mahmut Cevik told tourism minister Rasim Ljajic, the Serbian government said in a statement.
The agency will also fund projects for the reconstruction of schools, scientific institutions and healthcare facilities in Serbia, Cevik explained.
The number of Turkish tourists who visited Serbia in the first ten months of 2016 rose by 48% on the year to 75,656, data by Serbian statistical office showed.
Earlier this week, Serbian news agency Tanjug quoted the director of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, Marija Labovic, as saying that the country expects a large number of tourist arrivals from Turkey for the New Year's Eve festivities.
The country was ruled by the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries until the Second Serbian Uprising in 1817 which resulted in the establishment of the Principality of Serbia. Ram is one of the Ottomans’ few remaining fortresses in Serbia, while the tomb of Grand Vizier Damat Ali Pasha is located in the park of the Kalemegdan fortress.