By Aysu Bicer
ANKARA (AA) - Some 28.2 million people visited museums and ruins across Turkey in 2018, a 37.3% rise from the previous year, said the country's statistical authority on Thursday.
The number of museums in Turkey also increased 3% to reach 451 in 2018, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said.
Out of total, 200 museums were affiliated with the Culture and Tourism Ministry, while the rest fell under the private museum category.
"The number of visitors paid to museums and ruins affiliated to the ministry increased by 44.5% compared to last year," the institute said.
TurkStat added: "The largest number of immovable cultural properties under the responsibility of museums was in Istanbul with 31,599.”
Istanbul was followed by Izmir with some 7,000 immovable cultural properties, and by Mugla with almost 4,500.
According to the institute, the number of the national parks rose by 4.8% and the number of nature parks increased by 9% in 2018 compared to 2017.
The number of nature parks stood up at 243 and the total area of them rose to almost 106,500 hectares in 2018, TurkStat said.