Russian tourists hit the beaches of Turkey as ties improve

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Turkey's state-run media says the first plane in months carrying Russian tourists to Turkey has arrived in the southern beach resort of Antalya as tense relations between the two countries ease.

Turkey's Anadolu Agency says airport officials greeted the passengers with flowers and a cocktail party after the Rossiya Airlines flight from Moscow landed Saturday morning with 189 passengers.

Relations were strained after Turkey downed a Russian jet in November 2015. Russia responded with economic sanctions, including a ban on travel packages to Turkey. Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on travel sales after receiving a letter of apology from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month.

Tourism in Turkey has taken a hit with the Russian travel ban and a string of deadly suicide bombings targeting tourism sites.