ISTANBUL, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Turkey hosted 12.7 million tourists in the first half of 2012, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Saturday.
Among them, Istanbul attracted about one third of the total tourists, 4.2 million.
Most of the tourists were from Germany, Russia and Britain, according to the report.
Turkey is competing with Italy, France and Spain as the most popular tourism attractions receiving around 30 million tourists per year.
Turkey is a rising star in tourism with historic palaces, mosques, straits, museums, archeological sites, alternative tourism options, natural beauties and impressive hotels, said the ministry.