Friday 19 January 2018

Turkish resorts mostly unaffected by unrest, operators say

Holidaymakers heading to resorts in Turkey are unlikely to be affected by the recent demonstrations, tour operators say, although travellers are warned to be wary of demonstrations in cities.

Kusadasi Turkey
Kusadasi Turkey

Thousands of people have been injured and three people have died in large-scale protests taking place against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In Istanbul, the protests centred around Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and in the Besiktas area, with large demonstrations also taking place in Ankara and Izmir. Protests have occurred in a few areas popular with tourists, including Bodrum, Fethiye and Marmaris, but were “mostly peaceful” according to the Foreign Office.

Maria Whiteman of Directline Holidays said the main resort areas were largely untouched by the unrest.

"Given the recent history of protests in several holiday hotspots in North Africa and the Middle East, it is understandable that travellers to Turkey may feel a little unsettled by media reports,” she added.

While the company had seen a “slight dip” in enquiries to the area, she said holidaymakers appeared to be “resilient and continue to enthuse about the country's attractions and hospitality.”

She confirmed no refunds were available on trips already booked to Turkey “while the situation remains safe.”

The Turkish ministry of tourism and culture also played down the impact of the demonstrations on tourism. In a statement, it said there were “no problems” with transport and security, either in Istanbul or any other area visited by tourists. It insisted that tourism was “carrying on as normal”, and that flights in and out of the country were running as scheduled.

Visitors are advised to avoid all demonstrations, and to leave the area if one develops.

Jolyon Attwooll

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