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Terrorist attacks,  military coup,  state of emergency, arrests and carefree holiday on the beaches of Turkey

In the first weeks after the military coup attempt in Turkey 16 000 people have been arrested, including journalists, researchers, teachers and judges. More than 60,000 people lost their jobs. 15 television stations, 22 radio stations, 15 newspapers and 3 news agencies were closed. And even portals (who would dare to openly criticize government today…). Restoration of the death penalty is quite seriously considered and that with effect retroactive.

In the first half of the year six terrorist attacks took place in Turkey (on average: one a month), in which 135 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Now the state of emergency. It cannot be ruled out that its introduction will reduce the terrorist threat. Reinforced, almost omnipresent police checks make it difficult to act also terrorists and factions fighting against the Turkish government. Although it is difficult to expect that easily resign. The war in Syria continues, Kurds certainly will not give up. But it will be a hindrance maybe in Turkey it will be a little safer. And we will be able to spend a wonderful and carefree holiday on Turkish sunny beaches. Some of travel agents sell trips as if nothing ever happened. Although demand has dropped but a competition has decreased (some of agents resigned), programs have been reduced (fewer aircrafts) and, most importantly, prices fell significantly. Turkey has always stood out for a favorable price-performance ratio but now this is an extreme.

Turkey after coup

Tourists inflow drop


However, for most potential customers, low prices have not proved sufficient incentive. The decrease in trips to Turkey is indisputable. It is confirmed by Turkish tourism companies and hoteliers. And the secretary general of the Turkish Association of Tourist Agents (TURSAB) wrote a letter to travel agencies in which he called for "solidarity and brotherhood” stressing that "tourists continue vacation without obstacles" and "airports and tourist attractions are functioning without hindrance"

Although most of people going on a vacation remained insensitive to the appeals of the Turkish authorities and give wide birth to Turkish tourist offers there are also those who fully share the opinion of the head of TURSAB.

As usual in such cases, a lot of comments appeared on the web written by people who had just returned from Turkey or they were still there, stressing that everything was going very well, the service was nice, it was quiet and the conditions for rest were great.


But how could it be otherwise? What should be expected in a such situation? Revolutionary atmosphere? Rushing guests off hotels? Obviously employees of the tourism industry are nice because they frankly want to maintain the status quo. They do not want to lose their jobs. Therefore, "all inclusive" works excellently, sun loungers around the pools and beaches are equally tweaking and the sun is shining, the weather is beautiful and warm water is in the sea. But what does it matter? Is peace in one day a guarantee of peace the next day?

Let us recall the year 2015 and Tunisia. In March, there was an terrorist attack in the Bardo Museum in Tunis. Bombers struck directly at tourists. It was a big surprise as Tunisia had been considered a relatively safe country. Finally, it was considered to be a single incident. In Polish media a campaign to restore the good image of Tunisia was undertaken. On TV well-known journalists, celebrities appeared, promoting the slogan "I'm going on holiday to Tunisia”. They did it, of course, in good faith. Shortly later, in June, there was a second attack. A bomber walked to the beach and started shooting with a machine gun to sunbathing people. Fortunately, in adversity, he did not shoot any Pole. Thanks to it the promoters of the "go to Tunisia" slogan could sleep peacefully. And yet, on the morning of the attack in Tunisia it was also nice, nothing bad was happening, the service was friendly, "all inclusive" perfect and the sun was shining and water in the sea was warm.

There are tourists, explaining that everywhere can be dangerous and it is worth to go around the world and learn about different cultures. While in the first part of this sentence there is a bit of truth, in the second there is nearly not at all. Indeed, today it is difficult to find a place you can surely say that it is safe. But does this mean that you have to choose just those where the danger is visible? Can you from the fact that even quietly walking down the street you can be hit by piece of falling plaster conclude that you have to walk beside walls of old crumbling buildings?

As for learning about new cultures, developing own personality and expanding knowledge, it looks even worse. Only a small part of tourists come to Turkey in order to find its history and culture. Yes, there are those who buy sightseeing. But they are a small minority. Most often, tourists spend their time sitting by the pool, on the beach or in bars and restaurants. Usually they participate in one or two excursions, for example to  Pamukkale, Cappadocia (less often, because you have to "waste" two days) or somewhere closer. Anyway, some of them come to Turkey for several years and participation in excursions does not really make sense.

Main attraction

The real reason to go on vacation to Turkey are the prices. There is no other place in the world where you can get so much for so little. Until recently, for PLN 3000 (eur 700) you could buy a stay (and flight) in a luxurious, five-star hotel with "all inclusive" in peak season. For the same amount, in Spain or even Greece you could count on a much lower standard. And there were cheaper offers. You could find five-star hotels on "all inclusive" in August at a cost of PLN 1700-2000 (eur 400-500). Prices which in any other country could even dream of.

That was yet in June. After the coup there have been changes. It got even cheaper! For example: a travel agency Wezyr Holidays (Turkish owners)  sold offers in 2 of August for a departure in 10 of August (absolute peak season) to the five-star hotel Arma's Resort on "ultra all inclusive" for PLN 1364 (eur 320). And it was not anything exceptional. At that time, we counted as many as 20 five-star hotels on "all inclusive" which prices did not exceed PLN 1500 (eur 350)! Let's try to organize for so much a holiday in Polish resorts on Hel or in Miedzyzdroje ...

Low prices always attracted to Turkey. For some people this magnet has not stopped working even now. They travel without fear (?), having rest, enjoying excellent conditions and coming back, announcing with joy (in this after returning joy it is easiest to believe ...) that everything was great, nothing bad happened. Service was nice, food was great, swimming pool was huge and the sea was warm ...

However, the question remains open: whether it is worth risking health and maybe even life or only exposed to stress on vacation, just to save money (even if the amount is large)?

It is clear that the impressions of returning tourists have no meaning because in no way they are associated with the future.

Despite the sympathy for the Turkish tourism industry which we definitely wish to return to recent times, today - in good conscience - we do not manage to encourage anyone (and nobody should) to go on vacation to Turkey.


August 2nd, 2016