I am writing this article from Bodrum, which is the most popular holiday spot on the Turkish Riviera. Bodrum has hundreds of 5-star hotels and resorts and wonderful beaches. The bays attract attention for cruise tourism from all over the world.
The prices range from high to low. You can meet Russian oligarchs as well as middle-class German visitors.
I have been coming here since my childhood, but this year is vastly different. It is such a pity to see world-class hotels, crystal clear waters and gourmet restaurants with no tourists.
The European Union has not opened its doors to Turkey. It is really not fair, dear readers. Turkey has been one of the most successful countries in overcoming the pandemic. Of course, the struggle with the coronavirus has had its ups and downs. But everyone should admit that Turkey has been undertaking a very successful method to cope with the spread of the virus. The filiation system has enabled health workers to closely follow up with patients.
The health ministry has created a wide range of crews to inspect every single patient. If someone tests positive, everyone in their family and close circle is put under close supervision. The patient's contact list in the last two weeks is reported and everyone on this list must be taken into quarantine.
Those in good condition are kept at home but monitored on a daily basis. Those in hospitals are given treatment paid by the state. There is no scarcity of hospital beds. The intensive care units have more than enough beds, and there is no risk of a shortage of medicine.
Last weekend the number of patients who recovered reached 215,516. Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca also announced that there were no new critically ill patients in 36 of Turkey's 81 provinces.
I observe the precautions in hotels. They all are applied very well. The number of customers is limited, the beaches are organized accordingly and in restaurants, there are new seating arrangements with much fewer seats.
Resorts and hotels in Turkey are, to a large extent, as safe as homes. So the EU governments should reconsider opening the door to Turkey if they don’t want to oppress their own citizens. Already in Germany, there are thousands of people ready for a vacation on the Turkish Riviera. Many hotels have received the international corona-free certificate.
Tourism should not be sacrificed to politics, and people should not be treated as hostages. There seems to be no logic to be able to travel to Spain because it is inside the EU but not be able to travel to Turkey.
If we want to overcome the negative effects of the coronavirus on the economy, we should cooperate internationally. Keeping economies closed to each other keeps the system frozen. The wheels should start to turn again, and it is only possible with a global consensus.
So, I recommend the European governments scrutinize the standards in Turkish hotels and reconsider their closed-door policy toward Turkey.