Israeli men continue to arrive in Turkey to have hair transplant operations, despite strained political relations between Israel and Turkey.
Nearly 200,000 Israelis visited Turkey in 2014, but the figure exceeded 500,000 in 2019, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute(TurkStat).
The majority of Israeli tourists come for good medical services, especially plastic surgery and hair transplants.
Health tourism is growing daily in Turkey, with advertisements related to hair transplants Turkey seen everywhere in Israel, including on YouTube.
Many companies in Israel organize hair transplantation tours to Turkey. Entrepreneur Aviad Bitton, 34, runs a tour company and said he takes approximately 100 people to Turkey for hair transplant operations every month. He said his clients prefer Turkey because of its inexpensive but quality medical services. "Turkey has some of the best and most experienced doctors. Its hospitals and doctors are professionally and so my clients choose Turkey," he said.
Social media expert Noam Goren, 43, who came to Turkey for a hair transplant operation, said the procedure was cheaper in Turkey than Israel. "I was very glad when I went to Turkey for hair transplantation. People were very kind. They made me feel at home," he said. Asked why Israelis preferred Turkey, he said Turkey is so close to Israel and Turkish people are very polite. "Before coming to Istanbul I made a travel plan to see the city. It is a really beautiful city," he said.
Robin Elgad, 28, a doctor who prefers Turkey for hair transplant operations, said the quality of the medical sector in Turkey was very high. Stressing the professionalism of Turkish health professionals, he said he recommended Turkey to everyone for the good times and quality health service on offer.
Igal Fridman, 32, said Turkey was: "a reliable and inexpensive country; therefore, I recommend it to everyone who needs a hair transplant operation."
Itamar Torris, 45, a lawyer who plans to go to Turkey for a hair transplant said it cost approximately 8,000 euros ($8,678) in Israel but just 2,500 euros ($2,711) in Turkey.
"You can combine hair transplantation with a tour and explore Istanbul. My hair transplantation operation will take about three days, but I want to stay 10 days to see the country," he said.