Privately run beaches in Bodrum and Çeşme, two widely popular summer resorts in western Turkey, reap massive revenues throughout the summer, but they are also under fire for high fees. Moreover, companies operating beaches face allegations of tax evasion and unregistered employment.
Although seas and coasts are open to the public as the Constitution points out, beaches are the property of local municipalities that often lease them to private companies. To boost profits, beach operators practically shut down the seaside to anyone who does not want to pay to swim. Though they are under the legal guarantee of private enterprise laws and free to charge fees for lounge chairs and other services they provide to beachgoers, people complain about the astronomical fees they charge for entry. For instance, a notable beach in Çeşme charges visitors TL 80 ($28) and another TL 20 for parking.
Snack bars and other facilities on the beach are also accused of charging high prices for food sold there. Lahmacun, a popular dish that sells for TL 5 at most elsewhere, is on sale for as much as TL 70 on these beaches.
Beach operators also face accusation of tax evasion for not issuing receipts to customers and for employing unregistered workers. The Turkish daily, Takvim, claimed shops on these beaches openly sell alcoholic drinks to minors though it is illegal to sell alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of 18.
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