Taxi drivers' outrage against popular ride-hailing app Uber now grips Bodrum, one of the most popular vacation resorts on Turkey's Aegean shore. After a confrontation with taxi drivers a few days ago, drivers of luxury vans working for travel agents started putting up stickers reading "No To Uber" to their cars. For them, it is a way to oppose the illegal transportation practice of the international company. It is also viewed as a precaution against assault by taxi drivers who treat any high-end black vans with multiple passengers inside as an Uber vehicle. Security forces have broken up a clash between yellow taxi drivers and drivers of vans carrying tourists for travel agencies in the town which is the only other place Uber operates in Turkey other than Istanbul.
Uber faces a lawsuit by taxi drivers in Istanbul and authorities have pledged a stricter ban on the app although its drivers and passengers are currently subject to fines. Taxi operators seek an access ban for the app claiming it hurts business. Uber drivers complained they faced a string of assaults in recent months by taxi drivers. Videos circulating on the social media show yellow taxis confronting Uber vans and people in taxis punching Uber drivers.
Can Şenkal, who owns a travel agency serving with VIP vehicles, said they were not part of the Uber system and are "on the contrary, opponents of Uber." "We legally work here as tourism companies. We are ready to do anything side by side with taxi drivers to send Uber out of Turkey," Şenkal told İhlas News Agency. He says Uber is also hurting their business and claims there are more than 500 Uber vehicles in Bodrum.
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