Our weekly round of the Fethiye news continues.
Thomas Cook Pulls Nearly 1 Million Flight Seats from Turkey
The local press reported that Thomas Cook had withdrawn flights from Turkey and rerouted them to other European holiday destinations as a result of public concerns of holiday safety.
The local,press said first it was the Russians and now it’s the British who will not be coming to Turkey next season.
Meanwhile, the U.K. Based Travelweekly publication reported that it is consumer confidence that has led to the company pulling flights.
It said that some consumers have postponed holiday plans and that downturn in bookings has led Thomas Cook to reconsider its plans for the 2016 season.
Travelweekly reported that 800,000 of flight seats had been withdrawn by the company from Turkey, the equivalent of moving 29% of capacity from the destination.
The company boss Fankhauser was quoted saying:
“Turkey is a good value for money destination and we see from Google searches that people still want to go to Turkey.
“We are seeing the demand coming back to Turkey, like what we saw after other terrible events (such as Paris). It’s a recovering market.”
Meanwhile the Aberdeen Express led with a headline “Summer Flights From Aberdeen Axed by Travel Firm” complete with a picture of a disappointed local holding up their device with a picture of the hotel they had booked to stay in.
The woman was planning to travel with a group of 10 to celebrate her birthday.
A bit further away in Antalya the press reported on a new and exciting aquatic attraction; a sightseeing submarine.
The press were there to watch as a local entrepreneur took delivery of the 48 person capacity sightseeing submarine as it was craned off a cargo ship.
The submarine had been purchased from a business on the Canary Islands.
The 20 meter vessel is expected to take its first paying customers this April when it travels down the coast to the popular resort of Alanya.
Tour of Turkey 2016
The Tour of Turkey cycle race is due to take place between 24 April and 1 May this year.
The local press reported that the route has been changed but would still include Fethiye on its route.
We await final details of the route when they are published on the official tour website.
Human Traffickers Targeted
The local press included a number of article about the work of local agencies to prevent migrants from crossing the dangerous stretch of water to the Greek Island of Rhodes.
The week saw some 590 migrants rescued and 3 human traffickers arrested in various operations along the Aegean coast.
On the 8 February the coast guard intercepted a US flagged yacht off Fethiye that was found to be carrying 122 Syrian people.
50 men and 30 women and 42 children were returned to Fethiye by the Turkish Coast Guard.
The group had been trying to make the perilous journey across to the Greek Island of Rhodes.
The press reported that one human trafficker was also arrested in the operation.
Human Traffickers in Court
The father of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler who drowned and whose body on the beach shocked the world last year, went on trial on Thursday in Bodrum along with two alleged people smugglers accused of causing the death of migrants.
NATO Steps In to Help
NATO has stepped in to help the Turkish authorities counter people trafficking and disrupt the criminal networks that offer the risky journey from the Turkish coast to Greek Islands it was announced last week.
The agreement followed the meeting between Turkey and Germany last week with all 28 NATO members endorsing the proposed support package.
So expect to see more activity around our coasts over the next few weeks as NATO ships start to be deployed.
The British Pound bought 4.25 Turkish Lira at the close of business on Friday.
A Turkish Lira was worth 24 pence.
It was a wet end to the week with grey skies and generally miserable.
Further up the coast Bodrum was lashed by strong winds.
The week ahead looks great though and a mini heatwave is expected with day time highs of 23 degrees on Tuesday.
Love was in the air at the weekend as Fethiye celebrated Valentines weekend.
The press featured loving couples enjoying the romantic evening.