This weeks round up of the local news from Fethiye, Oludeniz, Hisaronu and area includes university to expand in Fethiye, fall in British tourists topic for concern, abandoned suitcase causes security alert, Alo 179 figures released and more in our round up of the local news.

University to Expand in Fethiye

The proposed Management Faculty, as a satellite of Muğla University, hit the headlines again this week, when a Dean of Faculty, Professor Erdoğan Gavcar, took up his post based in the existing university buildings in Taşyaka.

The Mayor and other local dignitaries turned up for a photo call to greet the new Dean, who is now aiming to attract 2 – 3,000 students to study Management, starting in the 2013 – 14 academic year.

As we have previously reported, land in Karaçulha has been donated for a new building for this Faculty but construction has yet to start.

Professor Gavcar told press “First I will find students and then we will build”.

Solutions Sought for Fall in British Tourist Numbers

A senior official from the Ministry of Tourism was in town this week meeting with local tourism organisations to try and find a solution to the fall in numbers of British tourists in 2012.

It would seem that in 2011 a total of 891,882 British tourists visited Muğla, but this fell to 818,629 in 2012.

We doubt even a surge of visitors for Christmas could make up the 73,253 difference.

The meeting asked the Ministry for funds to support ‘alternative’ tourism in and around Fethiye.

They specified two areas: walking and paragliding.

For the former they want to develop other walks so that the Lycian Way is not the only way-marked trail available; the latter, they claim, would be a bigger growth area if the much vaunted cable car up Babadağ is built.

The official from Ankara told the meeting Turkey is ranked sixth in the top ten of global tourist destinations, and they aim to be fifth in 2013.

Palestinians Migrants Seized off Turkish Coast

The Coast Guard brought a sailing boat into Ölüdeniz with 11 illegal immigrants from Palestine on board.

They comprised 5 men, 5 women and 1 child and were taken into custody, along with the captain of the boat.

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Abandoned Suitcase Causes Security Alert at Fethiye Bus Station

And a major panic in Fethiye bus station on Thursday afternoon, when a suitcase was found abandoned outside one of the bus company offices.

Police were called, and in turn they alerted the bomb disposal unit.

A member of the unit, in full protective gear, examined the case and eventually cut it open to find clothing and personal items clearly belonging to a woman.

Video from security cameras revealed an elderly woman had got onto a bus and left her case behind.

Begs the question why they didn’t watch the video before calling out a full security alert. Still it made for an interesting afternoon for all those waiting for buses that got to watch the whole drama.

Tourism Helpline Completes Another Successful Season

It’s been some time since we wrote about the help line 179 so it is good to see that figures for its use in 2011 were finally released this week.

During the year a total of 900 phone calls and emails were received from Fethiye – most of the phone calls originating in Ölüdeniz.

The vast majority of all 900 complaints related to noise and litter.

Unfortunately the press statement did not go on to tell us what, if anything, was done about the complaints.

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