As a new business we always knew that year one was going to be tough. We learnt a lot from getting our website designed and built. We are thrilled with how it turned out; our range of accommodation has something for everyone and for a range of budgets. We are sharing honest opinions about our experiences and genuinely want people to discover the special nature of Kalkan and discover for themselves why it is such a compelling destination. Yes we still have a lot of work to do to establish ourselves and gain our space in the market but we are up for the challenge.
What we hadn’t expected was the extent of the affect following the recent bombings in Istanbul and Ankara would have. After careful consideration the blanket response from potential clients seems to be ‘we are going to give Turkey a miss this year’. I understand it but what personally worries me more is travelling by public transport into Central London even though there is a reassuring presence of armed police. I cannot compare this to flying into Dalaman airport and making the transfer to the idyllic, fishing village of Kalkan.
As a child growing up in the 70’s IRA bombing was prevalent. I remember being hurried out of Oxford Street and being told by police loudspeakers to walk quickly down the middle of the road; effectively get away from the shop windows and out of the area as soon as possible. As a teenager in 1983 I left home destined for Harrods to do a bit of Christmas shopping the day of the bomb blast – luckily I changed my mind and stopped in Covent Garden. A work colleague was due to be at a client meeting in Travistock Square on 7/7 the day that London was rocked by a series of attacks and I’m sure we all know where we were when you think back to 7/11 and the horrific events in the US.
There is no denying we live in a scary world. The attacks in Paris, Brussels, Egypt and Tunisia have also hit the travel sector with the outbreak of the Zika virus adding to the woes. Turkey has also been hit extremely hard by recent events and many of the larger tour operators are either cancelling flights or significantly cutting back their operations. The Russians have cancelled all flights and both German and British visitor numbers are expected to be significantly down. The scaremongering in the press is not helping either.
I have heard local property owners in Kalkan tell me that even repeat visitors who had booked last year for this year are cancelling bookings which is a very worrying sign. Anyone who runs or works in a business in Kalkan is worried and the locals are already predicting a bad season. Their livelihoods are so dependent on the tourist season that the impact is potentially massive, a situation they have not created. This makes me very sad.
As a lover of Kalkan there are plenty of other people that share my thoughts and want to continue coming to Kalkan, spending amazing times there and support the people of Kalkan.
Alan Kennedy recently shared this thoughts on Facebook, on the Friends of Kalkan page so I thought it would be beneficial to share an extract. “Let's look at some facts. In November 2015 the World Economic Forum published a table comparing the dangers from terrorism in many countries. The rankings took into consideration both the frequency and severity of the attacks. Iran was rated the most dangerous with a score of 10 and together with Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria accounted for 78% of all attacks. Turkey with a score of 5.73 was 27th; safer than many other popular tourist destinations including India at no 6, Thailand (10), Philippines (11), Egypt (13), Kenya (18), China (22), Russia (23) and Israel (24). UK at 28 and a score of 5.6 was only a little safer. Greece (29), Bahrain (31) Indonesia (33), USA (35) and France (36 scoring 4.5) were only marginally safer. You are much more likely to be killed in a road accident in UK than to suffer even the slightest injury in a terrorist incident in Turkey”.
The FCO is advising against all travel to within 10km of the border with Syria. Kalkan is over 1000 kilometers to the boarder. London to both Paris and Brussels is much closer.
Whilst I cannot guarantee your safety in Kalkan. I can only seek to reassure you and give you the facts. Terrorism instils fear and submission by its very nature and if you buy into it then the terrorists have achieved their aim. The people of Turkey are going through a turbulent time now, but that does not mean tourists will not receive the same 100% quality service that the Turkish hospitality industry excels at.The choice is yours but I know where I would choose....the prize is Kalkan, my paradise.