Mayor of quake-hit Turkish resort says ‘keep holidaying’
Zeynep Bilgehan – MUĞLA
The mayor of the Aegean resort district of Bodrum, which was hit by a massive earthquake recently, has urged holidaymakers to continue their holidays, assuring them “all precautions are taken.”
Mehmet Kocadon, the mayor of the Bodrum district of the southern province of Muğla, has said the region was familiar with earthquakes and that life was returning to normal after the 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit the tourist resort and Greece early on July 21.
“Bodrum is a region familiar with earthquakes and all of our precautions are in place accordingly. Our slogan is: Keep holidaying! Continue to have fun, sunbathe and swim,” Kocadon told daily Hürriyet on July 23, adding that the shock of the earthquake, which didn’t cause any loss of lives, was overcome in a short period of time.
“As the earthquake experts are saying, the safest place in Turkey right now is Bodrum. No one left Bodrum. People got rid of the uneasiness they felt during the moment of panic. Normal life is continuing,” he said.
Saying that even an old structure like the Bodrum Castle was still standing, Kocadon noted that no one should leave their holidays unfinished or cancel their reservations and that “everyone is welcome.”
“If no houses or hotels were demolished by such a major earthquake, it proves that Bodrum is really an earthquake-resistant area,” he added.
Kocadon also criticized news reports that said a tsunami had occurred after the earthquake.
“There was no tsunami here. The fact that some boats were taken under maintenance on land after they were toppled because of the tides is being presented as if a tsunami took place. Hotels’ sunbeds and umbrellas being dragged into the sea does not indicate that a tsunami happened. We hope that the district undergoing such an earthquake with success presents an example to everyone,” he said.
Also speaking about the issue, Bodrum Touristic Hoteliers Managers and Investors Association (BODER) General-Secretary Orhan Kavala said business managers have been exerting massive efforts to get rid of the panic atmosphere caused by the earthquake.
“The operations in our businesses are running complete, properly and normal. All guests can prefer Bodrum for their holidays with a peace of mind,” Kavala said.
No cancelation of reservations was reported, according to authorities.
Holidaymakers, on the other hand, have been sleeping outdoors since the earthquake. Many tourists were seen sleeping inside their cars, on the streets and on sunbeds at the hotels they’re staying in.
A similar view was also seen in Greece’s Kos Island, where two people were killed in the earthquake, with tourists and locals hesitating to go inside their houses since aftershocks have been continuing in both countries.
Meanwhile, a magnitude-4 earthquake occurred in the Marmara province of Çanakkale late on July 22.