Court rejects Booking.com’s objection against activity suspension in Turkey
ISTANBULA court has rejected an objection by online reservation website Booking.com against a suspension of its activities in Turkey.
The site was suspended in March due to following accusations of a local sector association against the website over unfair competition concerns.
The decision was made by an Istanbul court after a series of hearings on May 26, local news outlets reported.
Booking.com described the court decision as “disappointing” in a written statement, adding that it would appeal against it during the two-week legal time limit after the reasoned decision was notified to the parties.
“In this process, our services from within Turkey will remain inaccessible,” added the company.
The website can still be used from foreign countries to make reservations for Turkish hotels.
An Istanbul court on March 29 ordered the suspension of the activities of Booking.com in Turkey, citing accusations of unfair competition, following a lawsuit filed by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB). The website, which had around 13,000 hotel members from Turkey, halted selling rooms in Turkey to Turkish users on March 30, one day after the court decided to block the website in the country.
Dozens of legal and real persons flocked to the courtroom to voice their opposition to the Booking.com ban, citing the losses they have incurred from the decision.
In a hearing at the Istanbul’s 5th First Instance Court of Commerce, nine tour operators, nine hotels and a tourism company, three real persons and two sector associations, the Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB) and the Bodrum Touristic Hoteliers Association voiced complaints agai