Expensive services at Turkish beach clubs spark controversy once again
BURAK COŞAN – ISTANBUL
With the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and the reopening of the tourism season in Turkey, high-priced services offered at luxury private beaches and hotels operating in the coastal regions have revived a heated debate on social media.
Having a dip in the sea has become increasingly more expensive, as private beach clubs are spreading like wildfire across Turkey’s popular coastal holiday spots.
The sale of one-and-a-half portions of döner kebab for about 350 liras ($51) and a cup of Turkish coffee for about 50 liras ($7,30) on a beach at a famous hotel operating in the resort town of Bodrum has sparked major controversy.
Hürriyet daily investigated the entrance fees of the beaches and prices of food and beverage services provided there after customers shared receipts on social media.
As many facilities have reduced the number of sunbeds to enforce the social distance rule on beaches, most of the hotels that used to welcome customers only for beach use without accommodation have abandoned this practice.
There was a slight increase in prices with the decrease in the number of customers and the number of beaches to visit compared to last year, according to the report.
While there has been no change in the entrance to the restaurant named Maçakızı in Bodrum, those who want to use the beach of the facility should spend 550 liras ($80) per person per day.
Those who want to benefit from the open buffet should pay 350 liras ($51) per person, as the prices of food such as pizzas, pitas and hamburgers in the venue varies between 100 and 135 liras ($15-20).
The beach of Biblos Resort Alaçatı in the Aegean province of İzmir’s Alaçatı town can be used by customers daily. However, the price per person to be paid for the use of the beach only is 400 liras ($58).
This price includes sun beds, umbrellas and towels, as well as one cocktail drink.
If the hotel’s food and beverage facilities are to be used, a fee of 100 liras ($14.50) is charged for one lahmacun, 100-120 liras ($14.50 - $16.50) for pita and 90 to 100 liras ($13.50-$14.50) for hamburgers.
The fee for entry to Kuum Beach, another famous resort in Bodrum, is 200 liras ($29) per person, and the use of towels, sunbeds, umbrellas are included in the entrance fee.
An average of 70-120 liras ($10-$16.50) per person is required for main meals on the beach where there is no spending limit.
Entrance fee for Swissotel Resort Beach in Bodrum is 300 liras ($43), and 175 liras ($25.50) is given as an entrance fee, while the remaining 125 liras ($17) covers food or drink on the beach.
Touristic facilities in Turkey cannot legally charge fees for beach use, but some beach clubs may charge for the use of umbrellas, deck chairs and towels.
The monthly minimum wage in Turkey is about 2,324 liras ($338), showing a stark gap between the average citizen in the country and those who can enjoy these beaches.