Visitor surge piles pressure on Turkey’s coastal resorts

An influx of visitors to Turkey’s coastal resorts over the Eid al-Adha holiday has resulted in shortages of local water and electricity supplies, Hürriyet Daily News reported on Thursday.

The population of Çeşme, a seaside town in the western province of İzmir, has risen from 46,000 to more than 1 million, putting pressure on local services, the newspaper said.

More than 500,000 vehicles arrived in the town in the space of three days, it added, citing the town’s mayor Ekrem Oran.

“These are one of the most crowded days in the town’s history. All hotels and boarding houses are full in Çeşme,” Oran said.

Elsewhere, popular holiday destination Bodrum has seen its population more than double this week to 1 million, Hürriyet Daily News said.

The surge in demand for food and accommodation has resulted in widespread reports of price gauging as local businesses seek to cash in, it said.

There are also concerns visitors are failing to observe COVID-19 social distancing measures in already busy public spaces.

Turkey marked Eid al-Adha, the second most significant festival in the Islamic calendar, with a five-day national holiday that began on Monday.

More than 10 million people are expected to travel within the country during this period, which is often used to visit friends or family.

(This story was updated to correct typo in headline.)