by Hailah Al-Mushawah
Tourism in Turkey will turn out to be very expensive. It may cost the tourist his own life.
On the Discovery channel, I watched a documentary showing how foreign tourists have been swindled in restaurants, coffee shops and other places in Turkey.
The reader may be surprised when he or she comes to know that these swindling operations are orchestrated with the collusion of the security authorities.
If a tourist objected to a high bill, which may exceed thousands of dollars, he or she will immediately consider going to the police. There the tourist will discover that the coordination between the police and the swindlers is at its highest.
The tourist will come to realize that he or she was a victim, a precious catch and an easy prey for an integrated swindling operation in which the police, who should protect him or her, are part of the conspiracy.
The media in the Kingdom has been warning Saudis not to travel to Turkey after it has become very clear that the Saudi tourist is not only the target of swindling operations but also physical attacks.
The social media has documented a number of incidents in Turkey targeting Saudi tourists in particular and the Gulf tourists in general.
Some other writers and columnists have been warning the citizens against going to Turkey for fear of their lives and properties.
Turkey has a long history of animosity toward the Arabs since the time of the Ottomans. Their history was full of brutalities and bloodshed. They had ambitions of expansion, which are now being carried out by the current Turkish regime.
Against this backdrop, some celebrities promote tourism to Turkey on Snapchat and other social media platforms advising Saudis to visit the country.
They are being told that they can buy real estate at cheap rates because the Saudi currency is very strong and has greater purchasing power than the Turkish lira, which is tumbling day after day.
In fact, the prices of the real estate in Turkey have been falling steeply and at the end of the day there will be no one to purchase them.
It is time we should have a serious attitude toward people who use Snapchat to promote tourism in Turkey. They only sell illusion to lure Saudis to visit Turkey, where they will be swindled out of their money.
They want people to go to Turkey though its economy is going down the drain and its currency has become valueless.
Some Saudi tourists believe that Turkey is a cheap destination for them because the falling lira.
This is totally incorrect. Whenever the price of the currency of a country goes down and its economy is in shambles, the security situation in that country will worsen. Cases of thefts, robberies, swindling and organized crime will keep surging.
End of the day, tourism in Turkey will turn out to be very expensive. It may cost the tourist his own life. For this very reason I ask all Saudis planning their summer vacation never to think of going to Turkey and those who have already made their bookings to change their destination because any other country in the world will be a better place to visit.
Article first appeared on Saudi Gazette.