Author`s name Ольга Савка

Traveling agency goes bankrupt leaving hundreds of Russian tourists homeless in Turkey

When a group of holiday-makers arrived in Turkey and came to check in the hotel, the hotel management told them to leave

Over 70 Russian tourists found themselves in a very unpleasant situation shortly before Tourism Day, which is celebrated in the world today. Instead of enjoying the sunshine, the beach and the sea, the tourists had to spend three days in Turkey living in the streets and beating down the doors of Turkish bureaucratic offices.

The story started on Saturday, September 24, when managers of a Turkish hotel, in which the tourists were supposed to be accommodated, told 70 Russian citizens to leave. The hotel management told the people that the traveling agency AzTur had not paid for their rooms. The managers said that the tourists would have to pay $30,000 in total to be able to stay in the hotel.

To make matters worse, the tourists were shocked to find out that they would not be able to fly back to Moscow: the traveling agency had not paid for their return tickets either. A bus did not come to pick the tourists up on Sunday when the people packed their things and prepared to leave for the airport.

It became known later that the company AzTur sent a group of 70 Russian tourists to Turkey and immediately declared its bankruptcy. The company's offices in Moscow were found closed, and it was impossible to find any of its representatives too. The traveling agency did not give return tickets to the tourists, but only said that they would get the tickets on their way back to Moscow at the airport of Antalya, Turkey.

Five tourists from the group arrived at the airport at their own expense, but they were not allowed to board any plane and depart to Moscow. The people had to spend 24 hours at the airport. Other deceived tourists tried to do something to protect their rights and decided to ask Turkish bureaucratic institutions for help but failed to succeed.

Spokespeople for the Russian consulate office in Antalya interfered in the scandal and helped the unfortunate holiday-makers. Russian diplomats persuaded the hotel management to let the people stay for only one night. Thirty-eight people purchased plane tickets to Moscow the next day, on Monday morning. All other people returned to Russia on Monday evening too, when another traveling agency agreed to help the tourists and paid for their flight to Moscow.

Another group of tourists was a lot luckier, though. They arrived at the Moscow airport of Domodedovo holding traveling vouchers, which they purchased form AzTur as well. The holiday-makers did not suspect anything and were about to board a plane and leave to Turkey to have a horrible vacation there. Those who returned from the Turkish captivity hope to receive compensations for the ruined holidays, although their chances for it are not high.

”The tourists are not likely to receive compensations both for plane tickets and holidays. If a company goes bankrupt, it obviously means that it does not have any funds for such payments. In addition, the company disappears physically and there is no one whom people can claim money from,” the press secretary of the Russian Union of Tourism, Irina Tyurina said. The secretary added that the people could hope that law-enforcement authorities would find the founders of the ruined traveling agency.

It turns out that there are many other Russian tourists who suffered losses from the activity of AzTur: the Russian Consulate General Office in Antalya, Turkey, has already received 150 new complaints.

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