The Turkish government will allow the country’s first nudist hotel to open next month, in a move seen by some as part of liberalization efforts intended to gain Turkey membership in the European Union. Hotel Adaburnu-Gelmar will be opened in Datca, on the southwest coast of Turkey, on May 1. The hotel will have its own beach, but guests will not be allowed to venture into other nearby sea sides.
“We have the go-ahead from the Turkish government,” Lynsey Pittaway, an operations and sales executive for Peng Travel, a UK-based provider of naturist holidays, told The Media Line. “It’s hotel standard, it’s all inclusive and it’s in a remote area so it’s taken off quite well.”
“We know it’s a Muslim country but it’s remote,” she said of the location, adding that clients have not shown concern over attending a nudist hotel in a country with a relatively modest, conservative culture. “After 20:00, everyone is fully dressed anyway.”
The hotel will allow nudity on the hotel grounds from 8a.m. to 8p.m.
“Whilst guests are expected to cover up indoors, there is a pool bar serving drinks and an outdoor dining terrace by the pool where guests may eat au-naturel,” reads an advertisement for the hotel on the Peng Travel website. “The hotel has its own serviced naturist beach a 20 minute drive away and provides a free shuttle service.”
To date Peng Travel has taken around 100 bookings for the pre-summer season, with most clients from Britain but some from Turkey.
While the hotel caters exclusively to tourists, Turks who make a reservation through a foreign tour operator can be classified as tourists.
Though Turkey maintains a staunchly secular society, much of the population still nurtures traditional values and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) has conservative religious leanings.
Some see the hotel’s opening as a move towards the West, in an effort to present Turkey as upholding liberal values. But over the last few years Turkey has been forging strong ties with its Muslim neighbors while continuing its bid to become a member of the EU.
Ebru Ilhan, assistant program officer at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), downplayed the political aspects of opening a nudist establishment in Turkey.
“The current government is known for staunch neoliberal policies and it’s an area where they’ve been consistent,” Ilhan told The Media Line. “They are pro-market and pro-integration with the EU for the sake of expanding opportunities and they’re also in favor of investment. So when you see new developments it’s less a political message and more of an economic one.”
“I wouldn’t necessarily call this an anomaly because there is already a lot of diversity in the new liberal markets that Turkey is offering,” she said. “There are these conflicting developments and that’s normal because Turkey is far from being uniform in its lifestyle preferences or in the extent of cultural and commercial products which it consumes and offers.
Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7018509263#ixzz0mEetWkZo