Authorities in Çeşme, a renowned Aegean resort town in the western Turkish province of Izmir, banned setting up tents or parking motor homes in public spaces, parks, orchards and other similar places. The cause of the ban is not clear though some local municipalities employ similar bans from time to time to prevent pollution and forest fires.
Turkish media outlets reported that the district governorate requested the ban and the municipality approved it. According to the decision, people will be banned from parking their motor homes or setting up tents in places ranging from beaches to parks. Designated spaces for motorhomes were also closed.
Motor home or caravan holidays and tent camps became more popular, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when people sought more secluded holiday options. Rising prices and interest in holidays that are more “natural” also boosted the demand. Yet, locals and fellow holidaymakers often complain that motor home holidaymakers and those vacationing in tents often randomly dump their waste, harming the environment. Turkey is also on high alert against forest fires after large swathes of land were gutted by blazes last year. Forest fires are often attributed to inflammable material left behind by picnickers and campers. Several forests across the country are already closed to camping for the summer.
Çeşme’s eclectic mix of pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, windsurfing and quiet neighborhoods with picturesque sea views draw holidaymakers from across Turkey and abroad every summer. Next week, it will see an exceptional influx, with the nine-day Qurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha) holiday. More than a million people are expected to visit the small town daily during the upcoming holiday. The town already saw hotels resuming their pre-pandemic bookings and local hoteliers expect no vacancies.