Turkey enjoying boom in Islamic tourism

July 8th, 2008 - 5:28 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 8 (ANI): Turkey beaches, famous for bikini-clad Europeans have become a popular holiday spot of devout Muslims, who wear head-to-toe swimsuits.

Serafettin Ulukent, who opened his holiday village in a cove on Turkey’’s Aegean coast in the 1980s, said his first guests were German surfers, who enjoyed the brisk winds, cool beers and chilled-out beach parties.

But since he stepped in one day to help 100 conservative Turkish Muslims abandoned by a tour operator, his resort has become the favourite holiday destinations for Muslims.

“The surfers were fun, but these people had real money,” Telegraph quoted him as saying.

Ulukent’’s resort was the first in Turkey catering wholly to devout Muslims with no alcohol, segregated bathing, and a pastry cook who earns an extra 60 pounds a month to sing the call to prayer five times a day.

However many Turks single out the hotels as evidence of the impact of religious conservatism.

Fatma Sarioglu, a guest, said she was the one demanding a summer holiday in an Islamic hotel, not her husband.

“He and the kids can swim anywhere they like,” she said. “If these sorts of places didn”t exist, I”d have to content myself with the women’’s hour at the municipal pool,” she said. (ANI)

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