“Please take a look at the safety precautions and tell me about it!” we were asked by our travel agent Lisa – bless her soul! – who helped arrange many of our adventures through her agency “Lisa’s Reiseagentur”.
To fly to Turkey shortly after the attack in Istanbul was apparently unthinkable for some of her clients. So we had a closer look on safety and security measures.
Airport in Antalya
The airport was empty on our arrival. Shortly before our arrival, a SunExpress airplane from Berlin had touched down which left Tegel Airport just before our AirBerlin flight. No other passengers in sight at this time of day. Fellow passengers told us that the airport is usually busier and that it being so empty is quite amazing.
The walk from the airplane to passport control was done in 5 minutes and at 4 open counters no more than 3 passengers queued. The passport was checked and stamped – finished! No questions, no waiting time!
Our suitcases quickly moved through customs without further controls. Nothing hinted at raised security standards or added safety measures. From the building, we proceeded to the service desk where we had our names checked and then we were off to the bus to the hotel. Again without additional controls.
So there was really nothing to be noticed in terms of additional security checks. We also didn’t see police, soldiers or other security forces.
The departure from Antalya, however, was more time-consuming. First, our luggage and hand luggage had to be taken through a security. We were also checked but were surprisingly able to keep our drinks.
Afterwards, we were able to check in our luggage and to get our boarding passes. We went on through passport control and then we had to go through another security check with our hand luggage. Our electronic devices had to be completely switched off for that. Only then did we get to departures. Fortunately, there weren’t many flights scheduled for that time, so waiting times were short. I can imagine that you have to wait for very long at busier times.
There also wasn’t any additional security staff in and around our hotel. The entrance from the street was “guarded” by a porter, but everyone who briefly waved a room card or the obligatory wristband was able to enter the complex. Vehicles were also “checked” by him by before opening the barrier. So access to the hotel was actually pretty easy.
Same deal with the entrance from the beach side. A guard, unarmed, sat in a small house at the main entrance to the pool area. A smaller sidewalk was completely unsupervised. A gate with a padlock was supposed to offer additional security but it was wide open! From the beach, the wristband was enough to enter the hotel grounds.
That is not what a secured hotel complex looks like!
On our walks, we could also get an impression of the situation in other hotels and also the handling in the nearby shopping malls. From the street side and also from the beach side the hotels were secured by simple guards. Some of the hotels which were still in hibernation during off season were only guarded at the street side. The access from the beach was secured with locked gates. The only “security check” that suggested a little extra safety happened on one of our shopping days where we had to pass through a metal detector. Only the umbrella, which we squeezed past the side of the metal detector, did not get checked.
Our conclusion on security:
We did not feel unsafe during our stay. But there were also no additional safety measures to protect tourists. Perhaps it is a little different in larger cities. But in this small place, which really only consisted of hotels, we did not have the feeling of not being safe at any time.