They Stuck in Ölüdeniz on Return from Festival
The return of the university students who were in Butterfly Valley for the Tent Festival organized for the first time in Fethiye this year turned into a nightmare. 500 students who were taken by boats from the valley to Ölüdeniz Belcekiz Beach in the early hours of the morning could not leave because the buses could not get their money so students were stuck in Ölüdeniz for 10 hours.
World famous Butterfly Valley having 53 different butterfly species at Faralya Village of Ölüdeniz welcomed 1500 students from 19 different universities at Butterfly Valley Tent Festival. Students spent 3 days and 4 nights at the valley being chosen the fourth best natural beauty of the world by the Times Magazine of England and started to return at the morning hours in groups. 500 students who were woken up at about 05.00 a.m. got on the boats and were taken to Belcekiz Beach after 30 minute trip. The youth preparing to return İstanbul, Bursa, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Yalova, Bolu and Tekirdağ and getting on 14 buses kept waiting in Ölüdeniz were shocked when they found out the payment was not made to the bus firm so the buses were not going. Despite all the efforts, the bus drivers could not get their money from the organization company so they did not leave and 500 students got stuck in Ölüdeniz.
Students did not have a chance to return by themselves since they had spent all their money at the festival and started waiting in the shadow of trees with their stuff on the beach. While some students were sleeping because they are exhausted, some students had difficulty due to dehydration and hot weather. Students reacting against the Organization Company signed petitions and made a complaint against the organization company. The gendarmerie responded against the students who closed the traffic on Ölüdeniz Street and protested with applauds. After the roads were reopened to traffic, students and gendarmerie teams argued while the hopeless waiting continued.
Ümran Söylemez, a student from Kocaeli University, explained he paid 135 TL in cash for the festival; yet, the buses did not leave so they were going to file a charge against them at the prosecution office.
‘WE HAVE NO MONEY, WE ARE STARVING’
Betül Dayıoğlu, a student from Istanbul University, said they had no money as they spent all of them at the festival and they went hungry. Dayıoğlu explained they hit the bottom for 3-4 days because of alcohol and entertainment and they suffered now: “How can we get up early and have exams tomorrow. We didn’t deserve this. They didn’t even give us any blanket to cover ourselves. At least, they could have paid the transportation.”
Özge Sadıkoğlu, a student from Kocaeli University, said the festival turned into a nightmare and added, “Drivers said they were not paid. But we paid them in cash. Our final exams are beginning and we are late for all the classes. We are the victims here. We will claim our rights and carry on a lawsuit.”
Merve Güler, a student from Istanbul University, said, “They told us to be ready at 05.00 a.m. We were here at 06.00 a.m. It is 12.00 now and we still cannot move. Nobody took care of us. I must study for the final exams but I couldn’t do anything as I came to this camp. So I will get low marks from my exams. We were told 800 people would come to the festival but 1500 people came. I am astounded.”
DISTRICT GOVERNOR RESPONSES
After a long wait, students reached the district governor Ekrem Çalık by phone and told him that they must go back not to miss the exams and asked for help. After Çalık’s instruction, Fethiye Garrison Commander Major Faruk Akıncı and Fethiye Tourism Information Office Director Güle Uymaz talked to the bus firm managers. Faruk Akıncı maintained things happened here would have a bad effect on tourism in Ölüdeniz and after his attempts the bus drivers started taking students in the bus at 02.00 p.m.
Bus drivers started arguing due to park order and students being taken to the buses went to their schools under the custody of Major Fatih Akıncı.