As the issue of abortion and a possible ban is debated in Turkey, Baracuda Tourism has launched a campaign targeting woman who may want an abortion. Baracuda Tourism is currently offering discounts and special deals under the slogan “299 euros for three nights and four days, including the expenses of abortion.”
The campaign has drawn the attention of many on the Internet. The company’s executive board chairman Cem Polatoğlu stated that it is customers who have created such demand.
Emphasizing that the company is active in medical tourism in general, Polatoğlu said: “I know that many legal or illegal abortions have been performed in İstanbul. We lent an ear to the demands of our customers and calculated the total expenses of an abortion carried out in various countries. There is no hesitation on our part, unless such a campaign violates the law.”
Polatoğlu further explained: “We have agreements with three hospitals in Crimea, and health services there are free whether you are Crimean or not. So we do not charge any extra money for the abortion. In any case, we cannot charge; we are not doctors. We only send our customers to the Crimea; it is up to them to have an abortion.”
According to Polatoğlu, many of the women who have come to their company to ask about the offer are unmarried and fear the shame that might result from having an abortion in Turkey. It is the 15th day of the campaign, and Baracuda Tourism has already had 10 customers who wish to undergo an abortion. “All of the women we have sent abroad for abortion have returned to Turkey without suffering any health problems, and they have thanked us,” Polatoğlu stated.
The debate over the practice of abortion was ignited in May, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made public his belief that abortion is “murder” and that Cesarean sections are part of a “secret plot” to stall Turkey’s economic growth. The prime minister was heavily criticized by women’s rights groups, opposition lawmakers and media critics for his remarks.