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30 Jun, 2007 13:51

Holiday misery for Russian kids in Turkey

A group of parents may take legal action against a tour company after a holiday in Turkey for their children was ruined. The hotel in the resort of Antalya was overbooked and it is claimed some of the children were forced to spend a night on a beach.

The parents of some of the 74 children who went to Turkey gathered in the corridors of the building in Moscow where the Yutem tour agency office is located to ask the company what was going on with their children. For four days they were not able to get any coherent information on their conditions.

Some of the youngsters did manage to contact their parents and the way they described the tour made parents raise the alarm.

“When they arrived they've been told that their rooms had been occupied by a VIP delegation”, said Irina whose 17-year-old daughter is one of the children who flew to Turkey to enjoy their summer holidays on a hot seashore of Antalya. Irina was only able to talk to her 4 days after she left Moscow on June 6.

“Instead of settling them in other rooms, the hotel sent the kids to a two-day journey by bus in that intolerable Turkish heat. Kids weren't even able to take their personal things, my daughter was travelling all the way in a bikini. Many got badly sunburnt. The tour agency is solely responsible for the badly organised trip. They knew that the rooms had been booked and yet they still didn't cancel, sending our kids to unplanned trip and forcing them to spend the nights I do not know where,” Irina told.

The parents were not even able to enter the office of the tour agency until media attention was drawn to the case and an aid of a state Duma deputy joined the parents cause.

“They couldn't get any information on where their children were and what they were doing,” Aid of State Duma Deputy Svetlana Tikhomirova said.

Meanwhile, the door finally opened and a statement was made which angered parents even more.

“Everything has been under control. The parents are inclined to exaggerate things. Now all the kids are settled in and I'm sure they're having a good time. The issue of compensation, that the parents are looking for, will be solved, obviously, through the courts,” said Natalya Kryukova, manager of the Yutep tour agency.

The lawyer representing the parents says children's rights have been violated and the tour agency has to bear full responsibility.

“The kids have spent their first night in the bus. The second girls were taken to a hotel where they had to sleep three together on one tiny bed while the boys had to sleep on the beach on beach chairs. Other conditions of this trip are being clarified,” lawyer Evgeniya Maksimova commented.

Meanwhile, after nights of unrest, parents were informed that their children finally were finally accommodated and are alive and well. As for the children, they can have fun, whatever the conditions. It is usually the parents who bare all the worry. Kids say that the hotel is great, the weather is fine and they are going to spend a great time there. Some of them also say their parents were a bit overpanicked in this situation.