By Ali Balli
MUGLA, Turkey (AA) – Foreigners permanently residing in Turkey’s southwestern Mugla province, often described as one of the world's prominent touristic destinations, feel safe amid the coronavirus pandemic thanks to the measures adopted to stem the spread of the virus.
With its historical background and natural wonders, foreigners opt to permanently settle in the Bodrum district of Mugla.
While they do not want to return to their home countries due to the pandemic, foreigners gladly welcome services provided and measures adopted in the context of fighting against the virus.
British citizen Dawn Marshall, 60, who is a mother of four and grandmother of six, is one of those who was fascinated by the beauty of the district and decided to settle there 16 years ago.
Marshall, a retired advertiser, said she was in the UK along with her husband when the COVID-19 outbreak first erupted there and the situation looked dire.
The senior couple returned to Turkey later on and felt much safer as most of the people paid attention to measures such as wearing masks and social distancing.
Marshall said she appreciated the restrictions and measures and she would never think of leaving Turkey, which has become her second home.
Her husband, Norman, 69, said things were going smoothly in Turkey and his friends were also satisfied with measures taken by local authorities in the district.
– ‘Bodrum is like a paradise’
Russian animal trainer Ekaterina Chirkunova, another resident of Bodrum, said she had enjoyed her vacation in Bodrum and later decided to settle in the district.
“I feel like I’m at my own home thanks to the precautions,” said 34-year-old Chirkunova, adding “Bodrum is like a paradise.”
Stating that Turkey's measures were appropriate unlike that in several other countries, she noted that lockdown restrictions reduced the count of COVID-19 cases and people could maintain their daily life to some extent.
The Russian woman further noted that she had lived in the US, UK and Spain but finally moved to Turkey where she found peace and joy.
Claire Fazla, 44, a British citizen, said living conditions in Turkey were good and she preferred to stay at home along with her family during the pandemic.
The British woman went on to say that Turkey’s reaction to the pandemic was well enough and the imposition of fines on those violating anti-virus regulations was a deterrent.
“I have made good friendships here and Turkey has an important place for us,” she said, and added that shopping malls and hospitals made her life easier.
Victoria Salmina, another Russian woman, said Turkish people are respectful and that she decided to settle in Bodrum in 2016 and enjoys her life since then.
Salmina, a 49-year-old mother of two working in the tourism sector, said she strictly followed mask and hygiene protocols in the country and felt safe in Turkey.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas