Turkish Citizens Protests as Cruise Ship Event Blocks Entry to Ephesus Library

citizens protests against Amerikan Wind Star Cruise ship dining event at ephesus library

Last night, an unexpected event at the ancient city of Ephesus caused significant uproar among Turkish citizens. The Library of Celsus, a major attraction in Ephesus Library, was closed to local visitors due to a private dining event organized for passengers from the American Wind Star Cruise Ship.

As Turkish visitors arrived at the library, they were met with barricades and denied entry. This exclusion sparked immediate outrage among the locals, who had come to appreciate the extended visiting hours recently implemented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. As part of the 2024 tourism season, the ministry had extended the hours of museums and archaeological sites, allowing places like Ephesus to remain open until midnight. This initiative aimed to offer more convenience and service to visitors, enhancing their overall experience. You can read our blog about Ephesus at Night

However, the reality last night was far from the intended goal. Upon encountering the barriers, Turkish citizens expressed their frustration vocally. The sight of tables set up within the historic library, reserved for a private event for foreign cruise ship tourists, only fueled their anger. The situation quickly escalated with booing and whistling from the crowd, as they demanded access to the Ephesus library.

In response to the protests, the foreign tourists, who were part of the dining event, decided to leave the premises. The event organizers promptly dismantled the setup, removing tables and shutting off the lights in the library. The abrupt end of the event did little to quell the dissatisfaction among the local visitors.

The incident did not stay confined to the ancient city; it quickly spread across social media platforms. Videos and photos of the confrontation were shared widely, attracting numerous comments and criticisms from the public. Many users voiced their disappointment and anger over the prioritization of foreign tourists over local citizens in such a historically significant site.

This incident raises questions about the balance between accommodating international tourism and respecting the rights and access of local citizens to their cultural heritage. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, tasked with managing these sites, faces a challenge in ensuring that such conflicts do not arise again, and that all visitors, both local and international, can enjoy these treasures equally.

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