Çeşme to become health bridge between Turkey and the Netherlands

The rich thermal sources of the Aegean coastal town of Çeşme and the treatment facilities in the region have been the focus of attention for Dutch investors and health tourism professionals. Around 150,000 Dutch patients will come to Turkey if a health tourism project between the two countries is put into practice.

The health tourism project, a joint project by the Netherlands and Çeşme, aims to utilize Çeşme's thermal sources and treatment facilities in İzmir and Çeşme in health tourism in a most effective way as well as to make them available for Dutch patients through agreements with health insurance companies.

A group of representatives from the World Bank and Dutch finance and insurance companies came to Çeşme last week to negotiate the details of the project together with Çeşme-based private sector representatives and the local authorities. The Çeşme Altın Yunus, Ontur and Sisus hotels and Kuşadası Tour, Sun Express and Turkish airport operator TAV Airports Holding as well as Çeşme-based private and state-run hospitals, the İzmir Governorship and the İzmir Municipality are supporting the project, reported the Doğan News Agency.
İlker Yeşilmen of the Altın Yunus Hotel said health care in the Netherlands was expensive and the treatment of people over the age of 65 was covered by insurance companies. “Treatment could be provided in İzmir and Çeşme, home to rich thermal spas with facilities for therapeutic treatments and well-equipped hospitals, in a cost-effective way. Dutch tourists can thus enjoy the region's natural beauty and recover for a reasonable price in Çeşme. The project will contribute to the economy of Çeşme and İzmir,” he said.

Yeşilmen said they had already reached a consensus with Dutch representatives in the delegation for the treatment of 1.5 million patients over the age of 65 in Çeşme.

“We are trying to realize the project as soon as possible. Patients will come to Çeşme via tours and receive treatment for a day at hospitals in Çeşme and in İzmir and stay at hotels supporting the project,” he noted.
İZMİR - Turkish Daily News


Spa tourism to detox winter blues

Detoxification, the health god of many a modern urbanite, seem set to work its revitalizing magic on Turkey’s somewhat listless winter tourism. Bodrum’s Hotel Kempinski Barbaros Bay is attracting guests even in the short days of the cold months with its pioneering detox programs for high-flying hedonists.

Winter has always been the low season for hotels on Turkey's southern coast, however all that is about to change with the ushering in of “spa tourism.”

The Turkish Daily News' sister paper Referans spoke to the management of one of Bodrum's newest and most high-profile hotels to find out more. The Hotel Kempinski Barbaros Bay opened its doors last year and has focused on spa tourism in order to increase winter occupancy rates with its pioneering detoxification – or detox – program as the main attraction.

Discussing ways to tackle the winter lull in tourist numbers, the hotel's General Manager Michael Sorgenfrey suggested that more international hotel chains in the region boost off-season tourism. He added that Kempinski had been the first international hotel chain to establish a presence in Bodrum, followed by Hawthorn last summer, and that other chains were also interested. More hotel chains means more charter travel to Bodrum, which ups the chances for winter visitors, he explained.

Spa tourism has thrown a lifeline to Bodrum, Sorgenfrey claimed. “In Turkey there is a quite a group interested in spa centers, and detox programs in particular. Our primary goal is to reach these people. We are one of the only two hotels open [in winter].” He explained that they were interested not only in domestic spa tourism, but also in attracting guests from overseas.

The hotel used the winter season to target companies rather than individuals, in many cases the process being one of symbiosis, with the Kempinski providing a two- or three-day program during conferences to “companies that educate other companies in detox programs,” Sorgenfrey said. Detox is certainly becoming big business, and, according to the general manager, it's even “hip.”

The Kempinski Barbaros Bay offers three or five-day detox programs based on “a well-balanced diet accompanied by special detox massages to help the metabolism work well,” explained Sorgenfrey. This is in marked contrast to the general perception – and treatment – of detox programs as slimming programs in disguise.

The price tag starts at 500 euros but with additional treatments costs can rise as high as 2,000 euros. There is a distinct set of luxury lovers in Turkey, and Sorgenfrey underlined that these high-flying hedonists would ensure the success of spa tourism in Turkey.

What of the competition? As one of the leading tourism markets in the world Croatia has made a serious leap forward in spa tourism, he noted. “Many international hotel chains have started business in Croatian towns. Most recently the world-famous Aman Resort, which is running hotels with a 30-year lease period in three different locations in Croatia.” However, he remained optimistic “After all, there are many foreigners with houses in Bodrum. These too hold great potential for us.”

In Istanbul at Nişantaşı's Sofa Hotel, the Taylife Detox and Wellness Center run by Turkish dietician Taylan Kümeli is among Turkey's best detox centers. Thalassotherapy and balneotherapy, slimming, anti-aging, steam and metabolism-rejuvenation treatments as well as physical exercise, stress removal and relaxation programs are available, as are massage, fitness and cardio centers.

Kempinski currently has three hotels in Turkey; in Istanbul, Antalya and Bodrum. The chain also has two residence projects in the pipeline with launches planned for this summer.



Sultaniye Thermal Baths and Hot Springs at Koycegiz, Fethiye

The town of Koycegiz lies at the northern end of a lake of the same name (Koycegiz Lake) which is joined to the Mediterranean Sea by a natural channel called Dalyan Delta or simply as Dalyan. On the west side of the Koycegiz Lake and on the skirts of the Olemez Mountain, lies the thermal springs and hot baths of Sultaniye. Sultaniye Baths are about 4 km. away from the world-known mud baths of Dalyan delta.

The spring water temperature in the Sultaniye Baths is around 42 degrees celcius. There are mainly three springs in the region, Buyuk Hamam Spring, Kubbeli Hamam Spring and the Sultaniye Drinking Spring. Each spring contains one of all of the following properties - Chlorine, sodium, hydrogen sulphide, bromide, radioactive, hyperthermal, hypertonic. The Sultaniye Springs help to heal Rheumatic, respiratory and epidermal ailments, poor circulation and heart disease, nervous conditions, gynaecological, kidney and urinary tract conditions, poor metabolism. There are a great variety of accommodation facilities in the region due to the touristic popularity of the coasts of South-West Turkey.


Yalova Thermal Baths in Turkey

Yalova Thermal Baths are located in Yalova, Turkey about 80 km. away from Istanbul in Turkey. The huge complex, lying on a land of about 1,6 mill. square meters, is located 12 km. away from Yalova. There are 4 hotels, one of which is an apart, in the complex. There 5 baths in the complex which also possess historical value.

The 66 degrees celcius hot thermal spring water is good for rheumatic diseases, digestion system diseases, liver and gallbladder diseases, metabolic obesity, gout, kidney and ureter diseases, skin diseases, the diseases following orthopedic operations, gynecologic diseases and all types of convalescence period diseases.

The Kursunlu and Valide Baths were built 1700 years ago during the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. After the earthquakes and wars, they were both abandoned after some time. In 1900, Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecit renovated the baths and the saunas. The other two baths of the Yalova Thermal Baths and Hot springs are the Sultan and Sira Baths which contains private family rooms for private bathing.

There's also an open pool that is completely filled with thermal spring water which is about 38 celcius degrees. The pool is 22 meters long and 11 meters wide. The pool is active even during winter months because of its hot thermal water.

The thermal water of the Yalova Thermal Baths has a mineralization level of 1500 mg per liter. The thermal water is colorless and clear. Yalova Thermal Baths were chosen "the most beneficial thermal baths" of the world in a contest in Rome.


Balcova (Agamemnon) Thermal Hot Springs in Izmir, Turkey

One of the most well-known thermal hot springs of Turkey is the Agamemnon Thermal Springs located in Balcova, Izmir. The spa center takes its name from the famous Agamemnon of the Trojan War who used these springs as a cure center for his wounded soldiers at the Trojan War which lasted for 10 years.

The Balcova Thermal Hot Springs were also used by famous profiles like Alexander the Great and Roman Emperor Caesar too. During the Byzantine period, the thermal springs were abandoned. After the Ottoman acquirance of the Izmir region, the thermal springs were renovated in 1415. After the final renovation and modernization of the thermal springs, the facility took current situation. This final modernization was soon discovered and approved by the Scandinavian Governmental and Private Health Organizations. Because of this, Balcova Thermal Therapy Springs is especially very popular among the North European visitors.

This popular historic spa center has signed an agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Health which as a result some 1,000 Norwegian patients visit the Balcova Thermal therapy Center every year. 95% of treatment success rate mostly against rheumatism is achieved.

Thermal Hot Springs Therapy and Spa Facilities and Centers in Turkey

A thermal hot springs is a natural resource of water that is produced by the emergence of geothermally heated underground water coming up from the earth's crust. There are thermal springs all over the world even under the oceans and lakes. It is proved that the regions within the earthquake zone have extensive thermal hot springs capacity. Turkey, also being in an earthquake zone, have many thermal hot springs and spa centers distributed throughout the country. I will give you detailed information about the thermal hot springs in Turkey in this blog.
Being located on top of a major geothermal belt, Turkey is among the top seven countries in the world for quality and quantity of thermal hot springs with over a thousand of them having temperatures ranging from 20ºC to 110ºC.
Most thermal hot springs of Turkey are in the Marmara and Aegean regions and because of their proximity to popular travel destinations such as Istanbul, Izmir, Pamukkale and Marmaris, public transport is easy. Many of Turkey’s historical places developed because of their springs, like the ancient city of Hieropolis which was built upon the rich mineral springs of Pamukkale, and the ancient Kaunos, whose people took baths in the rich mineral mud of Lake Koycegiz.