For the fifth time this year, the Saudi embassy in Ankara warned Saudi tourists from being subject to exploitation, less than a month after issuing a similar alert.
In a statement Wednesday, it said the new alert came after several Saudi tourists fell victim to theft by Turkish car rental companies at Trabzon Airport and the city center.
This includes the withdrawal of money from their credit cards to fix their vehicles after they were in minor accidents or after suffering minor malfunctions in an attempt to force them to pay more money, it explained.
Earlier this month, the embassy issued a warning to its citizens regarding the safety of their belongings after a spate of cases involving the theft of Saudi passports in Istanbul.
It urged them to keep their belongings, valuables and passports safe, especially when visiting crowded areas in Turkish cities.
The alert was issued after several Saudis reported that they were victims of pickpocketing in some regions of Turkey.
Asharq Al-Awsat reported that 165 Saudi passports were stolen in three Turkish tourist spots in the past four months.
Saoud Al Nafei, Head of GCC Land Transport Committee, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday that the spread of car rental gangs in Turkey is a sign of lax Turkish efforts to protect tourists.
“Tourists should examine receipts when renting a car and make sure they do not include any sums that should be paid later,” he said.
Dr. Nasser Altayyar, a Saudi tourism expert, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the number of Saudi tourists in Turkey has decreased by around 30 percent compared to the same period last year.