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Illness In Turkey Ruins Holidaymakers’ Wedding Anniversary

Holiday ruined by gastric illness


A couple from Stoke on Trent are amongst seven British holidaymakers taking legal action against Thomas Cook after their holiday to Bodrum in Turkey was ruined by gastric illness.

Anita Bennett (51) travelled with her husband Paul (45) to the Club Belizia Hotel in Turkey in August 2008, booked through tour operator, Thomas Cook. The week-long holiday had been organised to celebrate the couple’s third wedding anniversary.

A few days into the holiday, Mrs Bennett was struck down with gastric illness, suffering diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sickness. As a result, the couple’s much anticipated anniversary celebrations in Turkey were ruined and they were unable to participate in any of the excursions they had planned. Mrs Bennett was so ill that she had to be hospitalised and placed on a drip.

Mrs Bennett alleges that hygiene standards were poor in the hotel. Food in the restaurant was left uncovered, which allowed flies to land on it. She also stated that some of the meats, such as chicken, appeared to be undercooked and were in fact pink in the middle when served. Mrs Bennett also states that on several occasions the food was not hot when it was served.

"I was looking forward to spending time with my husband and celebrating our anniversary in Turkey,” says Mrs Bennett.  “Instead, I had a frightening experience which has left me with continuing symptoms.  My bowel habits have not returned to normal and I am struggling to sleep at night.  I was diagnosed with Giardia by the hospital in Turkey."

Giardia is a parasite which, if swallowed, causes symptoms such as diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting. The most common cause of Giardia amongst travellers is through consumption of food or water that has become contaminated with faeces.

Amandeep Dhillon, a lawyer with travel law specialists Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, who is representing the couple, commented: “This is not the first reported incident at the Club Belizia. In fact, we have acted for a family who successfully claimed compensation from Thomas Cook after their holiday in 2004 was blighted by illness.  We have now received further complaints from British holidaymakers who have been affected by illness this summer and we are aware that many others were also ill at the hotel. 

“Holidaymakers should be able to look forward to their holiday without the fear of suffering health problems, as sadly happened in this case.  We expect to receive further instructions from other holidaymakers who stayed at the Club Belizia in Turkey over the summer to claim compensation.”

If you have been affected by illness on holiday, find out more about making a holiday illness claim.