A “coronavirus-proof” summer house in Turkey’s Aegean resort town of Didim is up for sale online, and the buyer will get 10 litres of traditional sanitiser as a gift – just in case.
Could it be a way of escaping the spreading pandemic?
As the number of confirmed cases jumped to more than 350 from only a single case in less than 10 days, Turks are bracing for a lockdown. Some dealers have taken the opportunity to spice up their trade online.
“My goal was to cheer up people through these depressing days,” says 29-year-old realtor Emre Sahin, who is selling the 3-storey Didim villa, in the city of Aydin, some 620 kilometres to the south-east of Istanbul.
More than 600 people from across Turkey have called Sahin since the weekend, some just to congratulate him on his humour, others interested in real business.
Sahin is giving away 10 litres of the lemon-scented cologne, a traditional alcohol-based disinfectant which Turks offer to guests at home, in taxis or in cafes, as hospitality demands.
The demand for cologne skyrocketed amid the outbreak of coronavirus, with Health Minister Fahrettin Koca promoting its use.
That sent people to search for it in the black market. To stop profiteering, the government restricted its exports. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced free cologne, and masks, to people aged 65 or older.
The offer was initially only for Istanbul and the capital, Ankara. “Some people called only to ask for the cologne. I am serious, you can buy a home with it nowadays,” Sahin said when reached by phone.
The villa is still on sale for 630,000 Turkish liras (97,000 dollars). A cologne producer company even offered to publicise the sale, Sahin added. “They wanted to send their own product with which the buyer can pose for an advertisement,” he said.
Some other realtors take the issue to a new level. “At a height even coronavirus cannot reach,” reads one sales advert of an apartment on the 13th floor, in Ankara.
“Are you ready for a healthy life at the 960-metre-altitude,” reads another advert of a farm house in the Aegean city of Izmir. For coronavirus quarantine”, reads the headline for the Izmir house on online sale platform Sahibinden.com.
On the same website sits a car sale advert that reads “Disinfected car. Not a single person with coronavirus has driven it. “It is normally not nice to make fun of a deadly epidemic.
“But we still want to put a smile on people’s faces,” says Seyfettn Bayram, explaining that he hoped the headline would attract buyers to his 2014-model sedan passenger car, on sale for 95,000 liras (14,600 dollars)
Some others cater to personal hygiene. “Corona-repellent” olive oil soap for 25 liras each from Ayvalık in the Aegean city of Balikesir, reads another advert.
Others promise the power of healthy nutrition will help you survive. “Antidote for corona,” reads one honey advertisement.
One dealer claims his home-made black mulberry molasses from the eastern city of Elazig is the perfect “cure for coronavirus.” It is just one click away, and for 20 liras per litre.
The Trade Ministry last week warned against panic-buying due to the pandemic and said it would fine dealers for any misleading online sale advertisements related to the case. (dpa/NAN)
– Mar. 20, 2020 @ 14:09 GMT |