The operations must be carried out under hospital-standard hygiene conditions and with the guidance of a specialist doctor, otherwise there is always the risk of losing the remaining hair without regaining any hair,” said Makbule Ezmeoglu, director of the Ankara branch of Estetik International told Arab News.
There are other dangers. Last year, an Iraqi-born British citizen was beaten up and robbed by a gang at a so-called hair transplant clinic. The man, who worked for an international money transfer company in London, had booked his treatment on the Internet and flew to Istanbul, where he was met by four people and installed in an upmarket hotel.
Shortly afterwards, two people arrived supposedly to collect him for surgery.
Instead they drove him to a remote part of Istanbul where they tied him up, beat him and stole his money, his mobile phones and two expensive watches. They then threw him out into the street in the early hours. He was so badly hurt that he had to be hospitalized.
His stolen property was recovered after a police investigation.
Ozgur Unlu had a hair transplant 10 years ago when it was relatively new to Turkey and stresses the importance of research before committing to treatment.
“Personally I care very much about my health and my looks, so I had the operation in a very well-known private hospital in Istanbul. I also advised my friends to do the same,” he told Arab News.
“Potential patients should also carry out in-depth research about the current hair transplant techniques that are used in Turkey, and should also examine the clinics and their reputation in the sector, rather than being attracted by the marketing techniques.
“As the Turkish saying goes, the game is not worth the candle. So, one should be careful about the potential health risks in this competitive sector and avoid falling into the trap of the criminal networks that offer lower prices, but higher health risks at the end.”
Another Hit for Turkish Tourism?
Visitor numbers were rebounding this year, but with the recent crisis, this one economic, many wonder if another setback is looming.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, a favorite tourist destination.CreditAndrew Urwin for The New York Times
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, a favorite tourist destination.CreditCreditAndrew Urwin for The New York Times
By Debra Kamin
Erkal Aykac spent more than three decades showing Western tourists his beloved Turkey, meeting cruise ships in various ports, and shepherding groups through Hagia Sophia Church Museum and other ancient treasures in Istanbul.
With four university degrees and speaking fluent English, he made enough for a comfortable life in Istanbul. He sent his daughter to boarding school, and handled the medical bills for his aging father. But the past three years have hit him hard, and with Turkey now facing an all-out economic crisis, he is bracing for the worst.