Dear Travel Talk Anzac Passengers,
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. First of all, we can only try to empathize with your situation and would have avoided this incident in any circumstance if we could. We hope that you understand that these processes may take a long time across borders and in the UK, and ensure you that we have been following it very closely since the date. We haven’t forgotten about you even for a moment, and have been taking action to resolve this quickly. We will be contacting you with the last updates to finalize the situation by next week, it would be much appreciated if you can bear with us until then. Other than this, we will try to shed some light on some of the points mentioned by many of the Anzac passengers collectively.
As Travel Talk, on the day we have done our best to respond swiftly, coordinate with officials, and to accommodate our guests who have lost their luggage and passports during the incident. We have focused our efforts to provide some comfort to our guests by arranging transportation and entrance without passports to the Anzac Cove for the Dawn Service, and special accommodation at the cove and post-tour during their stay in Turkey; coordinating with local authorities and consulates for official and amended reports and replacement passports; covering the costs of extra transportation, airfares, food, clothing and a small cash amount for basic needs. All 17 passengers who have lost their passports had received their replacement by the end of the tour, except for 1 person whose flight was covered by Travel Talk due to the delay. We provided 4-star accommodation to any passengers staying longer in Turkey after the end of the tour until their departure.
In case an official complaint was to be submitted at the time of the incident, you would have had to go to the attorney district office and miss out on the Anzac Dawn Service as it is a time consuming process. We, nor any other party, gains any benefit from “no complaint” stated on the police report, and it does not relate to any of your insurance claims. Given that this is an incident that happened on the bus, and a group is involved rather than individuals, the report was produced as collective at the police’s discretion. As the incident took place in Turkey, the official reports are in Turkish. The report was then translated to English, notarized and delivered to the passengers on the 27th of April. While forming this report on the site, there were some misspellings made by the police. We have coordinated with the police to amend these reports and re-sent them to the people who requested it for their personal travel insurance, which is officially the first point of call for customer claims.
It is not correct that Travel Talk knew of a problem with the bus and allowed it to run on tour. The bus maintenance 2 days prior to the fire was related to a lug nut on the front wheel, which was fixed by the mechanics, far from the point of fire. As the process is not finalized, there is nothing further we can conclude at this moment. We only know that no vehicle is permitted to drive without the “D2 certificate” in Turkey, which inactivates if a vehicle misses the regular or periodical maintenance checks or is unequipped to be on the road. The certificate for the bus in question has been intact together with other maintenance reports. There will be a final update regarding this item by next week as well, please stay tuned and you will hear from us very soon.
Finally, we would like to mention that in our 18 years of operation with countless satisfied customers, we managed to keep an impeccable record until this incident. This is the first incident that happened on any of our tours, hopefully never to be repeated again.
We bid you all safe travels and hope to see you again.