Travel to Turkey and Safety


Nov 19th, 1997, 01:03 PM
Marv Godner
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Travel to Turkey and Safety

Considering travel to Turkey this March with two teenagers. The area seemed exciting because it is totally different than USA and it is full of great historical sites on the Aegean Coast that would keep their interest up.
But, the Islamic fundamentalist movement in Turkey is strong and, in view of the recent tourist killings at Luxor, I would like to avoid any problem areas. Any comments? By the way, what's the weather like in Istanbul and the Aegean Coast in mid-March?
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Nov 19th, 1997, 04:44 PM
J.L. Krantz
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Last visited Turkey in May, '97--March on Aegean Coast will be too cold for swimming, etc., but weather will be fairly pleasant. I see safety as absolutely no problem, particularly outside of Istanbul (even there the problems are mostly of an urban and not islamic fundamentalist nature). Most Turks aspire to a Western European/US lifestyle and are quite freindly. Would recommend a small hotel in downtown Antalya called Alp Pasha (in the old city) and Caesar's beach resort in Side is nice, all inclusive, but not cheap. Many Germans in coastal turkey and consequently a well developed tourist infrastructure. Independent travel is not well developed, however. I had several occasions when I drove up to a hotel in Turkey and the management seemed surprised that I wanted to rent a room. In the hotel dining rooms the first question usually is what tour are you with. I would highly recommend Turkey as safe, exotic, and reasonably inexpensive.
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Nov 20th, 1997, 01:00 AM
George Holt
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When I first toured Turkey they were shooting at each other, just before the 1980 coup, but I never once felt personally threatened. Admitedly in the last several years there have been one or two bombs seemingly designed to affect tourists, I feel these are isolated incidents and not an upwell of popular dislike. The only really potentially dangerous area, in my view, is the extreme south east where the threat of kidnapping by kurdish extremists was very real. Travel in this area was restricted, and maybe still is, but you will be a looong way from there on the Aegean coast. Go and enjoy yourself, you're no more likely to come to harm than if visiting Britain or indeed the US. Of course any fanatics are potentially dangerous but I think your main experience of the Turkish islamic fundamentalists will be a decreased ability to buy a beer outside of a hotel. As for weather, I've never visited that early but Turkey can get unpleasantly hot and humid mid/late summer so spring and autumn are ideal for scrambling over ancient ruins and in March the brown roadside verges I'm used to should be a lush riot of colour.
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Dec 11th, 1997, 04:09 PM
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I just spent 2 months in Turkey this summer, and pretty much covered all the ground in the Western half of the country. Extremists are not an issue in the West. It is really only a problem near the Eastern borders, where travel is not recommended. Otherwise, it is true that Turkey is the package holiday haven, with mostly British and German tours, especially on the coast in the South (Bodrum, Fethiye and Marmaris almost look like Atlantic City now.)

As for historical significance and sheer beauty, Turkey is a wonderful choice. It is also very reasonably priced. for example, I stayed in the most expensive hotel in Marmaris, with a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean, and air conditioning, all for $35/night, peak season. In the less touristy areas, clean and perfectly fine hotels run about $15/night.

Anyway, good luck. Don't worry about safety, and don't miss Ephesus.
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Dec 15th, 1997, 05:37 AM
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I just returned from Turkey(late Nov. and early Dec). Due to the winter break, some of the hotels along the Aegean Coast were closed . I really doubt they will be opened by the time you get there in March. I was in Turkey when the Luxor incident took place, the Turks I met were very angry at the Islamic fundamentalists in Egypt. They were upset because those terrorists gave Islam a bad name. I think you will have more problems with an overzealous carpet store than an overzealous fundamentalists.
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Dec 26th, 1997, 07:19 AM
Paula Smith
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Turkey is one of those areas that has been targeted as an "unsafe" area because of its militant fundamentalist population. This entire area - Turkey, Greece, the MIddle East has been deemed unsafe for centuries and nothing is going to change that.

I have traveled throughout these areas and have not experienced any difficulty. Luck? I do not believe so.

You are reading about events that are unsettling and certainly dangerous but are not happening daily or countrywide.

How often on the way to work in your car do you witness an accident or are involved in one? Did you stop driving your car because of this?

You have to exercise due diligence and use COMMONSENSE. Stay in reputable hotels, ask the hotel for areas that are best avoided, get taxis from the hotel, and stay alert - your intuition is your best guide.

You should not let youself alter your plans because
of something that happened months ago - SAFE is a relative term found mainly in the dictionary. In the world today there is no entirely SAFE spot!
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Mar 10th, 1998, 08:58 PM
Al Clem
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Turkey in March can be wet and chilly in the west and downright cold in the more mountainous east. Have a heart-to-heart talk with your teenagers before you go there, particularly if they have had a tendency to wander off on adventures of their own. Stick together, don't go roaming around in strange places after dark. Good advice whether you are in Istanbul or Des Moines -- just use common sense. Keep a tight eye on expenses -- count your money carefully (Turkish lira is about 230,000 to the dollar and your get wads of bills in change).
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