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Advantages and Disadvantages of Visiting Turkey At This Time

Advantages and Disadvantages of Visiting Turkey At This Time

Old Jul 11th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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With the elections on the 10th of August, would it be better to visit Istanbul 7-10th or 21-24th? Do you expect to see much unrest around the elections?
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Old Jul 11th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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I doubt that there will be any unrest at either time frame, no matter who wins. If there is no winner on the first round the highest two cadidates will have a second round on August 24.

Some locations may be closed on election day and there will be no alcoholic drinks served at restaurants, but that is as far as the inconvenience will go.

It may be a good day to have a Bosphorus tour and enjoy the cafes on the seaside, or even a Princes Islands visit or a day visit to Nicea (Iznik). I am not sure of museums since the personnel may be given the day off to vote, but he mosques are always open.

Any unrest may occur if and when the incumbent PM gets elected president and tries to change the constitution against the system of checks and balances and separation of powers for one man rule.

However, he may actually face opposition to that from his own party and/or the new primeminister against all his plans, which you can easily understand if you have watched or read "The House of Cards" (British or American versiom)
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 03:12 AM
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Nothing very exciting except,

- New Women Only Beech to open at Antalya !!!!

- United States- Turkey relations are in the dumps :

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/tou...&NewsCatID=409

- It was in the news that some 800 young Turks crossed into Syria to fight against ISIL and/or to support the Syrian Kurdish federation PYD.

The TL is still reasonably strong against Euro and USD despite the 0.5% decrease of the base interest rate by by the Turkish central bank.

$1 = TL 2.12 today and Euro 1 = TL 2.87 at this moment.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 03:25 AM
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Also...

"Bars in touristic resort handed over to Turkey's top religious body" - http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/bar...&NewsCatID=349

It appears that the ruling party want to make life difficult for any local CHP municipalities.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 08:34 AM
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OMG! I think I'm glad I visited Turkey when I did.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:15 AM
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yestravel, it really has not changed for the visitors since you came.

For the inhabitants, the issue is the foreboding of what may be in the offing, unless you fall afoul of the government, in which case you are promptly and irrevocably up the creek until your case is brought up before the constitutional court or the international court of human rights, meaning a possible period up to ten years.
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Old Jul 24th, 2014, 01:48 AM
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The careful reader of this thread and some of my previous posts may have seen this coming. The government has finally started its full frontal attack against the Fetullah Gulen sectarian power structure embedded in the national police organization.
Over 100 high ranking police officers were arrested in their homes in the early hours of the morning and their homes were searched, exactly as they had done to many writers, journalists, reporters, protesters, those openly opposing the government and more importantly, after the fall out between FG and the PM, the businessmen paying kickback to the government.

The 49-80 personnel of the Turkish Consulate at Mosul, Iraq are still held by ISIL with no information about their fate. The Turkish government has imposed a ban on the local media on any news about them, and I guess they are not significant enough for the international media.

The opinion polls for the first national presidential elections show that the current PM who openly declares that he wishes to establish a very authoritarian leadership is leading with about 49% with the main contender (a very soft spoken, moderate and secular conservative) at 37% and the Kurdish candidate at 8%. (formerly the President was elected by the Parliament.)

The media are busy with Palestine and the elections.

Ukrain, Russia, ISIL, Syria, now the Algerian airplane, Thailand, India, Afghanistan have almost all disappeared from the news.

And interestingly, with all these problems right at Turkey's borders, the Turkish stock market is on the rise and the Turkish Lira is gaining against the US Dollar and the Euro.

This is a crazy world.

Nothing significant for the traveler, except for those from israel at this time.

I also suggest that you refrain taking the Jewish Heritage tours in istanbul for the time being.

I just hope that the 4000 or so air passengers who were stranded in Istanbul, because the US and some other airlines stopped flying to Israel, have been able to reach their destinations or will soon.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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Thank you, OC, for this heart wrenching update. It is so difficult, as you say, to get straight information these recent weeks and days. The electorate, here and there, seem to be reading with blinders on.

Do you see any positive signs for stability ? For Democracy ? For Justice ?

Best to you and to DW.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 10:33 AM
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Thanks for the updates . Stay safe. I will post an article later from the NY Times Travel Section about the home of Baklava.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 06:08 AM
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Hi otherchelebi, I see that the deputy pm is stating that women should not smile or laugh in public and that smiling is beginning to have a political flavour in Turkey.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-28548179

Now either this is a joke or the man is going to be taken away by the men in white suits. Tell me it is so. )))))
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 07:21 AM
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Bilboburgler, the requirements for becoming deputy PM include the making of such inane remarks so that the PM himself sounds better in comparison. (Another requirement is to to kneel on hands and knees so that the PM can stretch his feet on your back.)

Note that the deputy only mentioned women but not girls, gays or transvestites for whom, apparently, laughing is an acceptable practice in public. In fact the fact that one laughs may have a number of meanings for him and his ilk.

It was in the news that 580,000 people in Turkey were diagnosed as schizophrenic in between 2008 and 2013. This is about 0.8% of the population. The parliament has 560 members including the ministers, so you can calculate how many of them are possible schizophrenics. Our secretary of state, a lookalike of the cartoon character "iznogood" , acts under the delusion that he is a Wazeer of foreign affairs in the Ottoman Empire. I will not divulge the identities of the others, but you can be sure that the statistics measure up to the national averages.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 09:07 AM
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oh boy
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 11:17 AM
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OC--love getting your take on things!
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 11:59 AM
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There was a great article on Gaziantep in the NYTimes this week. Reading it makes me want to include that city in a return trip to Turkey!! I have a Turkish friend who tells me that the city has the best food in Turkey.

It seems as if it would be quite safe even though not far from Syria. Do you agree? Interesting city to plan a few days wandering around and eating?
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 12:01 PM
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Thanks Yestravel.

Everyone :

It has been a few days over one year since I started this thread.

I will start a new thread and leave this one to gather dust in the archives or work as ahistorical reference.

The new thread will probably start with the August 10 presidential elections unless something significant, funny or interesting comes up.

We are still waiting for our low mile FF business tickets on THY to materialize for any one of the dates between August 6 and 13.

One sad note before I close :

The founder and excavator for 15 years of the very mysterious Gobekli Tepe neolithic architectural site dated 10,000 BC , Professor Klaus Schmidt passed away July 20th, RIP. He was a dedicated man with a vision and an imagination. He will be direly missed.

The statue that was found first at the digs and then was stolen has not unfortunately been rediscovered again. It was described as an incredible piece with exquisite workmanship equalling similar works of carvers who lived 9,500 years later. What that statue could have told us is not known. has it been taken by time travelers or descendents of the aliens who first built the Gobeklitepe structures and carved the statues?
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 12:25 PM
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ekscrinchy, it is safe to fly there and back.
the food is very good for carnivores and not so good for vegetarians, except for the desserts.
Have a look at my recent return post to an earlier thread on trip to the area on the Lounge.
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 08:23 PM
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otherchelebi, when is the new thread coming up? Or has it already,and am /i missing it?
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Old Sep 4th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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By the time I left Turkey on August 1, 2014, there was antisemetic graffiti all over. As a Jew, it certainly did not make me want to return any time soon. There are lots of countries to visit and I do not need to be where the government vociferously supports Hamas.

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/...on-turkey.html
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Old Sep 4th, 2014, 05:49 PM
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For the record, I have been to Turkey twice. I had a totally different reaction the first time:

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/...ange-ever.html

This time, I just ended up uncomfortable--not to mention seeing police with paddy wagons on side streets off Istikal Caddesi the night Ramadan ended. I guess they were preparing to lock up dissenters again if anything got started. Nothing happened. I wish the police had been half as interested in investigating the burglary of my apartment. The were clearly disinterested even when I provided them with information concerning where the credit cards had been used (a phony tour company). They actually tossed out the information. I was told by a Turk that most Turks do not report petty crime because the police "never do anything" and have been totally coopted by the government to focus on suppressing dissent.
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Old Sep 4th, 2014, 07:32 PM
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As a Jew and a friend of OC and his family, I can attest to his unwavering support of religious and democratic principles for all who has been against Erdogan, since he has turned his back on a secular government and democracy.

Remember while you are tourist, OC must cope with the changes that he and his family do not like but must live under.

When modern Turkey was established under Ataturk, he envisioned a secular government in a Muslim country. Erdogan is trying to destroy this with the help of the fundamentalists. He wishes to create the most powerful political and economic Muslim country without the assistance of oil, and Israel and sanity are the victims. As are well-intentioned people like OC and his family.
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