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Advantages and Disadvantages of Visiting Turkey At This Time

Advantages and Disadvantages of Visiting Turkey At This Time

Old Sep 5th, 2013, 10:31 PM
  #41  
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The twitter photo should have been daughters and wife but somehow Eser got cropped out partially on one side, so they are jhust the daughters. I posted that because I liken myself to Marlon Brando in the Godfather in that photo.

In any case, Eser has wedding photos from friends so far on her face book eser tayar celebiler. She will post many more when we get the official pics and I will make a blog of some of them.

In the meantime, I will post one picture taken at wedding of the two daughters, Nese and Ceylan as my profile photo here, a little later.

We are very worried about possibility of Syria erupting further into chaos. Please take your time to listen to the following speech at the House of Commons in UK :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=phXwAVs0zho

I enjoy George's accent as much as I agree with his perspective on Syria.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 11:00 AM
  #42  
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I thought I had posted a long analysis of situation in Turkey vis-a-vis Syria, same as the one I posted on Trip Advisor.

The post on trip advisor disappeared within two hours because the moderator there does not like my views and just removes almost all my posts but will not ban me because I am one of their top reviewers with over 4,000 people reading my reviews of hotels and restaurants.

But this is the first time one of my posts disappeared from Fodors.

Am I imagining things?

Did I maybe forgot to click the "submit" button?

Did any of you read an analysis of the Syrian situation and possible effects on Turkey here?

In any case, I tweeted like crazy, blaming all leaders and politicians for being the insensitive, ignorant megalomaniacs that they are, not caring one whit for the lives of people they kill or send to be killed to save face or credibility and joke and smile when they are talking at a press conference about blowing a country and its people to smithereens in a "proportional, limited and meaningful" bombing strike which will destroy morals, ethics, reputation as well as structures and lives just to punish another madman who may actually love it because it will prove to his people and the world how bloodthirsty the Turks, Americans and the French are.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 11:07 AM
  #43  
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In any case, Syrian bombing will open some doors into the unknown.
We do not know if Assad has any trained field agents in other countries including Turkey who can exact revenge, but Istanbul and the resorts are not likely to be targets.

Targets, if any, would be capital cities like Ankara, Paris, DC and embassies and/or diplomatic missions or politicians. Syrians would probably like to keep public opinion on their side and against war and atrocities.

In the short term. Turkish Lira has devalued some more and possibly lodging and food prices will be excellent in hard currency. Except for transport and car rental, because the loss of value of TL causes automatic increase in car and fuel prices.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 11:17 AM
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Didn't see the post to which you are referring.
We have our car rental already paid for thru Auto Europe. About how much do you anticipate gas prices will rise? Here in DC they have already risen in anticipation.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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There was just a tenth of a Lira rise a few days ago and that much again a week before that.
However Turkey may have the most expensive petrol in the world at $2.49/liter (about $9/gallon US I think)
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 11:59 PM
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Thanks for this post Other, I have seen several posts both here and on Trip Advisor asking if it was safe to visit Turkey at this time. As you say trouble, if any, will be along the Syrian border, very far from where most tourists go. We were in Athens a couple of years back during the strike / demonstrations and had no problem whatsoever, in fact some of the students at Syntagma Square posed for pictures for us!

Congrats on your daughter's wedding, hope the cats aren't too much of a hassle
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 02:12 PM
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<<< Sultanahamet is where the majority of sights are in Istanbul and the area is full of annoying touts.>>>

I was in Istanbul a little over 2 years ago, stayed in Sultanahmet (right around the corner from the Blue Mosque) and never had any issues with touts. Even the guys in the Spice Bazaar were all very polite (they were full of the normal market BS, but were friendly and polite). The taxi drivers were polite and didn't play any games and an imam was very polite when I visited one of the mosques. As a young woman traveling alone I'd be one of the visitors most expecting some rudeness but everyone was really nice.

I'd go back to Istanbul in a heartbeat, even right now.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Enjoy the get together and congratulations again on your daughter's wedding.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 02:44 PM
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Things are getting heated up again with the death of another protester near the Syrian border, the demonstrations against highway going through Middle East Technical University, possibility of war against Syria, restrictions of more civil liberties, etc.

The police moved down into Cihangir area two nights ago also and at end of Istiklal even the the Turkey-Sweden B Football team qualifying match was delayed for almost two hours due to pepper gas floating on the field.

Only two national TV channels (Halk TV and Ulusal Kanal) continue to report these events with others probably applying auto censorship under threat.

Again, as long as you stay away from the demonstrations and keep your windows closed tight if your hotel is in areas of pepper gas usage you will be fine and maybe even have some interesting stories to tell your grandchildren with pictures to back them.
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 02:58 PM
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Geez, I was feeling better given the talks beginning re Syria & chemical weapons. Never a dull moment, huh?
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Old Sep 12th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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Thanks for continuing to post updates. We are hoping to go to Turkey next summer and having someone "on the ground" giving the inside scoop helps.
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Old Oct 5th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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I had a wonderful time in Turkey a few years ago and will return in 2014. I spent a few days at the end of the trip at a small hotel in Sultanahmet and had very little problem with touts. It was usually just a "come into my shop" invitation but nothing annoying, except in the Grand Bazaar. The "in-your-face" vendors in Egypt were far worse.

I went into one shop that sells carpets, towels and pillow covers and spent a nice half hour sitting with the owner while he explained how the carpets and patterned pillow covers are made. That was after I innocently asked "Are these made in Turkey?" He told me his family had been in the business for decades. There was no pressure to buy, and he seemed surprised when I selected a couple of pillow covers.
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Old Oct 5th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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We just spent five days in Istanbul staying in the old quarter for the convenience of visiting the sites. the question we were asked in the old quarter was, "Where are you from?". No doubt a way to start a conversation and invite us into their shops. We went into several rug shops and spent perhaps an hour learning about rugs, but never felt pressured to buy. Our time outside of the old quarter, no one paid any attention to us at all.
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Old Oct 5th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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I've only been to Turkey once, several decades ago, and not in Istanbul. Where are you from? is what they always ask tourists in these marketplaces in many countries, I guess there is a book or classes or something. Or they just copy what others do. They all did that in Egypt, also, as well as Turkey (asked where you were from). I think partly it is to get you talking and I also wondered if it was to decide how much to charge you or what a big dupe you were. There are a lot of ideas about various nationalities in places that have marketplaces that involve bargaining, I've found.
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Old Oct 5th, 2013, 01:22 PM
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There is no change in Turkey regards risk and security or safety for tourists in the regular tourist haynts.

Syruan border, specifically Hatay and Kilis should be avoided and possibly the city of Adana as well, just in case some of the jihadist Al-Qaeda connected rebel groups decide to punish Turkey or United States for not providing enough funds or the right type of arms. (there is a large US air base near Adana)

The US $ and all foreign currencies seem to have reached a high plateau in terms of Turkish Lira. So, any goods or services priced in TL and not indexed to a foreign currency is very reasonable.

In terms of local protests and demonstrations, there is a smoldering fire and anything can trigger more demonstrations. The government is not toeing a moderate and calming line. Again, these types of demonstrations will not affect tourists as long as the tourist is not caught in its midst with a camera.

Next week is a holiday with many local tourists opting for the Med coast or Cappadocia. The inter city roads will be busy, tickets on buses and for flights will be almost impossible. 250K are expected to go abroad and over One Million local tourists to hit beaches, resorts, Cappadocia and other major sites.

This should be a good time for Istanbul, with reduced traffic and fewer people on the streets, except for Bosphorus and Princes Islands ferries and cruises.
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Old Oct 6th, 2013, 06:07 AM
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We are finding all hotel rates linked to the euro, some restaurants also. Gas price in TL and as you warned, OC, gas prices are sky high.
and yes, the "where are you from question." has been asked of us all over the world. I remember them being ESP aggressive in Vietnam, making me not want to go to their store or look at their merchandise. This was not the case in IST.

We will be back in IST beginning18 OCT. ( hope to see you, OC). Think it will still be quieter than?
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 02:56 AM
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Even in periods of moderate unrest, I wouldn';t mind going to Turkey. One particular reason is, Turkey isn't a low income country. In lower income countries(like Pakistan or even Egypt or Sinai for example), unrest is accompanied by a surge in crimes, people want to make the most out of the breakdown in law and order. I don't really see that happening in Turkey, in times of unrest. I dont expect to be attacked for money or any belongings.
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 02:57 AM
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And I could even consider going to Turkey again next year, the Turkish Lira is one of the few currencies that hasnt deprecated too much in terms of the Indian rupee. So that's a big big factor IMO.
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 03:26 AM
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ashwinb, a very astute observation.

However, the areas bordering Syria may be exempt from the safety factor due to not only the over 500,000 needy refugees but also the Syrian criminal elements hoping for easier pickings in Turkey and finding it easy to cross the 900 kilometre border, especially with the perks provided to Al-Qaeda and Moslem Brotherhood by the Turkish government.
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 09:28 PM
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otherchelebi..that's very true. Even in May this year, my guest house owner in Urfa wasn't really comfortable with me going to Harran all alone, and he accompanied me. That turned out to be a good idea because at times when I was exploring all alone in Harran, I did face hassles.
And it's very unfortunate that a "secular" govt. is directly/indirectly aiding extremists.
And what do you think about Mardin, Van, Midyat, are they safe enough?
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