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Did you feel safe in your recent trip to Turkey?

Did you feel safe in your recent trip to Turkey?

Oct 11th, 2013, 03:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 163
Did you feel safe in your recent trip to Turkey?

If you've been to Turkey in the past few months, did you feel safe? We are contemplating a visit soon - definitely Istanbul, plus either Ephesus area or Cappadocia area (or perhaps both). We are a couple in our late 50s; well traveled; independent travel; physically active. We've not had problems with safety in other countries, including what is considered third-world countries. We would stay in the recommended safest or safer areas for accommodations. Thanks!!!
kwood1955 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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I am a single female and have traveled to Turkey on my own twice, once right before the Iraq war and again last year. I traveled all over the country by bus and had no issues. I never felt unsafe but I live in NYC and am pretty street smart. I think if you are a savvy traveler you will have no problems. I went to Morocco two years ago and I felt a little uneasy at times. The Turks are incredibly friendly and you don't get the extreme poverty you see in other countries. Nor are they extremely observant Muslims, it is very common to drink wine and beer with meals although there is a shift towards a more Islamic culture and some tension as not all support this shift (an understatement). I made some lasting friendships and had a wonderful time. It is my favorite country and I have traveled a lot. I could live in Istanbul, it's an incredibly vibrant and beautiful city.
BrklynTraveler is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 03:30 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 185
Absolutely; we were in Turkey from 9/22 until 10/4 and never felt in any way threatened. We were in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Izmir/Ephesus, Kusadaci and back in Istanbul and felt completely safe the entire time. It is a wonderful country; the people are friendly and the food is good! Now I can't vouch for the area around the Syrian border, but that was not in our plans.

For the record, I am in my early 70s and my wife is somewhat younger, and I would also describe us as well-traveled and independent.
pctraveler is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 03:33 PM
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And just to add, I would avoid the South near Syria and the Eastern parts of the country, as well as the capital but these are not places you are likely to go. Like any big city (such as NY where I live) there is a very small risk of terrorist attacks unfortunately it is the world we live in. Although if you are in Turkey rather than the US you are less likely to be a victim of a mass shooting so it has that upside.
BrklynTraveler is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 03:50 PM
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She wasn’t asking for anyone’s opinion about gun control laws in the U.S. What an asinine thing to say.

And btw, Brklyn, I’ll bet the young woman from NYC who was murdered in Istanbul last year probably thought she was pretty street smart herself since she was from the big city, as well.
Holly_uncasdewar is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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My husband and I were in Antalya and Istanbul from August 31st to Sept. 9. Absolutely no problems. The only signs of any disturbances we saw were the spray-painted French Embassy in Istanbul, and probably more hovering military vehicles/personnel than usual up near Taksim Square. In Gezi Park itself, it was so quiet we were joking about trying to guess which of the loiterers were undercover security personnel.
evaluna68 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 07:54 PM
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Kwood - I'm in Istanbul now on vacation and feel totally safe in this vibrant city. Like any large city, one must be street smart. Last evening I walked around the Taksim area and through Gezi Park with a friend after an afternoon of shopping at the Grand Bazaar. Quiet, charming park with families, couples, friends meeting after the workday. No extra security or military presence. I plan on exploring Prince's Island and the asian side a little over the weekend before heading to eastern Turkey (Van, Kars, etc) next week with a group. You mention visiting western locations that are very popular for first time visitors to this country ... and it will charm you into many repeat visits as it has me! Stay current with the news, register with State Dept STEP, then come and enjoy all that you will see and experience here! Janet
Janetd5 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 08:49 PM
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Our 12-year old daughter and I were in Istanbul for four days in June (during high media coverage of the protests) and felt perfectly safe. One afternoon we walked over to Taksim Square and Gezi Park and saw more people taking photos than we did protestors. Walking along Istiklal Cadesi, the pedestrian shopping street leading to the square, we spotted just one still-broken storefront window; aside from that the street was busy with shoppers and tourists.
fourfortravel is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 10:56 PM
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I trust you've seen the input from one of our on-sight experts:
kja is offline  
Oct 12th, 2013, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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If you are contemplating visiting Turkey soon, I assume you mean before next spring. Don't forget that Anatolia gets very cold in winter. I've just got back from Cappadocia where temperatures are already starting to drop and there will almost certainly be the first snow by November. I felt perfectly safe - people were friendly, open and helpful.
Grindeldoo is offline  
Oct 14th, 2013, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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My family (including 2 middle school aged children) spent several days in Istanbul in mid-August. We stayed in Sutanhamet and only ventured over to the Asian side for one day of site-seeing.

We felt incredibly safe everywhere we went. Walking near Taskim and the street with many embassies, we noted water canons parked inconspicuously as well as a multitude of armed guards in front of some embassies.

Despite that, we had no hesitation visiting Istanbul with our children. If there had been active rioting, we had planned to stay closer to the old city and enjoy the tourist areas.
Kennedy3 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2013, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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We just got back from a 2-weeks trip (TR to follow soon), and felt very safe everywhere. We were in Istanbul, Ephesus, Cappadocia and drove a week from Dalaman to Antalya. People are friendly and helpful, and Turkey is absolutely beautiful, with lots of history and interesting places. Don’t worry, just go.
xyz99 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2013, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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We have been in Turkey for close to a month now. Felt absolutely safe the entire time.
yestravel is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 11:00 AM
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Posts: 163
Thanks, everybody! Such valuable information!!!
kwood1955 is offline  
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