Feelings towards Americans in Turkey

Mar 1st, 2006, 04:46 PM
  #21  
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Jules, Thanks for the explanation. And Wj, I feel just like both of you. Never had a moments worry while we were there, but that was before our Prez decided to pay the region a extended visit! I remember clearly that someone, (a Turk) corrected me when I said they were Arabs. They said,"no, we are Turks and 99% Muslim." I'm going with 3 women who have never been, and don't want any negative experiences if I can help it. Someone told one of the women she heard it wasn't a great idea to go right now, and since I trust you Fodorites, I knew I should post a question about your recent trips. Thanks for the heads up. Can't wait to go!
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Mar 1st, 2006, 06:16 PM
  #22  
 
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I spent 35 hours in Istanbul on my way to India in November,and never have I met so many warm wonderful people in such a short time.I can't wait to go back.
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Mar 1st, 2006, 08:06 PM
  #23  
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Jules, If you see this, can I ask where you get your guide for Ephesus. When I was there last I booked through Gate1travel. They had these great deals called flings. They're gone! I have lists of tour groups and private guides, but still would love some personal recommendations.
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Mar 1st, 2006, 08:07 PM
  #24  
 
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Hi,

I'm one of the the girls going with zwho and I was slightly apprehensive only because I was told it was very anti-american. Hearing all of your remarks, I feel confidant that the people will be wonderful and Turkey will be a terrific and different experience.
Does anyone else have anything to say?
natjgc
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Mar 1st, 2006, 08:46 PM
  #25  
 
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Zwho -- we booked our guided tour through the front desk at the Hotel Aksan where we stayed. Her name is Tildem, and she was fantastic. We lucked out because we booked a group tour, but were the only ones to sign up that day, so we only paid half of what we would have to have a tour of our own. Needless to say, we tipped her generously for her time.

The good news is tour guides are heavily regulated in Turkey, so you usually get pretty good people by booking through a quality hotel.

Jules
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Mar 1st, 2006, 09:12 PM
  #26  
 
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zwho et al -
I spent just over a week in Istanbul this past June and it was one of the most deligthful trips I've taken. I would argue that Turkey is, in fact, NOT just like the rest of Europe, but not in a negative way, and that's what makes it so interesting.
I never once encountered any anti-Americanism, not in the slightest. In fact, I was readily granted permission to visit the Uskudar (Scutari in English) barracks which serve as HQ for the Turkish 1st Army and houses the Florence Nightingale museum comprising the apartmetn where she lived during her time in the Crimea, with only a phone call. Go, relax, enjoy.
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Mar 1st, 2006, 10:15 PM
  #27  
 
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> 30% turkish "guest-workers"
walkingaround, you need to update your information, you're about 20 years late. Try not to insult people by calling them "guest-workers", bad idea...
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 01:43 AM
  #28  
 
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Zwho, I am going to reassure you again: I was there in October 2005. In Istanbul, while I was there with friends, most of the time I walked around alone even after dinner. Not ONCE did I feel any kind of negativity toward me. Sometimes people asked where I was from and when I said American I always got a friendly response. And then three of us drove down the coast to Assos, Foca, Sirince and Ephesus; same there....total warmth and friendliness. Lots of people we met had friends or cousins or whatever, working in the US and they were always happy to learn I was from there and sometimes not as happy to learn that I did not know their cousin in New Jersey! The only word of caution I have for you has nothing to do with nationality and that is to be careful and watchful when you use the ATM machines in Istanbul as sometimes at night disreputable types hang around them and try to be "helpful" which is not helpful at all if you get my drift. And try not to overeat on the delicious food!! Really, no worries!
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 02:18 AM
  #29  
 
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logos..."guestworkers" was in quotes and was meant as tongue-in-cheek commentary on how they are treated in germany. although not turkish, i experienced this second class treatment working in germany for a couple of years. your experience might be different and i don't care to debate it if it is...just a simple tongue in cheek comment, that's all.
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:37 AM
  #30  
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Hi eckscrunchy, It was nice to wake up to your reassuring post this a.m. I am so excited about returning now. My only guilt is that its a girl trip and my husband loved our first visit there as much as me. This is good in its own way, because it means, I'll get to go back with him! To be honest, your answers mean more to me because I just want to make sure my friends have no qualms about going. Here we are in Kansas, (not rural), but still, and people always say, "why Turkey". They don't get that once you go there, you are ruined for other places. Its so exotic, fun and the people are incredibly friendly. It helps to have this forum, because then its not just my word. And ofcourse, there are the people who aren't just perplexed with our choice, they spend too much time on the internet (heh, heh!)and pick up all sorts of crazy stories about the rest of the world, and everywhere frightens them. I have always thought that life is a crap shoot. If you're at the wrong place at the wrong time, your backyard can be dangerous. I actually know a man who died there when he distrubed a hornets nest in a wood pile! Hows that for bad luck? But I digress. I never thought Turkey would be dangerous. I'm under no illusions that they like our government, who does? Okay, I'm sure Bush and Cheney people do, but anyone else? Don't think so. But, I have noticed on a 1 to 1 basis, most people are nice everywhere. In Turkey that hospitality and friendliness are just amplified. I know that, and when posters like you reaffirm my beliefs, so much the better! Then the uninformed can't ruin our trip. Hope I made sense. Thanks again.
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 07:51 AM
  #31  
 
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Good Post zwho. We got lots of info for our trip. What about the general attitudes towards women tourists in Turkey?
Any comments from anyone on this post?
natjgc
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 08:25 AM
  #32  
 
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Well I am female and as I said, had no problems. No difference in the feeling of walking around here at night or in Paris, for example. Of course I am past the age when I might attract legions of male suitors, so perhaps if one is in their 20s and blonde they might get more attention but that would be true anywhere, such as right here in NYC. Zwho I can tell from your well-written and insightful posts that you are a good traveler. You know, I did this trip to Turkey after spending 10 days in Greece with a group of friends (friend celebrating a big birthday). After Greece, some of us were very excited to go to Turkey (I had traveled in Turkey for 6 weeks when I was in college..just myself and a female friend and always wanted to return, for the reasons you wrote about). Anyway, my long-time boyfriend refused to go along with us; he was, to be frank, afraid to go to Turkey. (He has only just begun to travel and is more at home in Western Europe; I was very frustrated with him but what could I do?) So he went home and a few of us went on to Istanbul and down the coast as I described. Not for ONE minute did anything untoward or unusual happen. I have been all over the world and in my opinion, there are very very few countries where the people are the equal of the Turks in the hospitality, friendliness to strangers, and all-around courtesy departments.
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 12:12 PM
  #33  
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Well, all I have to say is without you Fodors people, I would not have half as much fun on my travels or planning them. Thanks eckscrunchy and Jules and everyone else who loves to talk travel and takes the time to help us make our trips memorable, safe and fun!
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 12:28 PM
  #34  
 
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zwho...if you don't mind, what part of the Wheat State are you from?
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 01:58 PM
  #35  
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Overland Park, really a suburb of KCMO. Its way northeast corner at the stateline.
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 02:22 PM
  #36  
 
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hi zwho i'm heading to istanbul this weekend and i'm not concerned about anti-american sentiment. i've encountered it in small doses all over europe (i've lived in switzerland for 3 yrs and travelled a lot) but it's never been really bad. my cousin is married to a turkish guy and has spent a lot of time in the country. i told her i was heading there solo this weekend and she expected me to have a fabulous time. i will let you know how it was when i get back!
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Mar 2nd, 2006, 03:20 PM
  #37  
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Hi Tuffgrrl, I'm just curious. What do you mean by small doses of anti-american sentiment? Against you or just asking whats wrong with our president? Thats all that I have ever encountered, and in more then 1 country. That, I don't take personally! Maybe I'm wrong, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Anyway, have a wonderful time, and please be sure to post a report when you return.
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 02:28 AM
  #38  
 
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hi zwho. by small doses of anti-american sentiment, i just mean criticisms of bush, america and americans generally, and a couple of incidences of "why did YOU go to war with iraq??" implying that i was somehow personally responsible for the decision. strange. but those kinds of comments were few and far between. i will post on istanbul when i return!
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 03:36 AM
  #39  
 
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I think up until the end of february the people in Turkey liked Americans, but I have heard that they are changing their minds since this thread started.


that was a joke btw


seriously you are either trolling for some bites or you haven't thought about your question long enough (which is understandable and I'm not criticising it). The reason I say that is because if it were me I;d be checking with the relevant gov't authorities for an official statement (in the first instance).
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 04:50 AM
  #40  
 
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quite often on this board when the topic of anti-americanism is raised, a common suggestion is that one must separate anti-americanism from anti-bush-ism or anti-american government-ism. Suggesting that it is ok if, for example, an american meets someone in a pub in europe and they tell the american that they have nothing against americans but that they don't like bush.

since when is it ok to meet someone from another country and bash their leaders? if someone came to the US from thailand, would you tell them that their king is crap but you appreciate the beaches and the thai people? i'm not talking about cases where you voluntarily get into a two sided political discussion but cases where the negative comments about the government are unsolicited.

Perhaps in reality, americans must occasionally be subject to unsolicited negative comments about their government and the best thing to do is to just shrug it off or participate in a discussion if you wish but to make excuses for people who make unsolicited negative comments about other people's leaders is proposterous.

there is no implied support of any government here, just a common sense view.
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