Feelings towards Americans in Turkey

Mar 3rd, 2006, 06:03 AM
  #41  
 
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I have traveled many times to Turkey.
They welcome all visitors regardless of origin and as many have stated here are most friendly and kind.
I will be returning in June without any fears.

I believe the media sometimes portrays Turkey and for that matter most of the Middle east in an unfair manner.
For some reason all followers of Islam become suspect and somehow anti american or anti west.

The vast majority of people in Turkey and beyond are fine people who only want to live in peace, raise their families and enjoy a good life.

Some, a very small minority , for their own political reasons , on both sides of spectrum, want to do their utmost to interrupt this and cause chaos.
They seem to get the TV, paper etc. coverage.
The good, honest people are not news apparently.

Go to Turkey and enjoy your time there.
molker is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 06:35 AM
  #42  
 
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walkinaround -- I think you're right...I've found many people across Europe and other travels who find sport in discussing politics. It's more of an "us" (the people) vs. "them" (our respective governments) mentality.

They are not defined by who their president/premier/prime minister is, and they find that kind of discussion is not a deeply personal one because of it, but instead more of a sport, like talking about soccer teams.

When someone asks me about the sitting president, I just shrug and say "yeah, well, what can you do? Some of us are just waiting for the next election." and they almost always have a laugh with me. It doesn't matter who the president is either, it's just a matter of poking at whomever sits in the hot seat in the White House.

Jules
jules4je7 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 10:35 AM
  #43  
 
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>yeah, well, what can you do?
Jules, that's one the few sane statements in this thread. , Thanks. As long as so many here define themselves through their government, they expect anti... feelings from others. Most people would REALLY appreciate "government bashing" of their government by foreigners. People in my country discuss the stupidities of "our", "your" or whoever's government and would be happy if foreigners would join the discussion. It's called political discussion and is part of everyday life...
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:47 AM
  #44  
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Hi, To the poster who thinks I'm trolling. Absolutely not, although I do find the replies interesting. My question was sincere, even if I already personally knew we had nothing to worry about. I wanted my friends to have less qualms then they did, and just knew all the guys on Fodors would come out and talk about how fabulous the people in Turkey treat visitors. And yes, I checked the state department list of places we don't want to go to, and really never thought I'd find Turkey on it. I tend to treat the govt. putdowns much like Jules, but I really enjoy the verbal volleys. And I don't take it personally. But then, I freely admit, I'm not a big fan of Team Bush! And please DO NOT label me unpatriotic or not in love with my country. I'm just on the other team and we lost! No matter where I go and how many times I get to go back and visit, no matter how much I fall in love with an area or country (like Turkey),I am after all from Kansas, and there's no place like home!
zwho is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:52 AM
  #45  
 
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But please, do watch the movie when it's out on on DVD. Sounds like fun!
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 12:36 PM
  #46  
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logos, I have a feeling you must be about my sons age, 25? He has a degree in theatre and film and is very much into films and film making. There was a film out about a year ago that took place in London, anbout illegal organ transplants. It was very good. I want to say, "Dirty little secrets", but I think thats wrong. Dirty something, do you remember it? Is the Turkish film like it?
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 02:16 PM
  #47  
 
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>>>>>
Most people would REALLY appreciate "government bashing" of their government by foreigners.
>>>>>

if it's unsolicited bashing and not part of a volunatary political discussion, it is rude and inappropriate to bash other people's governments, whether appreciated or not (and you don't know whether it is appreciated until it is too late).

just as it would be rude for americans to go up and bash a visiting frenchman's government, it is not appropriate for people to make unsolicited comments to americans about their government.
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 02:23 PM
  #48  
 
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That film, "Dirty Pretty Things," was shown this week on tv here in NYC.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 05:42 PM
  #49  
 
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walkinaround -- that's exactly how I look at it. I don't bash someone else's government -- first of all, I'm in their country as a guest and act accordingly. At times I do ask questions about who their president/prime minister/queen is, etc if I don't know, and ask about their form of government, etc., and let it go from there if they want to talk more.

I have never encountered (at least not in Europe) any serious "anti-Americanism", only people that are curious about us, and some of it is political.

The best conversation I ever had on a political level was with a hotel owner in Greece, who gingerly asked me questions until I said "Stellios, no offense, but I'm not a big fan of the current president." He visibly relaxed, and said "Oh, good, then we can talk as friends."

zwho -- In my 8 days in Turkey, not a soul asked me political questions per se -- only questions about us Americans in general. They have only seen us in movies for the most part, and wonder things like if we all live in Beverly Hills-type mansions...that kind of thing.

I find being friendly, open and honest -- and CURIOUS about them as the potential to do wonders for our image overseas. It's part of why I travel, and why I encourage everyone I know to do it too.

Have a great trip!

Jules
jules4je7 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 05:57 PM
  #50  
 
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who cares what people in otehr countries say about your country? some people are just too precious.

Some people find pollie bashing akin to "sport". It can make people laugh. I would be worried if everyone made complimentary statements about a political leader.

When people start throwing objects at embasy buildings, thats when you know there is real trouble.

Other than that I think its a back handed compliment to find anti-american sentiment. No one kicks a dead dog. If America was crap then everyone would ignore them. you're gonna get a lot of flack and anti-sentiments. that's part and parcel of being who you are. Just cop it, suck it up and be thankful.

Of course zwho, i understand the importance of being careful about your safety - that's cool and good on ya. All i can say that in today's day and age anyone can get hammered by anyone, anywhere for no reason. I've been there done that from the victims perspective. Make your plans, be careful but don't let fear inhibit how much life has to offer.
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Mar 3rd, 2006, 06:56 PM
  #51  
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bhuty, People talking about not liking our government is not going to get me upset. In fact one of my most enjoyable and memorable days while vacationing was at Hyde Park at Speakers corner on a Sunday. If you aren't familar, look it up in the search box. That really showed me how some foreigners (to me) feel about our govt! Maybe, I'm incredibly insensitive, but I still didn't go nuts, even when one guy called me his "ugly cousin"! And really, I'm pretty, my mom and dad always said so!!! I follow Jules take on the situation, and don't place too much into it, as long as nothing gets physical or hateful. Even the ugly cousin guy was just trying to get a rise out of me. I do appreciate your good wishes and useful advice. Thanks. We're gonna have a great time.
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Mar 4th, 2006, 08:11 AM
  #52  
 
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>Is the Turkish film like it?
I didn't watch up to now, but it sounds promising And, just today they announced a German version coming to the movie theatres at the end of the month due to great success.
logos999 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 08:26 AM
  #53  
 
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"What about the general attitudes towards women tourists in Turkey?"

Normal. Just like Creece/Italy/Spain. I am middle aged so I am left 100 % in peace. But the "action" of younger generations seems to be like anywhere in Europe. Guys oggling tourist girls, tourist girls flirting, one thing leads to another...
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Mar 4th, 2006, 08:30 AM
  #54  
 
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Logos: Here is another film to put on your list: "Rohtenburg." ("Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story" is the English title).
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 08:39 AM
  #55  
 
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Thanks. I already have it on my list, BUT the sick guy whose life is described in the movie sued against it and won. Can't show it in cinemas right now. He's also sueing "Rammsteins" song.
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Mar 4th, 2006, 12:19 PM
  #56  
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Hi Elina, When I was at the Grand bazaar with my husband, he went into a leather store (that has its own factory) and was talking to them about future dealings. That left me to go out on my own and shop. I was in my late 40's, not some hot chick and I use a cane for long distances, (not a major turn on). The owner wouldn't let me go off on my own, he sent 1 of the guys that worked there to stick by me. I was annoyed big time, but the kid wouldn't leave. Was this chivalry of some sort, do ya think, or they just don't want women wandering about by themselves. As much as I loved it there, I didn't get not seeing many (if any) women out at restaurants or shopping at night. I didn't feel scared, just suffocated.
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Mar 4th, 2006, 12:43 PM
  #57  
 
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This is just a guess, but perhaps it was done as a kind of courtesy to your husband in the sense that the owner was sending someone to "escort" you around and make certain you were taken care of...carry your bags if you bought something, fend off unwanted suitors, that kind of vague thing. I say that cause you mentioned that your husband was investigating a business dealing with this person. In a few countries I think that that would be the norm..take care of the wife while hubby is doing biz-ness.

Logos: You'll see it on DVD, I guess.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 03:24 PM
  #58  
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You know, you're probably right. I still didn't like it. Afterall, I was part of that women's lib thing, and independence is very natural to me. If it wasn't I wouldn't be travelling without my husband. I just have to remember that part of what makes Turkey so fascinating to me is the difference in the cultures, atleast in male & female behavior. Or maybe it was just a "bizness" courtesy.
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Mar 7th, 2006, 08:19 AM
  #59  
 
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hi zwho! i returned last night from my trip to istanbul - wish i had had another few days there! such a beautiful city and incredibly warm, friendly people! with regard to your original post, i felt no anti-american sentiment whatsoever, and i felt perfectly safe wandering around as a lone young female past midnight in the lively taksim area. (wouldn't wander around solo in dark, empty places in any city). i am of asian descent, so i don't think that any of the locals immediately assumed that i was american. but i talked with many of them, and when they found out i was american i received only positive reactions. and not just from the carpet, jewelry and leather salespeople!
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Mar 7th, 2006, 10:29 AM
  #60  
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Hey Tuffgrrl, Thanks for getting back to me about your experience last week end. I'm glad to hear it and really not suprised. You stayed in the Taksim area, yes? When I was there last I stayed in the old city, near the Grand bazaar. Since there will be just us girls, and we like to wander around at night, do you think the Taksim area would be better suited for 4 middle aged ladies, who aren't looking for bars to hang out in, but if there's music or good people watching, then maybe we should think about Taksim. I'm not familiar with the area at night. we weren't there long enough. Any opinion? thanks.
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