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africatravel Sep 8th, 2005 12:12 AM

Is Turkey Safe?
Hello all,

I was wondering if it is safe to visit Turkey towards the end of the year? It is closely located to some areas of conflict so I am wondering it is a safe place for american tourists.

If so, could you please suggest some travel companies that offer tours to that area?

Thanks in advance.

elina Sep 8th, 2005 02:48 AM

Areas of conflict??? You mean extreme eastern Turkey, there in the mountains?

doonhamer Sep 8th, 2005 03:28 AM

The only conflict I've ever seen in Turkey is the rush for sunbeds in the mornings. Where are you thinking of going in Turkey that you would be so concerned - Kurdistan?

JamesA Sep 8th, 2005 03:58 AM

I see nothing to be concerned about in Turkey as opposed to anywhere. When we visited some years back we had a great time, forunately we weren't that interested in sunning so we managed to avoid the sun bed issue !!

Great place!

AsiaMinor Sep 8th, 2005 03:58 AM

Dear Doonhamer,

I have no doubt about your sincerity and good will when you were using the word "Kurdistan" but I have to remind you the fact that you are one of the typical "Loud Mouthed Opinionated Ignorant Americans" who is most likely to be very well informed (?) by the impartial embedded western media such as CNN or BBC.

For your information, there is no such place or country called Kurdistan if you are using the word in international political terms. Again, if you are using the word from a geographical or ethnic point of view, there are certain geographical regions in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran where ethnic Kurds live.

Unfortunately, it is this kind of naive and ignorant attitude from the Western elite which encourages the PKK terrorist organization in Turkey and elsewhere. We should not forget the fact that "The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions".

I do apologize for my bluntness and some unkind words but sometimes "words speak louder than actions".

With all good wishes.

jrlaw10 Sep 8th, 2005 04:58 AM

Hi. We just returned and found Turkey to be safe. We walked many cities at night and never feared for our safety. Like Western European countries, things get started late and there are always people out and about. If you are nervous about flying and airport security, you will find that Turkey has the most thorough and comprehensive airport security that you will ever see. If you are talking about Turkey's proximity to the countries of Iraq, Iran and Syria, most likely you will be nowhere near those areas and will feel no effect from whatever is transpiring there. As for the PKK bombings, I too recommend the Tom Brosnahan article. We had a little bit of the jitters before we went, but when we arrived we never gave it a second thought. Be defiant - GO!

AP6380 Sep 8th, 2005 05:22 AM

I just went in June and felt very safe. Check out my trip report:;tid=34644385

Brahmama Sep 8th, 2005 05:51 AM

I have found that it is best to keep it refrigerated until time to cook it. It should not be left out to thaw except for an hour at the most and then with running cold water.
Also, after dinner, it should be refrigerated as soon as possible.

doonhamer Sep 8th, 2005 07:49 AM

1 I am not American
2 I consider myself to be of an ethnic minority swallowed up in a goeign state, much as the Kurds re, and I have a degree os sympathy with them, and object strongly to your use of the term £terrorist" in thsi context - whilst I deplore any act that causes loss of life, I stress ANY, including those actions taken by governments such as yours.

doonhamer Sep 8th, 2005 07:58 AM

Sorry that should have read FOREIGN state, my fingers were running away from me there :)

Spygirl Sep 8th, 2005 09:45 AM

Africatravel-there have been several recent bombings in the tourist districts of Istanbul, and Kusadasi-bombings specifically directed at tourists, and tourists have been killed in these attacks. By recent I mean in the last 3 months, a couple within the last 6 weeks or so. It's not as safe as other places in Europe which have NOT had bombings, and specifically, bombings directed against tourists. All you have to do is google bombings, Istanbul and Kusadasi, and you can read about the attacks for yourself.

You can talk all you want about bravery in the face of terrorism, but at some point, you have to exercise common sense, and you need to ask yourself, where is my personal dividing line on taking a defiant stand against terrorism as opposed to exercising common sense and staying out of harm's way?

Only you can decide that. Personally, I think the situation in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey are too unstable just now. I would wait, keep up on current news from Turkey, and see if this current round of bombings continues. In other words, I would monitor the situation in Turkey for the next few months, and then make a decision whether to travel to the region.

sheila Sep 8th, 2005 11:54 AM

Sticking together as we Scots do (and wee Scots do, too), I'm with doonhamer on the Kurdish issue. But please be aware that I'm NOT with the PKK.

I was hoping there would be no text under the question, so that I could say........

Only if you defrost it properly (boom, boom!)

AsiaMinor Sep 8th, 2005 03:02 PM

1. Spygirl. Keep your precious observations and monitoring for yourself. The current situation in Istanbul or Kusadasi is more stable than your state of mind.

2. Doonhamer. You have started to understand the difference between an ethnic minority and a terrorist. What do you call someone in your country (I would give you a more concrete explanation if you tell me where you are from) who kills the teachers, policemen, engineers employed by your government to serve its citizens or other civilians from or not from your ethnic origin? For example, how about these organizations? What do you call them? IRA, ETA, Hezbollah, El Queda, etc. For comprehensive list visit;

If it is in your country you call them terrorists? If they are in my country and kill my people you have a degree of sympathy with them and call them a freedom fighter?

africatravel Sep 9th, 2005 12:08 AM

Thanks for the responses. I think I will wait for a little bit, perhaps go next summer.
I think if we go now, I will be a little nervous and I don't want to ruin my trip by being nervous.

alya Sep 9th, 2005 12:35 AM

Oh dear,

Africatravel, if you are basing your travel plans on Spygirls comments, which I'm assuming you are since she is the only 'downer' here - you really need to investigate her comments on this board.

She is obsessed with terrorism.

We visited Turkey 2000 and had a wonderful time they really are amazingly friendly.

Then again we chose to move to the US NOV 2001, We didn't listen to scaremongers in the UK who were worried about us moving 400 miles away from a city that had just had a MAJOR terrorist attack.

Well, 3 and 1/2 years later we're still alive and i'm sure if you visit Turkey you will be fine as well - we returned from out 2000 trip intact with our children. They loved it as well.

elina Sep 9th, 2005 12:50 AM

africatravel! I was in my first press info about 30 years ago. The people who informed us were the representatives of PKK. Then – 30 years ago – the situation was the same it is today. And it was the same 20 years ago. And 10 years ago. And last year. So a year from now I don´t expect it to be any different.

Right after that first press info I started to take my toddlers for summer vacations in Turkey. They learned to swim there. I went to Istanbul 3 days after those bombings (3 years ago. Who would plan a bomb attack on consecutive weeks? And that was not PKK, it was this ameba called al-Quaida). My son and his friends just spent a week in Turkey in August. Not in Kusadasi but a usual young-adults-fun-week in Marmaris.

Of course you can wait till next year. But next year the situation will be the same it is now. And the same it was 30 years ago.

With that logic Heathrow will not be the world´s busiest airport any more because nobody goes to London. And nobody will visit New York. And Australians turn their back to Bali. And Madrid will be empty. And even Switzerland gets no visitors because while I was in Zürich airport there was a bomb threat and the whole airport was emptied of people.

propertravel Sep 9th, 2005 03:17 AM

Hi Africa Travel. Please do read just one of the latest postings here in Fodors under :Turkey General Trip Report from a Loud Mouthed Opinionated American - Part 1 General Observations....
Dear Doonhamer ; we are indeed very but very touchy on Kurdistan issue as stated. There is one Turkey and there is one Turkey map which includes Northern Turkish Cyprus as well. There are many kurdish originated Turkish Citizens living in our country east or west and they are also in our parliement. Accusing the country on such issue is not fare perhaps lack of knowledge ! This country lost over 30.000 lives on terrorism and PKK and their mothers and family of lost lives are still mourning!!!!!

SPYGIRL ; one more time please do stop your comments. I invite you to Turkey to experience it yourself. If you do not accept my invitation ( your guideng, transportation within Turkey and accomodation is complimentary all paid by myself - but if you are not coming and still making comments without experiencing a country at least do me a favour and please shut-up )

Yes Turkey is safe. Safe can be discussed and everyone can have different perceptions on the subject.

Where is the safest place in earth otherwise ?

Happy travelling,


flanneruk Sep 9th, 2005 05:09 AM

Much as it sticks in my throat to do so myself, someone really needs to come, at least partially, to Spygirl's support.

Turkey has, in the past five years, been subject to more murderous terrorist attacks than anywhere else in Europe - mostly, but not only, in Kusadasi and Istanbul. Some attacks have concentrated on tourist places, others on British investments and others on all sorts of other things. It's flying in the face of reality for posters on this board to obscure the near-certainty that there will be more, similar attacks in the future.

To that extent, Spygirl is right (it's impossible after all for someone to be wrong 100% of the time, and she's struck lucky this time).

But where does that get you? You're still a great deal less likely to be affected by terrorism in Turkey than to be murdered if you venture into Louisville, Kentucky, where violent death is far more likely than in Turkey. You're less likely as a tourist to be affected by petty crime in Turkey than in most of western Europe's tourist hotspots. To the extent any group of foreigners is being singled out in Turkey's terrorism right now, it's Britons, not Americans. For what it's worth, BTW, it hasn't crossed our minds to avoid Turkey.

And I wouldn't like to bet whether a terrorist attack is more likely in Turkey than in Italy, the UK or even Belgium, which boasts of not supporting the war in Iraq, but fines women for wearing Islamic dress (so much for our federal capital's commitment to liberal values).

So what are you going to do? Unless you go to Iraq, you're far more likely to die of illness or the standard risks of everyday life than from a terrorist attack, wherever you are. There's simply no logical argument for avoiding Turkey.

Spygirl Sep 9th, 2005 08:19 AM

Well, well, well...(chuckle) Africatravel-let me say first that I think you're being prudent in deciding for yourself what your personal comfort zone is regarding international travel risk; on this board, you will always get fiercely indignant (not to mention nasty) responses when you try to point out the facts in a region where terrorist bombings are occurring, and of course, the facts do not always comport with the local travel guides' rosy P.R. campaign to tout their country, or the distant "one-visit-only" crowd who are oblivious, or in utter disregard, of the bombing risks, simply because they didn't experience any problems themselves. Good for you-check out the facts, and decide for yourself. That's all anyone can do, right?

And there are PLENTY of places you can go in Europe and elsewhere where there have been few to no terrorist bombings in years-so the assertion that there is no where to go to be "safe" from such things is not the point-the point being what is the current terrorist threat situation? What has been happening in the country in the last year? What security measures have gone into effect to counter the threat? Again, you can inform yourself of such facts. Not difficult to do at all.

There are, as you can see, a number of Turkish travel guides touting for tourist dollars on this board. You have to accept that for what it is, and be advised you will never get the truth from this lot. (I should think, however, that in the interests of drumming up business, they would be a bit more circumspect in their language-I for one, would be highly turned off by such strident protests concerning the simple facts of terrorist bombings occuring in the country-facts which are directly responsive to the poster's question).

The situation is what it is in Turkey, and the fact remains that bombings against tourists have been on a sharp increase within the last 6 months particularly.

(And Asia Minor, thanks, but no thanks. I don't need a travel guide to your country-I've been there a number of times, for periods of time, so I'd have no need of one).

And Flanner-I'm so flattered. Of course I'm wrong nearly 100 per cent of the time! That's because you are RIGHT 100 per cent of the time, no? (smile)

Coming from someone who believes that Pan Am 103/Lockerbie was blown up in retaliation against the British, I'm not surprised you would respond in such a fashion!

AsiaMinor Sep 9th, 2005 12:01 PM

Poor Spy,

You are not only obsessed with terrorism but also with tour guides. I wonder if you have any bad experiences with tour guides in your past.

This forum is open to everybody and nobody is so stupid to be convinced by me or by you. Everybody is wise and intelligent enough to make his/her own decision. After all, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink ...

Turkey will have been hosting more than 15 million visitors by the end of this year and if there is minus one like you, it doesn't make so much difference to us.

By the way, what made you come to Turkey a number of times (not once), for periods of time? If you give me an honest answer, I may help you get over your Turkeyphobia or guidephobia.

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