Istanbul...Safe for 2 Women in '99???

Old Feb 22nd, 1999, 03:07 PM
  #1  
Linda
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Istanbul...Safe for 2 Women in '99???

Hi, first time Europe traveler. Booked for 25 days in Europe with a sidetrip to Istanbul. Plan for 2 women, 3 days. In light of the recent political situation would you advise us to still go...wait a bit...or cancel? Planned for May 5th. Think we would be a target or have the time of our lives? Will listen well.
 
Old Feb 22nd, 1999, 08:27 PM
  #2  
Linda
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OOps....should have mentioned that we are an American citizen and a Dutch citizen going to Istanbul. Thanks
 
Old Feb 23rd, 1999, 06:29 AM
  #3  
Paul Rabe
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If Kurdish rebels decide that the place you are staying/visiting in Istanbul would be a good place to throw a bomb or shoot some bullets, you COULD have a problem. The same could be said of your home town in either the U.S. or the Netherlands. Unfortunately, there's no spot on this planet where you are GUARANTEED to never have a problem. I believe I am on firm ground in my feeling that Istanbul will be, overall, safer than most large cities in the U.S. as far as avoiding violence.
 
Old Feb 23rd, 1999, 06:49 AM
  #4  
Joanne
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I was in Istanbul in 1997, with my husband, but spent some time with two women friends at the Grand Bazaar. I never felt threatened in any way. However, there are many more men on the streets than women, and a light haired American woman does attract attention, but again, it is not unfriendly. There was some "activity" when we were there, although I could never put my finger on what it was - no one seemed to know. Arriving by taxi at the airport, the highways were temporarily blocked. Then there was a rumor of a small bombing of a military facility, but again, we couldn't figure out exactly what it was about. And there was a secret service event at our hotel which I photographed, but still haven't figured out who was involved! This all sounds dramatic, but it really was not. And again, I never felt unsafe (except breathing the air!) By the way, hotels are inexpensive in Istanbul. One of the best, the Ciragan Palace, was I think just a little over $200, so if that's in your budget, it's worth it, although a little on the snobby side. Email me if you need any details on this incredible city.
 
Old Mar 11th, 1999, 01:40 AM
  #5  
Rita
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Hi Linda,
I have lived in southern Turkey since 1988. Just spent 3 days in Istanbul with my college roommate and had a wonderful time. Istanbul is a very large city so take normal percautions. Also, watch the taxi meters. There is a day rate and a night rate. I was not careful enough and the driver put on the night rate and I did not realize it. They also told me no meters on Sunday and I know better so we changed taxies. Be careful in crowds with the bumping or pushing.
Some fun things to do: Have high tea in the lobby of Swisshotel, cost about $15. You have unlimited tea and a savory and sweet buffet. It is from 3:30PM-7:00PM. and is in Taksim area. While in Taksim have a drink in the rooftop bar of the Intercontinental Hotel, about $15 for a fancy mixed drink. Beautiful panoramic view of the city. We stayed in the historical area because we could walk everywhere to site see, then took a taxi one day to Taksim area. Email if you have further questions.
 
Old Mar 11th, 1999, 07:44 PM
  #6  
Al
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We've traveled Turkey from north to south, from east to west, and spent plenty of time in Istanbul as recently as 1998. The city, once you get your bearings, is a delightful place to explore, steeped in history, and offers dozens of places to see. If it were mine to do, I would avoid the Ciragan Palace (pronounced seer-AHN), very pricey, snobbish, stiff. I would find a hotel in the Taksim area for action, or near the Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque) for atmosphere. Have you checked the Turkish web site? At about 360,000 Turkish lira (today) to the US dollar, you will find Istanbul to be a bargain. I would advise you to avoid the streets after dark unless accompanied by someone who knows the city. You will have no problems in the Taksim / Istiklal Caddesi area because it is lit up like Oxford Street or Times Square. Just stick to the main thorofares. Try to make time to take the boat out to the Princes Islands, especially to Buyuk Ada, the big island, and take a buggy ride around the entire island, past the old mansions, through the pine groves, high above the sea. And Turkish food is one taste treat after another. May is a perfect time to be in Istanbul -- warm and dry and sunny.
 
Old Mar 13th, 1999, 12:41 AM
  #7  
paciano diaz
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My wife and I honeymoon in the Mediterranean with a stop in Istanbul. It was very delightful and would have like to have spent more time there. However, the only time of my whole month's travels that I felt tense being an American occurred in Istanbul. We were taking a taxi and I happened to go by what appered like a government building where they were having a huge demostration/rally. Traffic was at a stand still and we were almost in the middle of it.
 
Old Mar 13th, 1999, 11:47 AM
  #8  
Joanne
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I previously posted a response to your question regarding Istanbul. Please make sure you are aware of the latest bombing in Istanbul. This hit a little closer to home, as I shopped at this mall, and it attracts tourists. My suggestion to you would be to not panic about the situation. I believe that security will be tighter, due to this latest event. But, please, educate yourself well on the Ocalan situation. Make sure you understand the dynamics of this situation and any other current politics. Again, I never felt unsafe in Istanbul, but it is wise to conduct yourself as neutrally as possible.
 
Old Mar 13th, 1999, 01:54 PM
  #9  
Linda
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Thank each of you for taking your time to respond. We will heed your advice to educate ourselves, be alert and act with caution while still soaking up the ambiance of Istanbul. Maybe this will be the time it will be to my advantage that I have long, dark brown hair and not a blonde! I will keep reading and we will make our decision as late as we can. Warmest regards and gratitude.
 
Old Mar 14th, 1999, 06:49 AM
  #10  
Karie
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Note headline story today on cnn.com regarding department store bombing and fire. As others have said, this can happen anywhere. At least the elections will be over by the time you go.
 

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