Istanbul - Would you go there?

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Jul 21st, 2016, 05:57 AM
  #1
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Istanbul - Would you go there?

We are traveling in 3 weeks and have a 2 night stop in Istanbul. We have been there before and loved the city. In-light of all the recent problems we have concerns. I know things have calmed down there now, and we really have no choice but to travel through the country to our final destination. The choice is staying at an airport hotel for 2 nights (boring) or going to our original booked hotel in Istanbul. I'd love to hear from my fellow travelers on your opinions. Would you stay in the city?
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Jul 21st, 2016, 06:08 AM
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I would stay in tne city since you have to transit tnrough Istanbul.
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Jul 21st, 2016, 06:47 AM
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Yes I would stay for a few nights.
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Jul 21st, 2016, 07:09 AM
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Yes, I would definitely stay in the city.

What hotel are you sleeping at?

Have fun.

Thin
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Jul 21st, 2016, 08:08 AM
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I would stay in the city.
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Jul 21st, 2016, 08:24 AM
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I am booked to do the same thing (two nights) in September. I was already concerned about the security and political situation when I booked at the end of April, plus my outbound flight requires me to be at the airport fairly early in the morning. I booked at the WOW airport hotel, which I used for an overnight on a previous trip. However, I intended then, and still intend, to spend the full day in town, but I will avoid the major tourist sites (which I already visited, usually more than once.) I am thinking of visiting the Dolmahbace Palace, taking a Bosphorous cruise (I'd visit the islands, but I already did that), and having a good meal with a good view.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 10:29 AM
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At the moment, it is a huge risk. I would not go near the place
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 10:43 AM
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Huge risk of what, precisely?
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 02:56 PM
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Simple answer no!
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 03:07 PM
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No, I would not go.
https://travel.state.gov/content/pas...l-warning.html

If you do keep these numbers with you. I would also not sit at a cafe drinking, I have heard of people being harassed drinking alcohol in public.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 03:18 PM
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The US State Dept is always alarmist. It is a cliche that if it wrote the advisory for the US no-one would come. However, this time Australia and Canada seem to agree.

The UK has a somewhat different view:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 03:27 PM
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I would go, but only you can decide if you will go.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 04:32 PM
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It's my feeling that anything can happen anywhere anytime. I also feel that after any incident may be the safest time to be there. And by far the least crowded. And least expensive. I was just looking at fares to Europe today, so tempting. It's kind of like the stock market, after a crash is the best time to buy. After an incident in a country is the best time to go.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 05:37 PM
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You say you have to stay in the city regardless of whether it's city proper or airport. If you cannot adjust your routing, then stay in Istanbul proper and enjoy your two days there, exercising normal big city caution and perhaps keeping a close eye on shifting current climate to determine if visiting major tourist sights makes sense or not.

I would usually agree with MmePerdu about post incident being the safest time to go (For example, I studied abroad in Jordan some three months after horrible hotel bombings in Amman) but I do think I personally would choose not to visit Istanbul at this time. The ISIS inspired can certainly attack anywhere anytime, but add the recent history of IS related attacks in Turkey to the attacks "carried out" by Kurdish nationalist, and then add an increasingly autocratic Erdogan suspending more civil liberties, firing judges and educators, imprisoning enemies... Well that's just a bit more than I'd usually choose to disregard and move forward with.

Seems like a few too many factors to encourage a visit at this time, especially when there are many other cities in Europe and Asia and elsewhere that maybe can't escape the IS inspired threat (as likely few places can at this point) but don't have the other elements that could create a combustible scenario.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 06:40 PM
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I have been reading othercheleb's post for a while now. It is the recent acts of Erdogan that scare me. I would certainly keep a low profile.
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Jul 22nd, 2016, 10:47 PM
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Inspiredexplorer, I agree that there's a lot going these days. But my feeling is still that it's incredibly unlikely that a person like myself would get caught up in anything.

It seems to me that tourists are largely invisible, there to spend money but aren't involved in the politics of a place. And we occupy particular bits of the landscape that may not attract political activity because numbers of disaffected local people don't live or gather in crowds in those neighborhoods. When was the last time we heard of an old lady tourist being killed by terrorists or arrested in a coup?

And there are my personal habits, I don't like crowded places, I go home to my room by dark, don't shop in malls although I do like markets, so that could be a weakness in my assumptions. But I'd be unlikely to be in a crowded market so that might save me. No mosques, few churches, in Istanbul I'd be much more likely to be walking than on a bus.

I'm trying to think of the ways I might be killed, but of course, one cannot predict. But again, I think my habits keep me pretty safe. A bad rash or food poisonings (both in India), bug bites, and an occasional wretched hotel seem to be the worst hazards I can recall suffering in all these years and, so far, lived to tell about it. I'm aware, though, that that could change. But the awareness seems not to stop me.
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Jul 23rd, 2016, 11:04 AM
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I love the way MmePerdu thinks. Same here. I don't have any pressing need to head to Turkey these days, but I wouldn't be put off going there. I'd be far less comfortable traveling to Texas or many other U.S. States.
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Jul 23rd, 2016, 11:47 AM
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10,000 arrested so far, mostly military, judges and civil servants. Its the civil servant part that would worry me most. Who wants to get stuck in Turkey if there is a bureaucratic shutdown?
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Jul 23rd, 2016, 12:29 PM
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A can think of far worse places to be stuck than in Istanbul. In any case, if it came down to it, I think they'd make arrangements to just be relieved of us pesky tourists. The more I think about it, the more interesting it sounds.
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Jul 23rd, 2016, 02:10 PM
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No need to be alarmed about sacked bureaucrats. The 50,000 or more are mostly in Ministry of education, Universities, Student housing, etc.

As far as I know all the lovely ladies doing their nails while you wait to finalize a sale at the Municipality and the gentlement waxing their Erdogan similar moustaches before they can put a required signature on a customs dociument are doing well at their posts.

We arrived by THY less than two days ago and whizzed through passport and customs. The baggage came very quickly and the lines at passport control was very short because more than 50% of the passengers were on trafnsit, mostly to African countries because of THY specials, such as $600 cheaper to Cameroon as our uber driver in Chicago told us.

Streets are empty in the daytime, traffic is much better.

Just avoid major gathering points in support of Erdogan (supposedly supporting turkish democracy) at night.

The Bosphorus is grand, The first bridge is lit up in bright red,
food is still very cheap due to the depreciating Turkish Lira.
Hurting hotels are open to negotiations on rates and/or upgrades.

After yesterdays gunning at Munich, who can say which part of the world is safer?
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