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Weadles Jan 18th, 2007 05:42 AM

Recent travelers to Turkey?
Help! We're planning a two-week trip to Turkey this summer. But friends of ours are warning us about a steady increase in anti-American sentiment. I would love to hear back from anybody who's visited recently. We travel a lot, and are extremely respectful of other cultures, but certainly don't want to go where we're overwhelmingly unwelcome. Thanks!

Steve_James Jan 18th, 2007 06:24 AM

Hi Weadles - Is this one of those 'warnings from well-meaning friends' who have never been outside the States, I wonder?

I've been to Turkey for the last 3 summers and have been treated very well every time.

Although I'm English, I met Americans there who were also treated well.

The Turks generally are very welcoming and friendly. I don't think you'll have the slightest problem ...


angorapatty Jan 18th, 2007 06:25 AM


I am living in Turkey at the moment. Please plan on making the trip. Turkey is a beautiful country with lots to see and do. Many Turks are not happy with the policies of the U.S. government, but they are very good at separating the people from the govt/policy. The Turks are hospitable people and would welcome you warmly.



milliebz Jan 18th, 2007 08:39 AM

Hi Weadles,
When and where in Turkey are you going? We are going June/July. I have not heard about any growing anti-American sentiments but I suspect that this could be anywhere at this point. Turkey seems to be one of the countries where people feel less "safe" to travel than others countries who have as many or more "incidents" that may provoke fear. Madrid, London or Paris do not seem to suffer the same kind of reactions. My DH is in that camp.

I hope you do not let this deter you. I am not going to let it deter me. Quite frankly there are plenty of places in the good old U.S. I am not comfortable.

fnn Jan 18th, 2007 09:11 AM


I was in Turkey in November and had no problems with any sort of anti-american sentiment. It was a wonderful country and I would highly recommend you go.


Weadles Jan 18th, 2007 09:44 AM

Thank you for the replies! The warnings we got were from very well-traveled friends who are based in London. They are pretty fearless when it comes to most destinations, so that's why I began to worry.

Now thanks to your replies, I will put the plans back together again. Right now we're headed to Istanbul, Cappodocia, and Bodrum in early- mid July. I have always wanted to visit Turkey, and I'm sure it's going to be a fascinating trip. I will post all about it when we return.

Thanks again!

flanneruk Jan 18th, 2007 10:06 AM

I can't imagine wby "anti-Americanism" would affect anyone's holiday. What surely matters is how safe a country is.

And the blunt truth is that Turkey is as close to being unsafe for tourists as anywhere in the world outside Iraq.

Now that still means an American is far, far more likely to suffer violence in his own country than in Turkey. But it's simply untrue to talk about "others countries who have as many or more "incidents" that may provoke fear".

For example, in August 2006 alone:

On 28 August 2006 a bomb in the shopping area of Antalya, killed three people and injured dozens, including European tourists. The blast followed four bombs in the resort city of Marmaris and in the Bagcilar area of Istanbul that wounded 28 people, including 10 British tourists. A percussion bomb exploded opposite the east entrance of the Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul on 15 August 2006. An explosion on 14 August 2006 near Hagia Sofia injured three. On 12 August 2006 a bomb exploded outside an internet café in Istanbul injuring six people.

And similar murders aimed at foreigners have been almost continuous since 27 people, many British, were murdered in an Istanbul attack on the British consulate and British-owned shops and banks in November 2003.

Why are these murders taking place? The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, who claimed responsibilty (or, as we say in plain English, accepted guilt) for them, is quite clear: they don't want tourists to visit Turkey.

Now the risk of being involved in any of this is low: but that low risk is relatively higher in places tourists go to.

And it really doesn't matter an iota how friendly most Turks are. It's how badly the lunatic fringe wants to kill tourists that matters.

milliebz Jan 18th, 2007 12:28 PM

"and the blunt truth is that Turkey is as close to being unsafe for tourists as anywhere in the world outside of Iraq."

What a ridiculous statement. There are 30 countries on the the U.S. State Department Travel Warnings list and Turkey is not included. There are many more way more dangerous than Turkey not on the list.

Secondly,as I said other countries do not get the same type of scrutity for its bombing attacks. You reference three deaths and dozens of injuries. Thirty seven people were killed and 700 injured in the London transportation bombings. One hundred ninety killed on the Madrid train.

If you want to make the distinction that the bombings in Turkey were aimed at foreigners I don't see why that distinction would matter. Foreigners ride trains and buses.

Weadles - keep planning.

Weadles Jan 18th, 2007 01:39 PM


Thanks for the encouragement and reality check! We were in London one day after the subway bombings, and both lived in Manhattan for nearly 20 years ( husband still works there), so I have no idea why I was so easily swayed by our friends' comments. Perhaps I need to address my own discomfort at traveling w/kids in a world that is radically changed from the one I grew up in.

amandakay00 Jan 22nd, 2007 01:17 PM

I am a 21 yr. old female and was in Istanbul in October and December 2006. The people are amazing! As previously stated by other posters, they do not agree with the Bush administration or the war in Iraq, but they love Americans. I was told numerous times how sad they are that American travelers are deterred from traveling to Turkey because of the war in the Middle East. The Turks make every effort to separate themselves from their Middle Eastern neighbors. Go and have a fabulous time!!

alanRow Jan 22nd, 2007 01:24 PM

If we were cowed by terrorists then no-one would go to New York.

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