Safety in Turkey

Old Mar 28th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Safety in Turkey

Hi everyone,

I'm considering doing a study abroad program in Istanbul, Turkey this summer for 4 weeks.

I just wanted to hear some advice/comments/suggestions regarding the current safety in Turkey right now.

Thanks in advance for your time and help!

Cheers,
Angel
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 01:25 AM
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If you read this, I believe you will find it useful.

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/d...ers/index.html
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 01:56 AM
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A taxi ride in Istanbul might be scary, but I have always survived so far.
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 12:55 PM
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Any other comments from recent travelers? Especially females? Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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I spent about a week in the city a few years back.. Most of the time I wandered around alone. I had no problems with anyone, including taxi drivers. Just take the usual precautions that you would in any large city...
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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My friend and I took a girls' trip to Turkey and Greece last September. We spent 9 days in Turkey, mostly in Istanbul. We were fine. Just use the same precautions that you would normally use in a large city.
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 03:56 PM
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Aside from the traffic, much safer than any major Western city
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 05:30 AM
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I was just there in February and felt safe. Like one of the other posters said, take the same precautions as in any big city. Some of the tourist areas are more prone to pick pockets, but be smart about what you carry (and where) and you'll have no problems.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 05:35 AM
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I've been there 3 times and the first time was with my younger son - who was about 11 at the time. We went all over the place - just the 2 of us - with no problems.

Street smarts are essential - as they are everywhere - but I don't see any reason for you to be concerned.

What an incredible opportunity!
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Given todays news and the (political) turmoil that you can expect, I'd stay away until the situation clears up. Should the be a "showdown" between the court, the army and the party you never know if it turns violent. The lira has lost 20% of it's value during the last 6 weeks, at least it'll be cheaper.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 01:20 PM
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logos--

What is today's news that should make one more cautious?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 07:58 PM
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Logos,
I'm wondering if you could elaborate on your comment.

I'm wondering if anyone else has any safety advice about Istanbul, Turkey now that this thread is bumped up. Thanks so much!

Angel
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 09:34 PM
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The "big issues" are the same as ever. The country is governed by a theocratic party that now has support of the masses. Their economic policy was very successfull in the recent years. Otoh there are other very influental groups too, that support the separation of state and church and are called Kemalists, according to the name of the founder of modern Turkey. The Kemalists are rather "conservative" (right wing politicians) in their views, dominate in the army and the judicial system. The constititional court unanimously accepted to discuss a plea, that both, prime minister and state president should be removed from power. In that case, the army would take over again as they did before. It never was a "real problem" before and things used to calmed down quickly. However people never were so profoundly supporting that theocratic party that brought a better them life to most of them. This time there may be violence. The population is growing at an incredible speed and many have just never seen any other party in power. The media are running large anti western (mostly anti german) campaigns for years that also influence people. (Actually most people are still smart enough to realize that!)

However, I'd watch the latest news before I'd consider going, if I were you. I won't be going there again in the next few years however nice people may be..
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 10:58 PM
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For your physical safety as an individual, a temporary student in Istanbul, there is no problem when you take the usual precauions.

However true this political info may be, in essence today all issues are possible, even a peaceful one.

"This time there may be violence."
Yes maybe, maybe not. When? Before you arrive? After you're gone? During summer? Don't politicians, judges and military men go on holiday?
Where will the supposed violence be in Istanbul? Around Taksim? In Fatih?,... Istanbul is so huge that nine times out of ten, you wouldn't even notice that a riot has taken place.

One credit I will certainly give to turkish people: they will do everything in their power to prevent this political violence threaten you. IF anything would happen while you're there, you would certainly be informed what to do, certainly also by the institution where you would study.

I wouldn't dream of not going...
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 02:22 AM
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I personal thank you Baldrick.... I could not explain better......
Greatings from Cappadocia,
Murat
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 06:09 AM
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I agree with Baldrick. I think it's an opportunity that shouldn't be missed.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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I just wanted to hear from more travelers about the current political situation and possible effects on safety. I will be sending a confirmation soon to study abroad but wanted to hear more input from you all! Thanks so much!

Cheers,
Angel
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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I would suggest you ask questions to the organization sponsoring your program.

The folks here will have a variety of opinions - most of it based on their own personal feelings/idiosyncrasies/worries.

Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to go. I love Turkey and am just trying to figure out a convenient time to take another trip to Istanbul!

Are there issues to be aware of? Sure

Is something likely to happen while you are there?
Maybe, but probably not

IF something happens, is it likely to impact you directly? Maybe, but probably not

Do you need to be "street smart" and be aware of your situation at all times?
Sure - just like you would in any major city

Will you need to follow the news and keep track of the local "pulse" while you're there?
Yup - just as you should anywhere
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