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Safety in Turkey with protests

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Aug 26th, 2013, 10:49 PM
  #1
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Safety in Turkey with protests

My daughter, her mother in law, and two young children are traveling to Turkey for a week. The US State Dept has issued travel concerns about the safety of US citizens saying they can be targets of terrorists activity. Just curious if any recent travelers to
Turkey find this to be the case and should they re-think their trip for now? They are actually going to be living in Greece for a few months, so a side trip to Turkey isn't entirely necessary.
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Aug 26th, 2013, 10:59 PM
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I have a friend who just returned yesterday from a several month stay in Turkey. I spoke to him last week and the advice he gave me then is likely still applicable:

Avoid demonstrations and if you see one forming, leave. That's the gist of it.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 04:05 AM
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I don't recall the concern being that US Citizens will be specifically targeted for violence; instead, I think the concern is the risk that travelers might get caught up in any violence associated with demonstrations. So sparkchaser's advice is correct - avoid the demonstrations.

We were in Turkey earlier in the summer with our children, during the height of the protests. We were absolutely fine. We had considered changing our plans and I'm so glad we didn't. I also had two groups of friends travel there with their kids even more recently (at least to Istanbul) and they too reported uneventful visits.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 04:14 AM
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As weird as it may sound, if you are wanting to "experience the culture" now might be a really good time to go. I'd love to be there right now just so I could talk to the people and the average citizen's perspective on what's going on. I have a feeling that they'd be very willing to share their opinions.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 05:08 AM
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Not sure I agree with asking "the average citizen" for his perspective at the moment. You'd have no idea who you're talking to, or their reaction to anything you might say. Take sparkchaser's first thought and leave if you see anything untoward happening or starting to happen.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Thanks, the state dept website did say us citizens were at risk. They said "There have been violent attacks throughout Turkey, and there is a continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout Turkey."

I am relieved to hear that travelers like your friend sparkchaser and you txtree did not have any problems. I did not the website did not include Turkey as on the list of countries too dangerous to visit.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 07:19 AM
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opps us should be capitalized = US citizens
and I did not the website = I did note
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Aug 27th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Three points on above :

1. sparkchaser and txtree are right in relation to Istanbul, the Mediterranean resorts and cappadocia which have been trouble free for any tourists, foreigners and men in the street, as long as you do not get involved in the protesting or get caught up in a group which is demonstrating, shooting with your camera.

2. Turks love to speak. So, I will not agree with Rubicond. You do not need to take sides. You will find both people who were only exposed to government PR and their media or those who are more aware of what is what. Will definitely be interesting to hear both sides (especially after reading through my rather long thread here)

3. Having written the above, there is currently very special and unusual circumstances because of Syria and the possibility of United States, United Kingdom, France, Turkey attack against Syria.

All four of the governments have shown a great deal of enmity to the Syrian government to the extent of aiding, arming, supplying, training and financing Al Qaida and other jihadist fundamentalist groups sent into Syria to fight the dictator Assad.

It is a possibility that Assad, Iran, Hezbollah or even Egypt or Russia may use opportunities to cause problems in Turkey which may involve foreign tourists as well as Turks, until the Syrian situation has been peacefully finalized. Following article is quite good despite the fact that it appears in an Islamist newspaper :
http://www.todayszaman.com/news-3247...r-attacks.html
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Aug 27th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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Insightful post, otherchelebi. Vielen dank.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Very insightful otherchelebi, and thank you. I don't know really how to advise my daughter and her m-i-l but have definate concerns for my grandkids.

I look forward to any other information you might gain in the next couple of weeks. They probably will go in late October or November but will have to double check with her on their itinerary.
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Aug 27th, 2013, 06:25 PM
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nanabee, that was part of a worldwide caution alert in the beginning of the year; I really don't think there have been more specific alerts since then. Though I do agree that events in Syria might change the potential threats and it's important to remain alert in Turkey and elsewhere.

otherchelebi, I very much felt that this summer was an amazing time to visit Turkey. Everyone we encountered - from tour guides to restaurant workers to taxi drivers to ferry boat workers to boutique owners to coffee shop workers to fish mongers to professional friends of friends - they all wanted to talk about the political situation. We had so many amazing conversations; some people had stronger views than others, but all wanted to talk about recent events and everyone was very thoughtful and measured.
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