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Some concerns about traveling to Turkey

Old Dec 4th, 2002, 09:34 AM
  #1  
tik
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Some concerns about traveling to Turkey

I am a single, 38 yr. old woman and have decided that I am going to Istanbul in February 2003. I have checked numerous travel sites as well as international advisories and have found nothing that would indicate that an American traveling to Turkey would be in danger. I am convinced that I will have a great trip. Does anyone know of any web site that I could direct my family to so they will know that I will not be in any danger. They are convinced that any American in this muslim, though secular country, would be at great risk. I feel very educated and abreast of the current politcal climate as I have, unlike my family, diligently done my research. If anyone knows of a helpful site that would let my family know that Turkey poses no mmore risk than other countries it would be greatly appreciated.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 09:45 AM
  #2  
JK
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Let me get this straight. You want a web site that will forecast a safe trip for you to show to your family? I don't know of any such thing, but if anyone else does I'd like to see it.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 09:52 AM
  #3  
Christina
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If your family won't believe the official govt. travel warnings, what will they believe? I assume you've told them there is no travel advisory on Turkey and they don't believe it? Ask them if they've read of any incidents against American tourists in Turkey recently. If they were in great danger, that means something must have happened to someone, right? I haven't heard of any but don't keep up on that.

The US is one of their biggest trade partners, so they want to stay on our good side. Of course, the govt. can't always prevent terrorist events, to be sure. I think you are asking for the impossible, since your family won't believe you and you say you've already done a lot of research and the advisories, so they are not going to believe anything else.

Personally, I would not travel to Turkey for political reasons because I don't approve of their govt's attitude and treatment of women, even in official measures, let alone what they allow to go on in some geog. areas (Southern border near Syria I think is bad) without doing anything. I don't believe that you are in no more danger than ANY other country, but I don't think it's excessive danger.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 02:14 PM
  #4  
HildaOgden
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I haven't been to Turkey but they've recently passed a whole series of laws, including getting rid of the death penalty, to bolster up their application to join the E.U. which means they are definately leaning toward the West rather than the East. European tourists have been visiting Turkey for years and I've never heard of any real problems for tourists recently (except for two Leeds FC fans being tragically killed by Turkish football 'fans' a couple of year ago). Keep your eyes out for travel advisories though.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 03:13 PM
  #5  
Beware
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Your family's concerns probably have to do with the facts, regardless of what's posted on travel advisories:

1. The US will be taking off from Turkish airports if/when it bombs Iraq

2. Bush is absolutely foaming at the mouth to bomb Iraq

3. There may be a backlash against Americans in Turkey and everywhere else once the US starts bombing Iraq

Why not postpone your decision for at least a few weeks, or just flat out postpone your trip until this mess is over.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 05:00 PM
  #6  
x
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I agree- I saw on the news tonight that positive opinions of Americans are down (I believe) to 23% in Turkey. Whatever the number was, it showed a decline in the amount of positive views toward Americans.

I wanted to also go to Turkey on my next trip, and I am far from paranoid. It's just too close for me!

 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 08:33 PM
  #7  
jeez
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You are 38 years old and you care what your family thinks? Most 15 year olds don't care what the family thinks. You've mad up your mind. Just go.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 08:45 PM
  #8  
Edwin
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I would say the risk in Turkey is moderate, but not low. However, to me, a moderate risk means that most people will return safely but a few won't. Ask yourself if you really want to go to Turkey more than another country. If so, go. If not, don't fool yourself.

Make sure you either have a good calculator or are good with figures. The Turkish lira is worth a fraction of a U.S. cent.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 09:09 PM
  #9  
Ben Haines
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Jeez perhaps forgets that the process of ageing includes a growth in caring what family members think rather more than a fifteen year old is said to do. I do not know whether your relatives will care what other Ministries say, but here are relevant selections
Australians in Istanbul should be alert to the possibility of pick-pocketing, bag-snatching and minor assault. There have also been incidents where Australians and other visitors have been drugged and had their passports and other personal effects stolen after being befriended by English-speaking strangers of various nationalities offering drinks, food, chewing gum or confectionery laced with drugs. Travellers should be alert to this activity.
Street robbery and pickpocketing are not uncommon in the major Istanbul tourist areas. Beware of approaches from strangers offering food and drink, which may be drugged.
A number of sexual assaults have been reported in coastal tourist areas.

British visitors should inform the Consular Section at the British Embassy in Ankara or the British Consulate General in Istanbul of their travel plans and consult the local authorities before visiting remote areas.
There have been no recent terrorist incidents in coastal resort areas, and the security situation in Eastern Turkey has improved considerably. But there have been sporadic incidents involving the PKK and Turkish security forces, particularly in the Emergency Rule Region (Sirnak and Diyarbakir provinces); and neighbouring provinces in the south east.
Visitors should be aware that there have been occasional politically motivated acts of violence, sometimes causing casualties. These may continue, on a small scale. But we do not at present see them as a deterrent to tourists visiting Turkey.
Travellers to south east Turkey should exercise caution, keep to main roads and towns, and avoid travel at dusk or after dark.
Bomb attacks, targeted primarily against the security authorities, sometimes occur in Istanbul. On 10 September 2001, a bomb attack in Istanbul?s Taksim area killed two Turkish policemen and an Australian tourist. More recently, there have been some incidents involving small explosive devices, but there were not deaths as a result.

Canadians have been put at greater risk by heightened tensions as a result of the Iraq situation, together with increased threats globally from terrorism. Canadians should maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times as the security situation could deteriorate rapidly without notice. Exercise extreme caution, particularly in commercial, public and tourist areas frequented by foreigners. Canadians should monitor local developments, avoid crowds and demonstrations, as well as register and remain in regular contact with the nearest Canadian government office (see below) or the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (call collect 613-996-8885).

Petty crime such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, and mugging occur. Avoid displays of affluence, and ensure that personal valuables are secure at all times. Theft of passports is increasing. Store important documents in a hotel safe. Do not accept food or drink from strangers even if wrappings appear intact. Tourists, including backpackers, have been drugged and subsequently robbed. Refuse invitations from strangers and avoid downmarket bars and neighborhoods.


Continued
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 09:11 PM
  #10  
Ben Haines
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Continued

Les Francais. Bien que la situation de sécurité se soit sensiblement améliorée au cours du second semestre 1999, la première partie de l'année étant marquée par le procès et la condamnation d'Abdullah Ocalan, il convient de continuer à faire preuve de vigilance compte tenu de la persistance d'un certain niveau de violence politique.
Dans les grandes villes et notamment à Istanbul, il est recommandé d'éviter dans la mesure du possible les situations potentielles à risque, telles qu'attroupements, ainsi que les quartiers périphériques et la proximité des commissariats de police ou des postes de gendarmerie.

Sur la fameuse "route des Balkans", la Turquie est un pays de transit en matière de produits stupéfiants (cannabis, héroïne, cocaïne, amphétamines, etc...). Il est conseillé de n'accepter aucun colis sans en connaître le contenu et, à fortiori, de n'acheter aucun produit "douteux", les peines encourues pouvant être très lourdes. L'usage et la détention de produits stupéfiants sont punissables d'une peine d'emprisonnement d'un à deux ans. Le trafic est punissable de peines allant de six à douze ans. Il existe des circonstances aggravantes (cession aux mineurs, ...).


La prudence est recommandée si on est abordé par des individus qui peuvent avoir des intentions malhonnêtes, lorsqu'ils proposent des boissons ou des aliments pouvant contenir des tranquillisants.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 12:12 AM
  #11  
Hans H
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Istanbul isn't Turkey, as New York isn't the USA. If you stay in the centre of Istabul, as you probably will do as a tourist, you stay in a Western city. There is crime, but very little violent crime. I have friends living there (Germans) which feel safer in Istanbul as a lone female in the middle of the night than in some German cities.
The city has a Mediterranean touch, the people are very friendly and the worst thing that can happen to you, as long as you don't behave foolishy or have very, very bad luck, is being ripped off by a taxi driver (but that probably will happen).
 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 01:16 PM
  #12  
Sam
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I know this doesn't answer your question, but consider going to Gallipoli to pay your respects to the men who died there during World War I. Many of them were Australian. Some were Turks.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 01:33 PM
  #13  
x
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I just saw on the news that there is now an official warning for Americans in Turkey

http://krd.realcities.com/ads/media/network/home/popup3.htm

 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 01:44 PM
  #14  
xxx
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Don't check out that site, anyone. It is an ad for a phone. And I suspect once you go there, it will me sending you future ads unless you have a block against such things. Nothing about Turkey!!!
 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 01:55 PM
  #15  
you'rebrightben
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Wow Ben! Not only do you provide such wonderful info about Europe but you're multi-lingual too! Bright chap you are = ) Thanks for the info!
 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 02:04 PM
  #16  
x
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yet again I apologize- the correct site is

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apwashington_story.asp?category=1152&slug=US%20Tur key%20Threat&from=homeAP
 
Old Dec 6th, 2002, 04:55 AM
  #17  
Deb
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Go and enjoy yourself. I was there this summer and loved Turkey. I preferred Cappadoccia and the coastal areas over Istanbul but that is just a personal preference. There are many women there in western clothing and if you are respectful then you won't stand out. In the Sultahnamet area I did feel I was being stared at and alot of people tried to talk with me as I walked but nothing threatening at all. The Taxsim are was much more cosompolitan feeling and nobody gave me a second glance.

There are numerous posts on this board about safe travel in Turkey. cut and paste a few from people like me that have been there alone and e-mail them to your family.
 
Old Dec 6th, 2002, 09:31 AM
  #18  
Peter
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" I just saw on the news that there is now an official warning for Americans in Turkey..."

No, there is not. Only the US State Department can issue an 'official warning for Americans in Turkey'. Check http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html and you will see that there is no warning for Turkey.

Why would you post something you heard on - TV? Radio? - news without verifying it, anyway?
 
Old Dec 6th, 2002, 05:25 PM
  #19  
Kevin
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Tik:

While I'm not a woman, I did travel alone in Turkey about three months ago. I felt about the same (safety-wise) as I have in either Italy, Greece or France.
I would have no problem if my wife traveled there alone (she's a bit older than you).
I can't speak about the areas off the west coast, but the western coast areas are very safe (where I was).
The people are very friendly and the prices and food are great.
Lastly, check out today's (12/6) issue of the Wall Street Journal - a very positive review of Turkey and gets at your question.
 
Old Dec 6th, 2002, 06:13 PM
  #20  
x
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Maybe Peter please stop crying needs to check his facts:

http://travel.state.gov/turkey_announce.html
 

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