Traveling to Turkey next week

Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:55 AM
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Thank you Murat and all who responded. I especially appreciate the assurances that we will be treated as individuals - and not as representatives of a government that is unpopular not only abroad, but at home as well. And thank you for the tip about lira. I was about to go buy a small amount at the bank today, but will wait till we arrive at the airport.
Any recommendations out there for good food? We will be in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Kusadasi, and Bodrum.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Bouchet, The Cafe Sofra, in Taksim Square, at the top of the Marmara Hotel, I think, has good food and the ability to explain the offerings well. That last may be the consequence of having several cafes in London. Try the Anatolian wines there as well; after all, they were mentioned by Homer, how bad can they be? The Yakut is a particular cheap wine favorite.

The only downside we came across in Istanbul were the pickpockets. Fortunately for us, they were not very skilled. A money belt or wallet keeper (mine is from Eagle Creek) is recommended.

Be prepared for aggressive vendors, particularly in the Bazaar. A smile and a firm "no" is usually sufficient. Major purchases should be accompanied by tea and conversation, and if you are considering rugs or furniture, a local guide will save you far more than the cost of his/her services.

Incidentally, after unsuccessfully fending off vendors in English, French, and Spanish, my wife resolved to respond to the next person in Hungarian. Because of that, we ended up in a long conversation with a Hungarian speaking vendor and he became our guide through the rest of the Bazaar. It is better to find an ally and enjoy the experience than go in, as I must I admit I did, with a negative attitude.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Hi Bouchet - I wish you a wonderful time in Turkey. It is a lovely country with beautiful people and places and fun things to do. Enjoy yourself.

Yay, Murat ! I'm back from Dubai. Had an excellent time. Will PM you.

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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 09:00 AM
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Two restaurants in Cappadocia:

Urgup: Solime (I may be misspelling it but it is in all the guidebooks). Has outdoor dining, good fod and nice service. It was my best dinner in Cappa.

Mustafapasha: Old Greek House. I thought this was quite good but not great. However everyone else raves about it so consider it highly recommended.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 04:08 AM
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Hi Bouchet;

I am happy to hear my suggestions worked for you.

I have a long list for Istanbul, please e-mail me so I send you the list. In Cappadocia; Somine is in Urgup and testi kebab is one of the favorites. I eat there at least 4 times in a week just accross to my office and saves us cooking at home after a busy day
Old Greek House is in Mustafapasa and serves homemade dishis next to a menu. Usually everyone we brought there or send are happy with the food & service and ambiance. Elai in Uchisar offers more fine dining. Owners are friends and in past I had irregularities on the food but last experience was good.

Orient in Goreme is good for steaks.

Dibek in Goreme for local flavours are my other favorite after Somine.

In Cappadocia try to stick to Red wine only. Dibe^k's house wine are both good for white and red.

For the ones interested in rugs, give a chance to Cappadocia and compare what you found elswhere and make your decision after may save money and offers richness of choice for a second thought.

HeyMathieu; welcome back home....Look forward hearing about Dubai and your time there.....keep me posted.

Happy travelling,

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Old Oct 25th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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I also recommend 'Dibek' - which Murat suggested to me - as a very good place for an authentic atmosphere and food in Goreme.

Murat, what was the name of that place that the 4 of us went to for dinner with Gouray ? Do you remember it? It was a local place and was quite packed. We all various vegetarian platters and dipping plates and then the grilled meat platter and ALL the food was great. I forgot my camera in the middle of all the empty plates and the owner came running after us with it as we were driving away !

(I'll PM you with the Dubai information. Had a GREAT time there.)
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 03:30 AM
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Hi Mathieu;
It was in Avanos, but can not remember the name of the place. Only other thing I remember that I had much more kebabs & grills than I could handle

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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for all the up-to-date info.
Bookmarking for our trip (maybe moving the date earlier to May 08 instead of Oct 08)
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Sorry to have to say it, but AAFrequentFlyer is correct.

I just returned from a trip spent traveling all over western Turkey which coincided precisely with the first anti-PKK and anti-American protests (we arrived on Sunday, Oct. 21, the day 12 Turkish soldiers were killed by PKK along the Iraqi border). If I close my eyes I can still picture the sea of red Turkish flags plastering the sky above all the streets, especially in the larger towns and cities, and the angry student protestors shouting their way through the crowds.

I never felt in any danger, but our reception by almost all the Turks while we were there this time was MUCH cooler than it had been during our 2006 visit. They seem to at least partially blame the U.S. for the Kurdish problem, whether right or wrong to do so. Personally I think it's naive to believe the U.S. has that much power to solve all the problems in that region, perhaps especially this problem, let alone expect them to do it.

Okay, now I just glanced at the original post (above) again and noticed "bouchet" said on 10/13 that he/she is leaving for Turkey in ten days. So, now when you are back, bouchet, why don't you post a followup so we know how it went for you?

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