Turkey and the Single Woman

Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:38 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 58
Turkey and the Single Woman

Hi everyone, hoping for some travel advice. I am planning a trip to Turkey next year and have a friend who may or may not be able to join me. In any case I want to start planning my trip now and was wondering if any other women on this forum have gone to Turkey solo and what their experience was like. I travel by myself a lot and have experienced the usual harmless type of attention a woman on her own might receive in certain parts of the world however I've heard from a few people that the attitude towards women traveling solo in Turkey, even in cosmopolitan cities like Istanbul, can be kind of aggressive/intimidating. Any experiences of this? Thanks so much!
rosaleendark is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:46 AM
  #2  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 22,825
I am a blue-eyed blonde who went solo to Turkey in December 2008. Yes there was a bit of attention, but it was all harmless and non-threatening. If you click my name you will find my trip report. In my report you will discover that usually when I thought a man was hitting on me, he was only chatting me up because he wanted to sell me a Turkish carpet. The first couple of paragraphs in my trip report are about the carpet vendors, and it can be quite fun fending them off.

You'll be fine!!
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Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:48 AM
  #3  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I just clicked your name and I noticed you are new to this board, so welcome. If you click my name and scroll to the bottom of the page you will find my trip reports, including Turkey.
P_M is offline  
Apr 27th, 2009, 07:08 AM
  #4  
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Thanks P_M - great trip report!!! I'll write one of my own when I get back.
rosaleendark is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 10:50 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I was there in March with my 24 year old daughter, but we split up several times during the day so I was wandering around alone. It was fine. I travel solo frequently and I think Istanbul would have been OK. It's not a particularly female friendly culture though. There are far more men around than women - even in the tourist areas. Men seem to gather in fairly large groups and just hang out - places like squares, etc. Not dangerous at all, but I could see how it might bother some women. They tend to stare. I have dark hair and am often mistaken as Spanish or Italian, and it was March so we were wearing jeans and dark raincoats - not the slightest bit revealing so that wasn't why they were staring. They are friendly enough if you need to talk to them - to buy something, etc. Men in restaurants, hotels (most employees were men except housekeeping staff) were very friendly.

The carpet salesmen are another story, and this would be the same, or possibly even worse, if you were with someone. They can be very rude, coming up and walking along side you and trying to talk to you. You have to just ignore them. Again, not the slightest bit dangerous but very annoying. They are mostly in the Sultanahmet area.

I've very glad I went to Istanbul, it's a fascinating city. I didn't "love" it like I do most European cities, but it's very worth while seeing. I would probably say if you get a companion for the trip then do so, but I wouldn't not go just because you can't find someone to go with.

My trip report is at: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ith-photos.cfm
isabel is offline  
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