Turkey on Your Own

Jun 16th, 2009, 09:18 PM
Original Poster
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Turkey on Your Own

Thinking about going to Turkey summer of 2010. We are not fans of organized tours. Is it possible to explore Turkey on your own? We would like to arrange priviate tour once we get there. We are interested in going to Instanbul, Anakra, Capaddoccia, and Pamukkale. We have already been to Ephesus. We would like to fly from Instanbul to Anakra and then rent a car and go to Capaddoccia and Pamukkale. Is this possible and how safe is it?
anitas is offline  
Jun 17th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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Of course. Just choose tours for certain things you really want to get a lot out of. In my opinion, you do not need a guide in Istanbul, and only for certain things in Cappadocia (with a car, even that is doubtful).
yorkshire is offline  
Jun 17th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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western Turkey i believe is as safe (or safer) than many large European cities - eastern Turkey is more like bordering Iran IME - when i went thru eastern Turkey kids would typically throw stones at foreigners - but your plans will not nearly go that far east.
Palenque is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 02:44 PM
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Wow, Palenque - when and where was that? I haven't heard about that kind of problem, and I'm planning an overland trek from Georgia to Syria through eastern Turkey - solo.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 09:16 AM
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Even though it was some years ago i do not think things have changed for the better in that area - the Kurdish area bordering Iran and Iraq - but check Lonely Planet for current advice - women would have more problems i think - i did not feel unsafe other than kids always throwing small rocks at me whenever i walked around anywhere outside the town center.

hopefully things have changed but i would doubt it and don't know why recent events would have made it any better. But i mention it only to illustrate the stark difference in culture, etc. in far eastern Turkey vs Istanbul, Ankara, etc.
Palenque is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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I was coming overland by bus from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan (a long time ago) and Iran - but i found the most anti-Western feelings as exhibited by stone throwing was in eastern Turkey, just in from Iran.

Maybe has changed but i do not see why.
Palenque is offline  
Jul 8th, 2009, 03:22 AM
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Interesting and unbelievable, however could have happen, if the kids have been told something different. Usually I am sure many would agree here on the forums, Turkeys biggest asset is its people and their hospitality. I am sorry if this happened to you which I would like to consider as an individual action but not a general attitude.....
Driving from Ankara or to Pamukkale is easy and pleasent, avoiding night drive is my suggestion.

Happy travelling,

propertravel is offline  
Jul 8th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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There is a more recent report on another board about kids throwing rocks at a tourist in Harran, but it seems to be a localized incident. Certainly I can't imagine that kind of problem in the places the OP mentioned.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 8th, 2009, 07:42 AM
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I was there in summer 0f 2007. I travelled with my brother and his family. We did not take guided tours, however...my SIL is Turkish so that helped

We had rented cars and drove into Istanbul from the suburbs every day. Afterwards we drove to Ankara , then on to Cappadocia. We stayed in Goreme while there. Dorve down to Antalya, then along Med to see Ephesus, and back to Istanbul via the ferry. WE spend about 7/8 days outside of Istanbul

The road from Istanbul to Ankara is as good as or better than any highway we have back home...fast and smooth. When we were driving south from Goreme to the Med there were a couple of places where the road was more "country" than city, but nothing at all to worry about. Along here is where I had my windshield chipped. Some very nice vistas. Driving along Med was slow due to winding roads through mountains, but that adds to the adventure. We found our "secret village" along this road

We had no issues of safety (apart from me learning to not take a picture of the American Embassy!) The women with us did not have any issues...the only place they changed from shorts to something more conservative was in Konya which SIL said was more religious so...

We had our Fodors guide as well as Lonely Planet. There were no areas that we had any issues with seeing on our own. Certain places (Ephesus, Hagia Sofia)you'll get guide offers anyways. Getting hotels, reading signs, meals...English was common.

Highlites: Driving, Istanbul in general, Ankara grave of the Prez, Goreme, Open Air Museum Goreme, whirling dervish dance night near Goreme, cave city south of Goreme, hiking along Ihlara valley to cave churches and then lunch on platform on top of valley stream, Kas, drive along Med, Ephesus.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 10:18 AM
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You would not need tour if you stay at central hotel in Istanbul you will be just minutes away from major attractions like aya Sophia,Topkapi palace,blue mosque and the big souq.
Darlene45 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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It's totally doable and very safe. It just takes some planning. Bus service is very frequent and cheap. Take dolmushes ("stuffed" vans) between towns.

I spent 3 weeks in Turkey (not on a tour) several years ago, and, still, to this day, it's my favorite place. I loved it all -- the food, the scenery, the ruins, the architecture, the music, and, most of all, the people -- the friendliest, warmest folks I've met in my travels. I never once felt unsafe or threatened. I can't wait to go back. Have fun.
NanBug is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:07 PM
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I would like to know where else there was "stone throwing" od tourists besides the incident in Harran. We are going to the eastern side to Harran and others...curious where this could be a problem (we will have a guide with us).
IngridG is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:11 PM
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You may be interested in my trip report, even though it includes Ephesus. Click on my name and look for it under Trip Reports.
Michael is online now  
Jul 20th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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If you have a guide with you i think you shall not have any problems - a good guide that is

I would check Lonely Planet Guide to Turkey and see what they say.

I think it is a relatively small and remote part of Turkey that acts like fundamental Moslems - even those these Kurds are not Arabs they are Moslems.
Palenque is offline  
Jul 21st, 2009, 05:18 AM
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I recently returned from a one-week trip to Turkey on my own.
Although most of my time was in Istanbul, I never once felt unsafe. I got lost one night looking for a restaurant, and there were plenty of people to ask for directions. I did arrange a couple of guided days, and I'm glad I did.
Context Istanbul's Topkapi Palace tour was terrific, and there were only 4 of us in the group. I also took a half-day Jewish heritage tour and a one day Istanbul highlights tour, just me with a guide, and we covered a lot of territory. I had time during my trip to go revisit a couple of my favorite places like Ayasofya.
The guide came from a local agency called VIP Turizm.
I have a trip file on Ephesus (which I know you don't need) and Istanbul; if you'd like to see it, email me at ESL1051 at yahoo dot com
elaine is offline  

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