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Visiting Exciting Turkey in the Throes of Restoration

Visiting Exciting Turkey in the Throes of Restoration

Old Jul 7th, 2015, 09:26 AM
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Interesting -- thanks! I have a friend who will begin teaching in the fall at the University in Anatalya. Any comments on the situation there?
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Old Jul 7th, 2015, 10:13 AM
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put like that, OC, it wouldn't seem to be a good idea for Turkey to invade Syria.

Why would the Turkish government even be considering it?
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Old Jul 7th, 2015, 11:37 AM
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yestravel, Antalya is far away from any danger zone. The university has a great location and except for a few weeks of heavy rain and storm in the Winter the area is in perpetual Spring and Summer.

There is even skiing just 90 minutes away. Unfortunately a conservative islamist won the local elections, otherwise the city rocked with festivals and concerts.

Annhig, Syria is a morass like Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. The Turkish President and his ilk originally had the crazy notion that they could start rebuilding the Ottoman Empire by annexing parts of Syria. BUt now, with a very visible Kurdish presence in Northern Syria connected to the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey, any attempt at invasion would inflame local issues as well as international. Add to this the suypport of the Assad regime by Iran, Russia and China plus Turkey's dependence on Russian and Iranian natural gas and petrol, Turkey would be up the proverbial creek even before you bring in the IS and Al-Qaeda into the equation.

There is no legal government in Turkey now. The incumbent is staying in power through subterfuge and on technicalities even though they no longer have majority, because the president is delaying the formation of a new coalition government which may not be possible anyway.

A Syrian invasion may delay formation of a new government even longer or result in immediate new elections where the current leaders believe they can win again by appearing to be war heroes.

Do not look for logic or cause-effect relationships in a people who have strong beliefs in kismet, fate and pre-ordained leadership rights based on a thousand and one tales.

They already became the biggest perpetrators of the tragedy in Syria, allowed IS to become so powerful and caused almost two million Syrians to find refuge in Turkey. They really have no idea what they have done or are doing.
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Old Jul 7th, 2015, 11:42 AM
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Thanks, OC -- she's looking forward to living there for a couple years.
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Old Jul 7th, 2015, 01:38 PM
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thanks for the elucidation, OC - more or less what I had guessed though more elegantly expressed.

BTW, talking about misguided regimes, are you able to get any of the Scandinavian dramas which have become so popular here? Lots are police & murder dramas, but a recent one, called 1864, was set both at that time and in modern Denmark, and told the story of the disastrous [for the Danes at any rate] war between Denmark and Germany. Self-delusion and hubris were very much on display. Brilliantly acted and the war scenes were truly the best [or worst] I've ever seen. Compulsory viewing for anyone intending to go to war, I think.
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Old Jul 7th, 2015, 01:52 PM
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Yestravel, She should be careful to pick lodging at a location not subject to flooding as it frequently happens during those few heavy downpours in the Winter.

the area around the university seems to be quite new and nice but not within the center, although it has good malls, supermarkets, etc.

Although she will probably prefer to make use of the University shuttle and/orthe dolmus system in the beginning, she may want eventually to have wheels to do the historic and natural sights which are in enough abundance to fill all her free time for the years she stays there. Although the city is mostly flat, I do not advise a bicycle because the roads are not usually suitable and Turkish drivers pose a major hazard.

There are frequent campaigns on Turkish Airlines and she should occasionally check for those for very reasonably priced trips within Turkey.
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Old Jul 7th, 2015, 02:08 PM
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annhig, thanks for the recommendation. There was a big gap after Ingmar Bergman and then Lars Von Trier and others came with interesting films and shooting techniques, followed by "Killing" which never seemed to stop.

We are fortunate to have the classic Greek literature and Shakespeare to allow at least some of us to realize that despite all the technological advances, humankind has not moved an inch in terms of perception, sense, empathy, compassion, logic and understanding.
So "hubris" was probably a socialanthropological reality hundred thousand years ago as it is today, and even if the soul may not be reincarnated it is possible that all the same big egos perpetually abundantly populate our world and will do so till when.
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Old Jul 7th, 2015, 03:29 PM
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Thanks! The University is providing the housing in an apt, but I will pass on your comments. She is interested in having a car and not likely to bike. I'll mention the sales on Turkish air to her.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 02:20 PM
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Here are the latest for travelers to Turkey :

1. The risky zone in the Southeast has increased to include Urfa, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Mardin, Van, Dogu Beyazit due to the action and views of the President and the continuing AKP government despite their loss of the elections.

2. There was a suicide bomb killing 32 and wounding pover 100 of the 300 odd members of the Socialist Youth group who had camped at the Syrian border across from Kobane, where they had been camping for some days because the government refused to let them across the border to deliver toys and children's books to the library and kids of Kobane. Previously, their busses had been followed and their belongings had been searched by Turkish security forces which had also arrested two of the group for unknown reasons.

People who tried to help after the explosion and a small group who started a small protest near Taksim in istanbul, were pepper gassed by the police for no reason, while government spokesmen were shedding public tears on TV.

3. The Kurdish Democracy party announced that, since the government cannot protect them, they have asked all their local and regional offices to take immediate measures to protect their premises and personnel.

4. The President and his supporters continue their speeches and activities regarding alienation of all those who do not "believe" or "think" like themselves, including Kurds, non-sunnite Moslems, Alevites, seculars, atheists, LGBT supporters, human rights supporters, atheists, agnostics, etc.

5. There will be new elections which will probably have results closer to my initial estimates, sometime in November. This will not solve the problem of lack of a true government and allow the existing one to continue its illegal actions.

6. The Nationalist party is also racist and will never be in a coalition that has the Kurdish party as a partner, and the secularist CHP cannot reach a sufficient majority in partnership with the Kurdish party.

7. The incumbent AKP and the president realize that their supposedly clandestine support of IS has lost them votes and is causing problems in their relations with the West as well as with Russia and Iran and has now started to clamp down on IS activities in Turkey and through the Turkey-Syria border. If this is not just lip service, we may see IS terrorist activity against government and civilians in the intermediate future. The bombing near Urfa, was against Kobani PYD sympathizers and not necessarily Turkish government of civilian targets.

8. However, PKK activity against Turkish government related construction and business in the East and Southeast as well as Turkish armed and security forces is expected to increase and travelers may find themselves caught up, especially while traveling on inter-city routes by public or private transport.

9. Turkish Lira is still weak.

10. Tourist numbers in Turkey and tourism income is down from last year, partially due to the problems in Russia and Ukraine.

11. We have more Middle Eastern, Nort African and Iranian tourists than ever.

12. 40,000 Turks visited the Greek islands last extended weekend holidays in a solidarity drive with the Greek people in view of their problems, taking cash to pay for their rooms and board.



Finally, I shall be starting the next years thread some time in early August. However, I will respond to questions on this one until that time.

Thanks for all your interest and support.
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Old Jul 21st, 2015, 03:04 PM
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Thank you OC for your continued contributions to this board which would be sadly lacking in accurate information about the current situation in Turkey without you.

I saw the dreadful news about the suicide bomb but didn't know about the aftermath, nor about the new elections.

Perhaps the economic crisis in Greece and the continued difficulties in Turkey will bring those two countries together where everything else has failed. That would be an unlooked-for benefit of the present upheavals.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 01:27 PM
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Should we be concerned about driving around cappadocia in a car by ourselves? The U.S. Security department as of today has warned about travel around the Ankara area.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 01:35 PM
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Let me clarify...they are suggesting vigilance and and awareness on the part of the tourist due to recent events and protests. Considering this, We're concerned about driving in an area that we don't know alone, though that is how we usually and prefer to travel. How does one maintain awareness under these conditions?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 02:56 PM
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Thank you OC.
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Old Jul 24th, 2015, 05:47 AM
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Soods,

I foresee no immediate risks in driving within the Cappdocia region which is quite large and has never been an area of interest for any violent political or social activity.

It is not an area which is easy for any kind of clandestine violent group to hole up. The people and the merchants are better educated, more geared towards Western ways of thinking and doing business and realize very well that they owe their livelihood to tourism. They would be on the lookout for any furtive characters who do not fit the landscape, and quickly spot them because of a very strong grapewine. Any evil-doers would be aware of this and not attempt anything there.

Also, the PKK (militarized Kurds) usually try to hurt the security or the armed forces and realize well that they need the goodwill of not only the local population but the United States and European Union as well.

ISIS, on the other hand, may pick any group of people they do not like but will most likely target protests against them.

My previous warnings are still relevant. Stay away from Urfa, Gobeklitepe, Mardin, Hasankeyf, Van, Dogu Beyazit, ishak Pasa Palace, Gaziantep and any and all places close to the Syrian and Iraqi borders.

Stay away from protests, rallies, marching peoples, no matter how good their cause may be.

Driving in Cappadocia and on the Western Turkish coast is as safe as ever.

Prefer, Nisantasi, Bosphorus areas in Istanbul for lodging, if you can afford them.
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Old Jul 24th, 2015, 03:46 PM
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Thanks OC!
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Old Jul 25th, 2015, 12:50 AM
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There will be a very large international peace march against ISIS this Sunday in Istanbul.

the location is not clear but it is likely to spread to Istiklal, taksim areas also.

Best thing to do for visitors is to take a long Bosphorus cruise and/or spend time on the Bosphorus hiking, dining, etc.
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Old Jul 26th, 2015, 02:33 AM
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The peace march was banned by orders of the governor of Istanbul although he does not have the legal right to do that.

The organizers have decided not to oppose but to get to Aksaray in the old city in the afternoon in a small group and read a public press release.

However, there may be various activist groups and other not so well wishers trying to provoke something. So my advice to stay away from the route between the ferry landing at Yenikapi and the Golden Horn and from the Golden Horn end of the Unkapani bridge up to Sishane and Istiklal Street and Taksim Square stands just for TODAY.
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Old Jul 26th, 2015, 03:10 AM
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other, how is the whole, let's attack ISIL and the Kurds at the same time being played out on the media?
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Old Jul 26th, 2015, 07:09 AM
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bilbo...., the media is very fragmented. The pro AKP media and the MHP and nationalistic media love it.

The Kurdish media is banned or censored.

The small group of objective writers or the real socialists (there are some vocal and active faux socialists who spout nationalistic dogma) find some reason and rhyme in not only the government actiuons but also the murder of three policemen claimed by the Kurdish PKK before the recent bombing and the many cases of burning of vehicles at suddenly appearing road blocks.

The main fear is escalation of local violent activity.

Present illegal government has been provoking all factions in a strange vendetta against the public for not giving them the majority at the last elections.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 12:48 AM
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And today NATO is getting involved. Sounds all very destabilising.
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