Where to go in Turkey?

Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 04:00 PM
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Rex
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Where to go in Turkey?

I am going to Turkey in April. I have to go there to meet someone who can't get visa to visit other countries, and I just HAVE to spend time with her.

My two choices of location are: Istanbul or the Agean Coast.

Now my question concerns what attitudes will I find in those two areas if and when the shooting starts?

On the one hand, worst protests (about anything) in most countries are in big cities around universities. That speaks against Istanbul. However, the alternative argument is that Istanbul is cosmopolitan and used to foreigners and no one will even pay attention to us.

The opposite arguments may hold for the smaller cities on Agean Coast. But I am just guessing.

What do you think?
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 07:10 PM
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Paule
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I think it will depend more on what kind of time you want to spend; while I imagine that there will be demonstrations around the University in Istanbul, it's a large enough city that you can easily avoid that area.

The cities along the Aegean will be beautiful, perhaps a little cool, but still very pleasant. I think the resort nature of the towns will mean that tourism will still be very important and encouraged; a general growing anti-Americanism, I think, can co-exist with a strong need for the economic boost of tourism.

It's one of the most fascinating countries I've ever visited, and I suspect that despite all the conflicts that this brings up, you'll still get a warm welcome. I talked about this in an earlier post, and I've found, in general, that people will usually deal with me as an individual, not as a representative of the American government. Even when there is a clear anti-American sentiment, I'm not personally attacked.

 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 08:00 PM
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Bill
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I agree, since you will be travelling with her, that you most likely be warmly welcomed in either place.

It'll be less lively on the Aegean than later in the spring or in the summer. If you would be travelling there (and back?) with her from Istanbul, then that might be fun (since you will be with HER).

If you are meeting her in Istanbul, then there you'll be with plenty to see.

Your choice, I think, could be made simply on where the two of you will have the best time together.


 
Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 09:15 AM
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I was in Istanbul for a week at Thanksgiving when the war prospects were very much in place. I did not once experience any hostility, and the people were the friendliest of any place I had previously traveled. We were asked several times where we were from, and when I replied the US, most people wanted to tell me stories of relatives or friends of theirs who are in the US.

The university is very westernized. We were there several times and the students were very much like they would be at any US school. I do not believe you will see any protests at the university.

I really loved Istanbul, and felt the people were very gracious and non-hostile.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 03:46 PM
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Two questions: Do you think I am wise to consider takeing my wife and three children to Istanbul and the west coast? Secondly Is April/May a good time to visit?
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Old Feb 5th, 2003, 04:11 PM
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Rex : Either places will be Ok. Aegean would give more romance as a difference.

Marco : May is better weather vise but I do not see any point why you should worry. If there is a war its for everyone and everywhere... However you wont find disturbences becouse you are American personally. What I experienced in 1991, fewer guests visited Turkey had their best holiday. They get all the service they even did not ecpected.

Hope we can welcome you in Turkey either in April or May...
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 02:09 AM
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Well, I must say that I know Turkey rather well. The last time I was there, was one month ago, in Istanbul, for two weeks. The Turkish people are extremely kind and hospitable, and I never experienced any unkind word towards the "West". Of course, they need an income : life has become very difficult in Turkey, and so every penny from the tourist is welcome.
In this periode of the year, I prefer Istanbul : it is low season on the Aegean Coast, and it is rather chilly. Absolutely no "beach-weather". I was there once in very early spring, and I was really bored : after just a couple of days, I travelled to Istanbul.
Istanbul is a wonderful city : just every street is full of history and monuments. You have the coffeeshops where you can smoke the narguileh, you have Taksim with all the restaurants and shops, you have Sultanahmet where all the monuments (Topkapi Saray, Aghia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, the covered market - a city on its own- are, and many many others). I have been many times in Istanbul, and I always go back : I already have my ticket for march 22. During the evening, it's the city of 1001 marvels !
When I was there beginning of January, I received a message of one of my friends, informing me that there had been a big demonstration in the centre of Istanbul : against the war in Iraq. Well, I did not see that enormous demonstration - and nobody of the other tourist saw it. Maybe it was in the neighbourhood of the university, anyway : Istanbul is so big, that it would almost be a miracle if you would be just on that spot when a demonstration takes place.
Oh, and if you need a quiet, very central, very clean, small and very quiet hotel in the centre of Sultanahmet : I discovered a brand new one and I just love the place. They have a website : www.hotelpeninsula.com - and, if you mention my name, you get a serious discount. I was staying there for the first time during 2 weeks, and I was extremely pleased. If you want information about rates, you find it on the website, if you send a mail for asking prices, mention my name : mia danneels - you'll get a discount.
Aegean Coast is great as from 15 May until 15 September - but depressing and absolutely not romantic during the other months.
Have a nice time in Turkey - and be sure : nobody will treat you badly, on the contrary !
mia
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 03:04 AM
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Hi Rex - Istanbul is wonderful and you will have a fantastic time. The Turks are some of the most hospitable people you will meet. Make sure you go to one of the fish restaurants in the KumKapi (sp?) district, especially on a Friday night. Great food and a great time - when we were there it was a real celebration of life.

If you have enough time and want to consider going outside of Istanbul and the surrounding areas, you might want to consider taking a few days to visit Cappadocia. It could be very cold there, but it is a fascinating and wonderful part of Turkey.

Have a great trip!
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