Safe to travel to Turkey?

Travel Forums Europe Safe to travel to Turkey?

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Last Post This thread is marked as being about Turkey
1. Posted by monicas318 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

hey I'm hoping to visit Turkey this summer with a friend who is Turkish with a lot of family there but my dad is worried for my safety being an American and Jewish. anyone with current info on the situation please let me know.. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

2. Posted by btaymaz (Budding Member 8 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

No problem, go with confident like going to Europe...
Turkey is not an Arabic country.

3. Posted by nesli (Budding Member 19 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Hi Monica,

It will not be a problem that you are an American and jewish in Turkey. Don't worry. you will be safe :) Actually when your father see your pictures taken in Turkey, he will get very surprised. I am now in America and somethimes see some programs related with Turkey on TV, and I cannot believe what I see. Turkey is a very beautiful and safe country. also you will visit Turkey with a Turkish friend. Don't worry and have fun.

by the way which city/cities are you going to visit? If you need further info, just write :)


4. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

im American and have been too Turkey many times, its more safe than most places in Europe and America, I felt.

5. Posted by b.j. (First Time Poster 1 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Hi Monica,
When I planned a trip to Turkey for myself and my sister, I had the same feelings of apprehension. We were going during Ramadan and, since I don't travel all that much, people were making many negative comments that affected me.
At the time, there were bombings at the embassy and unrest at the borders. I heard all the fearful comments from almost everyone that knew I was going there. My husband was the worst!
Don't listen to them. Turkey was a most wonderful place to visit. Not once did my sister or I feel threatened (well, maybe once. Watch out at the mosques and tourist attractions for pickpockets.) Otherwise, we walked all around Istanbul at all times of the day and night and felt safe. We were only there 10 days but took local flights into more remote areas and the people everywhere were so helpful and caring. Go, go, go and please let me know about your trip when you return, if you have the time. Also, if I can help with any questions just e-mail me.

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

American and Jewish is generally not a problem.

The Mediterranean Sea is the "bathtub of Europe", and as one of the countries at the coast of it Turkey gets millions of tourists each year. The majority of them are Europeans on a package deal, but there are plenty of backpackers as well - including Americans and Israelis. As long as you stay in the touristy areas along the coast of the Med you should not have any problems at all. It would be like worrying about going to Mexico bc they all speak Spanish and not English. :-)

You also have the advantage of a friend who speaks the language, so you should be very safe.

Potential problems could arise if your friend is your boyfriend and you are about to visit his ultra-conservative family far away from the touristy areas. But even then you would not be in any real danger. You might not get along with his family, but then this would be more like a major inconvinience. You can always pack your bags and leave if it gets too much.

Turkey has some problems with the part of its population that are ethnically Kurdish, there is frequent trouble along the borders to Iran, Iraq and Syria. If you are going there, listen to the news carefully and inform the US embassy in Ankara of your travel plans before you go. Currently all seems relatively quiet, but this might change next month or the next week - you just never know in this part of the world.

It is true that the Turkish people do not like the USA very much, but the same is true for people all over the world. The US government has shown a spectacular talent of stepping on people's toes, especially when dealing with countries smaller or economically less powerful than the USA. However the very large majority of people are able to distinguish between an American tourist and the US government.

So yes, it is safe. Your dad doesn't need to worry about you. A decent guidebook will provide you with lots of useful information that you need if you travel on your own, get one. Let's Go, Rough Guide and Lonely Planet are good. I can also highly recommend a "guide to the Turkish people", especially since you are about to visit your friend's family. I really like the CultureShock!-series for this. Get a good grasp of the Turkish concept of "honor" and what it means to be a "gelin".

Out of curiosity, which cities and places are you going to visit?

7. Posted by adamandmeg (Respected Member 7 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

You should always check with your own governments foreign staff for the most recent advice for a country you plan to travel to.

We have lived in Istanbul for the past 10 months and the situation can change pretty quickly when there are large protests. In the East of the country and closer to other borders to the South it can be a bit sketchy but otherwise there is a well trodden trail for tourists in Turkey and on it – or with local advice such as your friends family, you should be fine.

Australians - Type in SMART TRAVELLER for the Australian government advice for countries.

8. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

Just to add to the good advice above - I'm not sure that anti-US sentiment is very strong at all in Turkey. We travelled in Turkey some years ago with an American friend, including some travel towards the East where it's not so touristy - no-one batted an eyelid. Most Turkish people we spoke to seemed proud to live in a modern country with a secular system of government, I really can't imagine it being a problem at all.

9. Posted by maji (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

have you ever been in arabic country? So plz stop judging other countries without having any clue about them. Ignorant!!!

destinated to btaymaz

[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2015, at 06:28 by maji ]

10. Posted by Unboundly (Budding Member 57 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Don't worry Monica, you should be just fine!
If you're still concerned, you could keep an eye on the local news until you leave, but there should be no problem.