Is it Safe to Travel to Turkey?

Updated Information

March 2014 : Yes, I am still in Turkey. People are asking  about safety in Turkey for a variety of reasons, but I am not advising anyone to cancel their trips. Many places that people want to travel to are so far away from the border with Syria. Also, while there are often demonstrations in the big cities regarding the current political situation, this is not affecting the day to day running of the country.

June 6th 2013 : I have published a new post about the demonstrations in Turkey and whether you should cancel your holiday, you can read that here

June 1st 2013 : In the last few days, there has been riots in the Taksim square area of Istanbul. I am not in that location, yet current news channels report that trouble is still ongoing so it is advisable to avoid this area.

There has also been demonstrations in other cities such as Izmir and Ankara. It is worth researching the destination that you plan to travel to or post a comment below if you have concerns about your travel plans.

The demonstrations are not countrywide. I am in Altinkum and it has been a normal day here. Had I not been watching social media reports, then I would be completely unaware of unrest in Istanbul.

Travel advice from the British government is to just avoid all public demonstrations because tear gas and water cannons are being used.

Update May 2013

After the recent bombing in Reyhanli, many people are asking if it is still safe to come to Turkey for their holidays? My answer is still the same. Most holiday resorts and destinations that receive tourism are far away from the Syrian border where this bomb happened.  I am on the Aegean coast of Turkey at the moment which is over 1000 kilometres away and life is as normal.

If you have any specific questions about your intended destination, please use the comment form below however all around the country,  in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, life is continuing as normal.

Update April 2013

Hi readers,

I am still receiving questions whether it is safe to come to Turkey. It is. I am still here and my point of view has not changed since my last postings which you can see below.

Update – 6th of October 2012

Hi readers,

In recent days, there has been further tension between Turkey and Syria that has led many people to worry about a war between the two countries. I have received a lot of emails asking me if it is safe to come to Turkey. I am on the moment on the Aegean coast and life is as normal here.

My personal point of view has not changed since my update below on April the 9th. I have no plans to leave Turkey and will still continue to travel around it.

I am really sorry, but I do not have time to answer personal emails or Facebook messages. If you are concerned about the destination within Turkey that you plan to travel to, please leave a comment below and I will let you know my thoughts.

Alternatively, you can follow my posts on Facebook to keep updated.

Updated April 9th 2012  – Turkey and Syria

Hi readers,

I wrote the post below in 2011 after the Arab Spring uprising in Tunisia and also the situation in Libya. Those situations have now calmed down however it appears that people are now concerned about whether Turkey is safe because of the situation and war in Syria. I can assure you that for summer 2012, Turkey is operating as normal for holidays.

Many of the people who have sent me private messages or emails are planning to visit areas which are at least two days drive away from the Syrian and Turkish border. I am at present on the Aegean coast and there is no effect from what is happening in Syria or on the border.

You need to seek advice from your consulate if you plan to visit any areas that runs along side the Syrian border, otherwise everything is as normal. Visit places like Cappadocia, Istanbul, Altinkum, Fethiye, Alanya, to name just a few destinations out of many that are safe to visit.

Turkey is a very big country and putting off your visit, to a majority of the areas would be the same as not visiting America because things are happening in Canada. One example is that from Istanbul to the border of Syria, it is over 1000 km!

If you have any questions about your chosen destination in relation to what is happening in Syria, please post them in the comment section below as unfortunately I do not have  time to answer private Fb messages or private emails.

Many thanks

Natalie

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Previous Post

I have been reviewing my blog stats for the past month and one search term that has suddenly appeared is the question.

Is it safe to travel to Turkey?

I was extremely surprised to read this and can only assume that upset in the Middle East has made a few people jump onto Google to find out whether Turkey will be next. I have also had a couple of friends ask me if I think Turkey will be the next country to have an uprising.

Turkey is not in the Middle East.

A  lot of people make the mistake of thinking Turkey is in the Middle East. It is not.  (Post corrected  due to comment  below. ) So when looking at lists of travel no go areas, don’t place Turkey under the Middle East.

Turkey has Democracy.

There will not be an uprising because democracy is in place. Turkey implemented democracy in the 1920’s and they are fiercely proud of their ability to vote. Other countries that have seen turmoil were living under leaders that had been in power for the last 20 to 40 years.  There was no democracy and any elections that did occur were apparently rigged.

Turkey is Safe for Traveling.

Now I don’t want to discuss the finer point of politics on my blog as I like to base it on Turkish travel, the people, the food and my daily experiences. But I can say Turkey will be safe in 2011. Bring your friends and bring your family to Turkey and experience just how friendly the Turkish people are. They welcome strangers into their country and into their homes with open arms.

Go to the holiday hotspots of Marmaris and Fethiye for gorgeous beaches and wonderful scenery. Alternatively, visit the city of Istanbul for absorbing the Turkish culture and touring some wonderful historic sights. Visiting Turkey can give you an amazing experience and memories that will last forever.

Further Reading about Turkey

Learning about Turkish Culture and Traditions

Exploring the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul

My photos from traveling around Turkey

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Natalie

Hi. My name is Natalie Sayin and I am the author of The Turkish Travel Blog. I am an eccentric,Internet addict with a passion for history. I really shouldn't travel because I can not read maps and always lose my way! But hey, that never stops me and it is part of the fun! Leave a comment below to join the discussions.
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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for the article, but I’d just like to say that Turkey isn’t the only country is on two continents Europe and Asia… My homeland Russia definitely is in Eurasia as well.

    • Pete says

      Is it safe to go to Turkey on holiday in light of what the news is reporting today in connection with the Jet incident ?

        • Vale says

          Hi! I read that Syria has placed a lot of tanks around the turkish border… By the end of July i’m travelling to Turkey, and in particular I planned a visit to the Nemrut Dagi (passing through Malatya)..do you think it could be unsafe and I should avoid it? Thank you!

          • Nat says

            Hi Vale, At the moment, I still think it is ok however there is a month to go between now and your departure date and that will tell more. Are you traveling solo or with a tour company? The reason that I ask is because at the beginning of the month, there was a British tourist who was traveling through the south east on his way to Trabzon and he was kidnapped by the PKK. He was released unharmed but it is now the second story that I have heard. The first was concerning some German tourists. The British tourist had left from Diyarbakir. Will go you be going through there? It is about three hours drive from Malatya. This story tells more http://www.rttnews.com/1899348/kidnapped-british-tourist-in-turkey-released-unharmed.aspx

          • Vale says

            Thank you for your answer! I’m travelling solo. I have a flight from Istanbul to Malatya and then after the visit to the mount I would move to Cappadocia. Maybe it’s better to go directly from Istanbul to Cappadocia

            • Nat says

              I would not cancel just yet Vale. Instead I would ask around on the Lonely Planet or Trip advisor forums to try and find someone who has been in the area recently. They would be in a position to give you better advice

              • malen says

                hi! I will be travelling with my brother to Turkey this week. i sit safe to travel amidst the ongoing riots in taksim square?

                • says

                  Totally depends on where you are going. If your hotel is in Taksim, Istanbul then change your arrangements.Where are you planning to go?

                  • malen says

                    Thanks for your reply. We will be staying in Istanbul Royal Hotel and based on google map its 5.5km to taksim square. Do you have any idea if it’s still safe to travel in Istanbul right now? I’m following up all the latest news about this riot in Istabul and they are(protesters) occupyingall the streets in Istanbul. Im a bit worried will get stuck in Istanbul.:-(

          • Meral says

            My family is from Malatya and there is no terrorism in that city, it is completely safe and away from the troubled area

          • Mo says

            Of course its NOT safe to travel to Turkey now. Why are you People lying about this. It will get worse in Turkey and nobody can know for sure what the outcome will be, but for sure its NOT SAFE to travel to turkey now!!

      • James Browne says

        The British government web site advises only essential travel……all the Turkish web sites say its fine!
        So a Syrian war and national protest are more than enough for me not to feel safe! Then there’s always a high rush of terrorist attacks at the costal resorts when the season is in full swing! Not awesome….

        • says

          Read the description properly James. The British government only advises essential travel to certain parts of the country which are in the southeast. The rest of the country is not included in those areas.

          Re the Syrain war, I am in Turkey now and it is over 1000 kilometeres to the Syrian border. Kind of like leaving Scotland because there is a war in the UK, you just wouldn’t do it.

          National protests. Read this post http://turkishtravelblog.com/holiday-in-turkey/

          Terrorism attacks – Just as likely that you will get blown up using the London tube station.

    • michaela says

      Is it safe to go to Marm,aris in June 2012 as a friend has warned me about gfoing due to terrioist attacke .

      • says

        The terrorist attacks can happen anywhere in the world. Every day, I am out and about somewhere in Turkey and I am still here! :) If you want to let terrorists rule your life because of that small chance that you might be involved in one of their bombs, then you would never go out of the house. Police in Turkey are very vigilant. At the end of the day, terrorist attacks are a world wide problem and happen everywhere in the world, not just Turkey.

        • Dalal says

          Hello! Me and my family we’re planning to go to Istanbul! But we heard that there is trouble in Turkey, so we’re not so sure anymore. Is it safe in Istanbul for us tourists? Oh btw I’m from Kuwait :) <3

          • says

            Istanbul is safe but just stay away from the Taksim area if demonstrations are happening. Most of the main sites to see are in Sultan Ahmet area so you won’t miss out

  2. turkey's for life says

    We’ve seen a few questions cropping up too. I remember when the war in Iraq first started up again and my friends cancelled their holidays to Turkey. It just seems like a infinitely recurring problem that Turkey has to live with – we’ll just have to keep plugging away with the blogs to convince people otherwise, Natalie! :)
    Julia

  3. says

    We have occasionally had to tell people we live a fair distance from the Iraqi border. Should you decide to do Christmas presents next year I suggest buying everyone a map.

    • pad murphy says

      hi Natalie,me and my family are thinking to go over to turkey this august. if we go we go we will be staying in Kusadasi. is kusadasi safe to stay in

  4. says

    Hi Natalie, a coincidence – my brother just wrote yesterday that he will not come until the Turkish unrest settles. My response, “Unrest? I slept fine last night!”

    It’s just silly. At the same time, my mother and several other family members have booked trips.

    These are the same people who are surprised that Turkey has “The Internet.”

  5. says

    Well I can only agree with everyone else. Turkey is perfectly safe. Naturally tourists should take the same safety precautions when travelling as they would do anywhere.

    To be honest in almost 13 years of living here I’ve always felt a hell of a lot safer than I did when I lived in the UK.

    • Gray Maxwell says

      Hello,

      Reading the comments on this blog, I thought that since you live in Turkey you could best respond to my question. I am planning on travelling to Bodrum early July and wonder what your opinion is about safety. Normally I am not easily scared off, however being a woman American does make me question this situation. On the other hand, my boyfriend is from Ireland and his relatives visiting there always talk about the warm hospitality they receive. With all that just written, I guess my question really is about being an American.

      I’d appreciate any advice you can offer.

      Gray

  6. Hulya says

    Thanks to
    Terry, Natalie,and Julia

    Who are the ones who can see the real richness of Anatolia who has been political bridge for centuries and because of that Turkey republic residents still under pressure of those reactions (with what is dictated as sayings from US or Europe) and tourism has been misguided.
    Anyway you are the ones who can enjoy the real hospitality ,richness of culture and nature keep going!!! I admire you.
    And Shane Christmas presents next year as a suggestion of buying everyone a map even they have their smartphones is a wonderful idea.
    Hulya(Julia)

  7. says

    @Jim. I find it strange when poeple ask me the question. If it was not safe, then I would not be living here.

    @TFL’s. You are right Julia. The more we blog about it, the better.

    @Shane. Don’t do Christmas presents, they can buy their own maps!!

    @Terry. Sorry, but your brother has just made me laugh out loud.

    @Ayak. I feel the same. I am more safer here than I ever was in the UK.

    @Hulya. Thanks for stopping by. Took a look at your blog. What great posts.

  8. says

    I agree with you all on the fact Turkey is a safe place to Travel and live. I have been traveling to Turkey for over 5 years and now live here full time and I feel safer here than I did in Scotland.

    There is a greater sense of community here and respect for people than any where else I have been.

    Turkey is a wonderful country full of history, culture and some of the most friendly people you could hope to meet.

  9. says

    Thanks for enlightening us with this post! Honestly, I wasn’t really sure whether Turkey was part of Middle East but there was indeed a thought in that direction. Glad you cleared this up! I would definitely put Turkey in my travel wish list!

  10. says

    I’m glad you could ease people’s fears of travel there. I have to admit that uprisings in the Middle East have interupted my travel plans. However, I was originally planning on Egypt. Turkey still is a good and safe place to go.

  11. says

    @Kerry. Thanks for adding your view and helping to reassure people

    @iamthewitch. Lot of people think Turkey belongs to the Middle East. I have even seen website sometimes advertising it as part of the Middle East.

    @Steve. Sorry to hear that your travel plans were interrupted but definitely do still come to Turkey.

  12. says

    I thought the uprisings were in northern Africa, not Middle East, but this is irrelevant, of course. Turkey is a safe haven when compared to all the turmoils going on around her, and i think everybody who has visited this blog agree.

    • says

      Hi Jedilost. I was under the impression that it started in the middle east and then spread to Northern Africa. Anyway, definitely agreed, it is a safe host.

  13. says

    No, Turkey is not part of the Schengen Agreement which applies to certain EU countries only (the UK opted out).

    I’ve had similar messages from people at home concerned that Turkey might be next in line.I’ve tried to assure them that our adopted home is quite safe to visit!

    Jack

  14. Turkish American says

    I don’t know where you are getting your information from, BUT Turkey is indeed a “Middle Eastern” country. This connotation of yours that Turkey is “European” is completely false. Other than the fact that a sliver of the country actually falls within “European” geographical boundaries does not dispel the fact that Turkey is 99% Muslim. Other than Ottoman era inter-ethnic breeding that had occurred, Turkey’s culture and language remain in tact, and derive absolutely nothing of substance from European origin. Being that Turkey is a “pro western” muslim nation, and strategic member of NATO, it soothes westerners to think of Turkey as being “other” than Middle Eastern. This is only true so far as Turks are neither Arabs nor Persians, but they are still considered Middle Eastern. If you dare venture outside of cosmopolitan Turkey (Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya etc..) into the rest of the country, you will see this for yourself. With that said, Turkey is a reasonably safe travel destination for Western tourists. But be aware of your surroundings! There is still a lot of anti-western sentiment amongst the public, in addition to an ongoing conflict with the PKK. Regardless, Turkey is a lovely place with a very hospitable people. But please, do not go there expecting it to be Italy or Greece, it is not. Turks are a very nationalistic proud people, who would rather be referred to as what they are, not as “Europeans.” Finally, to end this rant I will state that being “Middle Eastern” is not merely a geographic confine. If that were the case, North African “Maghreb” Muslim nations would not be referred to in the same vain as other Arab states located geographically in Southwest Asia.

    • Yorkist says

      No, Turkey is not Middle Eastern. The old term used to be “Near East” and the Middle East was what came after this. Turkey is officially part of the European system for most things. Culturally its religion is Islam which gives it a lot in common with the Arabs. But as an industrial country, member of NATO, democracy etc it falls into the European category — though its regional enemies wish it didn’t.

  15. Turkish American says

    For anyone else who had a doubt. Feel free to check out the map and associated content. Here you will see that Anatolia, or modern day “Turkey” has always been and always will be considered a part of the Middle East.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_East

    I would challenge anyone to refute this assertion.

    P.S. I am Turkish.

  16. says

    Hi Turkish American. No need to call your comment a rant, it is a comment and discussion is actively welcomed on my blog.

    I am going to take up your challenge and look forward to our debate.

    My points are as follows.

    1 – Just because a country is 99% Muslim, this does not make it middle eastern.

    2 – You use Wikipedia as part of your evidence which is purely user generated content and makes it no more reliable than say Facebook as a source. You could write something and I could come along a week later and totally contradict you.

    To prove this your source of Wikipedia has a graph showing Turkey to be part of the middle east but on the same page states quote “In 1958, the State Department explained that the terms “Near East” and “Middle East” were interchangeable, and defined the region as including only Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.”

    To prove my point further about Wikipedia. Here is the page for Turkey and no where does it mention the Middle east, yet your page does.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey A contradiction in itself and one reason why Wikipedia should not be used in debates.

    You say the Turkish people would not consider themselves as being European and I totally agree with this. But neither would they call themselves Midddle Eastern. I have had this conservation so many times with different Turks from different backgrounds over the period of the last ten years. First off, they will always say they are Turkish or Kurdish. When you ask them for Geographical background, they will not budge on Turkey because they are like you say a proud nation.

    When you say there is a lot of anti-western sentiment among the general public, on this I totally disagree with you strongly. I have spent a lot of time in the presence of Turkish only communities and never once heard anti-western sentiment. Please elaborate further on how you come to this conclusion. If you are basing it on the PKK, then that is not proof. Also just because the PKK is existent in Turkey, it does not make Turkey any less safer than say Britain, America, Russia, Spain. I could be sitting in the capital of London tomorrow and get blown up.

    I look forward to your reply. Speak soon.Natalie

    • Backpacker Sam says

      Hi nat.
      Just a short note, How friendly are the Turkish people , do they like to see tourist. My brother visited Istanbul and had a very bad experience Specialy in shopping malls . Now I am not generalising here . Thanks nat.

  17. Paul says

    Thankyou for your helpful insight into to the travelling to Turkey – me and girlfriend are now no longer worried about booking there for June/July 2011 :)

  18. Jeremy of Billericay, UK says

    Love Turkey, Love the friendly people, Have been on holiday with my family for the last three years,

    Just go, you will love it, especially Dalyan

  19. says

    @Paul – Glad to help.

    @Bliss – No problem

    @Jeremy – I am still yet to spend more than a day in Dalyan but I am looking forward to it.

  20. Travel Bug says

    Your posts reassure me about my upcoming 15-day Turkey trip. I am taking a group to Turkey in December 2011 and will welcome New Year 2012 in Kusadasi to visit Ephesus. Will also visit Istanbul, Troy, Canakkale, Pergamon, Miletus, Didyma, Pamukkale, Demre, Phaselis, Antalya, Konya, Goreme, and Cappadoccia. I hope all the comments about how Turkey is a safe place to visit, remain true. I will bookmark this site and keep checking blogs for updates. Looking forward to this fabulous trip to Turkey!

  21. says

    Hi, Natalie. Nice post & blog. We’re heading to Turkey later this summer for our 3-mo break from Schengen. I can’t wait.

    We’re RVing and bringing our dog. Any advice on either count?

    Cheers,
    Renee

    • says

      Hi Renee, If it is all right with you I will take the advice on Rving and put it into a blog post as there is so much to tell. I will try and put that post up in the next week. Re the dog, you will be fine but when visiting a new town keep an eye out for the local stray dogs. In some places, stray dogs are a massive problem and they have been known to roam around in packs and on the very odd occasion, attack other dogs. Have you looked into the rules and regulations for bringing the dog into Turkey as I know they are very strict?

  22. says

    Hey that’s great, Natalie, thanks. I’m looking forward to reading that RV post. No rush though. We won’t be in Turkey until August.

    The dog’s healthy…we’ve been doing all kinds of testing to qualify him for Ireland & the EU. But I’ve emailed the Turkish consulate just the same.

    I’ve read about the street dogs. I’m a bit concerned, but I guess we’ll just have to be mindful while we’re out. Thanks for the tip.

  23. joe says

    I have a friend visiting Istanbul, Turkey, who’s in trouble since her visa expired. She paid the fine about $18,000 already. Last week, she tried to leave, but couldn’t since she was hospitalized. Now turkish government requires her to have $6,500 in cash to travel. I was going to visit Turkey to bring her back to the State, but she asked me not to. According to her Turkey is not a safe place. She said a lot of tourists are robbed and people are mean and ready to cut your throat for any penny. Since I have not been to turkey, I am not sure whether Turkey is really a safe place.

    • says

      Hi Joe, Sorry to hear about your friend being hospitalized and her visa problem. The Turkish authorities are very strict on foreigners who go over their visas. Not sure what you mean about the Turkish government requires her to have 6,500 in cash to travel. Is this more fines or hospital bills maybe? I think your friends bad experiences maybe are lending weight to her impression of Turkey but one look at any consulate site will tell you that very few tourists are robbed. Also Turkish people are not mean and ready to cut your throat for a penny. If you wanted to come to Turkey to support her, then I can promise you that you will have no problems.

    • Meral says

      Sorry Joe but there is a possiblity of your friend lying to you. Even the thiefs dont carry a knife or gun cause the laws dont put them in jail and you cant even harm a thief in your house otherwise you can end up in jail. I worked in the airport and I come accross many people who overstayed in Turkey and the fine is around 50-60 lira which is like 30-40 US dollars. And when you leave the country or enter the country they dont ask you if you have 6500 $, total bullshit

  24. joe says

    Thanks Natalie. Due to her medical condition (since she was hospitalized), $6,500 cash on hand is required to leave the country. This cash is for “just in case something happens” before reaching the US soil.

  25. says

    Hi Joe. I have still never heard of that however I suppose it depends on her condition and whether she has insurance. If she does get stuck, then make sure she seeks the help of the US consulate in Istanbul. Keep us updated and let us know when she gets home to the US

    • says

      Hi Nick, Of course Turkey is not without any danger. If it was then it would be called paradise and the world and his wife would be living here. Regarding you risking the following which is detailed in your link, the same list can be produced for many other countries. Unfortunately the whole world is at risk from bombings like that, not just Turkey. It is also worth pointing out that your list was published in 2008 and since then the Turkish government has educated official and police staff re these risks. Millions of tourists travel to Turkey every year, enjoy their time and return home safe and sound. You could change your plans and decide to visit London instead. Are you at risk of the following happening? Yes, you are. Turkey is no different to many other countries.

    • Renee says

      Just want to say I took my 12 year old to Turkey in July, we loved it, never felt unsafe or at threat I am a single Mum and feel the people are very warm and hospitable, we walked around late, we are heading back next year we loved it so much

      • says

        Hi Renee, Thank you for adding to the topic with your experience. The more people that can spread word of the holidays that they enjoyed the better.

  26. Joy says

    Hi,
    Me and my husband are intending to visit turkey for 10 days next month (11 to 20 June ’11) but we heard that the General Elections will be held on 15 Jun. We are worried about the safety during this period of time (eg. anti-government activity, riots, etc). Can you please advise us on the current situation? Will shops and business be closed during the general elections?
    Thanks for your advice.

  27. Allan Douglas says

    We enjoyed our trip to western Turkey and are planning to go to eastern Turkey (Trabzon, Van, Mardin, and perhaps Antakya). With the uprising in Syria and the thousands of Syrians crossing the border, is it still safe to visit there? We are by no means timid and have been to places such as Iran that many people, including our family, think is unsafe.
    Does anyone have insight into conditions in southeastern Turkey?

    • says

      Hi Allan, Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear you are planning to see Eastern Turkey as that is on my list of places to go. I live far away from the East of Turkey so can not give you an exact answer. I have not however heard any reports of safety issues just increased security checks and patrols around the border. These are mainly so that the Turkish authorities can ensure that the Syrian people coming into the country end up in the refuge camps.

      There was an incident at the beginning of this month near the Turkish / Syrian border and it was an attack on a Turkish army base. However suspicions are that it was the PKK and nothing to do with the Syrian uprising. If it was my trip then I would still go to the East of Turkey as there is quite a bit of distance between the Turkish / Syrian border and places like Van.

      If you want more clarification then Sally at Eastern Tours Turkey is actually in contact with people in the area. You can find her at http://www.easternturkeytour.org/aboutus.htm

  28. Allan Douglas says

    Hi Natalie:

    Thanks for your quick response. We have changed our mind about going to eastern Turkey every other day for the past 3 weeks. Your comments have made our decision “yes we will go” We will be taking a small group guided tour, so the guides should be careful about keeping us out of trouble. We are choosing between two tours in late August/early early September. We end up with a few days in Istanbul on our own. Restaurant suggestions in Istanbul would be most welcome. Our experience has been that the food is terrific in most restaurants from the simplest to the most expensive. Our favorite restaurant at home in the US is a small simple Turkish restaurant run by a family from Istanbul. Their 3 daughters are often in the restaurant in the evening doing homework an d sometimes clearing tables. They make us feel like one of the family.

    We may even add a cruise from Istanbul into the Med after the ground tour. We also have a Black Sea cruise in our plans in the next year or two.

  29. says

    Hi Alan, All your plans sound wonderful, especially the Black sea region as well. Glad you are deciding to take the tour and I am sure your guides will ensure that it all goes smoothly. Please let me know if you publish your photos anywhere as I would love to see them.

    It has been five years since I visited Istanbul and I can not remember any of the restaurants that I visited. There is a comprehensive list though at this URL http://www.mydestination.com/istanbul/restaurants/22156

    Another site which I am a fan of is http://wizardistanbul.com/.

  30. Mary says

    Hi,

    I am intending to visit Izmir in August and am still not convinced about the safety.. the FCO says that as a whole the country is under a high terrorist threat, with the PKK targeting Western tourism. I have looked at many other countries and can’t find many that have more than an ‘underlying threat’

    I need of honest reassurance!

  31. says

    Hi Mary,

    The FCO is advising against travel in the South eastern part of Turkey. Izmir is on the west coast which is so far away that it would take you about 26 hours by bus to reach there.

    Re the threat from the PKK, they are advising people to be vigilant but not saying cancel your travel plans to places like Izmir. The same that people in the UK and America have been advised to do following the death of Osman bin laden.

    It has been said that terrorist organizations will target hot spots in these western countries and when you compare these threats with the threat in Turkey, it is just the same.

    Perhaps it is a difference of thinking however I can get on a plane to the UK tomorrow and be sitting on a UK bus which blows up. Alternatively, I can go shopping in Izmir tomorrow and have a wonderful time and return safe and sound. There is not one place in the world that can guarantee 100% safety and unfortunately this is the times that we live in.

    I am in Altinkum now, which is a two hour drive from Izmir. Every day I see new tourists that come here and have a wonderful time. There will be thousands more tourists as well because all the travel agents are promoting Turkey as a popular holiday destination.

    Please continue with your plans to visit Izmir and just do as the FCO says and that is to remain vigilant, the same as you would do in the UK, America or Australia. There is so much to see and do in Izmir that I think you will have a wonderful time.
    Natalie wrote about..What Do The Turks Think Of British People

  32. Brad says

    Hi,
    I am going to Kusadasi for 2 weeks from the 22nd of june. how safe is Kusadasi considering the recent activities?

  33. Heather says

    Hi, Natalie

    I have found your blog very informative as I am planning to go on holiday with my boyfriend to Gumbet on the 8th of July. I have read your latest post about avoiding the south eastern part of turkey and is wondering whether Gumbet is safe as not sure what part of Turkey that is.

    However I remain positive and trying to reassure the parents as they are currently concened that all the refugees will be homeless looking for hotels to stay in Turkey!

    I look forward to your reply.

  34. says

    @Brad – I am currently living just an hours drive from Kusadasi and it is fine and safe to take a holiday there. Enjoy yourself. Lay on the beaches and stroll through the town. You will be just fine

  35. says

    @Heather. Hi Heather. Gumbet is on the western coast of Turkey and is about 25 hours drive from where all the refugees are coming into Turkey. If you don’t pay any attention to the news when you are here, then you will not even hear about the refugees, let alone see them. Glad to hear you are staying positive and I am quite sure you and your parents will enjoy Gumbet. You will be totally safe.

  36. kershea says

    In light of the bomb blasts in recent years, especially in tourist season… and the recent blast which occurred on May 26 2011, would you still say it’s safe to go to turkey? Already booked my ticket…
    but,having second thoughts

    • says

      Hi Kershea, Please do not change your mind. Every morning I get up and go to work, I then go home at the end of the day. If for one moment I felt unsafe in Turkey then I would move. As I discussed above, there is not one country that is immune from the threat of bombs however the chances of you being caught up in one is so small.

  37. kershea says

    Thanks for the advice Natalie.
    I’ve almost cancelled it a few times,after reading the Australian/ Uk foreign offices safety ratings…
    Almost every person I’ve spoken to has said the same thing as you though.
    Do you work there as an English teacher?

    • says

      Hi Kershea. Glad to hear you are not cancelling. I am more than certain that you will have a fantastic time. I work from Turkey as a freelancer and that gives me the flexibility to go anywhere within Turkey to travel. It is such a big and beaitiful country that there are still many places I want to see!

  38. says

    People seem to get so worried that Turkey will go the way of Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Eqypt and now Syria. People in those countries are fighting democracy. Turkey is already democratic. It would be silly to ignore obvious dangers but please bear in mind that Turkey is, on the whole, peaceful.
    Jack Scott wrote about..Murder, He Wrote

  39. Hussein says

    hello Natalie,

    I will go next week to antakia in Turkey but the tour will pass through turkey-syria border to come back to Lebanon. is it safe to go from Turkey to syria to Lebanon?

    Thanks

    • says

      Hi Hussein, Relationships between the Turkish government and Syrian Government have worsened over the last couple of days and I am not aware of the situation re the travel routes from Turkey to Syria. You say that you are going as part of a tour. Is it possible for them to confirm the routes that you will be taking and also in light of recent developments between the two countries, whether this will impact on you entering Syria from Turkey?

  40. Andy Fox says

    I would recommend Turkey to everyone who likes wonderful holidays. Beautiful beaches ,wonderful people and the food….wow. going to Kusadasi next week and cant wait.

  41. Saki says

    hi couple of my gal frns are planning to go to turkey for a short vacation….Can sumone suggest the cities which we should go as we are totally unaware of the country and as to what places to visit…

    • says

      Hi Saki, If it is a city trip that they are after then Istanbul is definitely the city to visit. Stay in the Sultan Ahmet area and this will bring you close to sites like the Topkapi palace and Blue Mosque. Taksim will provide a good night life as well.

  42. nicola says

    I have just looked on the fco website and it sounds quite frightening the travel advise to Turkey are they just covering there backs or is it as unsafe as they make it out to be. I really want to go as my father says its a beautiful place but still concerned.

    • says

      Nicola – The FCO website is advising against travel to the areas of Hakkari, Sirnak, Siirt and Tunceli only. Such is the size of Turkey that you can visit many other areas within the country and will not sense one bit of trouble. The equivalent is putting off a trip to Britain because of trouble in France. That is how big this country is. Do you know the area that you intend to travel to and then I can advise you further?

  43. Steve B says

    Hi Natalie,

    Me and my wife are due to fly out and stay in Alanya end of this month.

    Have just read about recent bombings including the one in keemar.

    Am now obviously in 2minds as to cancel our holidays.

    Is the are were staying

  44. says

    Hi Steve,

    Alanya and all the surroundings areas belongs to the Antalya Province which has never been considered a dangerous place to travel to. It is a very popular tourist region which sees many nationalities and Turks visiting for holidays.

    The current bombing raids and fights between Turkish soldiers and the PKK are happening in the East of Turkey which is a such a long distance from Alanya.

    Going back to discuss Alanya, It is a sad fact of the times that we live in, that terrible people will leave bombs in public places. This can happen on buses, beaches, shopping malls, in fact everywhere and in every country of the world.

    If I was you, I would not cancel my holiday. I would go and just kept vigilante which I do every day anyway. Please let me know what you decide to do.
    Natalie wrote about..Hande Yener – Star of the Turkish Pop Music Scene

  45. Johnny says

    I have heard this ridiculous mantra so many times I want to gag. My sister has never come to where I live on the Mediterranean Coast because she believes that “terrorists target Americans.” I should go around with a red bulls eye on my t-shirt because I have never thought of myself as a target. Take a look at these “Travel Danger Statistics” pull the covers up over your heads and hope that an airplane does not fall out of the sky into your bedroom. Even a turtle has to stick it’s head out when it wants to travel. Lighten up folks, come to Turkey, buy some good travel insurance in case you sprain your ankle and let the good times roll.

  46. donut says

    Hi, I have been offered a job in the gebze area. I am wondering if any one has any idea of this region and helpful hints for relocating. I am a little hesitant as the foreign office has a long list of problems with various organizations, but I’m not completely put off.

      • Nat says

        Hi Rachna,

        Istanbul is just as safe as any other airport in the world. For your transit stop over, just make sure that you keep goods close to you so you are not a victim of opportunity pickpocketing.

    • says

      Hi Ira, Can you elaborate further? It is a bit strange to say the place is not as safe as it used to be and not give any reasons why. The FCO website is not warning about many things in my opinion, so can you please be specific about that as well.

  47. emily says

    Hi Natalie,

    I have a teaching job in Konya, what do you think this will be like..are there any westerners at all?
    I am the only westerner native teacher at the school.
    I hear it is quite interesting/sacred and still quite traditional?
    Is it a safe city I think?
    Many thanks,
    Emily

    • says

      Hi Emily. Konya is in a safe location with no trouble at all and from what I have read it is culturally rich as well. I have only passed through the city but it is close to the Cappadocia region and on occasion independent travelers will stop in Konya. I have also read that Konya has a strict attitude towards alcohol so if you are a drinker, maybe you should establish the social standards first for females. This includes smoking in the street etc. I do not know of any westerners in the area but I am sure a search of Trip advisor will produce further information for you. Sorry I could not help you further but I think this is a wonderful opportunity for you. Hopefully when you first arrive in Konya, you can find a mentor / friend who would be prepared to answer your questions and help you adjust to the change of lifestyle.

  48. Lisa says

    I am not used to big cities, but must say that I have always felt much safer in Turkey than in a big city or even a medium sized city in America. My husband is Turkish, so I have always been with either him or someone in his family when I’ve traveled in Turkey, so I’m sure that helps to prevent any language or cultural difficulties. We don’t usually have to worry too much about terrorism over here, but there is a lot of gang violence in the cities. Because of this, I am much more worried about getting shot at night in the closest big city here than getting blown up, etc. in Istanbul.

    Also, I feel that my children are safer when we are in Turkey than over here. When we stay at our house on the west coast of Turkey, my children can run around even at night within our housing development because there is a gate around the entire development and because the majority of our neighbors are Turkish and are usually outside on their terraces as much as possible so there are always adults supervising the children. Back home we always worry about stranger danger. Of course, you always need to be cautious wherever you are, but overall, I do feel very safe when in Turkey.

  49. alfie says

    hi everybody! i am tour gide in turkey! just come here and see is it safe or not! in a year lots of tourists whis is about 25million come and visit the turkey if the turkey is not safe why they come here! i think that’s enought to explain everything :)

  50. abel says

    enjoyed reading this blog. so glad i found it. going to istanbul in march w/2 friends for 6 nites. they want to rent a car & drive to ephesus for 1 day/nite. has anyone ever driven from istanbul to ephesus? i know it’s a 9hr drive. we plan to leave kad?köy @ 04:00 & arrive in selçuk/ephesus by 13:00, spend the night in selçuk, & drive back the next morning. how are the roads from kad?köy to mustafakemalpa?a? from there to selçuk? any tips on the drive are greatly appreciated. totally looking forward to driving in turkey!

    • says

      Hi Abel, I would put the drive at approximately 12 hours instead. Once you are out of Istanbul, then it is an easy drive however I think you are squeezing too much into a little space of time. For example in Selcuk, there is Ephesus, the Virgin Mary’s house, the town itself, the museum and the wine village of Sirince. You will be missing out on so many other things to do. I would extend your stay to two nights instead.

      • Susie says

        My husband and I have plans to go to Istanbul end of march. Will have 8 days and wonder where else we should go–Ephesus? Coppadoccia? Your suggestions welcome.

        • says

          Hi Susie, While Ephesus and Cappadocia are great places to go to, they are also a long way from Istanbul. If you go there, I feel that you will be rushing through your holiday and won’t have time to fully appreciate. If you decide to go then you can get a bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia or Ephesus however if it was me, I would stay in the Istanbul region and go to Gallopi Peniusla to explore Cannakale and Troy. Within Istanbul as well, there are so many sights to see. This website should give you more of an idea http://www.mydestination.com/istanbul

  51. terry says

    A friend and I are planning on taking a Istanbul vacation in January of 2012, I want to stay three weeks he wants two.. we are middle twenties and want to just relax and have fun. Coming from Midwest USA Istanbul has got to be better. We would like to know of great places to visit and eat. Things to look out for and places we should not go to at night. We are both happily married men so night life is not important. We figured we could always have a beer at out hotel. Any information, tips, and or heads up would be wonderful.

    Thanks
    Terry & Frank

  52. Kathy Standen says

    Hi Natalie, I’m considering taking my two teenagers with me (a single mom) to Turkey for vacation. I have been warned by a friend that it’s not easy to get around Istanbul without a man and/or a tour guide. I plan to get a guide, but do I need one every time I go out? !

    • says

      Hi Kathy, Do you know the area that you will be staying in? Sultan Ahmet area and Taksim area are the most popular. Taksim is great for shopping as there is one main street, also great for nightlife while Sultan Ahmet is more known for site seeing. You really do not need a guide however they do come in handy for ease of getting around and giving you background knowledge of the places you are visiting. The downside is that guides are not cheap. You don’t need a man either, just be aware that it is like big cities in any other country. Don’t talk to strangers and keep a good hold of your purse. I was in Istanbul last week, I made it around without a guide or a man. You will be fine.

      • Kathy Standen says

        thanks Natalie! I don’t want one person’s dated opinion to change what could be a great new experience! I’ve been referred to a hotel called the Yesil Ev, which is in the Sultan Ahmet area. What about the Spice market/grand bazaar – OK to go w/o a guide or is one necessary?

        • says

          It is ok to go without a guide. Just be prepared for the hassle in both markets. Get into the habit of learning to say no, otherwise you will feel pressured into buying a lot of stuff you do not want. Most hotels have maps with all the sites to see marked on them. Try and pick up one of those if you can as they do make life easy.

          Just looked up the Yesil Ev and it is in a good location and has good reviews as well, so you should do fine

  53. Fiona says

    Travel plans to Turkey April 2012. Concerned that US Embassy closed in Syria today (2/6/12) Should we reconsider this trip??

    • says

      Hi Fiona, why would you want to reconsider this trip? The US closing their embassy in Syria will have no effect at your plans. Intrigued to find out why you are concerned.

  54. Fiona says

    HI NATALIE! Thanks for the quick response! Our concern is the security of the region…not just Turkey. Now our President is considering sending troops; refugee camps are growing on the Turkey/Syrian border. WE ARE CONFLICTED!!. We have done our homework on your amazing country. Perhaps this is just not the right time?? We have traveled to Kenya and Egypt so we are adventurous.
    We must commit to our tour group by 2/29. Help!!
    OTHER TRAVELERS: Has anyone been to Turkey this month?? Anyone planning a trip in the next few plans?? Are we the only neurotic ones??

    • says

      Hi Fiona, I am on the west coast of Turkey now and there is no problem with security in Turkey. Yes, there are refugee camps on the Turkey / Syria border but they are a long long way from most of the areas that tour groups visit. Commit to your trip – it is perfectly safe to come here.

  55. ginger says

    Hi Natalie,

    My friend is supposed to go on a school exchange trip to Turkey in about a month. I know you say it’s safe, no worries, but like Fiona, we are concerned about regional security. It’s not a slight on Turkey, just that IF things escalate in Syria and war breaks out, do you think Turkey will feel it in terms of security issues?

    • ginger says

      Natalie, after looking at a map carefully, it seems like as long as one is on the Northern/Eastern areas, any potential conflict would not pose a problem, what do you think?

      • says

        Hi Ginger, If civil war breaks out in Syria, I personally think the only effect, Turkey will see is more refugees heading to the border which is in the south east of Turkey. The distance from this border to the north east, north, south and west is huge. It would be like traveling from the Uk to France. I am sure there will be no issues with safety.

        Where is your friend heading to?
        Natalie wrote about..Olu Deniz – Forgiving the None Traditional Vibes

        • ginger says

          Thanks for your thoughts. Actually, it’s a 12 year old with a school exchange group. I thought they were going to be nearer to Istanbul but it turns out they will be in either Nevsehir or Uchisar, which on a map seems a bit too close to the Syrian border for my taste. We are inquiring with the US school that’s sponsoring the trip, but I have a feeling they don’t have an emergency evac plan in place. Based on the location, what are your thoughts? Would you let your kids go to those places given the current situation with Turkey’s neighbors?

          Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, most appreciated!

          • says

            Hi ginger, To give you an idea of the distance of Uchisar and Nevsehir to the Turkish /Syrian border it would take me around 15 hours to get from one to the other by bus. That region will not see any effect if civil war breaks out in Syria. For example, If there was problems in Canada, I would not hesitate to visit the USA as the distances are so vast.

            Also If I had kids that were to go to Uchisar and Nevsehir with their school, I would insist they go, even if they did not want to. That region is so beautiful and unique. Re the emergency evac plan – it really is not needed but if you want peace of mind, the US consulate in Turkey would actually be responsible for evacuating them not the school.
            Natalie wrote about..Idyllic Phaselis : Beautiful Beaches and Ancient Ruins

  56. Lara says

    People who says: Turkey is not a safe travel destination, must be the ones who don’t know where Turkey is.

    Turkey is one of the most beautiful country in the world. If you die before see many wonderful places in Turkey, that would be a big lost. It is safe and cheap :)

  57. fatih says

    Hi,I know very little English,doodling, but I see some web pages to Turkey British.and it saddened me, do not be afraid Turks As in every country there are people who are malevolent in the turkey.Do not give up just so you are coming from Turkey. Never forget it, Turkey is the capital of civilization.DO NOT BE AFRA?D TURKS
    Good Day

  58. Kubilay says

    Dear Natalie,

    I really liked your blog and found it very informative about my county. I also want to say that Turkey is a democratic county that has historic places as well as great summer and winter holiday spots. We as Turks would welcome every single person visiting our country and learn about our culture..

    thanks for your posting.. Kubilay

    • says

      Hi Pauline, Antalya is a fantastic region to go to. the weather in May won’t be too hot but it will be great for sunbathing and exploring. You will have a great time so enjoy it

  59. Karla Reiss says

    Would you consider Turkey safe to travel to NOW – 2012? My husband is hesitant to book our 3-week trip for September, given the current threats.

    Please advise!

    • says

      Karla – I am in Turkey now and am going to stay here. There is no problem. Book your trip. Where are you planning to visit on your 3 week trip?

  60. stacy says

    hi natalie i have a holiday booked for june 18 2012 at olu deniz lykia world is it safe here with news about the bombing yesterday thanks stacy

    • says

      Hi Stacy, life is normal all over Turkey and have not heard anything about Olu Deniz being any different. I am on the Aegean coast. What bombing are you talking about?

    • says

      There was car bombing in Nigera but not heard anything for Turkey. Also Turkey is such a big country, and what is happening on the Turkish, Syrain border is not affecting the rest of the country. The distance from Olu to the Syrian border is something like 800km! Go on holiday, you will enjoy it, I am sure.

  61. Lee says

    I’ve been to Turkey many times, I love the country and its people. My friends from Belgium, Holland, Germany and myself from the US will be meeting in Turkey this summer, and so we decided to stay at Kamelya World Hotel located in Colakli Side. During the process of booking my flight/hotel, I couldn’t book my stay at Kamelya World Hotel from the US!!! I’m just wondering why that is. One of my friends from Belgium helped me book my stay at the same hotel, and I’m looking forward to this trip :)

  62. Stephanie Cox says

    Hi Natalie,
    We have visited Turkey twice before and have just booked a holiday in June to Sarigerme, Dalaman. However, I’ve just been looking at the travel advice and it says that there is a high threat of terrorism in Turkey and that a terrorist group put out a threat towards tourist areas back in March. We’re a bit worried now as we will be travelling with our three children. Have you heard much about this out there?

    • says

      Hi Stephanie, the travel advice from the consulate advises against traveling to the areas of Hayakri on the south east coast which is about 700km away from Dalaman. Also the terrorist groups put out threats every year. Places like London and New York receive terrorist threats all the time. Unfortunately living with terrorism is a sign of the times however the Turkish police are just as good as any other western country with security checks. I am still traveling around Turkey now because I refuse to let terrorists rule my life. There is a one in a a million chance that something will happen to me. Life is as normal here, people go around their daily routines and I advise you to come because you will have a great holiday

  63. Eileen says

    I am holidaying Kusadasi in July 2012- its my first time and I am worried it is not safe -I am travelling with my husband and 15 yr old daughter. Please if you can give me any advice I would really appreciate it. Thank You

    • says

      Eileen – it is perfectly safe. What is it about your holiday that makes you worried? Is it because of the situation in Syria? If so, you will not notice anything. The Syrian border is hundreds of miles away. I am at the moment in Altinkum which is next to Kusadasi and life is great.Come to Turkey, you will enjoy it

  64. Sue says

    Hello, I just discovered your blog as I was searching for “safe travel in Turkey”. My husband and will be traveling there this summer. I look forward to reading the posts in more depth. We are planning to visit Cappadocia, Selcuk, and Istanbul. This will be our first time in this part of the world, and we are very excited.

    • says

      Hi Sue, You will have an amazing time while you are here. I have already wrote some posts on all three in the top right hand corner. Glad you like my blog

  65. donna says

    hi natilie just found ur blog, while researching how safe turkey is,,we are going on th 7th to alanya and i am really worried about it , have been asking people that are going about alanya and nobody seems to have heard of it , am taking 3 small kids, can u tell me is it safe and we are well away from any danger? i really need advice as am thinking of canceling thanks so much

    • says

      Donna, I am really amazed that no one has heard of Alanya! It is a really popular holiday resort. If you are asking British people only, it may be because Alanya is also popular with Germans and Russians but Brits go there as well. You are going to be perfectly fine. On the map, Alanya is 700km away from Syria where the real problems are happening. If there was any issue of your safety, your travel agent would not let you fly. Relax and go on holiday with your kids and enjoy it.

  66. donna says

    thanks so much natilie , think just need some reasurrace ,,just wish syria was a bit further away!! still feel a bit apprehensive,,,think to av never been to tukey……..thanks again .

  67. Natasha says

    Oops, I pressed add comment too quickly.
    I became slight worried after reading the Foreign and Commonwealth office website http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/europe/turkey.

    The website stated that “19 March 2012, a group linked to the PKK issued a statement threatening to conduct attacks across Turkey including in tourist areas.”

    Look forward to your reply! Again thanks a lot for your articles they were quite useful.

    • says

      Hi Natasha,

      The PKK issue that warning every year, as do many other terrorist groups across the world. It is a sad fact that no matter where you are in the world, you are not 100% safe from bombs. The London underground bombings proved this.

      My base is in Altinkum which is an hours drive from Kusadasi. This summer, I will spend a lot of time in other tourist resorts along the coastline. I refuse to let terrorists rule my life.

      There is a very small chance that something may happen to me. Same as if I went to Paris, Rome or London. There is a small chance that I could walk into one of these terrorist bombs. But there is a big chance that I could have a fantastic time and really enjoy myself.

      The Turkish police are very good with security and they have bombs squads and organized personnel, just like they do in other countries like the UK.

      You can cancel your holiday for a very small chance that something may happen to you but you will miss out on a fantastic country. Your decision.

      Me? I am staying put right here in Turkey and this summer, I will be out and about exploring as many places as I can.
      Natalie wrote about..The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul : A Photo Guide

  68. Jenny says

    Hello Natalie,
    Can you tell me how far Kemer is from the Syrian border? Going to Kemer in three weeks time and now getting a bit jittery.

    • says

      Hi Jenny, it is 800km. You are going to be fine, there is nothing to worry about. Kemer is not one of my favourite places but you won’t be affected by what is happening in Syria

  69. says

    In the end of April 2012 I made a roadtrip to various cities close to the border of Turkey. The closest cities (Harran and Mardin) to the border of Syria were less 20 kilometers away. I didn’t notice any anxiety or whatsoever.

    In my blog you can find some other thoughts about the destinations nearby Syria.
    Juho wrote about..Flight from Turkey to Finland

  70. says

    Hi Natalie- I can’t wait till I arrive this Thursday in Istanbul. If I want a 2-3 day seaside side trip, what looks like few hours (not 9) drive?

  71. jemmah says

    hi
    I am a little concerned as i am tavelling to turkey in august/september this year all of the unrest in syria is making me worry that i am taking my family somewhere that is unsafe.
    Is there a likelyhood that this will penetrate into turkey as the more iread about the issues going on the more i am unsure i have young children and have been looking forward to this holiday for so long

    • says

      Hi Jemmah,

      Firstly, have you booked with a travel agent? If so, they have a obligation to monitor your booking and if it appears that you will be unsafe, they have to offer you an alternative

      Also, which resort are you going to? The distance between all the typical holiday resorts is vast. It is virtually like being in another country. I am on the west coast now and never heard or seen anything to do with Syria apart from on TV. I feel more safe now than I ever did in any western country.

      I really do not think which the business in Syria will spill over into Turkey. It is my belief that if it does escalate, numerous countries would invade Syria leaving them busy defending their own land.

      Check back with me in August if you want, but I think you are going to be ok
      Natalie wrote about..Galata Tower and a 360-Degree View of Istanbul

      • jemmah says

        hi natalie thanks for getting back to me,
        I am going to kusadasi and i am soo excited it looks like a beautifull country but i keep seeing syria on the news and it does worry me.
        It is my first holiday abroad and i have done lots of research about places to visit etc i just dont want to feel on edge the whole time i am there.
        I hope that things calm down in syria and that i can enjoy my holiday with the children as they are super excited too.
        I booked the holiday myself i paid for flights seperately and booked the hotel direct through my dads girlfriend as she is turkish but lives in england so i wouldnt get any warning if things were unsafe.
        I will follow this blog untill i go and keep myself updated but if things worsen please let me know thank you

        • says

          Jemmah, I am about an hours drive from Kusadasi now and everything is fine.Will let you know if anything changes but 99% certain that it won’t

  72. Amy says

    Hi, me and my family are due to fly to Altinkum in bodrum on 25th of June. Do you think it will still be safe to go?? Im petrified of flying as it is and to add this on top im starting not to look forward to my holiday at all.
    Many thanks

    • says

      Amy – I am at this very moment in Altinkum. This morning, I have been sat on my balcony with the sun and a wonderful view. Life is as normal. Come and enjoy yourself. I can recommend the circus cafe as a fantastic place to eat. It is on the main road near the central roundabout. Let me know if you need any other hints and tips of things to do and places to go

  73. Andy says

    We are going to Dalyan on thursday for a week,I am looking frwd to it but also slightly nervous as there has been quite a bit of earthquake activity in the area recently?.

    • says

      Hi Andy, the recent earthquake activity was off the coast of Olu Deniz.

      Turkey actually has earthquakes every day somewhere within the country, but they are so small, humans beings can not feel them. The last one was bigger than unusual

      No one can predict if it will happen again or not. But lets look at it like this, in 11 years in Turkey, I have felt an earthquake just three times. The aftershock from the recent ones are over and no one died. The only injuries were from people jumping from windows.

      There is a 99% chance that your holiday will go by without you feeling an earthquake. Try to relax. If the area was under danger, the Turkish government would evacuate
      Natalie wrote about..This Turkish Woman Is More Than 100 Years Old

  74. says

    Natalie,

    Wow. After looking over your site, reading this article, and seeing the almost 150 comments i have learned much. first and foremost, that i have a great deal to learn from you and your work. one of my favorite bloggers named farnoosh also inspires this israeli/american soul to no end. thank you for putting out there your magic and truth. i look forward to reading a lot.

    • says

      Hi Gabi, thanks for commenting. Yes, you are very right when you say if we listened to how many places are meant to be scary, we would never travel. The sad fact is that our own home towns can be just as unsafe as many other travel destinations on the globe. Why people want to box themselves in, I will never know

      I also looked at your blog and you have some great stuff going on there. Being on the road with a family and managing to keep up a blog as well, takes a lot of effort. Well done on some great articles on your blog. That is what a travel blog is about.
      Natalie wrote about..This Turkish Woman Is More Than 100 Years Old

  75. richard says

    we are booked to go to icemilar at the end of july. and my wife is starting to panic about the situation in syria .i have tried to tell her we will be nowhere near syria but she is still apprehensive could you give me a reply to calm her fears .
    thanks

    • Nat says

      Well Richard you are right. The distance from Icemeler to Syria is that big, it would be like putting off a holiday to Italy because of events in France. Please tell your wife that I am presently three hours drive from Icmeler and life is as normal. People are sunbathing, dining out and enjoying themselves. If there is any reason for concern, I will update my blog advising people not to travel however I am 99.9% that your holiday will come and go with no disruption at all

  76. Mincy says

    Hi Natalie,
    Just as everyone else, i am planning a visit to Turkey with by hubby in mid-Aug-2012. I have booked through a travel agent and it is a group travel. My itenerary will be as follows – Istanbul, Cannakale, Troy, Pergamum, Kusadasi, Pammukale, Konya, Cappadocia, Ankara, Istanbul spanning across 9 nights. Pls let us know if it will be safe to travel to the above places around Aug-12. We are very excited about our travel but due to Turkey-Syria news in papers, we are a little concerned. Look forward to your reply.
    Many Thanks!
    Mincy

    • says

      Hi Mincy, all those places are far away from the border with Syria. You are going to be fine, just enjoy it as it will be an amazing trip

      • Mincy says

        Thanks for your quick response Natalie. It is very reassuring. Looking forward to a memorable holiday in Turkey.

        Mincy

    • says

      I think it will be fine Wilma and you will have a fantastic holiday. If you are on any doubt, just keep checking into my blog and if I have any concerns for tourism then I will post them here, but I am 99% certain that coastline will not be affected.

  77. Eileen says

    Hi Natalie, I am back to you again, if you dont mind will you let me know how far it is from Kuasdasi to syrian border.

    Thanks a million
    Eileen

    • says

      Hi Eileen, according to google maps it is 1,180km away. To drive there would take you 16 and a half hours. Are you still worried about your holiday? If so, don’t be. I am at this moment sitting one hour away from Kusadasi, the sun has been shining today, people are enjoying themselves and life is as normal.

  78. Eileen says

    Natalie, thank you so much for your valued information – i think I am ok now – Its a long distance from our hotel, so that makes me happy- my daughter has her packing done , so I will enjoy the next two week to lead up -Thank you again

  79. Vicky says

    Is it safe to travel to Dalyan in Turkey in Aug/Sept 2012 because of the trouble in Syria …..Thanks

  80. Glenda says

    Do you have any recent knowledge of how things are in Antakya? We are trying to plan a tour of Eastern Turkey for next year. Are we looking for trouble by putting Antakya in our itinerary? Any other places in the Eastern Turkey vicinity we should avoid?

    • says

      Hi Glenda, Antakya I am not quite sure of but I am hoping that by next year all the business with Syria would have died down! Aaron from Aarons world wide adventures has just been in the east, traveling down on his way to North Iraq. He may be able to give you further details. http://www.aaronswwadventures.com/2012/07/travel-in-iraq/

      I would stick it on your list and assess the situation nearer the time as a lot can change between now and then.

  81. sheila Robinson says

    I am a very nervous traveller and i have become very worried about traveling to Side in Turkey on the 4th August 2012 especially as we are taking our children. Have we anything at all to be worried about

  82. Amy says

    Hi Natalie, firstly this blog is fantastic and very reassuring compared with the FOC site on the internet. I just have a couple of questions though. I have read that a visa is required to enter the county and that you can get this on entry for £10. Is this straight forward to do once over there? Or could you be denied a visa it any issue like that? I am also guessing that you get this visa in the airport at some desk, is that correct?
    I have also read that your EHIC is not valid in Turkey, is correct too and not,worth bringing?
    One last question, what is the weather like in Antalya-side at the beginning of Oct?

    Many thanks

    • says

      Hi Amy, glad you like the site. Yes, the visa for British people. Have a ten pound note ready as they do not give change, you will be directed to the visa desk when going through the airport. Straight forward, only refused in dire circumstances like you were already kicked out of Turkey etc.

      Did the EHIC replace the E111? If so, you are correct. It is not valid here. You should arrange your own holiday insurance.

      Weather in Antalya is great in October. Sunbathing and swimming is fine, as it is still hot. Bring t-shirts and shorts etc. However the night times can be chilly so you should bring a light weight jacket or jumper as well
      Natalie wrote about..Patriotic Turks, Their Flag, and the EU

  83. Peter says

    Hi Natalie
    My wife and I are travelling to Turkey in September.
    Is 5 days in Istanbul sufficient time to see the sights and get a good feel for the city? To see the western portion of Turkey, down the coast to Antalya, up to Ankara and back to Istanbul we plan to travel by rented car. Do you have any comments or advice for travelling by rental car?
    What are the must “sees” on this trip outside of Istanbul? We have 3 weeks.
    Thanks Peter

    • says

      Hi Peter,

      5 days in Istanbul is enough if you want to see the main sites only.

      Rental car IMO is a good way to travel the country as long as you stay out of the big cities however you plan to go to Ankara. If you are an experienced driver, you might find it easier to drive in the cities then I did. Here is a humorous look at my experiences which frankly drove me crazy! http://turkishtravelblog.com/the-unofficial-guide-to-driving-in-turkey/

      There are too many “must sees” for three weeks but certainly put Cappadocia on your list for three days. Pamukkale for two days. You mention the western coast but Antalya is south west. If you are driving west down the Aegean coastline, Ephesus is a must. In Antalya, Aspendos are some more ancient ruins. Time it right and they sometimes have musical concerts there. In Ankara, the Anitkabir is considered a must see although I have not seen it myself http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An%C4%B1tkabir

      That seems enough to occupy your time but if you need more suggestions or have any further questions, just let me know.
      Natalie wrote about..Göcek –Sophistication that is Not Part of My World

    • says

      Hi Ellie,

      There is actually earthquakes in Turkey every day, however 99.9% of them are so small that you can not feel them. On occasions there will be big ones like the one last year in Van. They happen because because Turkey has a major fault line running through it, up at the north and other reports I have read suggest another fault line off the south west coast.

      In later years, Turkey changed construction regulations so that buildings would withstand any affect by earthquakes. It is also compulsory by law to have earth quake insurance.

      In the eleven years that I have been here, I have only physically felt about four quakes and they were not enough to cause any harm.

      If you plan to come here, the chances of you being caught up in an earthquake are extremely slim. I would say you have more chance of winning the lottery!
      Natalie wrote about..Göcek –Sophistication that is Not Part of My World

  84. says

    Hi,
    We are planning to travel to Istanbul this ramdan 2012 holidays. Just wan to know, how safe is it to make the trip.

    Regards
    Lincy

  85. Jag says

    Hi, me and family are planning a visit to antalya on a resort. Just seen the fco.gov website and turkey is one away from safe… Just wanted to know is it safe to come then and to Antalya?

  86. john says

    Turkey is a safe place do not listen to the media in the US or in europe. The armenians and greeks are paying them to say bad things about Turkey. First off Turkey has a much better economy then greece. 2nd off Turkey is truly a secular democracy. If tourists want to go to Turkey, the only thing that I’d advise is to stay away from the eastern part of Turkey. If you stay on the western part then everything is fine. Its like America everywhere you go has its dangers and downs, but there are also safe places you can visit in every country. I am a Turk who has been traveling to and from america for a long time. I know this might be daunting for americans or other people, but Turkey is truly a safe place to visit. These stories that you hear about women being in danger or men. Either they went into the bad areas of Turkey, or they did not learn much about the country before entering. It is truly a safe place have faith.

  87. Michael says

    Hi Natalie …. I’m going to side on the 13 August. And I can’t wait. What is going on in Syria will not spoil my holiday .

  88. Janez says

    Hello, i am planing a 3 weeks trip at the end of august with camper van and i want to go all the way to the lake Van. Do you maybe have any info about safety down there. hope, that i will not have to change plans, coz i really hardly wait to go there. thanx and regards

  89. Sharon says

    Hi I’m coming to gumbet on 26tg August for 2 weeks with my 5 children and I’m very worried, is it safe ? Also I’m worried about security on the plane, is airport and plane security safe plZ, not usually a panic munger but everyone talking is scaring me, plz could u tell my how far we are form the trouble and IF we are safe there and on plain , thank u so much xx

    • says

      Hi Sharon, you will be approximately a 17 hour drive away from the border with Syria, over 1200km away. You will see nothing from the troubles with Syria. Airport and plane security is also safe. Who are these people talking? They have obviously not been to Turkey or they have a hidden agenda. Ignore them and enjoy your holiday
      Natalie wrote about..Getting to Know the Cuisine of Turkey

  90. stephen says

    I am going to Turkler Kasabasi Belediye Karsisi
    Turkey Antalya with my family in sep 2012 can you plz tell me how far im away from the Syrian border and is there any reported problems in this area ?

  91. mahmut says

    Hello guys and thank you nat for your great discusion blog … I’m a turkish citizen and I would like to say you are all welcome to visit my country … As I want to add to your board not to forget the turkish army is the 4th powerful army and the 2nd in NATO and thr first in its count … Don’t worry what ever happened to our neighbors … Turkey stands up strong and we will protect any impact weather from out side or from inside

    Thank you again

  92. Eileen says

    Hi Natalie, I am just back from my 2 weeks in kusadasi – we had a wonderful time – I loved the country and found turkish people to be so kind, considerate and helpful – we were treated so so well – I was so anxious about going but am now trying to sort out next year hols and think I might go to Gumbet. What is this resort like? Is it anything like Kusadasi?
    Eileen(Ireland)

  93. Helena says

    Hi there, I’m travelling to Kusadasi for 2 weeks on the 19th of this month(August 2012). It looks like the situation is getting worse over there,with an attack now in Ismir, where we will be flying in to.Do you still think it is safe to go? I’m travelling with my daughter and parents, and feeling a bit nervous now.. Thanks

    • says

      Helena. I am still here, about two hours drive away from Izmir where the attacked happened. Life is going as normal. The way I look at it, is that I can be anywhere in the world when a terrorist attack can happen. The chances of something happening to you and your family are very small. If you do not want to take that chance, then fine cancel your holiday. However I can assure you that all around the Izmir region, we are carrying on as normal. Surely if it was not safe, we would all be leaving
      Natalie wrote about..The Simplicity of Simena and My Desire to Return

  94. Helena says

    Thanks Nathalie, I was in Bitez in Gumbet 2 years ago and it was amazing so I am really looking forward to Kusadasi this weekend. Thanks for the re assurance,will check in here and let everyone know how it went x

  95. Anna says

    Hi Natalie,
    I’m planning to go to Turkey on September and I planned to drive by own car (I live in Europe) from Istanbul to Cappadocia and then to Silifke via Tarsus. I’m not afraid of travelling in Turkey but I’m not sure if beeing in Tarsus which seems to be about 200 km (straight) from Syria is now safe specially travelling in car with numbers showing that I’m foreigner?

    • Janez says

      Hello Anna, i am also planing a trip to turkey with my own car (camper van) and as far as i know its safe. i will be going all the way to lake Van (also from EU). I m going there in a week. So if i see anything strange, i can also mail you.

      • Nat says

        Hi Janez, thank you for your offer of information. Unfortunately I can not pass on any email address however I will be happy to publish any reports that you may have on here. I hope Anna comes back to see your message.

  96. Hany says

    Hi Natalie,

    We have two daughters 6 yrs and 2 yrs old and we are planning to spend with them an excellent vacation in Turkey during the coming October, I would appreciate if you can guide us for best places we can spend with the kids.

    Thanks a lot,

    Hany

  97. Hany says

    Thanks Natalie for your reply and help, what I am looking for for my kids is to swimm preferably on the beach (if the weather permit at that time??) if not there should a heated pool for the kids plus other activities for kids that usualy the hotel or the surrounding area arrange for the kids e.g. dancing, singing, games, … etc.

    Thanks

    Hany

  98. says

    Hi Hany, the weather is fine for the beach in October. Re the activities for the kids, you might have to look at all inclusive hotels as they are the ones that have the kids clubs where they do singing and dancing activities. I know the Garden of sun in Altinkum did that, also TUI have Aqua fantasy in Kusadasi with a separate kids club attached. Take a look at Aqua fantasy first. Not been there in a couple of years, but they did use to have a good set up.

    If those two do not suit, try looking at the holiday village in Sarigerme. Also run by TUI, it is aimed at families and kids.
    Natalie wrote about..Sumela Monastery and the Black Madonna

  99. cozmo says

    my 28 yr old son is traveling to istanbul with 6 other friends next week….I am terrified…he is trusting of many people…I have warned him of typical international scams…but he thinks I’m crazy….am I right in being concerned for his safety???

      • cozmo says

        Thank you for your prompt response. Were it not for the news showing recent car bombings and the like in the middle east I would not normally be worried. Can you also recommend a hotel for him to stay at in Istanbul…they plan to arrive and then find one.

        • says

          Cozmo, by finding a hotel when they arrive, they will probably end up paying more. Tell them to use a search engine such as booking.com and they will get the best deals.

          There are two main areas that are best for people visiting Istanbul. Sultanahmet is near the tourist attractions like the blue mosque etc while Taksim is for people wanting night time scene and bars.
          Natalie wrote about..Is Trabzon The City Of Love?

  100. Careen says

    With the current tensions and the Libya/Syria/Lebanon uprisings, is Turkey still safe, since it’s in these surrounding areas?

    Visiting Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, Antalya, Kusadasi.

    • says

      Hi Angie, Istanbul is quite relaxed when it comes to clothing . Normally when I visit, I will be going into mosques etc so I just make sure my knees, shoulders, midriff and cleavage are covered. I then have a headscarf in my bag. My friend who lives there prefers to cover those four areas all the time as she says if you do not, you can get a lot of unwanted attention. Hope that helps
      Natalie wrote about..The Grand Hagia Sophia of Trabzon

  101. Denyse says

    Hi Natalie,
    I just found your blog and I am really enjoying it!
    We will be visiting Istanbul in mid October for a few days and then fly in to Dalaman. We have rented a car at the airport to drive to Kas. Is the drive to Kas difficult? I’ve been reading about the drivng concerns and it is starting to frighten me! We are in Kas for a week and I am wondering if that is too long. Would yopu suggest staying in other near by areas or is it easy to get around by car from Kas for day trips?
    This trip is in celebration of an anniversary but I’m concerned that we may not be celebrating if we are on a stressful drive for too long!! lol… Also, any idea how Canadians are perceived by the Turkish people?

    • says

      Hi Denyse, the drive to Kas in quite easy. Within Kas itself, I would not drive as it is so hilly and my clutch control is very bad! An expert driver would have no problems though.

      If you use Kas as your base, there are so many other areas on the coastline to visit. I stayed there for three days and then ended up moving on but that was only because I was using public transport.

      There is a stretch of road running along the coastline that leads off to all the places like Kas, Patara, Kalkan etc. That road is so easy to use and you will be fine driving as it is not like the big cities of Istanbul or Ankara where traffic is heaving. Overall, you could not pick a better route for a driving holiday.

      The Turkish people will love you because they do not care about nationalities. They might be curious as to where you come from but will soon start chatting about other things once introductions have been made.
      Natalie wrote about..The Grand Hagia Sophia of Trabzon

  102. Ken says

    Natalie,

    I had questions on safety for my mom’s trip to Turkey this Friday 9/21/12. She is in an American group of 14 on a tour with a Turkish guide. They fly into Istanbul (no problem I believe), then fly to Van, which is where the rest is done by car (except for one leg) over a couple weeks. Van to Kars, then Erzurum, then Trabzon, then fly to Ankara (the rest is by car), then Nevsehir. Here is the part I am really worried about…then drive to Hatay, then Gazientep, then Adana and fly out. Should I be worried? Thanks you in advance.

    • says

      Hi Ken, My friend is from Hatay at the moment and he says they are just concentrating on coping with the influx of refugees but there are no problems or violence. I had another reader who came back from Gazintep last week and she loved it. I was in Kars and Trabzon myself a month ago and it was just amazing. Nevsehir will probably be to visit Cappadocia, in which case she may see more tourists than Turks and Ankara is the capital which in the last two years, has been promoted heavily for tourism. Van is not on any list of no go areas for Turkey. I think your mum will be fine and I am actually quite jealous that I am not doing the trip. It sounds wonderful. If there are any problems, the Turkish company and guide will change the tour route.

  103. jerry says

    I am planning to travel by car from Izmir to Bodrum with a side trips to Aphrosidias. is there any problems with Americans traveling on there own in this part of Turkey

  104. Loryn says

    this website has really put me at ease..my parents are leaving tomorrow for 13 days in Turkey starting from Istanbul and going to Cannakale, Ismir, Antalya, Cappadocia and Ankar. I have literally been in tears the last couple of days in fear….I feel so much better!!! Thank you!!!

  105. Starla says

    Need your advise please. I have planned to be in Turkey March 20 – 31 visiting Istanbul, Izmir, and Cappadocia. Working with Medhills Travel to handle the arrangements. Deposit to lock in 2012 rates is Oct 31. Final payment is due Jan 15. Travel Insurance must be bought within 15 days of the initial deposit to lock Cancellation with No Reason. With the recent bombing though far away from tourist area, would you wait to book and not worry about the cheaper 2012 rate?

    • says

      No I would not wait. It is my belief that the business with Syria will never affect the areas you are traveling to. Personal choice of course but if you are happy to pay the extra, wait if it makes you feel better.

  106. Kay Vee says

    Ok my family is VERY worried. In 3 weeks we are going to: Istanbul, Cannakale, Troy, Pergamum, Kusadasi, Pammukale, Konya, Cappadocia, Ankara.

    After hearing the news 2 days ago about what happened in the Syria/Turkey border and Turkey retaliating back by firing shells into Syria, we are definitely worried, because ANKARA was mentioned.

    “Ankara unleashed artillery shells at its neighbor late on Wednesday after mortar fire crashed on to the Turkish border town of Akcakale.”

    Please let me know if you know anything. Is it even safe to visit in November?

    • says

      They are referring to Ankara as the capital city and the place where the government makes all the decisions. Syria will never get a look in at Ankara. Please do not cancel your holiday. You will be far far away from the border.

  107. Colette callow says

    Hi me, my sister and our four kiddies are going to turkey marmaris and staying staying at club adakoy. After the news we have been a bit worried about it. Is it safe to still go.

    • says

      Marmaris is hundreds of miles away from the border and the area where the trouble is. At the moment, I am on the Aegean coast and life is as normal.don’t cancel your holiday. Keep checking back incase there is any change but I am 99.9% certain that Marmaris is going to stay unaffected by the trouble.

  108. Cindy says

    Hi, my friend and I will be visiting Istanbul this coming 25 Oct. We will then proceed to Cappadocia for 3 days and then back to Istanbul again on 29 Oct. We will travel out again on the 31 Oct to Pamukkale and Ephesus and back to istanbul on the 2nd november.

    Could you kindly advise us on the safety in Istanbul and the places we are visiting? This would be the first time we are visiting the country and certainly hope everything will go smoothly.

    Thanks

  109. Anna Smith says

    Hi I’m 26 with two small children, after the birth of my second i decided my body has had enough. My stomach muscles are no longer attached to my body my stomach is hanging. I went to 16 stone from 9 so you can imagine the extent of the damage.

    i spoke to the gp and he said i need surgery but nhs wont fund so due to come to turkey on17th oct for surgery at revitalise in imizir, as the days are drawing closer I’m starting to have major reservations as they have asked for cash or a bank transfer 4 days prior.
    Have you heard of this company on your travels?
    I have googled reviews and only one treatment abroad website comes up. To me anyone can log on to write a review.
    I’m hoping you can help me make the decision on whether or not I should be entering turkey with a lot of cash on me. Ive asked yahoo with no response – again arousing suspicions.

    The surgery doesn’t bother me, I just don’t want to be scammed.

    • says

      Hi Anna, I have heard about lots of people going to Izmir for surgery but you do not mention the name of the company so can not say whether I have heard of them or not. It is normal for doctors to require the whole amount up front. Can you give them the money when you arrive in Turkey and that why you can be introduced to the doctor and staff?
      Natalie wrote about..What’s Dave Doing in Turkey?

  110. MandyDz says

    Hi Natalie!
    I am traveling to Turkey (Istanbul, Troy, Pamukkale…) at the beginning of November. Needless to say my Mom is a little/VERY worried. I keep sending her updates from your blog. Thank you so much for keeping us all informed. I’m still very excited!! : )

  111. pallavi prasad says

    Hello Natalie,

    We are planning to drive from istanbul to cappadocia. Is it safe to drive this route? Do trains take us to cappadocia from Istanbul? How amny hours doe the train take?

    We plan to spend one day at Istanbul, one day driving and one day at cappadocia. Is this enough to see all the places?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    Pallavi prasad

    • says

      Hi Pallavi, the nearest train stations to Cappadocia are Konya and Kayseri. You will then need to get buses onto Cappadocia. If you drive, the route is perfectly safe. Will take roughly 11 to 14 hours. I personally think your schedule is rushed and you are trying to do too much in the short amount of time you have. I would spend the three days in Istanbul and leave Cappadocia to another visit.

  112. Sara says

    Hi, me and my 3 young girls are going to Brodrum in the next couple of days. I would most appreciate if you can let me know if its safe after all that I have been hearing on the news, and would it be safe from the airport to Brodrum. Would most appreciate a quick response. Thank you

  113. Alex says

    Hi, my husband and I were planning on going to Istanbul for our honeymoon in a couple of weeks. Do you feel it is safe to go? We have been concerned.b Thanks

    • says

      I am on the Aegean coast at the moment, down the coastline from Istanbul and daily life is as normal here. Go on your honeymoon and have a great time. Everything that is happening at the moment, is on the border with Syria and that is over 1000 kilometres away from Istanbul.

      • Janet says

        I am leading a group of senior panters on a painting workshop to Venice and then cruise Split and Kusadasi where we dock for one day.Their Canadian instructor and myself are with them. I am concerned for their safety due to the unrest in bordering Syria and stikes near Turkish border,
        It is in May 2013.Several of them are anxious and concerned. They hope to go ashore to Ephesus and do some painting there. Any comments on this. They are Canadians.

  114. Khalid says

    My wife and I planning to visit Istanbul during Dec first week this year and plan to stay in Istanbul during the stay. Just wanted to know if it’s safe at the moment with all that we are reading about and the issues turkey is having with Syria. Will appreciate some advice on the planned weeks stay in Istanbul and the matter of safety during the visit. Many thanks for your patience and anticipated reply. Thanks, Khalid

  115. Gaz says

    Me and my family are going to turkey (bodrum)next week me and my family are petrified at the moment with the war that’s happening with Syria. Please please could you honestly tell me how bad is it and also traveling from the airport are me and my family safe.
    I would really appreciate it.

    • says

      Don’t be petrified. I am currently about one hour down the coast from Bodrum and life is as normal. Thursday, I was out on a boat trip. Yesterday I was shopping and sat in a bar with some friends. You will have a wonderful time

  116. Gaz says

    Hi we are going to turkey in the next couple of days and we are stopping @ kusadasi in turkey is it safe,is it away from where the war is happening at the moment. Me and my family are worried about what is happening would appreciate your reply thank you x

  117. Nick says

    Hi there, wanted to Know if it is safe to go Gaziantep for some carpet / rug business trip. These trip was going to be only for 4days.

    • says

      Hi Nick, I am not sure about Gaziantep as that is closer to the Syrian border. When is your trip as I am headed in that direction next month so will be able to tell you more then.

  118. Nick says

    my trip is on the 25th november,2012. Another question i have is is there any other well known carpet / rug factories in Istanbul?
    thanks Nick

  119. Laura says

    Natalie,
    I spent time in Izmir and traveled around to all the wonderful tourist type places…and on those trips it was wonderful. The day before I was to depart, my brother and I went to the Grand Market? Not sure of the actual name, but it was massive and was all throughout the downtown city blocks. It was so crowded, like you we’re in a mob, mostly men, which I thought was weird. With in a short time, we were in the middle of the market with people all shoulder to shoulder trying to make their way threw the streets. And that’s when it first happened….I was grabbed from behind..not my butt, but my crotch! I was in shock, and kind of convinced my self that it couldn’t have just happened…and then it happened again..I freaked out turned around to see men’s faces everywhere, with no idea who did it! I frantically grabbed my brother and told him we had to get out of there NOW. Grabbed Again!! I was so scared, it was hard to move through the crowd, so there was no fast way to get away!

    We finally made it down a side street, less crowded, I was shaken to say the least…we tried to come up with a plan to not have to go back down the crowded street, but that was the only way we knew how to get out of this maze of a market. I held on to my brother, and we pushed through the sea of men! And to my dismay I was accosted again and again while moving as fast as I could through the crowed! At one point I turned around and punched a man in the chest as hard as I could! And to be clear I was covered, long sleeves, long pants, scarf wrapped around my head, respectful…I was so scared and shaken after finally getting out of there I just cried! I would not recommend going into any crowded area in the city of Izmir if I you are a women, period!

    • says

      Hi Laura, I am sorry to hear your story but please don’t let perverts make you think like that. Did you not report your incident to the police as they would have taken it very seriously. Izmir is a cosmopolitan city that is quite forward thinking and attitudes towards women are not in the dark ages.

      Two years ago, I was constantly flashed at by a man in Altinkum while I was sitting on my balcony. I don’t tell people never to go to Altinkum. I reported the incident to the police because perverts need to be caught.
      Natalie wrote about..The Gorgeous Ayder Plateau of North East Turkey

  120. Mr Gee says

    Hi great Blog! We are traveling to Marmaris on the 29th oct 2012 with two children. I know you have been asked this before but is it still safe to travel there. Also any tips you can give us to make our stay more enjoyable would be great. Is it better to exchange my money over there or here in the UK before we go? What is the weather like ?

    Thanks Mr Gee

    • says

      Hi, Just exchange a little bit of money in the UK for pin money and then change the rest here as you will get a better exchange rate. Yesterday was 2.8.

      The weather is being a bit unpredictable at the moment so pack some jumpers or light jackets as it is especially cold at night.

      If you feel OK about driving in another country, I would hire a car and tour the coastal resorts of the Marmaris peninsula. They are all so close together. Otherwise you can use the local transport to get around.

      You are also going to be fine there as well. All the problems are happening much further east so you will not notice them
      Natalie wrote about..The Ruins of Ani – The City of 1001 Churches

  121. Sherly says

    Hi, my family and I will travel to Turkey on a group tour this December. I’m pretty sure it will be safe enough but my mother is very concerned and threatened to cancel the trip. We’ll be travelling to Konya too and she said it’s close to the border. Is it true? And how safe is Turkey right now for tourists in general? Any tips?

    • says

      Sherly, there is no need for your mum to cancel the trip. Firstly Konya is nowhere near the border. It is at least a seven hour drive away. Also the Turks are just getting on with daily life. I was a thirty minute drive from the Syrian border yesterday and life is as normal. I am assuming you will be doing Ephesus, Cappadocia and Istanbul in which case enjoy yourself. You will see no effect from the business with Syria.

  122. says

    Dear Natalie,

    I work with an international animal rescue charity and we’re assisting a small volunteer program in Avsallar, Turkey. We’re attempting to make connections not only with potential adopters abroad, but also looking for flight volunteers to escort dogs/cats to their new families in the United States and parts of Europe. It’s rather difficult to find forums where we can reach out to audiences of Americans traveling to and from Turkey. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Warmest wishes,

    Laura Simpson
    Founder
    Harmony Fund

    • says

      Hi Jack, I have just come back from the south east and the only problems were in towns on the immediate border. Nearer to the time of your departure, check the news but I should not imagine there will be any problems as Iskenderun is not on the immediate border

  123. Carla says

    Hello Natalie,

    I turn 50 next month and wanted to plan a memorable vacation to celebrate. I also want to take my son, age 12. I am from the US, and not internationally well-traveled. I mainly want an incredible experience for my son. Would you recommend Turkey for an active, adventuresome 12 year old boy to go with his mom? And where would you recommend we go? Thank you!

  124. irene hantz says

    Hi there,

    I will like to know being an australian if i can find work in turkey in a english /western company?

    Is it safe for a female who knows basic turkish to live in Istanbul?

    many thanks

  125. Paul says

    Hi Natalie,
    I am looking to complete a solo trek from Arhavi on the coast, south and west along the length of the Kackar mountain range and finish in Surmene in Aug/Sep 2013 and wonder if you have knowledge of the area or any concerns. I have no language skills but am quite self sufficient and relaxed and used to being abroad and living rough.
    Thanks
    Paul

    • says

      Hi Paul, I have been in that area however it was on a guided tour and I only went as far as the Demirkapi plateau of the Kackar mountains.

      Having said that, I felt totally relaxed during the whole time and there are no problems there. If you are used to living rough and elf sufficient then you will be fine.
      Natalie wrote about..18 Black & White Photos of Trabzon

  126. colin says

    Hi Natalie, considering a 14 night escorted Saga holiday this year covering Istanbul, Canakkale,Izmir,Antalya,Konya,Urgap,Ankara and back to Istanbul. The majority of the comments on your website seem to be reassuring. Any useful tips would be appreciated

  127. carole says

    HI NATALIE I HAVE BOOKED A VILLA IN ALTINKUM FOR MYSELF N MY FAMILY FOR JUNE THIS YEAR I AM CONCERN ABOUT OUR SAFETY IS IT SAFE TO GO,IS THE CONFLICT ANY WORSE?

    • carole says

      Tank you very much for your reply. just one more thing we are staying in a villa a little outside altinkum do u think it is safe to stay in a secluded villa and how would we beable to get help if needed.

      • says

        Hi Carole, Just do the same safety measures that you would do at home. Ie, lock the door at night, lock away all valuables etc.

        Also ask the owner for a list of emergency numbers. Most of them also use a property management company and supply a telephone number for someone that speaks English.
        Natalie wrote about..17 Tilt Shift Photos From Turkey

  128. neil markham says

    hi nat could you please help me i am planning to go to visit istanbul , but am worried as i am going by my self and worried if it is safe there , i want to go late may 2013 for three nights, been told there is two different sides to istanbul devided by a river ,could you please send me some tips and what you think of istanbul and if the asian side is ok , i have just come back from rome and that was brilliant and the people were great and now love visiting cities so would love istanbul if you can help thanks

    • says

      Hi Neil,

      Istanbul is like any other city in the world so do the same as you would at home re safety. For example, ensure your wallet is in a locked place so that pickpockets can not get to it. Don’t use unlicensed taxis etc.

      The city is separated by the Bosphorus. I have always stayed in Sultan Ahmet area or Taksim as this is where the major sites are. If it is your first visit, you will most likely want to pick Sultan Ahmet to see the blue mosque, Hagia Sophia etc. Here are some ideas of places to visit. http://turkishtravelblog.com/category/destinations/istanbul/
      Natalie wrote about..Win The Biggest, Baddest Bucket List With My Destination

      • neil markham says

        hi nat sorry for the late reply thanks for your help and thinking of bookin 2 nights in istanbul tomorrow 13/2/13 for end of may hope its a good time to go thanks again

          • neil markham says

            hi nat well i have booked istanbul 12/15 may got a hotel called the grand ons think in laleli area i just wondered if it will be easy to get a taxi early on the wed morning as i fly at 8 am so will need one 3 hours before to ataturk airport as i have no transfers booked and can you please tell me if you have heard of the area and if its ok thank nat so much

            • says

              Hi Neil, Sure you will be able to get a taxi easy. Your hotel reception will call one for you. I have not heard of the Laleli area but looked on the map and it seems about a 30 minute walk / 5 minute local bus to all the major sites to see which are in the Sultan Ahmet. Not long to go now. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  129. Bethany Jay says

    Hi Natalie, myself, my mum and sister are soon to be booking a two week holiday in August in KalKan. Though I am holding back a little because of all the talk wars in Syria so I am debating whether or not to go. I have been to turkey before and it was great! But that was 5 years ago. Please could you help thankyou!

  130. says

    Hi Natalie,

    I’m planning a babymooning trip with my husband to the Turkish riviera, and we’re planning to rent a car and drive ourselves (without escort/guide) along the coast from Fethiye-Marmaris-Bodrum-Kusadasi-Ephesus and all the way to Izmir.

    We’ve never been there, but on Google Maps it looks pretty simple and easy to navigate, but I’d like to know if in reality, the road conditions are safe and the terrains are easy to navigate in that area? Or whether or not there are any common crime incidents such as kidnapping/carjacking and whatnot we should be wary of? I’ve driven before in the Aegean Greek isles so in my mind, the Turkish riviera would be similar?

    I just wanted to get an expert opinion of someone who really does know the area (because I don’t), considering I’ll be pregnant and I have to reassure some concerns from family members regarding my travel plans there :p I don’t think I’m worried about the safety in terms of the Syrian conflict or any bombings, but just more about safety in general conditions :) Your advice and reassurance would be of great help! Thanks so much!!!

    • says

      Hi Melissa,

      What a wonderful idea. You are going to have a fantastic time. You are right. It is a simple route and easy to navigate.

      Re kidnapping. Never heard of any foreigners being kidnapped in those areas. The last kidnapping happened in 2012 but that was far east near the Syrian border which is thousands of miles away and like a different world.

      Re other crimes like car jacking etc, there are very few of them as well but when ever I drive here in Turkey, I apply the same rules that I would in the UK. ie, I never pick up hitchhikers. I don’t drive in the dark. I make sure my handbag etc are out of sight, I lock the car doors when leaving it etc.

      The Turkish government has spent a lot of money in the last five years improving roads so you will find all main roads are of European standards. A few village roads etc may be virtually dirt tracks but it will be a minor inconvenience that’s all

      It sounds like you are a experienced driver so just do the same as you would normally and have a fantastic time.
      Natalie wrote about..Win The Biggest, Baddest Bucket List With My Destination

      • says

        Natalie, thanks for your insight! Feeling a lot more sure and secure now! Do you know if the people in the coastal regions are accustomed to speaking English since it’s a tourist region?

          • says

            Oh that’s great to know, Natalie!!!

            Btw do you have any recommendations on rental car companies? I’m planning to rent in Dalaman airport and return in Izmir airport (or vice versa), right now I’m looking at Avis, autoeurope, Sixt, all those rental companies. Are there any other more recommended local rental car companies perhaps at both airports? Or should I just stick to Avis etc?

            Would I need an international driving license to rent in Turkey, or is my national license be enough? I have an Indonesian driving license, and my husband has a US driving license… would those suffice to rent a car in Turkey?

            Thanks again for all your inputs, Natalie!

            • says

              Hi Melissa, I have always rented locally but the above companies have a good reputation as well. Check on the driving licence. I think your husbands is ok to drive for up to 3 months but not sure if yours is ok. Any of the big hire companies should be able to clarify for you
              Natalie wrote about..Where To Stay in Cappadocia

  131. Tardislass says

    Thanks for keeping this posted. I’m traveling with my family to Turkey this spring (Selcuk and Istanbul) and I’ve had to calm their fears with the Embassy bombing and the missing American woman.

    Looking forward to seeing exotic Istanbul with thousands of other tourists!:)

      • Heather says

        Thanks Natalie, I wrote another update but I just wanted to say you were right on all counts. My family had a wonderful vacation and the most dangerous thing probably was trying to cross the street in Istanbul or riding in a dolma between villages on a hill(terrifying)!

  132. John denoe says

    Hi Natalie,

    I am about to visit istanbul this month
    and I am very much excited about it.
    I will be staying in a hostel.
    can you please tell me if I want to use a mobile network , which gsm sim would be good ?

    secondly I saw online(link below) that their is 600 minutes free wi-fi provided by AVEA to the foriegn tourists

    http://www.avea.com.tr/en/sta/kapsa+++mavedolasim/dolasim/free_wifi.shtml?pagemenu=freewifi

    but to be honest I can’t understand if I would need to buy a new sim or it will work automatically for the internet ?

    thirdly about the electric switches, are there 3 pin swithes in turkey as in UK or there are 2 pin switches ?

    you guidance in this regard will be very helpfull.

    many thanks, John

    • says

      Hi John,

      I use Turkcell as my normal provider and purchase credit either online or at a shop. They have some very good deals on all the time. When you come through the airport, you can ask about it.

      The Avea link does not work. I have never purchased wi-fi access on a sim though. Everywhere I have gone there has been free internet access for me to tap into.

      I don’t think you would need to buy a sim if the only thing you want is internet access.

      Also how long do you intend to stay because foreign phones get blocked after a certain amount of time?

      For electric, the plugs run on two pins. Hope that helps

      Natalie
      Natalie wrote about..The Coffee Houses of Gaziantep

      • John denoe says

        HI Natalie,

        Thanks a lot for the quick response and its very helpful

        I am coming for 4 days and would need to use the phone via a turkish network.

        as per ur suggestion the Turkcell seems to be a good option.

        further about the electric connection through a two pin system,

        i have all the 3 pin devices, so can i buy the converter from a shop or airport or the hostel staff will take care of this ?

        it also came to my mind about the payments,
        can i use my debit/credit card ?

        or if i have the cash, which place is the best to convert it into Liras ? (airport, market, hostel)

        would be waiting for your kind reply :)

        John

        • says

          Hi John, I would buy the converter before you leave your home country . Hostels don’t tend to stock them unless someone has left one behind and the only places that sell them are electric shops of which you do not want to go around searching for one. You might be able to pick one up at the airport though.

          Your debit and credit card can be used in most places as well. Just make sure your provider knows you are coming to Turkey so that they do not flag your card for suspicious activity.

          If you have cash, do not exchange at the airport or hostel. You will get the worst rates there. The best rates are in a bank but then you have to produce your passport etc so head to a currency exchange shop
          Natalie wrote about..Where To Stay in Cappadocia

  133. Alex says

    Hey, at the end of March/Beginning of April, I am planning to travel with 250 members of an American marching band (plus 100 parents) to Turkey. I understand that every nation has its fair share of incidents. However do you think that the marching band as a whole would be safe? We are planning to perform in Taksim Square in Istanbul among other locations. Do you think 250 western musicians in bright clothing playing american music would attract any danger to band members? A small group of western citizens seem to be safe in Turkey, but in your opinion, would a large conspicuous group have the same level of safety?

    Thanks so much!!

    • says

      Hi Alex,

      I think the Turks would just find you a novelty. You are going to attract a lot of attention simply because the size of your group. You will have the same level of safety as everyone else but make sure each individual keeps to rules for personal safety. I.e not accepting drinks from strangers, using licensed taxis only etc.

      Have you looked into permits to perform in Taksim square or is it part of a larger performance? I ask because you do need one and if you do not have it , there is a chance the police will arrest you all.
      Natalie wrote about..Where To Stay in Cappadocia

  134. Jan says

    I just learned that my 20 year old neice, after she gets married is going over to Turkey to do mission work. I am concerned for her safety. I do not know all of the details, but just wanted to get some insight on how she might be treated/

    • says

      Hi Jan, never heard of anyone doing mission work in Turkey but I am assuming she will be based with the local church. When you say treated, do you mean by the church or the locals?

  135. Katie says

    Hi Natalie,

    I’m currently considering to take a job based in Istanbul for the Summer months. I’m a 22 year old blonde female, and I’ve heard that women in Turkey can experience sexual assault quite casually, particularly in Istanbul. I will be working for a family to look after their child, but I’m wondering if it would be safe to travel around the city alone when I’m not working? Many Thanks, Katie

    • says

      Hi Katie, You will be fine as long as you take the same safety measures that you would in your own home town ie do not accept drinks from strangers, don’t walk alone in the dark, use only licensed taxis etc.

  136. jamee99 says

    I am planning a trip to Turkey at the end of this month (April 2013) and I have not received my passport yet. When I went online to check the status of my passport I started browsing things to know about Turkey and it says your passport must be valid for 90 days to enter Turkey. Is this correct information? My concern is getting to Instanbul and not being allowed to enter the country. Help!

    • says

      Hi Jamee, It has been a while since I entered the country but as far as I know that rule still stands. It relates to the tourist visa which was also issued for 90 days. When you say you have not received your passport, have you applied for a new one? If so, it will definitely be valid for 90 days.

      • jamee99 says

        Thanks for your response. I have applied for it and should receive it next week. I thought it meant that I must have a valid passport for 90 days because it will have only been valid a few weeks if I indeed try to travel to Turkey in May. So would it be ok then or would I have to book my trip for possibly the fall to allow for it to be valid the 90 days? Thanks a bunch.

        • Nat says

          No, it means you must have 90 days left on your passport before it expires. It doesn’t mean if it is only a couple of weeks after issue. It is the amount of time left that they are referring to. You will be fine.

  137. Heather says

    Just came back from a wonderful 11 day visit with my folks to Istanbul/Selcuk. From what I observed and hearing other travelers journeys-Turkey is as safe or safer than most Western nations. A good example of this is that my mother left one of her bags on a dolma between Selcuk-Sirince and didn’t realize it until 2 hours later. After our wonderful hotel clerk called the bus station, my mom found the bag-everything intact at the bus station managers office. Most of the Turks we met were very helpful. Especially interesting to be in Turkey and see on CNN all the talk about Muslims and the Boston bombings. Made me realize that if more Americans actually visited those countries perhaps they’d get a better perspective. But we all loved the food, scenery and people of Istanbul and Turkey. Plus their airlines put American carriers to shame. On a one hour flight in Turkey we got a hot sandwich and drinks. In the USA, you don’t get anything!

    • Nat says

      Glad you enjoyed it Heather and I would like more Americans to visit Turkey. Once they do, they always have a fantastic time. Think you got your words mixed up though. A small bus is a dolmus. A dolma is a stuffed pepper xxx

  138. Ralph Terlizzi says

    Hi Natalie
    I am considering a 4/5 day private tour in south east Turkey, specifically, Urfa, Harran, Mardin Diyarbakir in the beginning of November. Is it safe for an American tourist to be so close to the Syrian border. Other thought was to travel to black sea for 4/5days in Trabzon/Republic of Georgia border instead of visiting south east Turkey. Your advice is appreciated. thanks

    • says

      Hi Ralph,

      I did Urfa, Harran and Mardin in November last year and everything was fine. No sign of trouble. Although close on the map, it is not on the direct border which is where the problems were. They do warn people because of PKK issues but I never came across any of that. If it is a private guided tour, your guide will ensure that nothing happens.

      I did the Trabzon region in June last year and thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

      You will find more of a cultural difference in the south-east than the Trabzon region. The black sea is more about scenic places. So it really depends on what you want from the tour.

      It is hard to choose between the two destinations because they each have their own qualities. Isn’t there chance to do both?
      Natalie wrote about..Hasankeyf : An Ancient City in Batman, Turkey

      • Ralph Terlizzi says

        Thanks Natalie
        Unfortunately I can not do both Trabzon and SE Turkey. Spending some time in cappadocia and don’t want to give that up. I’m a photographer so I’m torn in which area to spend time in to photograph. And yes, if I do decide on SE Turkey I will be with my own private guide. Thanks ralph

        • says

          Hi Ralph, Not sure if it helps but you will get different photographs from both regions. Most of my photos from the North East were of scenic landscapes, green fields, waterfalls etc. The photographs from the south-east were urban influenced e.g. buildings, people etc.

          Hope you can decide easily. It is a tough choice and you are right about not giving up Cappadocia. Enjoy your trip
          Natalie wrote about..Temple Of Apollo in Didyma, Turkey

  139. Susanna says

    Hi there,

    I and my fiance were planning a trip to turkey (maybe antalya or any other) on the 6th of june. The news of the recent bombing have made our decisions to vary. Could you please advice if it is safe to travel to turkey or not?

    Thank you

    • Nat says

      Bombings can happen anywhere in the world Susanna. You can walk out of your front door tomorrow and get blown up by a bomb. The position of the bomb in Reyhanli is that it is so close to the Syrian border so likely it has something to do with that.

      If you go somewhere like Istanbul or Cappadocia or the Aegean and MED coastal resorts, you will be so far away from the Syrian border and not even know of anything that is happening there. For instance the distance between the holiday resort of Kusadasi and Reyhanli is over 1000 kilometres. Turkey is a very large country.

      I am on the Aegean coast at the moment and life is normal. I have no intention what so ever of leaving. Don’t cancel your trip, just don’t book anywhere that is on the border with Syria.

  140. Tom says

    I am coming to Turkey in July 2013 and look forward with great enthusiasm of visiting Sanliurfa, Harran, Marsin, Midyat, Hasankeyf, Van, Dogubeyazit, Yusefeli, Asmasa, Asmasra, and several other places. I appreciate your site here and thank you for it. Tom.

  141. says

    Hi, Thanks for such an informative blog. I am going to Turkey for my honeymoon in July 2013. We were thinking of spending some time in Istanbul and then going to Northeast, close to the Armenian and Georgian borders. Have you heard of any issues there? To provide some background about us, we tend to like more remote places for vacation and in particular have spent the last two summers in Ramadan practicing areas – all to say, we aren’t deterred by travel to Muslim-majority locations. But having worked with Syrian refugees last year, I am somewhat aware of the hostilities in the region and would not want to take unreasonable risks in our honeymoon. Many thanks! Jocy

    • says

      Hi Jocy,

      If you like remote places then the Northeast is a wonderful place to go. Outside of the main cities like Trabzon and rize, there are some very small quaint villages. I was there last year and there are no issues at all. You will love the place.

  142. John says

    Hi, i’m planning to travel in Turkey for a few weeks. One of the places i want to go to is Antakya but now I’m not so sure. Is it safe?

    • says

      Hi John, I have not been there and it does seem that it is not on the immediate border with Syria. However to double check, perhaps head over to Trip Advisor forums and find out if anyone has been there lately.

  143. Tzipi says

    Hey, do you know if there is ever any problems with Jews visiting Turkey? Discrimination or attacks? I wear a Star of David necklace which people will notice and I dont want there to be trouble.

    Thanks,

    • says

      I have never heard of discrimination or attacks but if there had been, it would not be widely reported anyway. There is a large community of Jews living in Istanbul. Perhaps there is a forum or Facebook group that you can join to ask. Do a search on Google and maybe you can find them. They would have better knowledge than me.

  144. Mel says

    Hi Natalie, me and my friend (2 girls) will be travelling to Turkey in Aug 2013, I know it’s still 2 months ahead, and I’ve been watching closely the update on the issue in the border, and recently saying that Turkey and Syria exchange fire. The closest destination to the border that we will be visiting is Mt. Nemrut (we’ll be travelling with tour operator). Just wanted to hear your advice on it, should we skip it or wait a little longer for the update? Thanks, Mel

    • Nat says

      Hi Mel, For any conflict or gunfire to reach Mount Nemrut from the Syrian border, it would have to be full scale weapons. The distance is over 200km or at least five hours drive. At the moment, the only turmoil is on the border regions. I am 99% hopeful that Syria would never launch a full scale attack of that size so I say wait longer for the update. I am sure that if the region was not safe for travel, your tour operator would advise you because they do have legal obligations to abide by.

      • Eileen says

        Hi Natelia, I asked your advice last year about my holiday to Kusadasi – and you informed me it was safe and I would love my hols – which we did. So much so we are now returning to Turkey Gumbet for our July holiday. I know you are sick and tired of answering the same question by tourists, but is the situation with the riots going on at moment- is it safe to travel to Turkey??
        Many thanks for your continued advice.
        Eileen

        • says

          Hi Eileen, Welcome back! It is hard to gauge the exact situation countrywide but from what I have learned, any protests in that region are happening in the main city centre of Bodrum. Life is more or less as normal in Gumbet and you should be able to enjoy your holiday. I also think that by July, the situation will be a lot calmer but if you still have any worries then, come back and check with me nearer the time

  145. Aleiza says

    Hi Natalie,

    Thanks for your great heap of information on Turkey, it has been really helpful. I am travelling with my family on 21st June for 2 weeks to Side, Antalya, we are staying in a Villa. I am just a bit weary of the protests that are on the news today and wondering if you know of any tensions near where we will be staying.

    Also I have a smartphone which I am looking to use internet on to stay in contact with people back home – are there any internet bundles etc or would it just be topping up a Turkish sim card?

    Thank You

    • says

      Not heard of anything happening in side itself. The protests in that area seem to be happening in the main centre of Antalya which is roughly a hours drive away. I don’t think you will sense any tension at all but check back nearer the time if you are not sure.

      By internet, do you mean dongles? If so, you can get them but from what I can gather for foreigners there is a bit of red tape involved. Most places do have free internet access or if you want it for while you are in the villa, look around for the Turkcell or Vodaphone rep at the airport when you arrive.

  146. james says

    Hi,

    I was going to teach in Eski?ehir and wondered if you heard any news about here? I wondered if I should travel their, I was flying to Istabul and have already booked my flight. I was going to spend two nights their. I heard on the news that should not travel in all but essential visits and whether I should still go as I was going to be living their.

    • says

      Hi James,

      The travel advice is only essential visits to certain areas which are in the east. Eskisehir is not one of them. There have been protests on the main streets in Eskisehir but it is a very big city and other areas are quite calm, from what I have read. When are you due to travel? I think in the next week and month, the situation will quieten down a lot. Do you have to make a decision now?

  147. chloe says

    hi im going to bodrum in October and getting abit worried about all the conflict that is in Turkey at the moment, my partner is saying that we should not pay anything off the holiday yet untill we know that it is safe for us to go there, or should we just cut our losses and go somewhere else?

    • says

      Hi Chloe, There are 5 months between now and October. So much can change and it is too early to start worrying. My personal thoughts is that everything will be back to normal by October, you will come on holiday and have a fantastic time. Do you have to make a decision now? If I were you, I would forget about the situation and take another look at it in August.

  148. says

    hi.having read most of the QandAs above,it seems to me that the FCO appears to issue vague advice.in 2008 my wife and i was due to visit Kenya,a mind blowing experience,when civil unrest broke out due to their election.when asking for information of the FCO we were supplied with 5 year old warnings and nothing of the then current situation.we went anyway with no trouble.if you want to know do your own researh and do not take too much notice of just one source,you could miss out on the time of your life

    • says

      I think the FCO just do it to cover their backs really George. One vague statement applies across the board. Agree that people must do their own research. Enjoy Gumbet, I am about three hours drive from there and the sun is shining!

  149. Stacey says

    Hello, this is probably going to sound like a stupid question but as for someone who is petrified of flying anyway i have to ask is Dalaman anywhere near the riots that are happening in Turkey? It’s my first holiday with my boyfriend and without my parents but since hearing have been very nervous and trying to find stuff out but you seem to give people better advice then any other site, sorry to be a pain it’s just i go a week today. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Stacy, I have not heard of anything happening in Dalaman. It is a pretty small place, very quiet and laidback. I think if any demonstrations were to happen, they would be peaceful or people would instead head to the main city centre of Mugla which is nearby. Watch the news carefully for the next week but my gut instinct is that all will remain peaceful in Dalaman.

  150. Conor says

    Hi,
    I know this is pretty ignorant of me to now assume the whole of Turkey is dangerous, but I have no idea on the geography/scale of current protests. Me and my girlfriend plan to travel to Alanya next week. Should we be worried?
    Cheers,
    Conor

    • says

      Hi Conor, Alanya belongs to the Antalya province and there has been demonstrations in the main city center. It is about two hours drive away from Alanya. You have nothing to worry about regarding your safety. No foreigners are being attacked or anything like that. It seems that people from Alanya are going to Antalya city centre to protest but in the event that a protest does happen in Alanya, just stay away from it

  151. Jen says

    I just recently booked a flight to Milan and I have a layover flight in instanbul. Is it safe for me to internationally fly to that airport?

  152. Dave says

    Hi

    Me and my girlfriend will be flying to Izmir, then travelling west to Cesme…. i dont think there will be any problems, but just wanted to check?

    We will be travelling on the 15th of June.

    Cheers,

    Dave

    • says

      Hi Dave, Are you flying into Izmir and then going direct to Cesme? If so, that will be ok as not heard of anything happening in Cesme. There has been demonstrations though in the Alsanacak area of Izmir city center so I would avoid that area. Keep watching for any developments though.

  153. Liam says

    Hi
    Is the area around Dalaman safe?

    Saying that from reding Trip Advisor I am more concerned about the activities in the pool by guests than any threat of war,

    Thanks

    • says

      Not heard anything coming out of the Dalaman area Liam. The area is quite quiet and laidback generally though. Keep watching developments but I don’t think there will be any demonstrations or riots in that area. Apart from your poolside guests! ;)

  154. Mohammed says

    Made all travel arrangements to go to Turkey on 20th June with family, concerned about the unrest. Not sure if its safe to travel to Istanbul. Worried……

    • says

      For Istanbul, avoid the Taksim area. Where is your hotel based? Also with Antalya, demonstrations are happening in the main city but the small coastal resorts are all quiet.

  155. Amanda says

    I have plans to fly into Istanbul on Friday. As a young American woman traveling alone, I’m a bit concerned about the escalating protest movement in and around the city. Will it be safe enough for me to move about the city by myself? Or, should I plan on rescheduling my trip when the political unrest settles?

    • says

      Hi Amanda, you should definitely avoid going out at night time and also avoid the Taksim square area. While you will be safe, you will also have to be on your guard to make sure you do not accidentally get caught up in any demonstrations that might be planned for other areas. To date, I have not seen any reports re activity in the Sultan Ahmet area which is where a lot of the major site sightseeing attractions are. Re changing your schedule, it depends really because Taksim square leads to Istiklal avenue which is considered a must go place while on holiday in the city. At this point, it seems that it would be wise to avoid that area so you will be missing out.

  156. yvonne connors says

    hi im very worried i booked a holiday to bodrum in turkey with my friend for the 30th of june this year and we are staying for a week in a hotel but i saw the riots going on in turkey do u know is the riots going on in bodrum and do you know maybe if i could get my money back for my holidays aswell tanks , yvonne.

    • says

      Hi Yvonne, there were demonstrations in the centre of Bodrum and according to media reports, they did get violent. I have not heard of any reports since and most people seem to be reporting that life has returned back to normal. Re getting your money back, you need to check the small print but as far as I know it will only happen if your government determines that the whole country is unsafe to travel to which at the moment, neither the British or USA have said this. Most of the big holiday companies have people on the ground in Turkey, that will report back to travel agents re whether people should travel. If you really don’t want to come, ask your travel agent to change your booking to another country otherwise just keep watching to see what transpires. It is difficult to tell what is going to happen in the next month.

  157. says

    Hi Natalie – I am planning to fly in with my kids to Istanbul on the 6th of June and then fly to Izmir for a vacation in Ephesus and Ceseme. I am hearing little news about protests in that part of the country. Can you please advice on the situation in the Izmir/Ephesus/Ceseme area.

    Dean (California)

    • says

      There has been protests in the main city centre of Izmir but no reports from the surrounding resorts like Cesme. I am about two hours away from Izmir now and nothing is happening here

  158. Sherrii says

    Hi im off to sarigerme june 15-22, im travelling with my grandmother and she is slightly worrid about things she has seen on the news. Can you let me know if we have cause to worry ? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

  159. Michael says

    I think it’s silly that you mention Turkey is not in the Middle East, when only 3% of the country lies on the European continent, and 97% in Western Asia. Turkey borders Iran, Iraq and Syria…I think judging on that, its as Middle Eastern as a country can get.

  160. Fazil says

    Hey,
    I have a flight layover in Istanbul for 2 hrs on 28th June, So I’ll be in airport itself.
    So is it safe to travel, taken all the turmoil going on at present in mind, or should I change my flight?

  161. Eileen says

    Hi Natalie, just wondering how the riots in the major cities are now? Are they still happening?
    Thanks
    Eileen

    • says

      While there have been riots Eileen, a large majority are demonstrations with no looting or vandalism. Different reports coming in every day but here on the Aegean coast, life is as normal. It is only because of social media that I know what is going off

      • Eileen says

        Natalie, thank you so much for your time – I have read your update on “should we cancel our holiday” – it has put my mind at ease and I realise I am not paranoid as a lot of people have the same fears and worries as me. I am now happy and can look forward to our holiday. I cant wait – Thank you again for your patience with me an ignorant tourist.
        Eileen

  162. sarah says

    Hi I am travelling to antalya next week with my 4 and 3 year old, we will be staying around the Alanya area, is it still ok there? Thank You

    • says

      Not heard anything coming from the Alanya area. Just the main city centre of Antalya. Other writers from that area are reporting business as normal

  163. granndi says

    hi i am traveling to bitez on 22 jun 2013 with my wife and two children do you think its safe to to go there at that time .thank you

  164. Tom says

    I’m really looking forward to arriving in Turkey on July 11, still a month away. Just wondering if protests have occured in places like Urfa, Mardin, Midyat, Van, Dogubeyazit, Kars or Amasya. Those, and a few other places are on my travel route. Haven’t heard anything about what might or might not be happening in the area of southeast, east, and Kacker Mountains. Many thanks. Tom.

    • says

      Hi Tom, the actual Kackar mountains themselves are calm however there are been some large and violent demonstrations in the city of Rize. I heard of a peaceful demonstration in Kars but nothing in the other cities. Gaziantep was also listed for a large demonstrations. Keep monitoring the situation and then check it at the beginning of July to see if you need to make changes to your plans.

      • says

        I just returned from my almost month traveling in Turkey and just want to say I enjoyed the natural scenic beauty as well as the towns and historical sites that I saw, but what will live on in my memory forever are the people…you can never meet any friendlier, kinder or helpful people than I met in Turkey. I never felt safer anywhere else in the world.

  165. Nicola Benatti says

    Hi Natalie!
    I am going to travel to Turkey with my girlfriend on July 22nd and will be staying until July 29th. We will be staying in Gulluk, near Bodrum. My mother is worried about the turmoil going on in Turkey and doesn’t want me to go. I am an Italian citizen with a US Visa sticker on it, that is mostly why she is concerned. Is it safe to travel there?
    Thank you very much

  166. Nicolás Zilic says

    Hello,

    My name is Nicolás Zilic and I have a booked trip to go to Antalya for around 7 days and 3 more days to Istanbul from the end of june to the forst days of July to watch the under 20 world cup. My question is if it’s safe to go to istanbul during 3 days and if I would be able to visit the city main attractions.
    I have been told that probably in Antalya there should be no problem but I’m arriving by boat from Greece so I don’t know if the way to arrive by land to Antalya from the portin which the boat let us is safe or not.
    It will be extremelly helpful to have your reply
    Thank you

    • says

      The area in Istanbul where all the sites are is Sultan Ahmet and everyone is saying that area is calm and there are no problems. In Antalya city centre, there are large gatherings of people every night but they are non violent demonstrations. I should image the boat service is carrying on as normal.What do you mean by portin?

  167. Enija says

    Hello Natalie

    I will be traveling to Turkey on 19th of July, I will go to Dalaman and then with a bus to Fethiye. I am a but worried about all the situation in Turkey, I will fly to Dalaman via Istanbul. Do you know are there any protests in Fethiye and is it safe at Istanbul airport? Thanks

    • says

      Istanbul airports are fine. There is two internal ones but both operating as normal. There has been demonstrations in Fethiye but they are peaceful. No need to cancel, just stay away from joining any demonstrations.

  168. nuria says

    Hi! are you in Alanya right now?
    We are going to travel next friday from Stockholm and we will stay in Boulevard Hotel, but i was reading a lot of news about the ” earthquake” which happened there in Turkey (Van) and i am really worried about it because we have a child and maybe can happen somethig bad like a tsunami in the Alanya beach. Boulevard Hotel is 100mt from the sea… Could you tell us something else about the last earthquake? Must we cancell the travel? change to another country? is safe to stay there in Alanya for 15 days?
    Thank you very much…

    • says

      Yes, Turkey does have earthquakes but the chances of that and a tsunami happening are very slim. Just as likely as you walking outside your front door and getting run over by a big truck. If Alanya was not safe then nobody would live there! Don’t change to another country and don’t cancel your travel plans.

  169. says

    I was on Taksim Sqaure on July 12th. No trace of any protest and perfectly safe. The best way to know is from your hotel who know the local condition. Canceling the trip would have been the biggest mistake as Turkey was wonderful and safe in July second week.
    makrand wrote about..11 Experiences From Turkey

  170. zack says

    Hello, i live in ?stanbul, though i was born and raised in the US. That you for your articles, i’ve read several as i am interested in learning the opinions of non-Turks living in Turkey. This being said, i would respectfully disagree with the idea that Turkey is not in the Middle East. Historically the Asian side of ?stanbul was considered to be part of the “Harem” (on the same land as Mekke – definitely the Middle East!) and you can still see this in the name of an area in Üsküdar called “Harem.”

    The European part, however, was not considered to be within this “Harem” and was considered part of Europe. So in that part, i would agree that not all of Turkey is in the Middle East, but to say that has no Middle Easternness would be going a bit to far, in my opinion, at least.

    Also, as to the idea that Turks don’t consider themselves to be (at least partially) Middle-Eastern, i would ask why the largest university in Ankara is called Orta Do?u Teknik Üniversitesi (Middle-Eastern Technical University).

    This is not to mention that there are native speaking Arab populations that have lived in what is now Turkey for generations (well before the establishment of the republic), i have many friends from Mardin and other areas in Turkey whose first language is Arabic, not Turkish. I am also married into a Turkish family, the members of which definitely consider themselves Middle Eastern despite the fact that my father-in-law’s first language is actually Greek (Rumca) and who calls himself Rum (Greek), as he was born in the mountains of Trabzon. This to me shows that being Rum (sometimes also translated by the Arabs, Turks, and Muslims in general to mean European in general) doesn’t necessarily entail not being Middle Eastern.

    I guess i am including a lot of this information in this last paragraph more for you personally since your stated goal is to travel and visit every village and town of Turkey, as the Rum Muslims are a still very unknown people even by many people living in Turkey itself.

    Hürmetle,
    zacl

  171. Sachin says

    Hi Natalie,

    I am traveling to Antalya, Turkey towards the end of December 2013 for the new years’ week. I will be traveling with my wife and 2 small kids.

    Considering what is going on in the neighboring countries, wanted your advice if it is safe, and if there is anything that we should watch out for.

    I would be very thankful if you can provide your opinion.

    Regards

  172. says

    I think it can be really difficult to say a country as a whole is safe or unsafe. I am originally from Australia (considered by many to be one of the safest places in the world to travel), yet there are some areas of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Melbourne that I would not go to.

    I am currently living in Colombia (considered to be one of the more dangerous places in the world to visit), yet I have not had a single issue here in both my trips here, totaling 10 months.

    I think if people take precautions and do their research, they will most likely not have an issue, no matter where they choose to travel. It really bugs me the stereotypes people give to a whole country just because of events that may have happened in the past, events that have happened in one city of that country, or events that have happened in surrounding countries.
    Luke wrote about..5 Things I Miss About Australia

  173. Joy says

    Hi natalie, i was just wondering if it’s safe to have a solo vacation in Turkey. I’m a female in my mid-thirties from Singapore. I’ve only ever done solo trips to big cities in Asia, and would like to venture out further on my own. Turkey is on my list, so i was hoping you’d be able to shed some light on that. Thank you! :) Ur blog is awesome!

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