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Turkey for Women

How safe is Turkey for two 22-year-old girls from the United States? My traveling companion and I have some concerns about safety, considering the current political environment. Any advice would be helpful!

Posted by
1357 posts

Can you expand on the 'current political environment'. I have not heard of any situations other than towards Kurdistan in the news recently.

Posted by
8 posts

From what I've read, there have been increasing numbers of bombings of tourist areas in the past few years. While I sort of think that is unlikely, I'm more concerned about any more local hostility, whether it be because we're small women or because we're Americans. I know from experience that Americans are not loved everywhere, so I'd just like to know more about it.

Posted by
473 posts

My wife and I felt very safe in Turkey last September. Granted, we're not 2 women, as you asked about. Yes, there have been bombings. But there were several in London, which anyone would consider safe, as well as Spain, and New York. Point being, it can happen anywhere. As to the attitude towards us as Americans, about the only reaction we got was that people were impressed that we came from so far away to see their country. We don't have a date set for a future trip, but we definitely are going back.

About the only advice I would give is to dress slightly modestly. No bare tummy, short-shorts, or halter tops. A T-shirt and capri pants are fine, for example. That's about it. Enjoy!

Posted by
4546 posts

It has been a while since I have been to Turkey. However, this site by Tom Brosnahan has lots of good information. For a number of years, he was the author of the Lonely Planet Turkey guide.

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/

Posted by
1158 posts

I went to Turkey long time ago in '95 and I know some things have changed since then.
Anywhere where there are bombs is not considered safe, but that wouldn't stop me from travelling.
Be careful in crowded placed, especially in bazars. There are many pickpockets, very skilful ones. One opened my zipped purse, but there was nothing to steal from.

Posted by
6 posts

Hi...

I am a guy from Turkey and live in the United States. I had American guests (two boys from my university and later my professor's family) in the past and they had no problems. However, travelling as two girls alone might be a hassle if not a problem, sometimes. I do not think you will have a serious problem as long as you are careful and you do not wear provacatively. Also be careful with guys (who may speak some or better english) who approach to help you. Please do not misunderstand! I am not saying that every guy will approach you with bad intentions but still that should require a general precaution.

Normally, smaller cities or countryside are safer as long as you are with somebody who knows the country. In this case you may be amazed from the hospitality that you will get.However, I would not worry about the bombings or political environment or even attitude towards Americans.

Please understand that generally people have problems with "U.S foreign policy" not Americans.

Posted by
54 posts

act as a guest, hire a guide- dress correctly and reseptfully-understand that there is a different culture and enjoy that-you will be hasseld by some 2 jung girl traveling will get that in a lot of countrys-
dont go out drinking with people you dont know an duse common sense
turkey is safe but keep up on the daily news
have fun

Posted by
85 posts

hi
I am from Turkey, 36m living in izmir city
I used this site to plan my trips to Italy and Strazburg. Any kind of information support will be pleasure for me. Please do not hesisate to keep in touch. best regards

Posted by
11450 posts

When I was 23( a hundred years ago, but human nature doesn't change) my friend and I travelled all over Europe for several months. It was the time of our lives.
We did not go to Turkey though , we do go to Greece.
Issues are pretty simple, pickpockets and guys hitting on you. Lots of guys will hit on you if you are even remotely attractive( in other words as long as you don't have a beard, LOL ) .
We found this most pronounced in Greece and Italy. Must be the heat, LOL .
We never left a bar alone( without each other), we tried not to be out wandering around late at night in deserted areas( although we did screw up once) , and try to watch your drinking, first, watch your actual drink like a hawk, and second be careful not to drink so much you just forget to be cautious.

I think main issue isn't really safety so much as annoyance issue. the guys can be VERY persistant, so when you mean NO say NO and look like you mean it, don't get charmed(they can be charming).
Have fun!

Posted by
7 posts

I can't speak to Turkey specifically, but with your ages and being two young females alone on a trip, please be very careful. All the advice posted so far is great and you should definitely take it. You and your friend should never go anywhere alone, period. Always stay together. Don't give out too much info about yourselves either. Even if you are worried about appearing rude, don't give out information to others, even other females who may be asking you questions. When you check into your hotel, make sure the person at the desk doesn't announce your room number to everyone in the lobby either. If someone approaches you demanding to see your passport, acting like some official, don't assume they are legitimate police. Carry a whistle around your neck and don't be afraid to blow it loud if you feel like someone is becoming a danger to you. Please research safe travel tips for female travelers. There are some good books on Amazon about this. You can have fun and stay safe.

Posted by
10 posts

Hello. I was in Istanbul last August. As a single woman it was a little intimidating at first. The men there are polite but VERY persistent. While there are many Turkish men who just want to be helpful and friendly, there are also many who will think you might be overseas looking for a boyfriend or more.
I tried to strike a balance between meeting and getting to know locals-it's fascinating to find out their views on America and they can give you great tips on what to see and where to get the good pictures- and being firm that you're only looking for friendship.

Overall I think you will love Istanbul. The food is great and the history and architecture is second to none.

Oh, be careful about getting pulled into "having a glass of apple tea" in the carpet shops. They will give you the hard sell.

Good luck, relax and have fun!

Leslie