We are scheduled for a Best of Turkey tour beginning March 28, 2022. Am I the only one having reservations about the safety of this trip at this time?
I think you'll get some responses if you post this under Rick Steves Tours instead. Trip Reports are usually posted after the tour or trip has ended. Honestly, I think it's too early to say what conditions will be like in Ukraine 4 weeks from now.
RS would not be leading a tour if it wasn't safe. Please remember that Turkey is a part of NATO and also has good relations with Putin/Russia. I would trust Rick and his team to make the correct decisions if the need arose.
Enjoy Turkey, it's a beautiful country.
Cathy my husband and I are scheduled for the Best of Turkey tour beginning March 21, 2022. We have been watching the situation closely for the past several weeks and did not have to make a final tour payment until February 9, 2022. We ultimately decided after much thought and research that we would NOT cancel our tour and are looking forward to Turkey! I have never posted on the Travel Forum before now but have used the knowledge of others that post here to plan many trips to Europe and have been on 3 Rick Steves Tours. When I read your post I decided now was the time to jump in and hope that my input would be helpful to you. Only you can decide what is best for you but for us we decided we are Turkey bound!
Thanks for this discussion. We don't have a trip until July, but my family is worried about the situation. I agree, I put a lot of faith in the Rick Steves team to make the right decisions about travel.
I am sure that Rick's (business) insurance would pull the plug if they deemed the risk too great for any tour - and that's woud make it a non-starter. That's very likely why the tour with St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Tallin was cancelled.
Putin considers Turkey's president Erdoğan a friend, they get along very well, and have (sadly) more in common than one might expect.
Russia is not going to fight with Turkey.
Thanks David- My answer was non-political but Erdogan is really straddling the fence, has made no secret of his friendship with Putin. and that Russia isn't going to attack Turkey or any other NATO country. Putin may be a megalomaniac but he's not stupid and knows that Turkey has a robust arsenal. This is all about keeping former Soviet countries out of NATO
From another forum on the same subject. RS's reason for cancelling was not danger but:
"From RS Facebook page today:
Our mission at RSE is to help Americans better know and understand our neighbors through travel. But when we bring travelers to another country, we also bring their dollars — dollars that would support Putin’s aggression. Therefore, as of today, we have canceled all 2022 tours that include a stop in Russia."
This is also my position on future travel to Russia and several other countries not friendly to human rights.
At this point I'd be more concerned about the refugees than the trip. The countries around Ukraine are going to be dealing with a lot of refugees if this continues. I don't want to burden them with my travel wishes. That is my only hesitation at this point. We are supposed to do a Eastern Europe trip in August. If it doesn't work out I'll switch to Western Europe location.
If you're not concerned about how Turkey has treated some US citizens in recent years, Turkey should be fine-they're not on Russia's radar screen as the Russians know that Turkey is not part of Russia.
Russia is not going to fight with Turkey.
Yes, I do not think so either, but...
Turkey is a NATO member, and obligated to support decisions of the group.
Turkey has now refused transit to Russian warships in the Bosporus, keeping them out of the Black Sea.
The President of the Ukraine has lauded the support and assistance he is getting from Turkey specifically.
But Erdogan likes to play both sides of the fence, he will use one side against the other, and is currently campaigning that the war in the Ukraine is justification for Turkey to become part of the EU (long delayed from plan).
Safety, for me, especially on a tour, would not be a concern. The discussion as to whether one should travel and support dictatorial regimes and those who abuse basic rights, is separate, and one for each to resolve themselves.
Hi Cathy! I am also on your tour! I am excited about going and also, like others pointed out, trust in Rick Steves assessment of the situation, and he says European travel is safe. I hope to see you there in Istanbul on the 28th!
Thanks for touching base, Eileen! We plan to be there, and we will meet you then!
It's interesting to hear that you are worried about the war in Ukraine for a trip to Turkey, but don't seem bothered about the war in Syria.
Our Best of Turkey tour begins May 23rd, today I made our final payment after much soul searching and news reading the last few weeks. Ukraine is directly across the black sea which makes me nervous, but at this point I don't think Putin wants to get NATO involved in what would be WWIII. Until two days ago I was checking out the possibility of switching tours to a Western European venue. We changed plans a few years ago from Turkey to Sicily due to the war in Syria and although Sicily was amazing, I've always wanted to visit Turkey (and am not getting any younger). For now, I will be trusting that Rick Steves is carefully assessing the war and will cancel the tour if he deems it appropriate. I have had our airfare taken care of for months, and have my Visa, so my hope is that the war settles down instead of flaring up, and we can all enjoy amazing trips!
I'm on my way home from 5 days in Instanbul.
It is safe. I'm planning on getting back again.
I took the recommending cruise up the Bosporus and it was a highlight. I'll post more later, but...
If you don't want to go... ok lease let me know, perhaps your trip is transferable and I could take it???? Hehehehehe...
I'm already looking to go back!