Yes I have been there, in 2015 and there was MUCH I loved about being there, it’s a long list of what was wonderful. I did have one weird personal experience in our 10 days there but that could happen anywhere I suppose (though it did happen there) and it was interesting in a very sad way, being there when the first bombing happened in Ankara. Istanbul came to a shocked standstill. I didn’t feel threatened by that, it was far away, but the police state which has strengthened in the intervening years, combined with the terms the US is on with Turkey, THAT has me advising my friends and people that ask me, to postpone a visit.
While there in 2015, there was a build up to a sham election, combined with a nationalistic fervor that I found frightening.
I hope to go again someday, at 56 with MS it’s hard to say if i will feel comfortable enough and get the chance to travel to Cappadocia and greater Turkey. I wonder if things will get better before I’m too decrepit!. I hope so!
Nearly 100 years of hard fought for democracy has been undone there in just a few short years.
Regardless of anyone’s politics there is a reality happening over there. It’s front page news today about the impact of increased punitive actions and the sharp decline of the Turkish Lira caused by US sanctions, the impact of that could be far reaching.
As travelers we have to make as smart of an educated decision that we can about where we go and how we behave once there, then let fate take its course or however you look at it. I’m all for it!
I take exception occasionally to the notion that we should all “just go no matter what and don’t let anything stop you” attitude espoused by some well intentioned people in forums for situations like those in Turkey right now. Up until about a year ago I still would have returned to Istanbul.
I refer people to an episode of Anthony Bordains old show when he and his crew got trapped in Beirut in 2006, for an idea of what can happen when pushing the envelope in travel. I don’t mean to STOP anyone from venturing forth in this big old world. I think it’s silly for people to be afraid of traveling to Paris. That’s just my opinion.
I’m traveling to Central Europe in 3 weeks for a month and I’m planning two other itineraries to Montenegro, Albania and Georgia and another to Israel, Palestine and Jordan over the next 18 months so I’m not exactly a shy traveler. I consider those places to be safe enough for me to venture to.
The truth is though that if you have your heart set on going on and are going anyway then you will probably have a great time and be perfectly safe. I wish you the very best.