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Best of Istanbul May-June?

I'm registered for "Best of Istanbul" tour May 24-30, and now sick about our country's decision to pull troops out of northern Syria. Seems to me like a moronic move that not only will be deadly to our Kurdish allies but destabilize an already tenuous situation along the Syrian border, making it not so safe for a little ol' lady (me) traveling alone to Istanbul.
I'm not usually shy about setting out for exotic places! I lived on a farm outside Lusaka, Zambia in '74-'75, hitchhiked & camped across East Africa while white settlers were being attacked in the Copperbelt & Rhodesia was falling apart; got around by myself in Rio de Janeiro in '67-'68, visiting slums for research on the Alliance for Progress, while living in Copacabana hotel with other students from my college.

But now I'm older & having second thoughts about Istanbul at this time.
Any ideas?

Posted by
32 posts

Are you comfortable traveling to New York, London, Paris, Houston, Miami or any other major city in the world? Istanbul is just like any other major city destination with the exception of the current events occurring along the border (several hundred miles away from Istanbul). Who knows what the state of the conflict will be in May 2020. What I can say is that Turkey is amazing. I was in Istanbul for a week on my own before joining the RS Turkey tour (older single lady) and loved the city. It's vibrant, friendly, and walkable. The only issue I had was a few touts trying to get me into their uncles' carpet shops but those are easily shooed away. Keep in mind that if the RS folks think that Turkey is unsafe, they will cancel the tours like they have done in previous years. I would not hesitate to go back.

Posted by
765 posts

I feel like you need to do what you feel most comfortable with. We (myself, hubby, MIL) were scheduled for the Turkey tour in April 2020 but just switched to one that because of events we are more comfortable with and it will only cost us a few new guidebooks for France. We aren't normally shy about more exotic places either, but would have to buy plane tickets soon (and needed to change dates off work slightly so time was not on our side) and felt we just needed to make a decision and stick with it. After talking with MIL we decided it wasn't worth the anxiety to us and our family members (or to my conscience) and will hopefully be able to go in the future when maybe both our countries have more stable leaders. Ultimately though you do what you are comfortable with.

Posted by
595 posts

I would give it a bit of time before deciding to change your plans. We have been in Turkey for about a week, and so far the news has not changed things in the tourist areas at all. The next few weeks will show how the relations between the US and Turkey progress. This type of situation has been happening for the last several years in Turkey, and our family that lives in Istanbul reports that their lives have been unaffected by it, as the situation is isolated to the border. We should know more in the next few weeks, I would think.