Please sign in to post.

Need a mind-reader for political future of Turkey

I realize that that no-one can tell what's coming for Turkey in the future, but I am just about to put down a few thousand dollars to finalize a trip there and now I am getting a little anxious about what's coming in the next few months. I would value the input of anyone with more political knowledge than I have. Is this election/social media block/corruption issue a likely sign of so much unrest that I should travel elsewhere?

Thanks!

Hi Valerie,
I am not a mind-reader but I am Turkish (and American), I have been following what is going on in the news (almost religiously )and will be traveling to Turkey myself with my kids this year as I do every year. That said, I don't think that issue should affect your travel plans. Not sure where you are headed but if you are going to the touristic coastal towns, you should be OK. If you are visiting big cities like Istanbul and Ankara, you should stay away from the places where the protestors would be gathering. That should be easy to spot if it is brewing! If you are looking for a hotel in the city center, perhaps you should do some research on its proximity to the gathering places (e.g Taksim/Istanbul). In addition, not sure where you are from but American citizens in Turkey get warnings about which places to avoid when, and I am sure you can find a way to be alerted against what might-become-dangerous protests. If you are going with a tour, your tour guides should know where to avoid when. Also, keep in mind that because of the big political mess, Turkish lira is loosing value big time and your dollar or euro stretches further (so you can buy more kilims!) I hope that helps. Have fun wherever you choose to go!

Posted by
14235 posts

To add a bit to the above answer, which sounds like good advice to me, if you are going with a tour, just ask the company what they will do if there are problems down the line, either with itinerary changes or refunds on cancellation. If you are going on your own, come back here with detail of your itinerary for better advice.

Posted by
1844 posts

Thanks for the replies! It's a tour with Smartours and covers Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, Antalya, Pamukkale, Izmir, Ephesus, Canakkale & Troy. We're renting an apartment in Istanbul for a few days on our own. It sounds like it should be okay. I was at this same place a few years back about an Egypt trip and ended up not going and I am glad. It just feels like a similarly close scenario. For instance, today on Turkish news, I see there are thousands of people demonstrating in Ankara over a ballot recount issue, but it's really hard to get any read on the urgency or lack thereof of the situation there. I was in Greece once for an election and it certainly was chaotic but totally safe and interesting.

But your advice is very helpful. I am leaning towards going ahead and paying. I have a few more days to observe before I need to commit, luckily.

Posted by
338 posts

I have a few general thoughts that hopefully will put you at ease:

1). In my experience there are few surprise protests in Turkey. They are generally known/announced in advance. Simply avoid areas with planned protests - good advice regardless of the country you're visiting. In big cities (Istanbul and Ankara) check with your hotel when you arrive to ask about areas you should avoid.

2). Tourist areas in Turkey are quite safe. You will spend most of your time in these areas. All of the areas you listed are well known/visited tourist locations.

3). Most non-tourist areas are safe. Even if you get lost and walk or drive way off course you will almost always be just fine. Your biggest risk will probably be aggressive merchants or people on the street selling things. That being said, every city in the world has a bad part of town that should probably be avoided.

4). If by some odd chance you do end up in an area with a protest walk away. The protests are targeted at the government, not tourists. Any risk to you would be inadvertant.

5). Check with the State Department for any travel warnings or advisories before you leave: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html.

6). Avoid unsettled regions. I'd steer clear of any anything near the Syrian border - south of Antakya (or maybe even Iskenderun) and south of Gaziantep. There is also a longstanding advice to avoid the far southeastern corner of Turkey due to ongoing issues with the PKK. None of the destinations you listed are in these areas.

I encourage you to go. Turkey is dense with historical sites and cultural experiences. I think you'll have fun.