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Safe to travel during State of Emergency?

We have a trip back to Turkey planned for 4 weeks in Aug and Sept. 5 flights, Blue cruise. Has anyone traveled in the past weeks and under the State of Emergency? Any problems or concerns about personal safety? Any particular concerns by Americans? We don't want to cancel our trip but don't want to be stupid either. Love to get some feedback! Thanks for your help. Gail

Posted by
126 posts

Hi Gail,

Something to consider is your travel insurance, will it still cover you for the areas you are travelling to?

In Australia, the Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trading (DFAT) web site has alert levels and travel advisory warnings. Often travel insurers will reference the alert levels from DFAT. Exclusions may apply to destinations with DFAT warnings advising either:
Do not travel or Reconsider your need to travel.

Istanbul is in the reconsider your travel category at present so some travel insurance is invalid – depends on the insurance company.

I’m sure the US would have a similar warning system

Posted by
796 posts

We enjoy visiting Turkey but not under these circumstances. Americans WILL be targeted if terrorists get the chance. I hope you have trip insurance. It will help you cancel plans without a lot of financial loss and in the case you go and get killed, can help get your bodies back home.

Posted by
2487 posts

And meanwhile the travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs doesn't go further than: follow the instructions of officials, be able to identify yourself, and avoid crowds and demonstrations.

Posted by
25742 posts

The official British Government advice for today and this weekend is at :=

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey

I do note that there are cautions throughout the country; there are strong cautions in certain southern and southeastern parts.

There is a clear instruction to have appropriate insurance.

Included is a good chronology and recent history explaining.

Posted by
6715 posts

You're going to be on a gullet the whole time? Which cities does the cruise plan to visit?

Posted by
22 posts

Oh crap! You know that feeling when you ask a question but didn't want to hear the answer😭. Thanks for all of your thoughts. I was hoping to be reassured that we could travel in Turkey at this time as we do all over Mexico (even though many folks consider it very dangerous due to activities of the Narcos) by staying smart and avoiding dangerous areas and circumstances...But maybe the coup and aftermath makes this far more unpredictable.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Agnes. Oh no...the itinerary includes Istanbul, Bogran, Selcuk. Fethiye--then 5 days in Cappadocia, Istanbul. Rome then return for 4 more days in Istanbul before flying home to Tucson. 6 flights in all.

Posted by
12 posts

Just left Turkey, though we were in the Ankara Hilton when the attempted coup took place and saw the bombing of the Parliment Buildings, our tour was only held back for a couple of hours before we bussed to Istanbul. Normal life resumed immediately.

We felt safe at all times and I doubt that Americans would feel differently. You will be welcomed with open arms as the tourist business is taking a terrible beating.

There are sweeping changes taking place but mostly within the law, they seem to have support of most Turkish people, certainly those opposed are keeping a very low profile.

Considering what is happening in the USA at the moment I know which country I would feel most safe in.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Raymond,
So glad to hear you were safe and had a great time despite the problems. Glad to get feedback from someone who was just there! Love also to hear from someone there now during the political push back after the the attempted coup. Thanks.

Posted by
22 posts

And re being safe in America...I am very safe,don't even lock my doors. But there are a few places here and in most countries I am cautious in at night. Anacostia,DC. Zone 9, Guatemala City. East LA, Cuidsd Juarez...As far as bomb I guess that's up to date. Thanks for the encouragement!

Posted by
309 posts

I was in Turkey last October, including being in Ankara two days after the big bombing there. I never felt unsafe. Of course, last October is not now.

From a travel standpoint, I would be more concerned about terrorist attacks than the fallout from the coup attempt. The State of Emergency is more likely to affect Turkish citizens than tourists -- at least in the near term.

Honestly, I would be a little nervous about visiting Istanbul right now -- too many crowds and too many potential targets. I wouldn't worry at all about a blue cruise or Cappadocia, though. The Blue cruises are so remote. I just have a hard time picturing terrorists hiking over mountains or chartering a boat so that they can blow up a dozen or so tourists with minimal access to the press and social media. There are easier targets that can generate a lot more media attention. The same goes for Cappadocia -- there are easier and higher profile targets elsewhere. Maybe I am just sticking my head in the sand.

By the way, Blue cruises are awesome! I fully intend to do one again.

Finally, I totally agree with what other folks are saying about having good travel insurance.

Posted by
338 posts

My experience in Turkey is not recent, so this response is my opinion rather than actual recent facts that can help you. Realistically you'll probably be just fine and you'll have short lines and plenty of attention from Turkish businesses worried about the loss of tourist income. However, there is a lot of uncertainty right now. You're stepping into an area where there have been recent PKK actions against the government, a war along the southern border, a refugee crisis, recent ISIS attacks against tourist-frequented locations, and very recent and ongoing civil unrest from the coup attempt. I have been in Turkey during terrorist incidents (2004 in Istanbul) and protests (2009 in Adana) and had no problems, but this is a bit more than I would tolerate for a vacation. I'd personally postpone the trip a few months to see how things shake out or come up with a plan B. You'll need to decide for yourself what your risk tolerance is. Hopefully a few more folks who've been to Turkey in the last week will chime in to give you a better picture. Best of luck and safe travels with whatever you decide.

Posted by
2724 posts

I think it is perfectly fine to self-insure your own trip by not getting trip cancellation insurance. If you have health insurance that works, go for it. Although I do get medical evacuation coverage also. However, I never did when I was younger.

If you go to Turkey now, you are truly a traveler, not just a tourist. Would I go? Yes, ...if my husband was comfortable with it. I travel solo lately, but he worries so in deference to him I'd likely choose another location at this time if he balked as he doesn't hold me back from much. My brother, I know, wouldn't have hesitated. He traveled the Middle East with his son in better, but not great times, and has wonderful stories to tell, not tourist stories, as he loved every minute of it. Plus, it sounds as if you are on a tour? Your decision will be about how much of a 'traveler' are you or want to be? It is certainly an interesting time.

Posted by
988 posts

Would you have visited Cairo during the Arab Spring?

I agree with Rob. It seems like unnecessary risk. I'd look at rebooking the cruise to a later date or inquiring if I could switch over to another itinerary. Turkey is not going anywhere. Why not give them a chance to get it all sorted out and travel later? You will probably enjoy it more.

Contact your cruise line to learn about your options. They may be surprisingly helpful. I booked a river cruise in Russia for 2012. We had to postpone to 2013 due to a house fire. Then we had to postpone a second time due to a 1000 mile relocation. We finally cruised in 2014. We even got to keep the same price and terms as were in place in 2012.

Posted by
16856 posts

You can see the US State Deptarment's version of the travel warning at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. Although it's in the most severe category of warning, the text is much milder than for other countries on the list and does not particularly advise you to stay away from typical western tourist destinations. Iran also has a warning posted, for instance, but I've booked a tour there for next year.

Posted by
3696 posts

If you put the question out for Mexico I am sure you would also get tons of warnings...No one here is going to tell you to go and that everything will be fine. I have been very close to a few of the disasters in the US lately... so who knows? I do give a little thought to huge crowds... I was in NYC on the 4th with a few of the grandkids and was OK when they said they did not care about the fireworks... they only wanted to see musicals. Unfortunately no tickets for Hamilton:)

I leave for Guatemala in a week or so and see you mentioned that... lots of people would tell you not to visit there either. I really hate that it has to be such a concern these days.

Posted by
988 posts

I think the safest place to visit these days is Greenland.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Wray, I liked your thoughts on traveling in Turkey at this interesting time. And yes we are travelers---beginning as kids really, check out my FB page: Overland to India on a Freak Bus:) We traveled in Turkey on that journey in 1975 and s spent 4 weeks in Turkey 2 years ago and didn't want to come home! The travel we planned for August is not a tour---we are on our own, 3 of us. Perhaps not being in a big tour group is safer.

Posted by
22 posts

Terry, Where are you going in Guatemala? I go to Antigua every few years for a month of Spanish study and love it! Hope to get back again this winter.

Posted by
22 posts

Marie. I am feeling the same way about the little likelihood of terrorists bothering to attack a gulet cruise or Cappadocia and that it will be best to spent little time in Istanbul. While Jimi and I spent a week there in 2014, my friend Sandy, who will be traveling with us, has never been so we are thinking of packing the top sites into a couple of days and get out of there. I am happy that the comments of people on the forum who have recently returned from Turkey are like yours---overall encouraging! Thanks to everyone! We are moving ahead with our plans at this point unless the conditions change. I will post from Turkey and let you know how it goes!

Posted by
22 posts

Unclegus, Am I mad? hahaha. A question my husband often poses:) We never bother with travel insurance but re Turkey I contacted the airline after the attempted coup and taked them into agreeing and noting in the record to change my destination to another country and waive the change fee if in the coming weeks I choose to give up on Turkey.

Posted by
489 posts

Gail, Thanks for asking this question as we will be arriving in Turkey 10 days after you leave. We are staying 6 nights in Istanbul and I'm not worried. This is a huge city and the state dept on their twitter account will tweet about any planned demonstration. It appears from the BBC (one of the few news sources that just tell it like it is) have indicated that the average turkish person agrees with the current administration. These are people that just want to make a living and it definitely looks like the tourists are not coming. We will be there for a RS tour and even our itinerary has changed as we were scheduled to be in Ankara, but that was nixed from the tour.

Posted by
309 posts

You might also want to register with the STEP program through the State Department. Basically, you provide the State Department with your travel dates, hotel information, and contact information. Then, they have a better chance of getting in touch with you or evacuating you during an emergency. Some folks think it's an invasion of privacy, but I have also heard very good things about it from folks who have encountered natural disasters or other emergencies while abroad. (And keep in mind that Turkey, especially Istanbul, is seismically active -- there's more to worry about than just terrorism and political stability.)

Posted by
74 posts

It is very anti American there right now. In the south and east around the nato base where Americans are stationed (town is Adana, Incirlik air base) there are protests blocking anyone from leaving or going. Burning of the American flag in Izmir. The newspapers are covered daily with anti American stories about the coup. . .ALL American military families were sent home months ago due to instability. If something happened to you, I dont know if American authorities could help you. Some of the consulates arent even opening around the country.

Posted by
1879 posts

I just read a post where someone was asking about Croatia, because they switched to another tour (that will visit Croatia) , saying that Rick Steves' has cancelled the Turkey tours (I assume for the rest of this year).

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks Margaret and Megan! We are going ahead with our plans. From everything I have been reading especially the indepth and opinion pieces on Algezera, it may be the last time for a long time that we will be able to travel in this wonderful country with a secular government:(

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Kaeleku,
Thanks for the encouraging message. I am glad that you have gotten information directly from friends in Turkey. You said you would be there in a couple of weeks? We arrive in Istanbul on the 21st of this month. Wishing you a great trip too! Gail

Posted by
14324 posts

Hi Gail, I loved Istanbul and everywhere that the RS Turkey tour took me too 3 years ago. I'm sure you'll love it too.

Things to consider . . . First, cruise lines generally keep up-to-date on what's happening and if there's a serious threat somewhere, they adjust their port stops. A few years ago there was a little war in the north of Israel. The ship was scheduled to spend one night in the northern Med port and one in the south. They simply docked 2 nights in the southern port. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem weren't affected by the fighting and tourists had plenty of great sightseeing options. Second, as you may have already inferred, life continues (or resumes) normally and most residents and tourists are not affected at all. That doesn't mean there aren't risks. It does mean that you are more likely than not to have a great trip.

BTW I'm flying home to Tel Aviv on Turkish Air - connecting in Istanbul on August 18.

Posted by
33 posts

Hi, Gail. I am hoping that you will post a follow-up after your trip.

Earlier this year (following my sister's pleasurable trip there) we purchased plane tickets for a 2-week winter break trip to Istanbul via Paris on AF from NYE into Jan 2017. We haven't started any other planning yet, though we definitely wouldn't consider Ankara. We are independent travelers, a mid-60's couple. No travel insurance on ticket. I hate to give up on the Turkey idea (as I feel like we snoozed and losed on Egypt), but we don't want to feel anxious or be in danger while there.

Thanks for anyone's input!

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Annie, Yes sit tight. You don't want to lose this opportunity to visit Turkey this year. I read that historians and political analysts say that Mr. Erdogan’s has found an opportunity in the failed coup to celebrate what he has long called the “New Turkey” — a modern nation that emphasizes Islam and is a break from the country’s secular past. This article firmed up our desire to experience Turkey now not later: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/world/europe/recep-tayyip-erdogan-turkey.html?mwrsm=Email
We have things in common. There are three of us traveling together all in our sixties. We are flying on Air France and our plans don't include Ankara or Izmir. We will be staying in Istanbul at the beginning and end if our trip and using Booking.com with flexibility to change without penalty we upgraded to a lovely boutique hotel Nena because the prices have dropped so much. We are on our own, no groups or guides---and likely safer. I am so excited about our upcoming trip and feel good about it. Recently the Turkish family (lives in Istanbul) of a Canadian friend gave us the green light for a safe trip! This time next week we will be getting a Turkish bath in Istanbul! I will definitely post our impressions during and after our visit. Keep strong. Enjoy life. You can't change fate! 340 people died from plane crashes last year but we still get on them:) Gail

Posted by
1 posts

I've lived here for 15 years, was here during the coup attempt, and I'm still here. For all intents and purposes as far as foreigners go, nothing has changed. The main recommendation I would make is that you should make sure you always have identification with you in case the police stop you (even though it is unlikely). I have not heard of a single foreigner who has been affected in any way by the recent state of emergency.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Ivanteklu,
Thank you so much for this relevant information---straight from the horses mouth! I can't wait to get there! When I visited 2 years ago I did not want to come home. This time I am staying 26 days!
Gail

Posted by
6715 posts

I have not heard of a single foreigner who has been affected in any way by the recent state of emergency.

How can that be, if Ataturk Airport was off limits for at least a few days because the airspace was shut off?

Posted by
22 posts

As promised I am reporting back from Istanbul. It is a lovely evening and I am sitting on the hotel balcony listening to the call to prayer. Despite the recent tragedies and political issues everything is quiet and beautiful here in Sultanamet, the same as it was when we visited 2 years ago. Normal airport experience, jammed with travelers. We had not a bit of concern about safety and there were no signs of heightened security.
Sadly, for local businesses they are starving for customers---for tourists prices are way down. We paid $38 each for a private all day tour today when we paid $75 each for a group tour last visit. People are lovely and friendly as usual. Will keep you posted as we head south in a few days.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks for your posting, Gail! I'll keep an eye out for your next.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Annie and others ready to go to Turkey In the past few days we visited the historic sites and were out and about dining in lovely outdoor cafes and walking. Again absolutely no concerns about our safety. There is an obvious absence of tourists and merchants and restaurant workers are desperate for business. We saw no tour buses at all and of course had no crowds where we were sightseeing. Sultanamet's streets were active and busy but not full of European or Western tourists. We saw a couple of police patrolling near the Blue Mosque and at the Spice Market people entering were wanded...good to see it actually. People are friendly and helpful. We thought perhaps there would be some resentment towards Americans about the Gulen issue but this has not been the case. Our waiter tonight was very open about his hatred of Erdoğan and said most people feel the same. He believes that he is leading their secular country towards an Islamic state. I asked him if he wants the US to expedite Gulen and he was emphatic that we shouldn't because there is no proof he had anything to do with the attempted coup and he will be executed. He stated that the people in the streets supporting Erdoğan was a sham motivated by fear. He is hopeful about Biden's upcoming visit. Very surprising and interesting conversation...

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks, Gail! This is very encouraging for us to travel, but sad for them. Will you be visiting other areas of Turkey during your 26 days? We're interested in anything about that. Hum...what your waiter said aligns with something a casual Turkish acquaintance responded when we asked her on FB if she was OK after the coup attempt, that "these people weren't supposed to be a forever government, will they never leave."

Posted by
22 posts

Checking in from Selcuk. Ephesus:

Today in Selcuk I had a stimulating conversation with a shop owner, a Kurd, living and working in Turkey for 18 years. He is surprised we were not afraid to travel here and asks if we have had any safety concerns. I tell him not a one. Okay then he asks, "can you tell this to other people on America? We have lost all of the tourists and our business." I felt so bad for him and so many others who have virtually lost their livelihoods die to the violence.
We discuss politics and he claims "President Ergodan is a fraud and dangerous.His University Certificate is a fake...he did not graduate! He does not really want Gulen returned---all a show to gain more power. He supports ISIS and gives them safe passage through Turkey. Ergodan says that Kurds are not Muslim!"
About the Cleric, Gulen---"he is also dangerous. In truth, Ergodan does not really want the US to send him back because then everyone in Turkey would hear what he had to say and he doesn't want that" (I did note that on Biden visit Ergodan demanded we put him in jail and not allow him to speak to reporters. Biden had to explain it doesn't work that way in the US)
So, I ask if Ergodan is so evil, why did all those people die in the streets supporting him during the coup? They are stupid people he tells me...there are stupid people everywhere! He tells me some stupid people think he is a god. "There are Muslim women who literally want to eat his shit!" (LOL..almost lunch but this dampened my appetite) humm. Yes, I told him you are right there are stupid people everywhere like the people in the US that support Trump!

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Posted by
2265 posts

Thanks for your positive updates, Gail. It's also encouraging that people evidently feel free to share their views and dissent, even in the midst of this "crackdown". I will be in and out of Istanbul during the next few weeks, a total of just seven nights in the city, and am certainly looking forward to it. I will try to do my part to support some of the restaurants and merchants!

Posted by
60 posts

Gail I would like to respond to some of the rubbish you have been fed.I am aware this is not really the place for political discussions but what you have been told are the type of lies that are damaging not just Turkey's reputation but also the livelihoods of millions of citizens here.

1.Erdoğan does not have a university diploma as he didn't go to unversity.What he holds are two or three honorary diploma's from universities here.This does not mean he has qualified from these universities;they are simply honorary.They call it Fahri Doktor in Turkish.

2.Erdoğan has never ever said that Kurds are not Muslim.Indeed it is well known that Kurdish people are very devout Muslims and this is why a great majority of them are now spurning the PKK who are a communist/Marxist group and very anti-Islam.The urban action by the PKK this past winter and spring has failed because the citizens of the cities failed to support the PKK ,a fact the PKK have themselves admitted.

3.Erdoğan along with all Turkish citizens want the return of Gülen to stand trial as he has the blood of many innocent people on his hands and has ruined the lives and careers of many thousands more over the years.As a foreign national living here in Turkey I have been aware of the deep misgivings and secrecy surrounding the Gülen movement for at least 20 years so what has happened now is no real shock.The only shock is the depth to which they have infiltrated so many key government departments.

4.To refer to people who died in the coup attempt as stupid is a most appallingly disrespectful thing to say.Those who took to the streets did so for democracy,to protect their country and would have done so regardless of who the administrative party had been.Indeed many had taken to the streets even before Erdoğan made his now famous T.V call on CNN news channel.
Every night for weeks there were democracy watches meetings all over Turkey-including eastern mainly
Kurdish cities like Diyarbakır,Siirt and Batman.The fact that Erdoğan enjoys huge support here means yes,the meetings were busy but they were attended by all sections of Turkish society,left,right and centre,from all ethnic and religious groups.

This is a big mistake that those outside Turkey still don't seem to understand.They assume this was a show of protection for Erdoğan,but it wasn't ;this was a show of Turkish people supporting their country,their soil and their right to democracy.They would have done the same regardless of who was in power.

The shop keeper you spoke to has a real chip on his shoulder and is conveniently forgetting that the current administration has invested more money in eastern Turkey than any other in the republics history and in doing so encouraged a huge amount of private investment too.Kurds now enjoy the same civil and legal rights as any other Turkish citizen,they have universities offering Kurdish education,there ar Kurdish national T.V channels and Kurdish songs are played openly even on state owned T.V and radio channels after years of them being banned.In short Kurds now enjoy exactly the same life as Turkish citzens.So one can say that the PKK's raison d'etre no longer exists.
Naturally legislation preventing abuse of Kurds doesn't always work but that is no different than anti-racist legislation in any country as you know from what is happening in America these days.Some people will always hold racist or homophobic views unfortunately.

I apologise for digressing into politics on a travel forum but frankly this type of propaganda does a huge disservice to millions of people.
Enjoy the rest of your time here in beautiful Turkey :)

Posted by
12382 posts

And you could probably get a half dozen other heart felt and sincere opinions; and there is no way to sort the real truth from the comfort of your home in the US which is why i just go with what ever advice the State Department offers.

Posted by
22 posts

Sarikanaka,
I appreciate your point of view and insight. In my posts I am just relaying what has been openly said to me. I have been somewhat surprised and encouraged that people to whom I am a virtual stranger have talked so openly about their political views, when 40 thousand citizens were detained by the government after the attempted coup and half of them formally charged. Whether you or I agree with them or not they have been generally negative about the actions of Ergodan. Yesterday at the bus station the ticket seller upon learning that I was American said he liked Obama then pointed to a picture on the wall of Atatürk and said he is good then said Ergodan and made a thumbs down gesture.
Anyway, I am loving my visit to Turkey and the wonderful Turkish people I have met! I don't control what they believe or day to me and I am certainly not spreading propaganda! I have no horse in this race. I am just sharing my impressions regarding the safety of Turkey for travelers and what people openly say about their government is an important aspect of the climate. Like it or not I will continue to share my impressions.

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you, Gail - I'm enjoying and really appreciate your updates! I hope we'll get an overall itinerary (oh, man, it sounds like I'm assigning homework to a woman on vacation - sorry!) of where you went, and your recommendations of where to go, when you get back.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Sarikanarya,
I spent some time on a gulet sail talking about the Turkey's political situation yesterday with a nice young man who is a supporter of President Ergodan. He in fact works for Ergodan as a commentator on one of his television stations.. When I asked him about the movement away from a secular government he said that Ergodan wants everyone to be free to choose...hum, as I looked at his pretty wife in a bikini and belly piercing I wondered what the future might be for her under a "free" Islamic government? He also said that America's CIA was behind the attempted coup because we want to control Turkey's resources. He said that Turkey wants to continue to be free and powerful. I was shocked about the CIA claim but what do I know. There is a history...

Posted by
14324 posts

Thanks for all your reporting, Gail. As I mentioned earlier, I flew Turkish Air from Chicago to Istanbul to Tel Aviv a couple weeks ago. The flights were excellent, the airport was "normal."

After reading this thread and remembering how much I enjoyed my trip to Turkey, I will probably spend a few days in Istanbul on my way to SE Asia in December . . . if the trip materializes.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Annie. Larry and Chaimin,
Annie asked for an itinerary and suggestions so here it is. I have time today because I got severely sea sick on the Gulet Trip that I had to bail on the second day and take a taxi onward to Olympos and have 2 days to kill. Don't know what I was thinking because I have motion sickness on a revolving restaurant that makes one rotation an hour---I just wanted to go so much LOL!

Turkey itinerary:
We flew to Istanbul on Air France but wouldn't do it again. The seats were tight and hard and the airport was awful. We flew on Turkish Airlines last time and they were wonderful!

Istanbul: We spent 3 days in Istanbul which was plenty of time to see all the major sites and have a Turkish Bath. I recommend Cembilitis! Because of the political situation there were virtually no crowds and most of the tourists were Turkish. Because of that it was really great experience and better than ever.

Bergama: We flew from Istanbul to Edremit on Pegasus Airlines for approximately $35 a ticket. Then took a taxi to Bergama, a lovely town ---glad we went! There we stayed at the Acropolis Hotel for two nights. It was cheap and had a pool and only a short walk to town and the cable car that takes you to the ruins.Gold jewelry is a good buy here and you pay what the Turks pay:)

Selcuk: We took a taxi to Izmir. it is a large city that we had little interest in so we went directly to the bus station in took a luxury bus to Selcuk/Ephesus. In Selcuk we stayed at the Homeros Pensione. The rooms are all the rooms are decorated with Turkish antiques and the brother-sister hosts are wonderful. There is a large local market on Saturday morning not to be missed and a smaller one on Thursday! You can get great buys like traditional bamboo cotton blankets for a third of the price in town. Ephesus is only a short taxi ride from town and it's best to go in the morning or after 4 when it's not as hot. On this visit there were virtually no crowds and again mainly Turkish Tourists. We spent 3 days there.

Pamukkale: To climb the calcite terraces, swim in the ancient pool and Europolis you can take a train or a bus to Pamukkale. We took a luxury bus,very nice, for the 3 hour ride and stayed the night at the Hotel Bellimaritino,very clean, modern with a pool and lovely hosts for only $25 a night!

Feythia: We took a long bus ride 4 plus hours to get here to take our 4 day Gulet Boat trip to Olympos. We went with V-Go Blue Cruises. The cost is only $299 for 4 days and 3 nights all meals! Great food. Lovely boat and captain and crew. You can go to there website for more info.

Olympos: We are staying here 2 nights. Olympos is kind of funky..little beach cabins. Good food. Don't miss the hike to the Eternal Flames at sunset! Very impressive but hot and hard. Wear suitable shoes and bring water.

Cappadocia: We are taking a taxi to Antalya for a domestic flight to Cappadocia.Because we love it so we are staying here 5 nights this trip. We are staying again at the Panoramic Cave Hotel in a fairy cave room. Look at their website to see all the rooms. It costs more but getting up in the morning and seeing from the beautiful terrace the sky full of hot-air balloons over the fairy like town is worth it! If nothing else take the Blue tour.

After Cappadocia we fly back to Istanbul for a few days then on a cheap flight to Italy!

Great travels! Annie if you want to see my Facebook posts/pics you can send me a friend request and then we can unfriend😁
Gail Covington McBride

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks, Gail. I'm taking you up on your offer! This has been very interesting and I'm saving this whole discussion. We are going ahead with the plans and the flight reservations we have for Istanbul in early January. Your on-the-spot feedback has been so valuable. I hope you feel better soon! Thank you, Annie

Posted by
1879 posts

Gail,
I've found your posts (and those of the others) interesting. We visited Turkey several years ago, and at the time we loved it and enjoyed our trip much more than we ever anticipated we would.

However, as I'm reading your accounts of what some of the Turkish shared with you, it gave me a funny feeling. Since you also shared your entire name on the last posting, would it be possible for the Turkish government to figure out which boat you were on and would they go to some effort to find the people who made such comments to you? Or could they determine which shop owner you referenced by city name, nationality and how long he'd lived there? I'm sure you would in no way want to have any negative impact on their safety or lives.

Obviously, your passport and any charges you made with your credit card would be easily trackable.

Just a thought.

The internet makes it oh so easy for investigations these days, and social media tips off many.

EDIT: Never mind the difficult tracking, I see you have also posted some of the providers you used.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Margaret,
Thanks but you don't have to worry. I asked everyone who talked to me if they were safe talking about the politics and they said yes. I was careful not to use names attached to comments. Ergodan's roundup up of people are all from records of association with Gulen. They have already detained 40,000 people and released most of them without charges. The general feeling is this was done to make people afraid to oppose the present government and that reaction to the attempted coup is over. By the way,last night I had dinner with two high school teachers and two PhD students. We had a lively conversation about Turkey politics and they were eager to hear my views of the political situation. They all support Ergodan but do not like him and were all in agreement that Gulen was the mastermind of the attempted coup and the US should return him to face charges. The more I talk to people the more I agree that we should too.

Posted by
1954 posts

I'm with Margaret on this. When I was in Turkey in 2014 I noticed a very different political/religious/social flavor than I had come prepared for. It seemed like i had done my research on the Turkey of 2008 and then come to visit a very different Turkey of 2014. There's been a lot of publicity about the ever-increasing crackdown on the media and those who simply speak out in Turkey.

I liked my visit to Turkey very much and felt I learned a lot as I traveled around, but, even back then, I did not send out any email or other message that was political or critical of the government in any way.