Hello! I am trying to decide and plan where I want to go next spring. As a solo traveler for the first time, I am wondering about how safe or difficult Turkey would be as a woman alone before and after the tour. Any advice or info would be appreciated!
According to travel.state.gov, stay out of the Sirnak and Hakkari provinces and within six miles of the Syrian border: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Turkey.html. Where in Turkey do you want to go?
My friend and I (both female) took the Best of Istanbul and Best of Turkey tours this spring, with independent days before in Istanbul and after in Kusadasi. We felt very safe together. I got up early every day in Istanbul and wandered by myself for an hour or so before breakfast with normal precautions, but no reservations.
I haven't decided yet which RSE Turkey tour I will take. Never having traveled alone before I am a bit nervous.
One nice thing about a tour is that you've got built-in travel companions.
I wanted to see more of Istanbul, so I took both tours. Perhaps my "3 weeks in Turkey" on-the-road trip report will give you some ideas!
I would put your extra time after the tour. By then you will likely be more comfortable and confident about traveling alone.
I spent 2 1/2 weeks in Turkey traveling solo and never had any problems. I traveled solo all over - mostly by bus - and went from Istanbul to Goreme, then Fethiye, Ephesus and Izmir and always felt safe. In fact, the Turks are some of the friendliest people in the world and will go well out of their way to help you.
I would encourage you to learn a little bit of Turkish before you go - it's not difficult and people there will really appreciate it. If you'd like to read my online travel journal, here is a link - https://mardeeinturkey.wordpress.com - that might help you to get a sense of the country.
I like LizInPA's suggestion to do the solo part at the end of the tour. I have always felt safe traveling solo in Turkey, but I am glad that my introduction to Turkey was on a tour. The tour really helped me to get my bearings before setting off on my own.