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Turkey and earthquake

We're planning a 2-week trip to Turkey in early May -- Istanbul for 5 days, Cappadocia for 3 days, to finish off in Izmir with a visit to the nearby beaches and Ephesus. It looks like Cappadocia is just a few hours drive from the worst earthquake-affected areas. Should we reconsider our itinerary? I'd appreciate someone's input especially if they are in the area now. Thanks!

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you for asking this! We are planning nearly the same trip but in late May. I look forward to any advice.

Posted by
7079 posts

I don't think I'd be too concerned, unless you're particulary worried about another earthquake. It's about 300 miles to the area of the epicenter of the quake. I'm pretty sure people didn't stop going to San Francisco when there was a devastating earthquake in LA. It's tragic, but if the area you're going to isn't affected then I think there's not much of an issue, and May is still 3 months away. It's entirely up to you and your comfort zone, but I'd certainly still go - just a personal opinion.

Posted by
6788 posts

Turkey is a big country. And yes, this was a very major earthquake (I read it was felt as far away as Cairo...).

While this earthquake sounds devastating (and no doubt it is and will continue to be a very visible, national catastrophe for some time), unless your trip includes the southwest of the country, it's probably unlikely to have a major impact on those visiting the most popular tourist circuits. If in doubt, check with your tour operator or hotel, but I'm pretty confident they will tell you the same things: they are OK, your trip need not be disrupted, and they are ready to welcome you. (They may or may not share that they hope and need tourists to continue coming...still just recovering financially from the pandemic, the last thing they need now is for tourists to shy away).

I would expect to see visible fund-raising efforts for earthquake relief for a while everywhere, but other than that, in the places most western visitors frequent, I would not expect tourist activities to be effected much or at all. Let's hope the worst is over and Turkey can recover quickly.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for the replies! I did check the map and note the quake appeared to be a substantial distance from my destinations. I think I mostly wanted reassurance, and you friendly travelers have provided it. Much appreciated.

Posted by
6 posts

Hi hsimmonsqc, I hope you can go on your trip. We thoroughly enjoyed a 7-day RSE tour of Istanbul last May and were so impressed with the warmth and generosity of the Turkish people we met. Does anyone recommend a charity for donations to help the earthquake victims? Info appreciated.

Posted by
401 posts

Turkey is a great country with wonderful people. I mourn for those who have perished or are suffering.

If nothing else sprinkling a few tourist dollars into the economy will help them pay for rebuilding.

Posted by
2017 posts

I think people don't realize just how large an area Turkiye encompasses. The earthquake was in the east of the country whereas you are going to be in the western and middle part of the country. it's slightly smaller than Texas and Louisiana combined, so it's fairly large and has several large faults in the east. It has always been an earthquake zone and unfortunately the poor constructions of many buildings in the country leave it vulnerable.

I wouldn't reconsider. If you visit the west coast of the US you are just as likely for a quake at any time. So go and have fun. Both Istanbul and the Aegean coast are running normally.

Posted by
15 posts

I'm currently registered to participate in the 13 day Turkey tour in May and yesterday I received an email from Rick Steve's Tours. The email said "earthquake occurred far from any of the locales on our tours". The tour includes Istanbul and Cappadocia which are places you mentioned in your email. Turkey is a large country and the most serious damage seems to be located in the southeastern regions. I'm sure parts of central Turkey felt tremors but nothing too serious. Truly heartbreaking the news and pictures coming out of Turkey.

Posted by
16939 posts

I have a different view on this.

This earthquake and its consequences are a catastrophe of proportions we in North America can hardly imagine. The death toll is now past 20,000 and the count is still rising The number of injured is unknown. They cannot seek treatment because hospitals have been destroyed like other buildings, so many more may die. Millions of people are now homeless, and are left without shelter and food because help has been slow in coming. And all services—water, electricity, transport— have been disrupted.

This cannot help but affect the rest of the country, even far from the affected area, in ways I cannot name. Maybe the tourist dollars will be welcomed, or maybe people even far from the earthquake will feel stressed or sad. They may have lost loved ones. Or maybe the space and resources in the safer areas will be needed to shelter and provide for the homeless victims.

It is really too soon to know how things will be in May or later. If you have trip plans, you might want to wait and watch to see how the recovery process is going. And review your cancellation policies and dates so you know when you have to decide.

Posted by
3209 posts

Well it is getting worse by the day. Over 35,000 died and many more injured. With all the homeless people, infrastructure destroyed, and trauma experienced by the people, I do not see how anyone could expect things to be normal in 2 months from now. Transport and supply chains stretched to the limit just to feed and house all the people who lost their homes, and to start on re-building.. Not a good time to be a tourist.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone. Early on it looked like it might be ok to travel to Turkey. But as the last two commenters pointed out, things are getting worse every day.

We have decided that this isn't the time for my family to holiday in Turkey. We will reluctantly cancel this trip and hope to visit Turkey, perhaps soon, when they aren't in crisis. Thanks to everyone for your input.