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Turkey Istanbul Safety

Hi Travelers

Anybody have thoughts on safety in Istanbul since the recent bombing on Saturday was in the tourist area of the city and I am not sure it if was aimed at government buildings and/or tourist in the area since it is a high tourist area. I have read about the PKK moving from the SW area of Turkey to now the West area of Turkey to cause violence amongst civilians. I read this is today's Economist.

Posted by
12316 posts

Personally I would feel better if my wife and kids stayed away for the time being. It's the second attack this year in a very compact area. Still, if this happened every 80 days the odds of being a victim on a 4 night stay are pretty slim. Just the same, there are a lot of other places on my list before I return to Turkey. To be honest I wasn't that impressed or comfortable with Istanbul. But i am sort of the exception in that regard.

Posted by
6694 posts

Honestly, you are not going to get a good answer on this forum...you have to judge the risk for yourself. I prefer using facts not emotion, but the latter is much more powerful. Are you actually traveling there soon? It is an amazing city, I am very sad this retaliation is happening (although not entirely unexpected) and hope there is a change post-Erdogan.

It looks like the violence has moved to Brussels for the time being:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35869254

Posted by
12316 posts

debbie.ann.smith; were you looking for a definitive answer or just thoughts on the subject?

Posted by
5 posts

I think my question was answered...no real definitive advice other than rely on own gut feelings...thanks everyone for input.
Debbie

Posted by
1874 posts

Debbie,
I'm not booked on SeaCloud (oh how I wish I were), but I just received an email from SeaCloud that they have changed their aegean cruise itineraries this such that they will NOT stop in Istanbul afterall.

So, that gives you some perspective on how the German-owned SeaCloud (the original lovely sailboat that was a wedding gift to Meriweather Post (of the Post Cereal fame) from E.F. Hutton (of the investment fame) sees the situation (or how their customers see it).

Posted by
6694 posts

I totally agree with Kaeleku. Businesses make decisions to maximize profit and sometimes that means removing all risk in an effort to be responsive to their customers - they have to respond to different pressures than individuals. There is nothing wrong with that, but there is a limit to inferences drawn from business decisions. There is also a downside/opportunity cost as well for reducing risk to 0% by trying to divine where it will be "safe" and "not safe" in the future. Not at all to make a light of the situation, but each party should assess their own risk versus the benefit of making a trip and determine if it's worthwhile. The linked chart Kaeleku sent is excellent and puts things into perspective, at least for me.

Posted by
12316 posts

Kaeleku; I am generally hard pressed to agree with you about much, but I think the terrorism data you provided is very revealing. A sincere thank you. Interesting is that if you track the US murder rate it pretty much follows the same curve (its way down compared to the “golden years”). I looked up the events that were reflected in the numbers in the 70’s and 80’s and the significant difference is that a lot of that terrorism was internal strife that maybe you could avoid by avoiding some parts of some countries; where as what we have now is almost exclusively any place, any time. That for me at least is a little more frightening. That doesn’t excuse anything. It is what it is and it is better now than then. But I will tell you, I don’t want to return to that state of the world.

SeaCloud probably made their decision based on tons of customers
calling and writing freaking out about "the situation in Istanbul,"

Here I agree and I disagree. Yes, they probably made their decision in order to sell cabins because too many people were objecting to the stop in Istanbul and would cancel if something wasn’t done. Now, what does that say? It says, that if you are hesitant to go to Istanbul you are in good company. So don’t be embarrassed about your decision.

Then there is the “it’s going to be safer now than ever” attitude where we all assume that because of the events security will be kicked up a few notches. Didn’t prove to be effective in Paris as there were two attacks, one after another. Didn’t prove to be effective in Istanbul either as there were two bombings, one after another. This wasn’t even the first terrorist attack in Brussels in the last couple of years.

If you want to show solidarity by making a trip to Brussels, I think that’s a great idea. But make it plain what you are doing. Get matching t-shirts that say “F ISIS I’m on vacation” or something similar; then put on the shirts and go to the most affected areas and dump a wad of money in the local businesses; they probably need it right now. Then head to the Muslim neighborhoods and hug people on the street to show you are no Islamaphobe.

My daughter is still in Germany studying. The school is encouraging the students to spend their long Easter weekend at home. I like that idea for her. I have a short trip planned in May and a longer one planned in August; I am sticking to countries with lower levels of susceptibility and international profile.

Posted by
9 posts

Hi, greetings from Istanbul,
As a local travel blogger, I would easily say Turkey is safe as much as any European country. Any country can not give a full guarantee, but I can easily say that southeast borders of Turkey(which are close to syrian borders) are risky. However Cappadocia, Ephesus, Pamukkale there was not any incident up to today. As you may be know there was terrorist attacks in Istanbul; two times in 3months. But as I mentioned earlier we never know Ankara, Istanbul, Paris, Brussels...
The aim of terror is frighten the people and take their freedom.
On the other hand except those terror attacks, you can feel quite safe in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Gallipoli, Troy etc.