Is it safe to travel to Turkey? A question I hear all the time

Is it safe to travel to Turkey?
Beautiful Turkey

People ask me this question often. Probably because I travel to Turkey regularly. There is no definitive answer because it’s all a matter of perception, and what is going on politically at the time. In all honesty, is it safe to travel to Turkey or many of the countries of the world? If we were to live our lives in fear of “something” happening, then we wouldn’t travel anywhere. Sense and sensibility prevail. Staying on top of what is going on and checking relevant sites helps to keep you updated. Of course, it is common sense to be vigilant when out and about particularly in crowded places. During difficult times the FCO will generally issue warnings of travel and remove them as things calm down.

Differering advice from Embassies on ‘is it safe to travel to Turkey’?

At the time of writing this Blog most of Turkey has the ‘green label’ which denotes travel is safe. This advice differs somewhat to the DOS (US Department of State). Check both and decide personally what feels right for you.

We have been visiting Turkey for over ten years and never felt unsafe, or threatened at any time. This includes travelling at times of unrest. However, there are certain things that you should absolutely not do and that is to get yourself involved in a political protest, a big no-no. In addition, don’t venture into discussing politics or the government. Keep your opinions to yourself. You are there for a holiday. Keep conversation and communication light.

Is it safe to travel to Turkey as a solo female?

Another question that I’ve been asked. Information can be found easily by doing a Google search and a little digging around. Many women travel to Turkey on their own. In addition, there are some great solo travel blogs which provide excellent facts and useful travel pointers. Some of the female solo travellers I met like to take group tours, which also gives them the chance to meet other people or travel in a group in certain areas. As a woman travelling alone it is advisable not to draw attention to yourself, nor wear clothing that is too revealing. Remember Turkey is a muslim country.

My own take on ‘is it safe to travel to Turkey’?

I am writing this blog to hopefully alleviate any fears or worries about visiting Turkey for a holiday. I truly feel that when you have the correct information and carry out some research beforehand consequently you are able to make a decision to suit you. We love visiting Turkey for so many reasons, as a result, we stay updated with all that is happening. The British Embassy posts regular updates on safety and travel advice.

It is common sense to stay vigilant

Ensure you have the details of your Embassy at hand. At the moment in some Resort areas of Turkey, you need to carry your Visa and Passport with you at all times. Failure to do this may lead to a fine.

While out and about in crowded places, keep your wits about you. There are pickpockets in every country so don’t leave bags open or purses visible. The Turkish police and Jandarma keep a careful eye on all that is going on and have a strong presence in tourist areas.

Leave expensive jewellery and belongings behind. You don’t need the headache of trying to keep them safe and it makes no sense to carry such items with you.

Who are the Jandarma?

The Jandarma are quite prevalent in rural areas (The Gendarmerie General Command). They are a service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces and responsible for the maintenance of public order in areas falling outside the jurisdiction of police forces and in assuring internal security.

Is it safe to travel to Turkey as a family?

Is it safe to travel to Turkey as a family?
Turkey welcomes families

Turkish people are very family oriented. Resorts cater to family everywhere. That said, there are some parts of Turkey that are safer than others. Generally, the advice is that you should avoid visiting any areas within 10 kilometers of the Syrian border. Remember that the two-year state of emergency only ended in 2018. With so much of this fabulous country to see and explore, you don’t need to be headed in that direction anyway.

More than 40 million tourists visited Turkey between January-October 2018. The Culture and Tourism Ministry announced that nearly 35.6 million foreigners visited in the first 10 months of 2018. It looks like that figure is set to rise and understandably so.

The Turkish Riviera

My favourite part of Turkey is the Turkish Riviera also known as the Turquoise coast. No surprises there as the beaches are lovely and the water blue and inviting. The Turkish Riviera has some of the best beaches in Europe. Situated in the Southwest Turkey the climate is beautiful with lots of long days of sunshine, stunning mountain scenery, and fine beaches. No wonder people return (me included). Many people enjoy taking in the scenery on a cruise along the coastline on a traditional Gulet (schooner). A great way to visit the many beautiful secluded coves, bays and inlets.

Turkey

Archaeoligical sites

With so much to see in this region, there is something for everyone including those that love visiting archaeological sites. Here you will find the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and so much more. Side has some interesting sites to visit if visiting ancient sites is something you enjoy.

Is it safe to travel to Turkey?
Side

Why do I favour Turkey so much?

I’ve travelled extensively and lived in many countries as an expat, however, I have a particular fondness of Turkey. Firstly, Turkish people are warm, hospitable, humble and are forever offering you traditional apple tea or delicious strong Turkish coffee with a little piece of Turkish delight on the side. In addition, it is a fabulous feeling to step off the airplane and into a much slower pace of life. Stress seems to melt away and it is a wonderful place to reconnect with your health and wellbeing. The quieter part of Turkey is a great place to recover from burnout.

Traditional Turkish tea

The area where I stay is classified as being semi-rural as it is away from the busier tourist towns. Therefore, Tourist villas sit happily alongside the Turkish people’s homes. The beach is a ten minute walk past farms and farmers working the fields, walking their cows and goats and life is slow and calm.

There’s nothing like a good organic farmers market

Organic food market

One of the best things I love about Turkey is the food fresh from the Farmers Market. With my ‘granny’ shoppers trolley in hand, off I go. No haggling at the food market. The food is cheap, plentiful and the farmers are genuine and honest. I fill up on all the fabulous fresh veggies and fruit. Incredibly flavourful and inexpensive compared to home in the UK.

So many things to see and do

In conclusion to the question “is it safe to travel to Turkey?” My hope is that some of the information may help you to make that decision yourself.

There is so much to see and do in Turkey, way too much to fit within one blog. More on this lovely destination will follow.

Is it safe to travel to Turkey? Yes!

If you have travelled to Turkey, what was your experience? Don’t forget to check out the jetlag blog if you travel regularly.

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