Situation in Istanbul

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Situation in Istanbul

Postby chococake21 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:46 am

Hi!

I am considering doing Absolute Turkey in September and I am absolutely sure that G Adventures will take care of us during the tour and monitor the situation in Turkey. But as I will be probably spending a few days before the tour in Istanbul, I am just wondering if it would be ok for a solo female? My plans would be just to be sightseeing, markets/bazaar...

Thanks!
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby earth2al » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:02 pm

Hi Choco, I'm confirmed for Turkey on a Budget, also in September,and so Ive been following things rather closely over the past several weeks. Although the US state dept. has been warning of terrorist attacks on the US embassy, as well as military bases, the only things I've seen are student (reportedly peaceful sit-in type protests) vs. government/military (who are reportedly not afraid to flex their muscle to maintain order) type protests. And these are mostly centered in and near the Taksim Square area. Bottom line, still going and I just saved nearly 20% on my flights from what they were only 3 weeks ago... Cheers!

ps I've traveled with G(ap) before and felt certain that they had my best interests in mind at all times

pss Looking forward to news/comments from others!!!
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby xtina25 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:18 pm

I would feel comfortable traveling by myself (solo female) in Istanbul and Turkey in general. I agree with earth2al, most of the protests are away from the tourist areas and famous outdoor markets. Taksim and the "new city" across the Bosphorus is a really fun place to hang-out but you won't miss out on the big sights of Istanbul if the protests continue in their current location.

The only other note of advice, you should be prepared for aggressive touts. People will really try to sell you goods or push their restaurant. If you are not prepared for it or might feel intimidated by it, then it is good to be prepared. By the end of my time in Istanbul I started playing around with the vendors. If you offer something way too low ("You want 50TL? I can't pay more than 10."), they write you off and you can browse in peace. :lol:

Have a great time! Turkey is an amazing country, I loved my trip there!
My travel and art history blog: http://daydreamtourist.com/
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby gabsy » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:37 pm

Hi,

I'm also leaving for the 6th of September on a Turkey on Budget tour with my wife. I'm pretty sure if you don't sit into manifestations you wont be in any danger. Everywhere I read about this, if you see police force gather, it is better to just leave the place before anything goes wrong. Whether you are a women or not has nothing to do with it.
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby georginal » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:38 pm

I have done Istanbul as a solo female traveller just before I joined a trip with another operator. It was fine. Minor problems I had was not being able to get into my accommodation early even after I had told them when my flight was arriving and being sold a carpet when I was really tired on the first day by someone who obviously saw me coming (I quite like it now by the way) and had to have my guard up all the time. But otherwise, it was generally OK, you can walk around the city with the usual precautions just bear the current situation in mind, and move away if anything happens. Just have your wits about you that's all.

Oh yes, one mistake was wandering into the Blue Mosque at 7am before it opened to the general public having found the way in without realising what it was!!

But, do keep an eye on the situation because I went last September so the political situation was OK then.
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby dreaded_luggage » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:34 am

I'd think you'd be fine as long as you stay away from rowdy crowds or police massing for something ... and out of mortar range (4.2km) of the Syrian border.

Good sites to check on this sort of thing are the Foreign Office and other governments' equivalents thereof. Everything on the itinerary we did is in the "green zone" on the UK FCO's map. I don't know what that one orange province is about, but it's a long way east of anywhere we went anyway. If you find the security advice a little alarming, find another government's equivalent site like the Australian "Smart Traveller" pages and look up your own home country for comparison.
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby julie w » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:42 pm

Hi chococake21,

I wholeheartedly recommend you go ahead with the tour in September. I went on the Turkey on a Budget tour in Sept/Oct of 2012 and it was a phenomenal experience. What I might suggest if you have the option is to add the extra days in Istanbul at the end of your tour. One benefit is you will likely find that others on the tour will stay afterward as well - it can be nice to have someone to meet up for dinner with, and you may even be able to share the accommodations cost. Out of the 15 people on our tour, only two knew each other beforehand and it was a lot of fun exploring with other single travelers.

Also, the orientation tour will help you get your bearings and decide what you don't want to miss. Hagia Sofia was a highlight of Istanbul for me, and our CEO was able to secure tickets that allowed those who were interested to enter directly as a group rather than waiting in the rather huge line up. Not sure how many additional days you'll be adding but September was quite a busy month with many 'day tourists' due to cruise ship business, so utilize your CEO's experience and connections to help you make the best use of your time. (That said, you can't really go wrong.)

The majority of attractions that most visitors will see are in and around Sultanahmet. I think you could easily go to Istanbul and have no idea that there was any upheaval at all. It's a huge city but if you ever feel the need for peace, just hop aboard an inexpensive ferry ride to any of the Prince Islands. Oh, and give some serious thought to opting in on the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. It's a little pricey, but eight of us went and there were no regrets. I was swept away by Turkey from both a cultural and historical perspective and would go back in a second.

Have a blast!
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby earth2al » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:08 pm

I realize that things have recently become a little more tense in Turkey, with the US threatening to 'go' to Syria, but if I don't travel there in 6! days, 'they' win...
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby gnome mad » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:09 pm

Some Turkish men do tend to be significantly more forward with Western-looking women than they are with Turkish women and/or those who look local.

Emphasis on "some". On the whole, I found the men and women of Turkey both to be a remarkably friendly, welcoming, and kind people. Never have I been so often invited to dinner by someone I just met. Nowhere else have I had an 80-year-old man lift the bottom of my suitcase and help me get it up the subway steps.

That being said, there is a small minority who can be quite aggressive. This becomes significantly more noticeable after dark. I was in Turkey with a female friend, and after sundown when she walked around with me it felt at times like we were walking past the stereotypical American construction site. Catcalls every 50 meters, men stepping into our path, etc. And this is what happened when she was accompanied by a man.

Again, these guys are a rare minority, but they are there. I would take some precautions after dark. Make friends and go out in a group.

It is a very safe country in general. There were protests in Taksim and at Aya Sofia when I was there, and I never felt worried by them. The same common sense you would use in any new place will be sufficient.
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Turkey on a Budget Oct 4

Postby nessamay_05 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:17 pm

Hi everyone,


Anybody doing the Turkey on a Budget for Oct 4? I am planning to stay extra days in Istanbul after the tour, anyone doing the same thing?
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Re: Turkey on a Budget Oct 4

Postby dreaded_luggage » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:54 pm

nessamay_05 wrote:Hi everyone,


Anybody doing the Turkey on a Budget for Oct 4? I am planning to stay extra days in Istanbul after the tour, anyone doing the same thing?

There's a thread for that trip over in the Departure Lounge part of the forum. So far, no replies, but the tour's page says there are no departures available this year and it's marked as a top seller so I'd guess it's sold out.
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby claire1987 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:32 am

Situation in Turkey is always a bit crazy, so hopefully you have good nerves but one of my friends visits Turkey every year alone and says that if you are not believing everything Turkish men say, than you should be just fine. Blond white females are very hot for them by the way.
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby earth2al » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:34 pm

Just back from ETTO, had a wonderful time! Had 0 security concerns throughout my travels, even at Taksim Square (which I did on my own)... And we had several single females in our group and I never witnessed anything 'out of line' (I know - easy for me to say but I do have 2 daughters). One thing that will draw attention is inappropriate dress around the Mosques... Hayirli Yolculuklar! :P
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Re: Situation in Istanbul

Postby windshiloh » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:01 pm

I have to say that Istambul situation is a lot better that tourist towns like Alanya. Dress decently, don't show too much skin or act inappropriately and you will be just fine.
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