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Thread: Turkey (the country) Recommendations, "Don't"s, etc.

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckman View Post
    If you are compelled to go, wear European-style clothes and be the Gray Man. Some beautiful areas in Istanbul, street food is incredible and cheap. Crossover of ME and Mediterranean. All that said, I hate Turkey.
    Why's that, chuckman? I understand others saying, "Don't go." I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having second thoughts with everything happening over there right now. It's a calculated risk, but worth it to me, especially since I've put off going for so long and it's gotten progressively worse every year...now or likely never.

  2. #12
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    Ephesus was awesome, at least for me, an ancient history major. I didn't spend too much time in Turkey, and it was only in that area, as most of my trip there was focused on Greece. However, I thoroughly enjoyed that part. See it if you can fit it in.

    Quote Originally Posted by soulezoo View Post
    The great mystery for me was how that country could simultaneously have both the most beautiful and the ugliest women in the world.
    I remember when I went into a bazaar right outside Ephesus, and I wanted to buy a t-shirt from one of the local vendors. He obviously recognized that I was American and very young (I had just turned 22), so he cranked up the price, figuring I wasn't going to haggle. He wanted 30 American dollars. I offered $5 (I wasn't going to pay more than $10, but I wanted HIM to reach $10). We went back and forth once or twice, then suddenly, he remembered he had something important to do and said called his daughter over to continue working with me. His daughter was about my age and was, to this day, probably the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Like Miss Universe/SI Swimsuit/Victoria's Secret beautiful. Sexy accent too, naturally. Anyway, the guy was obviously hoping I'd turn to putty in his daughter's hands and be willing to pay a higher price. The thing is, while I'm as attracted to gorgeous, exotic women as any other heterosexual man, I had a girlfriend back home in the states (who is now my wife), and even if I was single, it wasn't like I was going to be able to hook up with her. So, to make a long story short, she was charming, but I got the reasonable $10 price I was hoping for .
    Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who do not.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance435 View Post
    Why's that, chuckman? I understand others saying, "Don't go." I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having second thoughts with everything happening over there right now. It's a calculated risk, but worth it to me, especially since I've put off going for so long and it's gotten progressively worse every year...now or likely never.
    There are areas that are definitely anti-American, not entirely anti-western. If you look European and can pass as European, you stand a better chance of just being left alone. In the cities you likely will be fine. Standard SA rules: don't draw undue attention to yourself, avoid area that don't pass the smell test, etc. I will say this: for a "fringe" state, it's as safe as any other and safer than many. But Istanbul, I think you'll be OK.

    I also have some other insight: that preacher who was jailed for a couple years that Trump got released? His sister is my wife's best friend, lives about 10 miles from us. When he left the White House he came south to visit the family, we went to see him. He loves the Turkish people. He thinks the Turkish government, especially leadership, is paranoid and looking for ways to create rifts with the US, and trying to play all sides off one another. Some of the leadership have the "all Americans are spies" vibe.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckman View Post
    There are areas that are definitely anti-American, not entirely anti-western. If you look European and can pass as European, you stand a better chance of just being left alone. In the cities you likely will be fine. Standard SA rules: don't draw undue attention to yourself, avoid area that don't pass the smell test, etc. I will say this: for a "fringe" state, it's as safe as any other and safer than many. But Istanbul, I think you'll be OK.

    I also have some other insight: that preacher who was jailed for a couple years that Trump got released? His sister is my wife's best friend, lives about 10 miles from us. When he left the White House he came south to visit the family, we went to see him. He loves the Turkish people. He thinks the Turkish government, especially leadership, is paranoid and looking for ways to create rifts with the US, and trying to play all sides off one another. Some of the leadership have the "all Americans are spies" vibe.
    Thank you, that all makes sense. That's my normal MO for anywhere I travel and it won't be my first time in the Near/Middle East. I'm probably just staying in Istanbul and I purposely picked a hotel in a quiet neighborhood on a pedestrian street that's walking distance to the major attractions. I get mistaken for a German inside and outside Europe, so I guess I've got that going for me, too. Interesting insight from your wife's friend. It's amazing how different that country has become over the last 10 or so years since I first looked into visiting. It used to be "Top 5" non-European countries for Americans to visit.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckman View Post
    He thinks the Turkish government, especially leadership, is paranoid and looking for ways to create rifts with the US, and trying to play all sides off one another. Some of the leadership have the "all Americans are spies" vibe.
    Bingo.

    If you're in a big tour group you're probably fine, other than potential random violence.

    Traveling on your own, you may get to send some time sitting on a bench. Or maybe not.

    Yes, it's safer than a bunch of other Islamic countries.

    But it still has people there looking for opportunities to kill infidels from the great Satan. And also officials/gov looking for ways to poke a finger in the eye of the US.

    This is a huge sea change from as recent as 10 years ago.

    Unless you've exhausted travel in Eastern Europe, etc., there are many other places that I would go. (And have)

    Just remember that Egypt which is about as Pro-US as you can find has had cases where Americans have been caught in riots and or singled out.

    Slash attacks against Western tourists in Israel.

    Guess it's just a matter of how lucky do you feel. I would consider it like walking through some of the worst sections in problem US cities.

    The majority of the locals don't want to bother you. But there are some looking for people like you, and they don't want to be your friend.

    Myself, I'd go hang out in Budapest and surrounds. Trieste. Slovinia. Prague.

    There are a ton of neat places to see in Eastern Europe that are very different from Western Europe, yet are very easy to travel in with no risk.

    It's sad, but that's our reality currently. Hopefully it will change at some point.

  6. #16
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    Budapest. Good looking girls, great food, great history. Enough folks have good English to make it pretty easy.
    I believe I missed the window to explore the Levant. That is beyond my risk tolerance these days.
    If you do go, please report back.

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