The Latest on Travel to Turkey: Planning Holidays During Times of Protest

Istanbul Turkey

By BenGoetzinger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

While Turkey’s internal protests ebb and flow in Istanbul, feet-on-the-street reports from the nation’s capital and surrounding areas indicate that the political unrest does not have to keep you from visiting this fantastic country.

It’s the same colourful, hospitable, history-rich place as ever. Stay away from the isolated conflict areas, but don’t hesitate to explore the rest of Turkey’s diverse cities and countryside. With a dose of common sense about your health and safety, you can still indulge the senses and see the sights in a place steeped in antiquity and uniquely positioned where East meets West. Just do your research before you book your holiday, starting here with a sampling of recent travel advice.

As of today (June 18, 2013), here’s a basic list of where not to go:

* Taksim Square in Istanbul. In fact, just check before you head to any city squares when you’re in Turkey’s largest cities.

* Any ruling “Justice and Development Party” headquarters.

* The Syrian border.

* Demonstrations. (Common sense, right?)

The rest of this abundant country is yours to explore.

In fact, there are plenty of cheap holiday travel options in Turkey, along with a multitude of ways to explore the country, from riding horses on backcountry trails, to cycling scenic highways, to hiking in the hills, to taking trains, busses, boats or rented vehicles. Regardless of your chosen mode of transport, remember to always leave room for on-the-spot inspirations!

Among Turkey’s must-see highlights:

* Turkish Baths – They’re famous!

* Rock Tombs – 2500 years ago the Lycians dug them out, believing that their lofty heights would help kings’ souls be carried up by winged sirens. Check them out, catch some spirit.

* Mosques – Especially the Blue and the Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi. There are around 20 of these ornate wonders to choose from!

* Citadels – Ruins in Tlos include the bonus of spectacular views.

* Markets and shops – You’ve heard of Istanbul’s Grand Covered Bazaar? Well that’s just the tip (more like a hunk) of the iceberg. Spice bazaars, flea markets, fish markets, smaller bazaars that still feel grand. And of course, backstreet shops everywhere

* Sagalassos – Drive the adventurous hundred kilometers from Anyalya; this mesmerizing Ottoman-period city is as neat as any of the coastal sites, and far less crowded.

* Termessos – Tackle the steep climb to this ruined Pisidian city and you’ll not only get an ancient amphitheater fix with views across the Taurus Mountains, sometimes you’ll even have the place to yourself.

There’s more to see and do: Cappadocia, the Aegean coast, beaches, mud baths and hot springs…better plan on staying for more than a week.

So check accurate news sources for up-to-date quarters of unrest, pack your medications, watch your wallet, and enjoy Turkey’s bounty.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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About thetravellingfool

Bob aka: The Traveling Fool is a History buff, cigar lover and enthusiast of different cultures and places. He has had the privilege of living, working and traveling all over the world. A proponent of getting off the "tourist path" and experiencing all that the culture and people have to offer. Happiest on a white sand beach in SE Asia or anywhere Tropical.Written By: Bob follow on Twitter @thetravelfool

Comments

  1. Hi Bob!
    We think you are right, that unrest is limited to isolated places so far.
    And it shouldn’t scare us to travel in Turkey.
    But most of the people don’t get into details so much when they here the news and that’s
    why the reservations to Turkish hotels plunged down for 89%.
    We hope to travel there soon, because it is fantastic country.
    Gadi and Tun recently posted..Beautiful Istanbul – off-season visitMy Profile

  2. I agree. As long as you use your common sense you should be able to avoid most dangerous situations
    Dan recently posted..Australia – West MacDonnell RangesMy Profile

  3. Turkey is perfectly safe for tourists, as long as you stay away from Taksim Square and Gezi Park, and even those are fine during the daytime. There are no demonstrations on the peninsula of Old Istanbul, where the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Grand Bazaar are. You can walk around that area and not know there were any problems at all. All the unrest is on the other side of the Galata Bridge, away from Eminonu and Sultanahmet. The cruise ships have returned and Sultanahmet is teeming with tourists again. No one need be afraid to visit.

    • thetravellingfool says:

      Like most places you have to be aware of your surroundings and stay away from the trouble spots.

  4. Hey Bob!
    Great post, people are afraid of travelling when there is a bit of unrest, which is fair enough! The news controls what is said and seen and can make the whole country is dangerous!
    Sam @ Travellingking.com recently posted..Is it safe to travel? – The Dangers of TravelMy Profile

    • thetravellingfool says:

      A little due diligence and common sense can go a long wayin keeping you safe in troubled areas.

  5. Turkey and its attractive beauty should not be avoided for reasons such as protests and internal tensions in some isolated areas of the country. Keeping those areas out of the plan, people still have a lot of options to explore, hence one should plan a trip,and travel in turkey carefully.

  6. Kelly Rogers says:

    Travellers should get a lot of dose of common sense on where to go. :) That’s why I think it is essential that researching and planning the itinerary is essential for a safe journey.

    • thetravellingfool says:

      I agree as long as it is not over planned to the point that you can’t explore the area and do a few spontaneous things.

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