Is Turkey safe? 10 travelers answer the question.

People ask us all the time: Is Turkey safe? A lot of things have been said and written about how dangerous Turkey is, or how safety is a real issue. Living here, this is not how we experience it. But then again, we may see things differently just because we live here. This is why we’ve asked 10 travel bloggers to share their experience about traveling to Turkey and how they’ve dealt with their safety concerns. These are their stories.

Cappadocia

Is Turkey safe?

Turkey was my first “unsafe” country I’d ever been to. Or at least that’s what my mother and the media would have me believe.Carly, The Flight of the Educator

It was the first stop in my 9 week trip around Europe, and I was excited and a little nervous since I was alone. My flight landed late at night, and overly burdened with the pack of an over-packer, I struck out into Istanbul. Warnings of avoiding scams and dangerous situations whirled through my head, but soon faded as I realized I had no idea where the tram stop was. A man noticed me looking around in confusion and offered me help. He gave me directions, and I walked away. I heard footsteps behind me and thought he was following me, so I walked faster. He walked faster too. The anxiety started to rise and peaked when I felt him touch my shoulder! “You’re going the wrong way!” he said!. Oh. I went the right way and the feeling of being followed repeated. Again, I get a tap that I was going the wrong way. Oh. After that, I realized that my fear was in my head, and this poor nice man was just trying to help. As always, I still kept a watchful eye open for obvious danger, but I didn’t close myself off to experiences out of fear. I found the Turkish people to be welcoming and excited to share their country with me. And I was excited to experience it.

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Turkey as a winter destination

My experience in Istanbul was overwhelmingly positive.Erin, Sol Salute

My husband and I always like to take public transportation on vacation, as a way to see a more authentic side of a city. We didn’t realize that in Turkey we needed a special card to take the bus though, cash isn’t accepted. While we waited for our bus, a man from Iraq approached us and made small talk. I wondered why he was so nice to two strangers, especially one from a country that has not been kind to his. When the bus arrived, he boarded with us, only to pay for our tickets and take off. He knew we wouldn’t be able to pay for our bus ride so he waited with us only to make sure we’d be able to make it home! Which we did, thanks to a group of lovely women who made sure we got off at the right stop with directions to the hotel.

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Lake Bafa

Go visit this fabulous country! It is as safe or unsafe as the rest of Europe currently is.Shweta, Zest In A Tote

I visited Turkey in 2012 with my husband and 15-month old daughter. At that time, there wasn’t much concern about safety in Turkey. And we weren’t apprehensive at all. But our experiences turned out so much better than what we had anticipated. The rich historical sights of Istanbul, exploring parts of Cappadocia via a short road trip and finally soaking in the beauty of Sirince valley and ancient ruins at Ephesus – it couldn’t have been more perfect. But what made the trip memorable, was not just the sights and culture, it was how warm and helpful the people were. Waiters in hole-in-the-wall eateries to the fine dining restaurant at Four seasons Istanbul were so happy to engage with my baby and make her laugh. We didn’t have to purchase any skip-the-line tickets for Hagia Sophia, apparently traveling with a young baby is a pass enough to beat the crowds! At no point were we uncomfortable or stressed when a taxi driver dropped us late night from Izmir airport to our aloof hotel on top of a hill; or when we got lost a couple of time driving to and from Ilhara valley in Cappadocia.

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Fethiye

I think the media has a lot to answer for in regards to its’ portrayal of Turkey. If it is on your radar, just get on the plane and check it out for yourself.Josie, Josie Wanders

I have traveled to Turkey twice in the last two years. I had been planning our first trip for months, and less than a month before we went there was a terrorist bombing on Istiklal Street, meters from where we were staying. I was committed to going, so, deflecting questions left and right from friends and family who thought I was mad, got on the plane. I had the most amazing two weeks and didn’t feel unsafe anywhere. Not surprisingly it was at a really low point for Turkish tourism, and we got the opportunity to meet and talk with locals a lot more because of it. On arriving home I could not wait for a chance to get back to Turkey, and about eighteen months later spent another three weeks visiting. This was as the USA issued warnings about travel there, and my home country followed suit. I again had no concerns at all about my personal safety during my visit and was pleased to see many others obviously shared my views as tourist numbers were much higher than my last visit. Istanbul is easily my favorite city in the world. I felt a lot safer there than I have felt in some of the big European cities, like Paris or Rome.

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Turkish coffee

All of our trips were safe (we never got robbed, cheated or felt any other danger), and peaceful Turkey made us fall in love with it.Sara, Our Life in a Suitcase

I have been to Istanbul 4 times so far and never had the chance to see other amazing parts of Turkey. That’s why we have planned a trip to Istanbul, Fethiye, Ephesus, Kuşadasi, and Cappadocia this year. I’m so excited to go back to Turkey to taste the delicious food, dive into the clear blue water and get some sun on golden sands. Our last trip to Istanbul was in 2013 right before our wedding. We headed there for the wedding shopping, and I got my dream bridal dress handmade especially for me!! That was a great experience, and it was my first international trip with my husband to be. Since that time, we have been traveling around the world and never had the chance to go back to Turkey. We can’t wait for our new trip this summer to enjoy the best service in the world and the best food!

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Kaleiçi, Antalya Old Town

We adored Turkey… so much that after three weeks there, we’re already planning another visit back.Kate, Our Escape Clause

Logically, I knew that there was no reason to feel nervous about visiting Turkey, but I did for one reason: in 2016, we were planning a trip to Turkey that then ended up getting rearranged. On the day we had been planning to arrive, a bomb exploded in one of Istanbul’s airports. The next year, we shook off that incident and started planning a trip to Turkey again… just in time for a diplomatic spat to temporarily ban US citizens from visiting the country. Needless to say, when the chance to visit Turkey again came up in 2018, we knew that nerves aside, we had to strike while the iron was hot. And… we loved it. Istanbul is beautiful, and the Turkish breakfasts are as incredible as their reputation suggests. The people are absurdly friendly–some of the friendliest we have encountered in the world, and we don’t say that lightly. Cappadocia was magical. The travel infrastructure was easy, especially along main tourist routes. The sights themselves were gorgeous, and of course, the history is in the running for some of the most epic in the world.

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Faralya Botanica

After visiting 61 countries in the world we still see Turkey as one of our favorites.Nic and Paul, The Roaming Renegades

We have visited Turkey many times going back over a 20 year period from family holidays as children to backpacking adventures in recent years. Over that entire time frame, we have found a diverse, beautiful, welcoming and friendly country that we have enjoyed exploring time and time again. After visiting 61 countries in the world we still see Turkey as one of our favorites, it offers such a wide range of experiences, from the child friendly Mediterranean resorts to the bustling streets of ancient Istanbul, floating over the dreamy landscape of the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia to running off a mountain and zipping over the incredible Blue Lagoon. Never once has fear been one of the many emotions we’ve felt while visiting Turkey. We now have many Turkish friends and even family who live out there and look forward to making our next trip back this year.

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Kayaköy

The only thing I am scared of now is that I might want to spend more and more time here.Brigitta, Let’s Get Lost in the World

I arrived in Turkey two years ago for the first time exactly the day the Turkish coup started. Needless to say, it was not exactly the best first impression of a country where I would later spend more than 6 months. I was part of (now) history: we heard the gunshots, the helicopters above our head, the roads were closed by the military as we were headed to our hotel. I don’t want to idealize the situation: I was scared. The hotel owner reassured us: “You will be fine, enjoy Istanbul, it’s a beautiful city!” At that moment I knew I was safe: the hospitality and kindness of Turkish people make this country a welcoming place. I explored Turkey in the next months with curiosity and admiration in my mind- but never with fear. Fast forward two years from that day: I fell in love with Turkey. I fell in love with the Turkish culture; its rich history, the ancient sites, the kindness of the people, the landscapes of Anatolia.

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The Ultimate Selfie Spot Celsus Library
The Ultimate Selfie Spot Celsus Library

I fell in love with Istanbul immediately, and when I got the chance to go back last summer, I jumped on it.Stephanie, History Fangirl

My first international trip (other than a day trip to Mexico) was to Italy and Turkey to see the ancient Roman sites. I was so excited to see the Roman Forum in Rome and the Walls in Constantinople. This was back in 2011 before people started worrying about safety in Turkey. I fell in love with Istanbul immediately, and when I got the chance to go back last summer, I jumped on it. I wasn’t concerned about safety there, as I have friends who live there. Plus, I live in Bulgaria half the year, which is one of Turkey’s northern neighbors. However, when my father found out I was in Turkey, he panicked. He knew I lived in Bulgaria, but he hadn’t bothered to look at it on a map. When I mentioned that I literally live one train ride over, he told me that he wouldn’t come to pick me up if I got kidnapped. Now that I’m going back in a few weeks, I can’t decide whether to tell him or not. Poor guy!

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Faralya Botanica

We went to Istanbul, had, just like any other time, an amazing time, and were greeted with great hospitality and friendly smiles.Clemens, Travellers Archive

As German citizens, we were obviously confronted when the terror attack happened right in front of the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophie and a German travel group was right in the middle of the bombing. However, back then we already had our flight tickets booked and didn’t feel like canceling. We keep telling ourselves that terror shouldn’t be anything that takes you away from traveling – ever. Hence, we went to Istanbul, had, just like any other time, an amazing time, were greeted with great hospitality and friendly smiles, while our friends and parents at home were super concerned and kept on texting us all the time. People are different, indeed, but we strongly believe in the fact that not a single country in the world deserves to be neglected just because of criminals and terrorists.

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Ölüdeniz

Now, what do we think; is Turkey safe?

To us, Turkey is home, and safe. We have lived here for many years now and never felt unsafe. Yes, there were incidents in the past, but similar things occurred in other countries in Europe. This is a big country, with a big heart, friendly people and an array of cultural heritage and natural beauty waiting to be discovered. Last year we wrote a rather ironical post about the dangers of traveling to Turkey. This is the short version:

Come and find out for yourself

Are you ready to come and have a taste of Turkey? For plenty of inspiration, check out our articles on Turkey on this website. You’ll find classics such as Ephesus or Cappadocia, but also offbeat destinations like Lake Bafa, Cadianda or Lake Koycegiz (Köyceğiz in Turkish).

Ready to start making plans? You’ll find cheap flight options here. All information you need to prepare your trip and get a tourist visa is on this page.

Also, our map search page is perfect to help you set an itinerary that suits you.

And don’t forget to bring a reliable travel guide. Lonely Planet has you covered with their Turkey Edition which is available both in Kindle version and in Paperback.

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All pictures © @Aegean.Images, and our deepest thanks to all travel bloggers for taking the time to share their story.

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

JOIN THE TRIBE, FOLLOW US

Is #Turkey #Safe? 10 Travelers Answer The Question.