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Greetings from Turkey!

WhereForArt

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Tags: turkey, istanbul, cappadocia, fethiye, selcuk, goreme
  • Added on: May 13th, 2007
Hi, just wanted to stop and say hello from this gorgeous incredible country. I am having a wonderful time here - it is one of the most beautiful and friendliest places I have ever been. And all of your advice is coming in very handy!

Right now I'm in Fethiye at the Villa Daffodil and will be heading to Selcuk tomorrow (I reversed the normal route). I've been blogging as I go along so feel free to check out my travel blog.

You all were definitely right - Turkey is wonderful!
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Mardee

Travels in Turkey 2007
Easter in Italy

It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

static

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  • Added on: May 13th, 2007
I see that you ran into Maggie!

WT

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  • Added on: May 13th, 2007
Hey Mardee...cool! I am sooo glad that you posted and left the link to your blog and I am enjoying it!! We are headed that way so it will be very helpful to us.

I actually thought we would be in Greece by now and possibly even Turkey, but we are in an absolutely heavenly spot with gorgeous weather at the beach near Barcelona and can not quite get our selves moving from here yet. LOL. We keep staying, staying and staying...3 weeks and counting now...lolling in pools & beach along with Barcelona, catalon and gaudi things.

( We needed to recover a bit from our recent time in Morocco with camel Sahara trek and Holy Week in Seville).BUT we are going to force ourselves out soon, probably this week and make our way to Greece and Turkey SOON before they get too hot and crowded.

Having thrived in Morocco, I am looking forward to comparing it with Turkey. We loved the hammam's in Morocco,so looking forward to that experience in Turkey..especially since I hear they have light in theirs.


It is not so easy for us to pick up the latest rough guide or lonely planet on Turkey in English, so things like your blog and this site are a BIG help for our "wing it" long term tour.

Thanks so much...and keep having a grand adventure!
http://www.soultravelers3.com

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WhereForArt

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  • Added on: May 13th, 2007
quote:
Originally posted by static:
I see that you ran into Maggie!
Yes, I did - she was very nice and I left a few books with her and got one in return. I actually watched her shop for her one day when she was gone and the guy at the agency next door had to leave - it was the same situation with the baby. I had a hard time believing that someone would leave their shop with a total stranger...only in Turkey, I guess. Smile
______________________________________________
Mardee

Travels in Turkey 2007
Easter in Italy

It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

WhereForArt

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  • Added on: May 13th, 2007
WT, you were at Semana Santa in Seville? I was there last year the whole week - well, part of the week in Seville, then the rest in Ronda and Cordoba. I'm sure you had a great time - Semana Santa is a wonderful experience!

Definitely try to get here soon if you want to avoid the heat - it's already very hot during the day in Fethiye and I'm sure will only get worse. It's not too crowded here right now, which is good. The beaches and bays here are just incredible. I haven't been to a hamman yet - that's going to be my last experience in Turkey, I decided, so I'll wait till I get back to Istanbul.

FYI, if you make it to Cappadocia, I noticed that Maggie's bookshop in Goreme (that Joe was talking about) has some LPs and Rough Guides that aren't too expensive.
______________________________________________
Mardee

Travels in Turkey 2007
Easter in Italy

It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

WT

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  • Added on: May 13th, 2007
Yes, Semana Santa was great in Seville ( our first night we did in our little village which was nice send off since we know everyone there). I am glad I experienced it, but was not crazy about the crowds, so I actually enjoyed Seville better in March when we visited as the weather was also nicer and not the insanity.

It is hot and muggy here too, so probably something we will just have to endure this summer. I hope to get in and out of Turkey before the end of June. We travel with a 6 yo that we homeschool as we go, so tend go slow. We will take a ferry to Rome and then a ferry from Venice to Athens as we will be mostly RV camping ( even in Santorini!) until we get to Istanbal.

We do not have much room in our small RV, so I manage pretty good with the books that I have and the internet. I do have a Turkey/English phrase book and my lonely planet Europe on a shoestring gives me the basic info on most countries including Turkey. I think Morocco is harder than Turkey and we managed to plan and have a great trip there.

We just see too many places ( we have been on the road for 8 months and touring now for the next 7 months thru lots of countries) and are moving, so I only have so much time to plan. By the time I have caught up to speed with the names and great locations of one country...I am on to the next.

But I will keep that store in mind, I just need every trick that I can find to shorten my research and find the gold in a place. I am looking forward to Turkey ( but Greece comes first which is also important to us).We will zip thru Italy, and spend 2 months there in the fall.

It is nice to hear your experiences as not everybody is as thrilled with Turkey and I go back and forth on the fear factor there as some say they target tourists for terrorism there and posts with that slant ( other travel forums) are pretty scary.We are a little extra cautious because we travel with a young child.

We loved Morocco and the very warm people, but it was also a harsh country in ways, so it will be interesting to compare.
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

go girl

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
Hey Mardee, Give us a call at the Kiwi Pension, in Selcuk. We are the Sappingtons, and we'll be here til the 17th. You're right--this is a great place and I really love Turkey. If I don't leave soon though, I will be too fat to walk. Have you tried the Iskender kebabs yet? And all the helva I ever wanted to eat. Stephanie

P.S. We go to Egypt on the 22nd, so things are moving right along. WT, I can't wait to go to Spain--I am a huge Gaudi fan.
"Those who dance are considered insane
by those who can't hear the music."
George Carlin

static

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
When you get to Maggie's bookstore, tell her that you know Joe. And say hello to Mehmet. (There are about six Mehmets in that town that I know, so you cannot go wrong)

WhereForArt

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
quote:
It is nice to hear your experiences as not everybody is as thrilled with Turkey and I go back and forth on the fear factor there as some say they target tourists for terrorism there and posts with that slant ( other travel forums) are pretty scary.We are a little extra cautious because we travel with a young child.
I don't blame you for being cautious but I have seen NOTHING to indicate that tourists are being targeted. And Turks LOVE little children - your child will be worshipped and adored while here!

Go girl: I just walked past your pension a few minutes ago - I'm at the Hotel Akay (also mentioned in LP). I'm going to Ephesus tomorrow and will try to look you up when I get back - have you been there yet? I'm also here until the 17th - are you going back to Istanbul then? I'm going to fly from Izmir - no more buses!

Joe: I've already been to Maggie's bookstore and won't be back until my next trip to Cappadocia (sometime soon I hope). But I'll definitely mention it next time - I love Goreme and I will be back!
______________________________________________
Mardee

Travels in Turkey 2007
Easter in Italy

It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

WT

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
Oh I do hear over & over again how warm the Turkish people are and that they love children. The warnings are never about the Turkish people...its the nutty terrorist who target tourists.

It is one of the few countries that they actually try to get tourists and sometimes they succeed, but I suppose even with that, the odds are with you to not be a victim.

I am glad to hear that you feel safe there.

Go girl...glad to hear from you & to know that you are having fun!! I think kidsnall is in the same neck of the woods, but harder to hook up than one can imagine with us all winging it. We are loving beachy Barcelona combination...we did a very Gaudi mothers day...looooved it. Wink
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

static

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
quote:
It is one of the few countries that they actually try to get tourists and sometimes they succeed,

I would love to see a cite for that assumption.

WT

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
Well I have read MANY forum posts like this one where some people feel it is unsafe in Turkey and others feel it is safe and both sides seem to have valid points to me:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=34996591

And sure enough if you do the google "Turkey tourist attacks" one DOES gather some scary information about the many tourist attacks over the last several years and govt warnings about extreme caution ( the latest terrorist bomb & killings ...may 12 2007):

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Turkey

http://www.guardian.co.uk/turkey/story/0,,1860192,00.html

The terrorist actually warn:
"Turkey is not a safe country; tourists should not come to Turkey."

3 people were killed and 50 injured in the latest including children ( Brits on vacation) on a bus in a popular tourist area on May12th and they warn that more will take place.

http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=104414

http://journals.worldnomads.com/red24/post/1538.aspx

So far it does seem the odds of getting hurt or killed are certainly in the tourists favor, but if one happens to be the unlucky one, I do not suppose that matters.

It is certainly something to think about. There was a terrorist attack when we were in Morocco but it was in Casablanca ( where they usually happen, thus a city we avoided) while we were in Fez and only the terrorist was killed. The terrorist in Turkey do have a record of getting SOME tourists and continue to warn that they will keep this up. So I do have more concerns with Turkey as far as terrorists and am still reading up on it (keeping the possiblity of canceling Turkey).

I think this issue has to at least be considered and someone going there should try to think of ways to be more cautious. Tourist areas are hard to guard and easy to get into, so soft targets for nuts like this.

I realize the odds are against being the one who is killed or injured ( tourists who go to Israel say the same thing)but to not even consider it seems foolish to me. I like to hear all sides of these kinds of issues. There are problems with food, water ( tourists get sick sometimes due to it) and terrorism in Turkey from what I have read from people who have been there and I want to be informed about all of it before going to such a place,so that I can be cautious and take the most prudent precautions.

Doesn't that make sense for someone traveling with a child?

I would love to see a thread on how best to avoid being one of the few who do get killed or injured in popular tourist places all over Turkey.
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

WhereForArt

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  • Added on: May 14th, 2007
I'm curious as to why you are traveling in Spain then, since obviously Spain has been the target of terrorist attacks (and for that matter, so has the United States). In fact, I would dare to say that you probably have a greater chance of being killed in the United States by a gun-toting student or a driver with road rage than you do in Turkey.

If you constantly avoid places because there is a risk of danger, you will never go anywhere. I understand that a ratio of risk vs. benefits has to be applied - but I think that the benefits far outweigh the risk in Turkey.
______________________________________________
Mardee

Travels in Turkey 2007
Easter in Italy

It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

WT

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  • Added on: May 15th, 2007
quote:
I understand the the ratio of risk v. benefits has to be applied - but I think that the benefits far outweigh the risk in Turkey.



I happen to agree with you on that,but what I see different about Turkey compared to Spain or the U.S., is the terrorists are purposely targeting TOURISTS and I would be one and they are very soft targets that are hard to protect.

We are 8 months into a multi-year open ended trip around the world,so we are not afraid of risk obviously,but we are in our 50's traveling with a 6yo so do like to be wise and cautious in our travels.

I am aware of the problems in Spain, but we have not exposed ourselves to the dangers here ( or in the U.S.) as we tend to stay in authentic and country places. We try to use good sense on the choices we make so that we do not take risks ( like traveling very late into Madrid or avoiding Casablanca or not taking ANY trains during rush hours etc or not at all in some places like Madrid).

Turkey is a little harder to keep the risks as low as possible as one never knows when the terrorist will do a much bigger attack than they have in the last few years.

That said, I think we can get in and out of Turkey without any problems and enjoy our time there.BUT since terrorism aimed at tourists has been a big issue there, it WILL be on our minds when we are there and affect our choices.
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
PABLO PICASSO

jv

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  • Added on: May 15th, 2007
True that some of the bombings in Turkey have "targeted tourists," but it still seems the the risk is minimal.

Depending how you define the phrase "targeting tourists" (and it is a subjective phrase), there have also been significant terrorist attacks targeting tourists in Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, and Morocco.


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