I get strange stares from people when I tell them that I traveled to Turkey. This stare is usually followed by questions like, “Is Turkey safe?” “How did you manage to travel in the current situation?” and something of that sort. Well, I guess you got a basic idea of what sort of questions I am bombarded with. Yeah! questions about safety. Also, no matter how many times I answer, the stares keep coming. Hence, I have decided to write a post & answer this question once & for all. Now, the next time someone asks me, I’ll only be sharing this link.
Obviously, one needs to keep a lot of things in mind before travelling to another country. Safety comes first, followed by rest of the things. But can you judge a country, based on what you hear or read? Well, doesn’t that literally translate into judging the book by it’s cover? I believe it does.
When I decided for Turkey to go alone, everyone, including my parents told me, “What are you crazy?” and sometimes the answer was simply a big No! But was that going to stop me? Well obviously not! But I would like to express that I was scared too. After whatever I had heard and read, yes I was scared! I searched in google plenty of times and each time I only read travel warnings. This lead me into a dilemma whether I should go or not. But still I went ahead & didn’t let this bother me.
WHAT WAS MY FIRST IMPRESSION:
I kind of had imagined in my head, how the cities in Turkey would be. Let’s say just like how they show in the news or in the newspapers. Everything broken down, people all scared etc. However, I was taken aback when I stepped out of the airport at Istanbul and around me everything was normal, just like in every city. People were heading for work, teenagers were chilling in a café, cars moving around etc. It was just like any other normal city should be.
Honestly bad things or terrorism in this case can just happen everywhere. It can even happen in your country tomorrow, you never know. Does it mean that you’ll be sitting in your home all day long? No, right. Yes it’s just that! Also, if you let such acts control your decision, in this case you’re supporting terrorism by giving it exactly what they want.
WHY THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME TO VISIT?
Due to such a negative publicity of the country, very few wish to go to Turkey. This had lead to huge unemployment in the tourism sector. Which in-turn has literally affected their economy. Why am I saying that? Because, now they are giving away huge discounts on accommodations & activities to attract travelers & tourists alike. Discounts are almost as much as 40-50% and it’s literally the best time to go backpacking & exploring.
And it’s not just that, very few people are visiting this country and you literally have some places to yourself. Turkey which was once, one of the most visited country doesn’t have lines or waiting outside any of the places. You can just enter when you like and stay for as much time as you want. And if you have a complete place for yourself just imagine how many great pictures you can get, without anyone photobombing! Also, I felt good, by helping them in my own small way during their needful time.
WAS TURKEY SAFE?
Yes, 100% safe. Honestly, I was literally angry on myself, for thinking that it wouldn’t be safe. But then again I was happy because I still took the decision to go there and proved myself to be wrong. Also, the government of Turkey has increased their security at important places and you can find police almost everywhere. I didn’t encounter even one single situation where I felt unsafe. In fact all along my journey, only kind & generous people have crossed paths with me. So, is Turkey safe? I can say that Yes, Turkey is safe.
TIPS TO MAKE YOUR VISIT TO TURKEY SAFE:
If you want to visit Turkey, and are still worried about the safety then following are some of the ways in which you can be more safer:
- Avoid crowded areas.
- Keep the number of your hotel & embassy handy.
- Don’t be a part of any rallies or gatherings.
- Explore offbeat & lesser known areas.
- Avoid going near to the south-eastern border of Turkey.
- And lastly but more importantly, trust your instincts!