Update – July 2106 – Dear readers – If you have arrived here looking for information following the failed military coup in Turkey on the 15th of July 2016 , you should follow the advice of your government’s travel department. This is because holiday insurance policies can become invalid if your actions are in direct contrast to what your government is saying.
As of the 18th July, the USA has updated their policy to say…
“In light of the July 15 coup attempt and its aftermath, we suggest U.S. citizens reconsider travel to Turkey at this time. This replaces the Travel Warning dated June 27, 2016.” – Read more about that here
As of the 17th July, the UK Travel department updated their policy to say….
“The situation in Turkey appears to be calming following an attempted coup overnight on 15-16 July. The security environment, however, remains potentially volatile. Following earlier disruption, flights to and from airports in Turkey are returning to normal, although some disruption remains and you should check with your airline or tour operator before travelling.” Read more and stay up to date here
Update – January 2016 – Dear readers, After the recent bomb in Sultanhamet Square, Istanbul, readers are asking if I have changed my mind regarding travelling in Turkey and I have not. My view is the same as before. Please read my thoughts written below over many years or read this article about Isis, terrorism and Turkey.
Update – June the 30th 2015 : If you have arrived at this page because you have concerns about ISIS and terrorism in Turkey, because of the incident in Tunisa, then please take a look at this article which addresses those concerns directly.
Update : If you have arrived at this page because of the stupid, fear mongering article printed by the Daily Express newspaper on June the 13th, warning Britons that they are not safe to travel to Turkey, please just ignore it. Even the British ambassador to Turkey has called it alarmist and inaccurate – Read more here
The British Embassy in the capital of Turkey called Ankara have also published this statement on their Facebook page.
Quote ” Despite recent media coverage, the travel advice for Turkey has not been significantly changed. Although we do advise against all but essential travel to areas near the Syrian border, the overall terrorist threat level in Turkey has remained unchanged for years. More than 2.5 million Britons visit the country every year and the overwhelming majority of visits are trouble free.“
Is it safe in Turkey? : Update : June the 14th 2015
There has been a sudden rise in traffic to this article. I am unaware of what has caused this but as normal I am suspecting that it is something to do with ISIS and people are asking whether it is safe to travel to Turkey for a holiday.
Once again I am going to say the same thing.
I am still here.
Last month, I travelled around the Cappadocia region and last week, I spent in a cute little cottage in the resort of Yalikavak in the Bodrum region.
What did I do while there?
I went to painting courses, and learned how to paint landscapes and still-life with acrylic paints.
Think about it : If Turkey was not safe, would I really be signing up for courses to learn how to be an artist?
I have not experienced any disturbances or at anytime felt fear for my safety.
Once again the distance, between Syria and the touristic areas is so vast. In places like Istanbul, there is more than 1000 kilometres to travel before you reach the Syrian border.
Life is as normal here.
Unfortunately I can not answer every email. If you have a specific question or want to ask about a specific destination, please leave a comment below.
Updated Information – October 2014 : There has been an increased amount of traffic to this page and I suspect it is because of ISIS activity in neighboring countries. I am still in Turkey, on the Aegean coast and life is as normal. We shop, eat, drink, sunbath, go sailing, and are enjoying the last days of summer. All restaurants and bars are open for business as normal and major tourist sites like Ephesus are also still open.
It is important to understand that where the trouble is, versus where I am, is more than 1000 kilometers away. Even the region of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast is more than 600 kilometers away. Turkey is a large country and many areas are unaffected by the problems.
If you have booked with your travel agent or a tour group, they will inform you if Turkey becomes a no-go area.
The governments of the USA and UK have advised against travel to the southeast of Turkey only.
All other areas are still considered as safe for tourists. If Turkey becomes unsafe for tourists, the first people to speak up, will be the governments of Western countries.
March 2014 : Yes, I am still in Turkey. People are asking about safety in Turkey for a variety of reasons, but I am not advising anyone to cancel their trips. Many places that people want to travel to are so far away from the border with Syria. Also, while there are often demonstrations in the big cities regarding the current political situation, this is not affecting the day to day running of the country.
June 6th 2013 : I have published a new post about the demonstrations in Turkey and whether you should cancel your holiday, you can read that here
June 1st 2013 : In the last few days, there has been riots in the Taksim square area of Istanbul. I am not in that location, yet current news channels report that trouble is still ongoing so it is advisable to avoid this area.
There has also been demonstrations in other cities such as Izmir and Ankara. It is worth researching the destination that you plan to travel to or post a comment below if you have concerns about your travel plans.
The demonstrations are not countrywide. I am in Altinkum and it has been a normal day here. Had I not been watching social media reports, then I would be completely unaware of unrest in Istanbul.
Travel advice from the British government is to just avoid all public demonstrations because tear gas and water cannons are being used.
Update May 2013 : After the recent bombing in Reyhanli, many people are asking if it is still safe to come to Turkey for their holidays? My answer is still the same. Most holiday resorts and destinations that receive tourism are far away from the Syrian border where this bomb happened. I am on the Aegean coast of Turkey at the moment which is over 1000 kilometres away and life is as normal.
If you have any specific questions about your intended destination, please use the comment form below however all around the country, in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, life is continuing as normal.
Update April 2013 : I am still receiving questions whether it is safe to come to Turkey. It is. I am still here and my point of view has not changed since my last postings which you can see below.
Update – 6th of October 2012 : In recent days, there has been further tension between Turkey and Syria that has led many people to worry about a war between the two countries. I have received a lot of emails asking me if it is safe to come to Turkey. I am on the moment on the Aegean coast and life is as normal here.
My personal point of view has not changed since my update below on April the 9th. I have no plans to leave Turkey and will still continue to travel around it.
I am really sorry, but I do not have time to answer personal emails or Facebook messages. If you are concerned about the destination within Turkey that you plan to travel to, please leave a comment below and I will let you know my thoughts.
Alternatively, you can follow my posts on Facebook to keep updated.
Updated April 9th 2012 – Turkey and Syria : I wrote the post below in 2011 after the Arab Spring uprising in Tunisia and also the situation in Libya. Those situations have now calmed down however it appears that people are now concerned about whether Turkey is safe because of the situation and war in Syria. I can assure you that for summer 2012, Turkey is operating as normal for holidays.
Many of the people who have sent me private messages or emails are planning to visit areas which are at least two days drive away from the Syrian and Turkish border. I am at present on the Aegean coast and there is no effect from what is happening in Syria or on the border.
You need to seek advice from your consulate if you plan to visit any areas that runs along side the Syrian border, otherwise everything is as normal. Visit places like Cappadocia, Istanbul, Altinkum, Fethiye, Alanya, to name just a few destinations out of many that are safe to visit.
Turkey is a very big country and putting off your visit, to a majority of the areas would be the same as not visiting America because things are happening in Canada. One example is that from Istanbul to the border of Syria, it is over 1000 km!
If you have any questions about your chosen destination in relation to what is happening in Syria, please post them in the comment section below as unfortunately I do not have time to answer private Fb messages or private emails.
Original Post : Is it safe to travel to Turkey?
I was extremely surprised to read this and can only assume that upset in the Middle East has made a few people jump onto Google to find out whether Turkey will be next. I have also had a couple of friends ask me if I think Turkey will be the next country to have an uprising.
Turkey is not in the Middle East.
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking Turkey is in the Middle East. It is not. (Post corrected due to comment below. ) So when looking at lists of travel no go areas, don’t place Turkey under the Middle East.
Turkey has Democracy.
There will not be an uprising because democracy is in place. Turkey implemented democracy in the 1920’s and they are fiercely proud of their ability to vote. Other countries that have seen turmoil were living under leaders that had been in power for the last 20 to 40 years. There was no democracy and any elections that did occur were apparently rigged.
Turkey is Safe for Traveling.
Now I don’t want to discuss the finer point of politics on my blog as I like to base it on Turkish travel, the people, the food and my daily experiences. But I can say Turkey will be safe in 2011. Bring your friends and bring your family to Turkey and experience just how friendly the Turkish people are. They welcome strangers into their country and into their homes with open arms.
Go to the holiday hotspots of Marmaris and Fethiye for gorgeous beaches and wonderful scenery. Alternatively, visit the city of Istanbul for absorbing the Turkish culture and touring some wonderful historic sights. Visiting Turkey can give you an amazing experience and memories that will last forever.