Istanbul safe??

Old Jul 30, 08, 9:56 am
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Istanbul safe??

With the recent shooting in front of the US Consulate and the bombing last week, do you still feel Istanbul is safe? I ask because my family is scheduled to be there August 14-17. Are we crazy to go or are we being paranoid?
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Old Jul 30, 08, 10:17 am
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We were planning to go the last week of August but are now canceling our trip. While I can stomach some political turbulence and even historical violence, I've decided it doesn't make sense to go when active attacks are happening in the city where we will be spending 1/3-1/2 our trip.

Hopefully things will stabilize and we will get a chance to visit in the future.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by dlwalt View Post
With the recent shooting in front of the US Consulate and the bombing last week, do you still feel Istanbul is safe? I ask because my family is scheduled to be there August 14-17. Are we crazy to go or are we being paranoid?
I would go! Was in Istanbul last month. Very save, nice and friendly people. You will like it.
Bombings, shootings can happen in other towns too .... and Istanbul is a huge town, why should it happen when you are there and the very place .. very unlikely. BTW the last bombing was in an area you would never visit: low income, industrial area nearby, lots of people from Anatolia
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Old Jul 30, 08, 11:01 am
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Sorry to say, but I think you are being paranoid. It is like my friends who chose to cancel a cruise in Norway on a mail freighter because "What if the terrorists attack the ship?"

By canceling you have allowed them to win.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 11:03 am
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It's still probably safer than most US cities and it's a wonderful destination. You should definitely go.

Mike
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Old Jul 30, 08, 12:35 pm
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dergon_gf got a bit ancy when she heard about the US Consulate bombing.......looks like with this second explosion that our trip is on the back burner.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by dergon darkhelm View Post
dergon_gf got a bit ancy when she heard about the US Consulate bombing.......looks like with this second explosion that our trip is on the back burner.
I understand .... Cleveland is safe ... just google Cleveland, Ohio, crime.
BTW, be thankful, "gf" gave you an early warning .... act prudent NOW ... or "gf" will "rule" you the rest of her/your life.

Back to OT: I had a very good and safe feeling on my first visit in Istanbul in June 2008. Before I went I had checked the opinion of several friends ... all recommended to visit Istanbul. All people we met where really nice, friendly and helpful.

I know, Istanbul has a "history" of bombing. However, that will not stop me going again ... ISTANBUL IS SUCH A HUGE AND GREAT CITY (....Currently Istanbul has 54 municipalities, and stretches over an area of about 65 miles....)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Istanbul_bombings
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Old Jul 30, 08, 3:07 pm
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I still go to New York City.

I was in IST last Christmas. It's a beautiful place to visit, the people are very friendly, and the food is great.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 3:17 pm
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The chances of being at a place hit by a terrorist attack at the time an attack takes place and being injured or killed is pretty slim. However, only you know how much "risk" you are willing to take and what kind of precautions make sense for yourself.

I've been in Turkey plenty, including shortly before, during and soon after various terrorist attacks. In all that time, I've always managed to make the most of my time and do whatever touristy things caught my interest. [Attacking during peak tourist season to frighten off foreign tourists has been a pursued interest of various terrorist organizations operating inside Turkey, but by that stroke I'd never go to Spain, England, Egypt and a whole lot of other countries too, yet I go nonetheless including with my friends and family.]

Personally, I'd be more worried about getting killed in a vehicle on the road or by a vehicle while walking along or across a road.

Istanbul is a great place and there's a lot of other great sites and things to do across Turkey.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 3:19 pm
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Your biggest worry will probably be keeping yourself safe from people trying to sell you cheap rugs.


(Seriously, I was just there and felt quite safe. I'd follow the usual safety tips such as staying away from high-profile targets like the US Embassy and if you see what looks like a fight starting, head the other way.)
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Old Jul 30, 08, 3:51 pm
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Yes it IS safe. Don't let the vocal minority get to you. I'm going in October with no qualms whatsoever.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by JennyElf View Post
I still go to New York City.

I was in IST last Christmas. It's a beautiful place to visit, the people are very friendly, and the food is great.
Was there the same time. Its a great city. Istanbul is as safe or unsafe as every large city in the world.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 5:09 pm
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The only thing to think about: If a consular warning is issued, many travel insurance policies become null and void.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 5:34 pm
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.

There are bomb blasts and killings every day in Istanbul, but most never make the news abroad. IST is safe as long as you follow some common-sense rules:

•Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

•When walking around Taksim square or near mosques, steer clear of parked cars, trash bins, and unattended boxes.

•If there's an explosion nearby, move in the opposite direction as quickly as possible. Do not gawk or try to help the victims. Another more-powerful blast may be forthcoming.

•Do not wear short pants or sleeveless tops. This goes for both men and women.

•If anyone who is not a member of your traveling party asks you which hotel you are staying at, tell them the name of a lower-class hotel nearby.

•Always divide your money into different pockets, so people don't see you pull out a wad of large bills when making small purchases.

•Do not let your gaze linger too long on Muslim women. Especially if they are wearing Burkas.

•If someone suspicious asks if you're an American, it sometimes avoids conflict to say you're from Canada.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 9:04 pm
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About the last point above, trying that if you have a heavy regional accent from the US may well be a failure.

About the second to the last suggestion, it is rather less applicable to Istanbul than say some other parts of Turkey. Istanbul also has a nightlife scene where women dress to the heels in ways that put to shame many of those to be seen in more "fashionable" locations in Western/Northern Europe, North America and South America. Given we are talking about Istanbul, might it not even have more open prostitution and strip clubs per inhabitant than Amsterdam?
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