Is it Safe to Travel to Turkey?

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The team at ToursByLocals was saddened and concerned earlier this month when we heard the tragic news of the terrorist bombing in Ankara, Turkey. We are relieved to report our Turkish guides are all safe and still warmly welcoming visitors to Istanbul, Ephesus and more.

Along with our guides, we’d like to encourage travellers to continue to plan trips to Turkey. Notable travel experts, such as Wendy Perrin and Tom Brosnahan are encouraging readers not to let the shock value of the recent media headlines impact their travel plans.

Perrin wrote on October 19th: “Television and news coverage always makes an incident in a foreign country seem more alarming than it actually is. If news sources were to report the extent to which life at the destination goes on as usual, with people going about their everyday routine unaffected, the news sites wouldn’t get traffic...Please don’t avoid Turkey.”

And Brosnahan, one notable travel expert on Turkey, writes: “I wouldn't hesitate to go to any of the normal tourist destinations, and I wouldn't consider myself in any danger beyond the normal ones incident to travel.”

We also chatted last week with Vancouver-based travel agent Lorraine Stobbe, who had just returned from a trip to Turkey, where she had used a ToursByLocals guide. Of course, our guides know their cities and countries like no outsider ever could; they understand where it's safe to be, and how to get the most out of the experience. Here is what Lorraine had to say, once she was back home:

"We felt very safe at all times travelling through Turkey.

Our very personal and fabulous guide Atakan was open and honest and informative about anything and everything we wanted to know. The entire group enjoyed exploring Cappadocia with Atakan who was born and raised in the area so he had the inside scoop about the best places to eat, drink and hammam.

The walking tour we did in Istanbul was fabulous and such a great way to see the most interesting parts of the city – experiencing the sights and the smells and the flavours as Istanbul is such an incredible feast for the eyes and the ears!

We loved hearing the call to prayer as we were winding our ways down the little side streets and neighbourhoods – and we’d stop and chat with our guide about the Turkish ways of life – we all said we would definitely love to go back and have more time there.”

Of course, as with all travel, use common sense and exercise caution: travel close to the border with Syria is not advised.
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