I must say, that I’m often asked this particular question: “Are you never afraid, when you travel to Turkey?”. I’ve written about this subject before, but the questions keep popping up. Both on the blog, on Facebook and in private, I am often asked. Especially in connection with my last trip, where I was going alone, it was relevant again. I often ask back, what people exactly mean with that sentence. And the answer is really quite the same, although sometimes there are some variations. People ask if I’m not afraid of terrorists and bombings in Turkey. Then, if you have to worry about traveling there as a woman – alone.
And I can only say yes to most of it – YES, of course I’m afraid of terrorists and attacks. Who isn’t ? I do not think I know anyone who, wherever they go, does not even consider it. But am I particularly scared of it happening in Turkey or being more afraid when traveling in Turkey than in other countries? I have to answer a clear NO to that one. I think a lot about it in other countries – maybe even more when I’m in France – but also in Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and where else I have traveled in the last couple of years. It’s just a condition to travel. That’s the way it is. Unfortunately.
Terror and attacks in Turkey:
Perhaps it will be more real to me in many other countries because it is easier to visualize. I have been to Paris and Nice a lot of times. When there is a specific attack here, I have far easier to see it before me (even though the media do most of the work). There has not yet been a specific attack in Antalya, so it’s somewhat harder to have that scary scene on the retina. But I fear the day it comes. Really !! And I will mourn it as much as in the other cities. But will it keep me away from traveling to those countries and cities, where something already has happened or is at greater risk ?? Never in my life!! To travel is to live – and a very important part of my life. So you just have to take your own precautions.
For example, when we were in Turkey last summer, I realized ,that it was there – that nourishing fear. While we were on holiday, the bomb attack took place at the Atatürk airport in Istanbul, and in Germany there were also an action in a shopping mall. And it made me – quite unconsciously really and very soberly – to come up with a strategy, for what we should do, if something was going on. Ex. if while we were in Migros (I got an idea of backdoors and small hiding places in the building) or when we were in the departure hall at the airport (then just take the conveyers for the suitcases – they are going out in the open). I could not help getting a bit shocked by myself (and actually laughing a bit too), because the fear must be there somewhere. when you go and make escaping plans?
Worrying about travelling?
Unfortunately, I also experience many, who have been pre-enrolled and reserved for traveling to a Muslim country. Often, when I ask them, I can not get a definite answer to what exactly makes them have their reservations. That gets me all the way up in the red field. Keep me well. Of course you should be allowed to have your own opinion. But if you can not even concretize that attitude, try to put words on or seek for facts, that can challenge your attitude …. So … yes, I will give up almost in advance. Against stupidity, even the wise ones struggle (yes, I’m pretty strict right now, but I really have my lack of understanding). Just sorry for them, if they do not want to develop and experience something new … you’ll never move further …
Can you travel alone in Turkey ??
Am I then afraid to travel alone as a woman ?? Again, I have to say no – so absolutely no. I have just been there alone, and here my experience was so clear and unambiguously positive, that it was almost touching. ALL places I went, I met sweet helpful people, who did their utmost to help make sure, I was well and to try to understand me. Not everyone could speak English, but astonishing more than when I go with my (Turkish-speaking) husband. I moved around freely – in the city center, out in the outer edges of the city, early in the morning, in the middle of the day and late at night, but at no time was there the least approximation or anything that made me insecure. Maybe I’m blind or ignorant – maybe both. But I really can not see what to fear.
Absolutely strange people came for example on the train and briefly asked if I was well on holiday, needed help with something. In how many countries do you feel that ??
Should you be afraid in Turkey?
So yes, sum summary – there is always something to be scared and worried about. Also in Turkey – definitely. But, from my experiences, I still keep following my nose and common sense. Then there are still lots of new, unique experiences awaiting. And you experience something that all the skeptics don’t. Probably without being afraid. I’m not.
Thank you for reading so far – you must also be one of those, who are curious and openminded and want to investigate things before saying no thanks.
If you want to read more about this – then look here.