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Turkey is one of the world’s oldest civilisations and home to some of the world’s most fascinating historical sites. Turkey holiday deals are perfect for those who want to enjoy the best European packages that are relatively priced. Many people are watching the worrying conflicts in Syria and Iraq and are asking if it’s safe enough to travel to Turkey. The truth of the matter is that most of Turkey is not any more dangerous to visit than other country in Europe. Additionally, the Turkish people are some of Europe’s most amiable and welcoming to visitors.
Turkey has a population of 75 million. Istanbul, Turkey’s capital city, is Europe’s second-largest city with a population of 12 million people. Occasionally there will be political upheavals such as demonstrations in some districts in Istanbul, but these usually involve a few hundred people at most, while the city’s other millions of inhabitants go about their normal routines unperturbed. In fact, there’s a bigger likelihood of a visitor to Turkey encountering natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and lightning strikes than it is to encounter terrorists.
Here are some tips for traveling in Turkey:
1. South East Turkey
Even though Turkey is endowed with plethora of attractions, you could take in consideration avoiding the volatile border areas, especially in southeastern Turkey. Avoid visiting places such as Şanlıurfa, Antakya, Mardin, Diyarbakır, Van and other cities on the southeastern parts of the country until the political tension there dissipates. These cities, however, are top tourists destinations though – wonderful places to visit when the situation is calm.
Pamukale is located in south central Aegean region, and famous for its white covered hills. But if you travel to Pamukale hoping to take a bath in a UNESCO patrimony sight, then you might end up disappointed because you will more likely end up in a bath pool made by the local men with something that looks quite similar to the real thing. Additionally, you will only be able to view the hills from a distance but never get close enough to catch a good glimpse up-close. Your tour company might promise to take you on a yacht cruise but more likely you will end up in a normal boat. If you fancy entering the caves near the hills hoping to exit on the opposite side, you might discover that there is no path down, leaving with only one option, jump down something like 8 meters! Make sure you properly inform yourself about the tours you book – ask for additional information!
Travertine pools and terraces in Pamukkale, Turkey, photo from Shutterstock
3.The Carpet Game
Turkey is renowned for its vibrant carpet industry. Thousands of men make an income from luring tourists to carpet shops to buy carpets. Well-dressed men in their 30s or 40s might approach you asking if you need help and offer to direct you.
On your way, they will casually mention about a fantastic carpet shop where you can buy a nice carpet at a good price. Although the men will tell you upfront that you are under no obligation to buy anything, you will likely take a different view once you get to the said shop. This might end up taking a lot of your time unnecessarily. Organised tours usually stop at good carpet factories as part of their itinerary. You are more likely to get better variety in such factories at more pocket-friendly prices.
Turkey carpet store, photo from Shutterstock
Overall, Turkey is a great place to visit with very friendly people and many historical sites to see. You will be happy you came here for your holiday. It is indeed a lovely country and, as everywhere else, you have to pay attention to your tours, to the social and political situation when planning a visit. Turkey has a lot to offer to any visitor – and many safe places to visit all year long.