I had a crush on Turkey from the second I arrived bleary-eyed on the in a single day practice from Bulgaria. A few hours later, I’d completed my first Turkish breakfast, and shortly realized I was in love.
After 5 years and 40 nations of full-time worldwide journey, Turkey ranks in my high 10 locations for solo feminine vacationers.
1. It’s Safer Than You Think.
A traveler is 8 instances safer from violent crime in Turkey than within the U.S., even in large cities like Istanbul and Izmir.
Based on my private expertise touring throughout Turkey, I’d say you’re extra at risk from kofte kebab meals coma or kitten cuteness publicity than any avenue crime right here.
Before coming to Turkey, I’d been cautioned time and time once more with obscure fear-mongering: “You know what they say about Turkish men.” Let me inform you: nothing might have been farther from the reality.
These frequent ‘warnings’ are discriminatory, inaccurate, and would possibly forestall you from experiencing a few of the greatest hospitality on the earth.
I’ve felt safer strolling down the road alone in Turkey day or night time than in Italy, Spain, or Greece. There have been precisely two gentle avenue harassment incidents in my 5 months touring in Turkey over the previous 12 months – each by foreigners, with Turkish males who didn’t even know me stepping in to assist.
Of course, vacationers ought to take cheap security precautions in all places they go. The few issues I wouldn’t advise whereas touring in Turkey proper now are:
- Visiting Istanbul’s Taksim space alone after 10 pm on weekends
- Leaving your valuables susceptible to straightforward pickpocketing
- Taking drinks from strangers in bars or golf equipment
- Public shows of affection in LGBTQIA+ relationships exterior of main chain lodges
- Visiting sure elements of southeastern Turkey close to the Syrian border area (as a result of presence of terrorist teams and earthquake devastation)
2. Women Are Welcome And Protected In Turkish Mosques.
If you do end up strolling alone at night time and feeling uncertain or unsafe for no matter motive, the abundance of mosques in Turkey give you an incredible secure haven.
Many giant mosques stay open by the night time. As lengthy as you’re dressed modestly, take away your footwear, and have a shawl helpful, you’ll be able to respectfully duck into one among these well-lit homes of worship to make certain of your security at nearly any hour.
To be clear: I don’t advocate treating a holy masjid as a substitute for a police station. Travelers in apparent hazard ought to name emergency companies. But for these all-too-familiar grey zone conditions that merely give solo feminine vacationers a foul intestine feeling, it’s good to know that you’ve secure locations to show to with out ringing any alarm bells.
3. You Don’t Need To Choose Between Tea And Coffee.
It’s no shock that Turkey is a rustic of tea lovers. The common Turk drinks 1,300 cups of tea every year. Turkey is even dwelling to a tea museum within the form of a 7-story tea glass within the ‘tea capital’ of Rize. It ought to then come as no shock that vacationers will discover themselves supplied a heat welcome tea in all places they go.
The lovely factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and occasional. No must take sides. Simply get pleasure from each!
4. Multicultural Turkish Cities Offer A Safe Way To Explore Syrian Culture.
While Syria isn’t a really helpful vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers in the mean time, multicultural cities in Turkey definitely are. They provide a secure and interesting alternative to attempt Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and study extra in regards to the Syrian diaspora.
Recommended actions embody:
There are about 4 million Syrians dwelling in Turkey, creating an incredible multicultural alternative for vacationers. However, it’s vital to notice that many Turks will nonetheless make adverse feedback to guests about Syrians of their nation.
“Turkish society’s acceptance of Syrians has largely been transformed into ‘toleration’ rather than an understanding of establishing a practice of living together,” defined a study from UNHCR.
When touring in Istanbul, it’s possible you’ll hear locals inform you that Fatih, a predominantly Arab and Syrian neighborhood, is ‘not really Turkey’ or isn’t ‘what it used to be.’ Some Turks will voice considerations about Syrians placing strain on social companies or job markets or bringing what they understand as an incompatibly conservative tradition to their metropolis.
Try to not let this rigidity forestall you from having fun with two superb cultures in a single journey.
5. Turkey Is So Much More Than Istanbul.
Many vacationers don’t notice simply how large Turkey is. With almost 800 sq. kilometers of historical cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you might depend, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its common capital Istanbul.
Great locations for solo feminine vacationers embody:
Let the security and hospitality of Turkey encourage your subsequent nice solo journey!
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com