I had a crush on Turkey from the second I arrived bleary-eyed on the in a single day prepare from Bulgaria. A few hours later, I’d completed my first Turkish breakfast, and rapidly realized I was in love.
After 5 years and 40 international locations 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 massive 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 let you know: nothing may have been farther from the reality.
These frequent ‘warnings’ are discriminatory, inaccurate, and may stop you from experiencing a few of the greatest hospitality on this planet.
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 delicate 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 affordable 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 weak to straightforward pickpocketing
- Taking drinks from strangers in bars or golf equipment
- Public shows of affection in LGBTQIA+ relationships exterior of main chain inns
- Visiting sure components 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 not sure or unsafe for no matter cause, the abundance of mosques in Turkey give you an incredible protected haven.
Many giant mosques stay open via 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 in every of 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 an alternative choice to 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 nasty intestine feeling, it’s good to know that you’ve got protected 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 annually. Turkey is even residence 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 have to take sides. Simply get pleasure from each!
From iconic Turkish espresso in an Izmir antique shop to artisan roast flat whites in Moda’s plentiful third wave espresso retailers, there’s some java right here for each sort of traveler.
4. Multicultural Turkish Cities Offer A Safe Way To Explore Syrian Culture.
While Syria isn’t a really useful vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers in the mean time, multicultural cities in Turkey actually are. They provide a protected and interesting alternative to strive Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and be taught extra concerning the Syrian diaspora.
Recommended actions embrace:
There are about 4 million Syrians residing in Turkey, creating an incredible multicultural alternative for vacationers. However, it’s necessary to notice that many Turks will nonetheless make detrimental 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, you might hear locals let you know that Fatih, a predominantly Arab and Syrian neighborhood, is ‘not really Turkey’ or isn’t ‘what it used to be.’ Some Turks will voice issues about Syrians placing stress on social companies or job markets or bringing what they understand as an incompatibly conservative tradition to their metropolis.
Try to not let this stress stop 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 massive Turkey is. With almost 800 sq. kilometers of historic cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you could possibly rely, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its common capital Istanbul.
Great locations for solo feminine vacationers embrace:
Let the security and hospitality of Turkey encourage your subsequent nice solo journey!
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com