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 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 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 road crime right here.
Before coming to Turkey, I’d been cautioned time and time once more with imprecise fear-mongering: “You know what they say about Turkish men.” Let me let you know: nothing might have been farther from the reality.
These widespread ‘warnings’ are discriminatory, inaccurate, and would possibly forestall you from experiencing among 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 delicate road harassment incidents in my 5 months touring in Turkey over the previous yr – 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 all over the place 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 outdoors of main chain accommodations
- Visiting sure elements of southeastern Turkey close to the Syrian border area (because of the 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 a tremendous protected haven.
Many massive mosques stay open by way of the night time. As lengthy as you’re dressed modestly, take away your sneakers, and have a shawl useful, you possibly can respectfully duck into one among these well-lit homes of worship to make certain of your security at virtually 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 providers. 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 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 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 all over the place they go.
The lovely factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and low. 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 outlets, there’s some java right here for each kind of traveler.
4. Multicultural Turkish Cities Offer A Safe Way To Explore Syrian Culture.
While Syria isn’t a advisable vacation spot for solo feminine vacationers in the mean time, multicultural cities in Turkey actually are. They provide a protected and engaging alternative to attempt Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and study extra concerning the Syrian diaspora.
Recommended actions embrace:
There are about 4 million Syrians dwelling in Turkey, creating a tremendous multicultural alternative for vacationers. However, it’s necessary 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, you could 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 considerations about Syrians placing strain on social providers or job markets or bringing what they understand as an incompatibly conservative tradition to their metropolis.
Try to not let this pressure forestall you from having fun with two wonderful cultures in a single journey.
5. Turkey Is So Much More Than Istanbul.
Many vacationers don’t understand simply how large Turkey is. With practically 800 sq. kilometers of historic cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you can rely, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its well-liked 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