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 international locations of full-time worldwide journey, Turkey ranks in my prime 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 huge 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 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 would possibly forestall you from experiencing among the greatest hospitality on the planet.
I’ve felt safer strolling down the road alone in Turkey day or evening than in Italy, Spain, or Greece. There have been precisely two gentle 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 affordable 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 simple pickpocketing
- Taking drinks from strangers in bars or golf equipment
- Public shows of affection in LGBTQIA+ relationships exterior of main chain resorts
- Visiting sure components 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 evening and feeling not sure or unsafe for no matter purpose, the abundance of mosques in Turkey give you a tremendous protected haven.
Many giant mosques stay open via the evening. 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 sure 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 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 every year. 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 provided a heat welcome tea all over the place they go.
The stunning factor about Turkey is that this nation embraces each tea and low. No must take sides. Simply take pleasure in 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 supply a protected and interesting alternative to attempt Syrian meals, have conversations with Syrian refugees and immigrants, and be taught extra in regards to the Syrian diaspora.
Recommended actions embrace:
There are about 4 million Syrians residing in Turkey, creating a tremendous multicultural alternative for vacationers. However, it’s vital to notice that many Turks will nonetheless make damaging 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 considerations 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 rigidity 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 notice simply how huge Turkey is. With practically 800 sq. kilometers of historic cities, surreal moonscapes, and extra seashores than you may depend, this nation has a lot extra to supply than its standard 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