Most travelers comment on thefriendlinessandhospitality of the Turkish people. It really is exceptional.
Turkey is not only friendly,it'sas safe as Europe and North America, although no place is completely safe. Here are some travel danger statistics to put things in perspective.
If you're worried about war or terrorism, read this.
Even though Turkey is relatively safe, the only crime-free place is heaven, so here are things to watch:
STREET CRIME: it has begun to grow in the big cities (Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir), particularly in tourist areas: pickpockets and bag-snatchers. Defense is the same anywhere: wear your purse/bag strap over your chest (not just dangling from your shoulder) and hold your bag close. Mugging (robbery) and rape are rare, but they do happen, so observe the normal travel precautions.
Single male travelers should beware two particular scams aimed at them: "Let's Have a Drink" and "New Traveling Companions," one of which even happens on trains. Women travelers should be sensitive to local customs and attitudes.
TERRORISM: it's everyone's worry these days. Statistically, it is not much of a danger at all (compared to such real big-time killers as traffic accidents), but it makes headlines, so we're frightened. More...
You must answer this question to fit your personal tolerance for risk. If you believe the statistics and look at it rationally, you'll probably go. If you're going to worry about safety a lot while you're there, the worry may make your trip less pleasant, and so you probably shouldn't go.
Many governments post detailed security notices on the Internet. These are useful reading if you are concerned about safety when you travel:
- US Department of State' s Consular Information Sheet - US Embassy in Ankara - UK Foreign & Commowealth Office - Canada Department of Foreign Affairs - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Private sources of security info include World Travel Watch and Air Security International.
Many people do come down with Travelers' Diarrhea ("the Sultan's Revenge"), and there are cases of more serious gastrointestinal ailments, so observe wise dining habits. The US Government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's CDC Travelers' Health website is also useful.
HIGHWAY TRAVEL Turkey has high vehicular accident and mortality rates.
A variation of the Single Male Scam sometimes happens on trains.
It's a good idea to review your coverage and decide if you're adequately insured.
THE EVIL EYE
It's a very, very old good-luck tradition in Turkey. It can't really hurt you, especially if you're wearing a Nazar boncuk..