Turks can have a more laissez-faire attitude to safety
than other European countries, so don't expect to find barriers by holes and steep drops or lifeguards on beaches. Drivers can also show what seems a hair-raising take on four-wheeled progress. If crossing a road, be aware that the idea of 'right of way' may not be acknowledged, even if you are on a crossing with a little green man. Always react to approaching cars and don't assume they will stop.
Though acts of violence take place in the long-simmering conflict between Kurdish separatist organisations
such as the PKK and the main government they generally pose very little risk to tourists. There is more risk from getting caught up in protest marches – mainly in Istanbul but also some other cities – which can turn violent, and have seen tourists accidentally being tear-gassed or otherwise hurt. Keep abreast of the latest situation via the FCO travel advice website
and local news sources.
Travellers – especially solo travellers – should be aware that sexual assaults
in hotel rooms – against both sexes – have taken place in central and eastern Anatolia.
Do not insult or make any comment that could be taken as derogatory
about revered Turkish figures such as Ataturk, or the Turkish flag, government or people. Even if you claim you spoke in jest or during a friendly argument, you can be reported to the police and heavily fined or even imprisoned.
Most people in Turkey are genuinely friendly
and keen to help visitors see the best of their country. However, there are always a few people who wish to take advantage of tourists, so always use your judgement. Be particularly careful if a stranger offers you a drink
, particularly in big cities, resorts or on overnight trains – scams do happen.
Do not buy supposedly ancient coins or artefacts
you may be offered by touts at ancient sites such as Ephesus. It is a serious crime, punishable by prison.