Hitchhiking in Turkey - Journal of Nomads

Is Turkey dangerous? This is what we’ve learned so far!


Turkey has been portrayed in a bad light lately by the media: people dying in bomb attacks, the war between the Turks and the Kurds, the many refugees from Syria fleeing into Turkey to make their way towards Europe, the turbulent atmosphere near the borders of Syria and Iraq,….


Tourists are staying away because they are afraid. Too bad because Turkey is a spectacular country with very welcoming people!


One of the many breathtaking views!
One of the many breathtaking views!


People who haven’t visited Turkey yet assume that it’s a third world country with very strict Islamic rules. We’ve only been here for a couple of weeks but we can already say that this is not the case!


The villages are still very traditional but the cities have a blend of local and international influences in the buildings, the shops and in the dress code. Some men and women are still dressed traditionally (sleeved tops, loose trousers, knee-length dresses or skirts, headscarves) while the younger generation are dressed in the same clothes we would wear in France, Belgium, Italy,…


A blend of traditional and western clothing on a market
A blend of traditional and western clothes on a market


A woman in traditional clothes interacting with a woman in western clothes


The first place we visited was Marmaris, a little city on the Aegean sea where we arrived by ferry. We noticed this is a touristic city with a lot of trendy coffee shops and restaurants. Most towns and cities located on the West Coast of Turkey are built in a more Western European style.


There are lots of hotels and resorts for holidaymakers. The more inland we went, the more we saw traditional villages and towns. Apparently Turkey is very diverse depending in what area you are. The country is very big ( 783,562 sq km), has a large variety in landscapes and we’ve only seen 2 out of the 81 provinces of Turkey so far so there is still a lot for us to discover!


Is Turkey dangerous - Kalkan - Journal of Nomads
Kalkan, a beautiful touristic town at the Mediterranean Sea


Street view of a little village
Street view of a little village (Islamlar)


Despite of the more western look of the cities on the coast, we definitely knew we were in Turkey because we saw the flag everywhere! In the streets, on boats, on cars, on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere, hanging on the front and inside houses,…


we’ve never seen so much red as in our first days in Turkey! The Turkish people have the highest respect for their flag. It’s sacred for the Muslim Turks because of the star and crescent embellished on it (the star and crescent are seen as typical Muslim symbols). For others it is a symbol for their independence, honor, and history.


Boats with the Turkish flag


Another sign that we were in Turkey and specifically in a Muslim country, were the many mosques. The first time I heard the call to prayer, I had a huge smile on my face!


The sound represented that we were in another culture! The Muslim are called to pray five times a day.


The call is heard at dawn, at noon, in the middle of the afternoon, just after sunset and about two hours after sunset. The muezzin, a man appointed to call to prayer, climbs the high tower of the mosque, the minaret. He calls through a speaker in the Arabic language “Hasten to prayer”. That’s the moment where the people stop whatever they are doing, get out their little mat and start praying.


Awesome places to hitchhike in Turkey - Konya - Journal of Nomads


However in Turkey we haven’t seen people praying in public like Niko saw in Morocco and I in Senegal. We also noticed that they are not following the strict rules that other Islamic countries have. We’ve learned that Turkey is one of the few secular Muslim countries in the world.


This means that there is a separation between religion and governmental state and that the people are free in their religious beliefs. Even though most Turks consider themselves Muslims, they don’t have to follow the rules of Islam very strictly.


They can go out, drink alcohol, socialize with each other in ways that other Muslim countries would see as a ‘sin’. Religion is more a cultural thing. That’s also why a lot of women don’t wear headscarves.


How did Turkey become a secular state? After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (the founder of the nation) came about and made some drastic changes in the country to detach itself from its Islamic heritage. He formed the Republic of Turkey in 1923 and abolished the Islamic justice system and adopted western justice and law methods.


He made it law that women could wear their own choice of clothing (that’s why the headscarf is not obligated). He introduced the Latin alphabet (before that the Turkish language was written in Arabic) and helped a whole country to learn it. I think I don’t need to explain why he is called ‘The father of all Turks’ and why his statue and portrait can be found everywhere in Turkey, nearly as much as the Turkish flag!


I think I like this man too!
I think I like this man too!


We were also pleasantly surprised at how open-minded most Turks are. They are so welcoming towards strangers! Okay, I’ve heard they love to sell you their merchandise but the people we’ve met were just genuinely kind and friendly without expecting anything in return!


The first night Niko and I grabbed a bite in a little local restaurant. We’ve had lahmacun (we call it a Turkish pizza) and ayran (a typical Turkish yogurt drink) for only €2 each! The owner of the restaurant loved to hear us practice our Turkish with him.


He offered us some free tea and even gave us a loaf of bread when we said goodbye! The next morning we went to a little coffee shop with internet (so I could send my mum a text we arrived safely in Turkey).


The waitress was very friendly and happy to practice her English with us. She even went to get her mother from the kitchen to introduce us to her. Again we got offered free tea and her mother gave us a big bag full of little cakes for the road. We had not even been 24 hours in Turkey and we were already overwhelmed with gifts and tea!


Lahmacun aka Turkish pizza!
Lahmacun aka Turkish pizza!


And then comes the hitchhiking part. The very first time I felt a bit out of my comfort zone. It was the first time since the beginning of our travels.


We’ve read about hitchhiking in Turkey but we know that every experience is different and that we had to find out for ourselves. And so far, we can only say that hitchhiking in Turkey is safe, easy and fun!


The people are incredibly kind. Our first driver invited us for lunch and tea (is it possible to get a ‘tea belly’ instead of a ‘beer belly’?).


We had drivers getting out of their way to drop us off in a good place to continue hitchhiking and one even gave us his umbrella when it was pouring down with rain! Remember what I wrote about Philotimo in Greece? Turks also have this attitude towards life!! You can read a beautiful example in “The Kindness of Strangers”.


Enjoying tea with Mustafa
Enjoying tea with Mustafa


Only a few days in Turkey and we already made friends!
Only a few days in Turkey and we already made friends!


Our first impressions of Turkey? It is not dangerous here! It is a beautiful and enriching country with many ancient traditions and historical sites to discover, an unbelievably friendly culture and very tasty food!

Our travels in Turkey have only started but we are already in love! We feel safe and welcome and can’t wait to explore more of this interesting country!


**Update: We eventually left Turkey after spending almost 9 months there! Read more about our journey in Turkey in our One year of hitchhiking story ! Discover the diversity and beauty of this wonderful country in our other articles about Turkey  or watch our hitchhiking adventures in the Turkey Travel Videos.


Is it dangerous to Travel in Turkey? Journal of Nomads
Pin me!


Read the rest of our articles for more travel tips for Turkey:



160 thoughts on “Is Turkey dangerous? This is what we’ve learned so far!”

  1. LOVED your post definetely, I would just say it’s not exactly true that in every prayer people leave what they do and run to prayer. This is not common at all. Maybe for over 60+ ages but not entire country. The rest of your observations are amazing.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you Dogukan for your comment and I’m very glad to hear that you loved the post 🙂
      I think that I actually mention that the Turkish people don’t follow the strict rules like other countries with the Islamic religion, such as leaving everything to go and pray. It’s been more than a year now since we left Turkey but we often think back about the great times we had there!

  2. Great analysis! Yeah, Turkey is, perhaps, one of the most liberal Muslim countries I’ve ever been to, as it clearly has a lot of Western influence. I traveled there during Ramadan and even the women who were wearing hijab we not fasting! That was of the most surprising thing for me. And yeah, Turkey has some safety issues but this is huge country and besides some critical bomb blasts in the main cities, the rest of the country should be fine. Once you see what’s going on the ground, these kind of countries seem to be so safe and peaceful. Cheers,

    1. Glad you saw Turkey for what it is Joan! We recommend people to do the same: avoid the big cities and explore other areas. There is so much to see and do there! And… the government is not the people 🙂 We were received with so much kindness and hospitality, it was amazing!

  3. Turkey is not dangerous and Turkish people are very hospitable and friendly im life in Denizli/ PAMUKALE i like pamukkale because the friend meets with many tourists every year 🙂

  4. This is so nice,
    If you are living in europe and USA, I think best way is turkey for holidays. But dont follow prepared holiday plans for tourists. Make your own plan. There is a nice facebook group like “Interrait Turkey”, Join this group ask what you want to know. They will help you, you can be friend with them.

    So, please meet turkish people before coming here, You will learn, they like tourists and trying to help.

  5. I loved your article! I live in İstanbul and I’ve visited more than 40 cities in Turkey. I can surely say that you can find the same welcoming people every city of Turkey.

    Like all the other countries in the world, you may experience little problems but they will be the part of your journey.

    Thanks for your great article and do not hesitate to contact me in case of anything 🙂 I can help you about sightseeing, foods and accomodation.

    Take care!

    1. Hi Murat!

      Thank you so much for your offer. We’ve already left Turkey and had a fantastic time!
      Indeed, no matter where we are or where we go, we will always face some challenges. It’s like you said, it is part of the journey. But we always try to focus on the solution instead 🙂

      Warm wishes!

  6. All of your thoughts are literally right mate and they are strictly bounded their democrasy thats why i posed for “milli irade” also i heard too much “imam hatipler kapatılsın” from teenagers its annoying though.
    Stay tuned america
    Ottomans are coming 😉

  7. Ignorance is the worst disease of our time… it is a scandal with all the information we have nowadays. Search smart (internet), listen carefully (people) and you will find the beauty of EVERY country!!! çok_teşekkür_ederim

  8. A positive piece about Turkey? I’m shocked.

    Okay, that was a bit sarcastic. But enjoyable read. I’m sure you’ve gotten some flack for the “war between Turks and Kurds” thing. Turks and Kurds generally get along well in Turkey, unlike what the West, and much of the diaspora, want you to think. Much of the gripe come against the PKK organization, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the US and EU. The PKK hasn’t succeeded in a region wide uprising, and also they want to be the voice of the Kurds. Funny thing is, the KRG in Iraq isn’t too fond of the PKK.

    Never been able to stand ayran though. Go ahead and flame me if you wish.

  9. I’m happy you liked our country, and i am happy you expressed our country well to others!Thanks for your all good opinions 🙂 Otherwise i know what the media talks about ”war” between turks and kurds, but you all who have no idea about the Turkey should know that there is no war between us and our brothers.Wishing you all the best 🙂

    1. bruh is it ur real thoughts if its awesome also I heard that some of your teenagers say “imam hatipler kapatılsın ” what does it mean sounds funny though 😛

  10. Thanks for your amazing thoughts and sharing your experience about Turkey.
    Turkey is a peaceful and welcoming country. Nobody should compare us with other Muslim countries as much as we shouldn’t compare the apples with bananas.
    Turkey is more than to be most secular Muslim country she is one of the most secular Muslim country in earth with most of the people strictly connected to secularism more than anything.
    The world is giving a war with Muslim terrorists does not means ‘War between Christians and Muslims’ The term of ‘The war between Turks and Kurds’ can not use for Turkish forces fighting with a Kurdish based terrorist organisation.

    Thanks again :))

    Always welcome.

    Izmir / Turkey

    1. Hi Can,
      Turkey is indeed a very welcoming country. And yes, it is a very unique country, not only because it’s a secular state but for many more reasons! We already miss the cay and the chats!
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well!

  11. Thank you so much for your nice reviews about Turkey. We try to explain the situation in Turkey, especially in Middle Anatolia and Western Turkey, but people still not sure about travelling to Turkey. I would like to post your page everywhere I can. You are always welcome to Cappadocia. Thank you again.

    1. Hi Sacid,
      We also still get many questions from travelers who want to go to Turkey but are doubting about their safety. We hope that with this article we can still encourage people to visit. We were very sad to see how much the country is suffering from its loss of tourism. When we were in Cappadocia, it was extremely quiet there. You live in a very beautiful region Sacid!
      And it’s not only peaceful in Middle Anatolia and Western Turkey but also in the Black Sea Region (which is also a stunning area, we were surprised how lush it is!)
      Feel free to share this post and hopefully it will inspire people to visit Turkey again!

  12. Great post,I first came to Turkey in 1989 as a backpacker.I fell in love with Turkey then.I came back many times & in 2005 I packed my job in,sold my house in England & came to live here. I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a lot of this beautiful & very diverse country,firstly as a backpacker,then later in my campervan. Four years ago I met & married my Turkish wife,Ayla.We live in Samsun in the Black Sea Region & in the summer we still spend 3 months exploring in the campervan. Nowhere is guaranteed safe nowadays but people should not be put off by over exaggerated media reports.Turkey is a beautiful country with very friendly people & great food.

    1. Hi Michael,
      thank you so much for sharing your lovely story!
      First you fell in love with the country, then you fell in love with a Turkish woman and now you’re living there, how amazing is that! We spent about three months in the Black Sea region and it’s very beautiful there! Like you mentioned, Turkey is very diverse, it has something for everybody, whether you like mountains, beaches, adventure, cities, history,… I also agree with you that nowadays it can be dangerous everywhere. I remember friends telling me to be careful when I entered Turkey and then there was a big bomb explosion in the international airport of my home country Belgium. So yes, the media is definitely exaggerating about Turkey and I hope I can make a difference with this post.

  13. Great article, guys! You have a welcoming home in Istanbul as well 😉

    Turkey is definitely not dangerous in the way that is pictured in the media, I can agree with that. Social life in big cities is like many European cities, and even more lively. But if I were you, I would not let my guard down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m saying this because, in your article, I sensed a feeling of euphoria that might cause one’s defenses to malfunction. Just a small reminder from a Turkish woman. Be safe ^,^

    1. Haha, thanks Ezgi!
      I spent a total of almost nine months in Turkey and I absolutely loved it! I was sad to leave!
      You’re right, the big cities like Istanbul and Ankara resemble the big European cities. And even though I never felt unsafe, I always made sure to dress appropriate depending on the city or village I was in. But I think that is just a normal thing to do when I travel, to just adjust myself to my environment. I still get a lot of questions by travelers who really want to go to Turkey but who are doubting because of the negative propaganda. I hope I can encourage them to go because I’m very sad that the tourism is suffering so much. And thank you for your invitation! When I return to Turkey, I would be happy to visit you in Istanbul!

  14. Thank you for kindly blog post about Turkey because not everyone know like this Turkey.Yes we had and still have some problems but we can see kind of acts in France or USA nowadays and these are upseting us evenif not in our country. In that reason I really thank you for post. If you wanna come Turkey again I recomend you to go Trabzon(Uzungöl and Sümela Monastery. Enjoy your trip!

    1. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to share my experiences in Turkey. I remember that only one week after the explosions in Ankara, the international airport of Belgium, my home country, was also attacked. There are horrible things happening everywhere in the world but it shouldn’t stop a person from leaving their houses! I hope that I can make a difference with this article and that people will look from a different perspective on your beautiful country!

  15. thank you for post! our country needs that kind opinions in theese times. if you visit ‘bursa’ i can guest you in my home and guide for travel places around here 🙂 take care.

    1. Thank you kindly faik!! I’m not in Turkey anymore, I left 3 weeks ago after staying almost 9 months (and I overstayed my visa while doing so – that’s how much I loved Turkey 🙂 ). But when I return I’ll definitely come for a visit!

  16. I wish you good luck. I lived there 3 years. Be careful in the central and Eastern parts of the country. Be sure to keep us up on what you find.

    1. Hi Eric,
      thank you! Where did you live in Turkey?
      I’ve left Turkey now after staying for almost nine months. My partner and I hitchhiked through Central Turkey and ended up staying with a family in the East for almost three months 🙂 We also felt very safe in these parts of the country! I’ve made a summary of our travels in this post: https://www.journalofnomads.com/25photos-that-will-trigger-your-wanderlust-for-turkey/ The only part missing in this post is about our experiences in the Karadeniz area as I wrote this article just when we arrived there 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy it!

      1. Adana. We traveled a lot through Turkey and enjoyed the country. We had a few problems. Unfortunately we knew others who also did, particularly women. Our 16 year old daughter and her cousin were lucky I came up on the beach where the men were just starting to handle them. The men ran then and she cried. This was near Kizkalesi. It was for the most part a good time but I wouldn’t go back. Glad you enjoyed it.

        1. I’m sorry to hear about that Eric! Unfortunately women get harassed in a lot of countries. When I was traveling alone in Senegal, Egypt and even Australia, I often had to deal with intrusive men. Whenever I went somewhere by myself in Turkey, I got looks (which is not unusual, I get easily noticed because of my ‘golden’ hair) but not once did I get harassed. I hope this is not the reason why you don’t want to go back to Turkey…

  17. It is very kind of you to spend time to share your experience with all the people here. While my reading your blog, I really feel strange cause of your observations which come you different like offering free tea, bread or cookies. We are so used to such traditions in daily life here. I m pretty sure you ve experienced more during your trip. I d like to correct a statement which would cause misunderstanding. You told there the war between Turks and Kurds ” this is not true we are in same body and we are all brothers here. Terrorist group or groups which created by major powers struggling to create such discrimination in Turkey as well. Thanks for your kind and sincere feelings about my country and people. It really made me and I m sure most of people who read this blog. You are welcome to visit us again. do not worry about accommodation 😉

    1. Hi Koray,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!
      What is part of your culture and nature and what you see as normal, can be for someone else a completely new experience! In my home country (Belgium) people wouldn’t invite strangers that easily! I can honestly say that we gained a few kilo’s when we left Turkey because of all the invitations we had. it was amazing and I feel so much gratitude towards the hospitable mentality of your country! About me mentioning ‘the war between the Turks and Kurds’, a lot of people rectified this too. This is a perfect example of what the media is telling us but which is not entirely true. They leave out a lot of important details so they create a certain image about a situation. I’m so happy to hear that everybody mentions that the Turks and Kurds are brothers!
      And thank you for your invitation. I’ll definitely come over for a visit when I return to Turkey 🙂

  18. Very nice observations about Turkey. I really liked your positive remarks regarding the people and the culture here. If you ever decide to visit Ankara I would love to take you out for a few drinks and to introduce the city. Safe travels!

  19. Overall a very accurate article on my former home away from home. You still have plenty to see and experience. I have spent many years in and out of Turkey Officially and for Pleasure. Assigned in Ankara 86/88.(Joint Services) Assigned in Izmir 89/91 (NATO) Numerous Temporary Duty Trips 91/96 Istanbul, Ankara, Diyarbakir, Izmir. Vacations every 2 years with wife and son (Izmir/Ayvalik) her home town. 96/04. Ankara, Istanbul, Mersin, Bodrum 02/04, Istanbul 04/05. I have driven from Istanbul to Izmir along the coast and back. Driven from Ankara to Istanbul and back and forth many times and in all weather. Ankara to Izmir, back and forth many times. Ankara to Bodrum. Izmir to Bodrum, Antalya, Kas, Side Alana… Mersin to Turk/Iraq Habur border then down to Duhok, Mosul, Tikrit, Balad, Baghdad and back to Mersin. Ankara, Istanbul, Turk/Greek border, Salonika, Kavala, Athens, Ferry Boat to Antalya and back to Ankara. That was just fun travel not my official travel. Sadly I have not been back for several years. The wife still makes it yearly. I found Turkey to be a welcoming country, great food, great people who will take their shirt off their own back and give it to a stranger in need. A place where if you are courteous, polite and open you will find yourself at someone’s home for dinner the 1st day you meet them and they will not take no for an answer, you will stay the night unless you have to be someplace else. I never really had to hitchhike with the exception of around the Antalya to Side area… sometimes waiting on a domus can be impossible… Food is Great as long as you eat properly and use your head. Eat the Yogurt it will keep your belly A OK. Bottled water are all good, just make sure you break the seal. All the Soups are to die for… I miss the Lokantessies and some of them out of the way little hole in the wall places to eat. Sat at a table in the Tigris with the cold water chilling the feet and cooling the body while drinking Raki, eating Melon and Fish from the Tigris… and don’t get me started on all the lovely fish restaurants from Mersin all the way to the Black Sea… I have eaten in many and never walked away wanting or felt like I did not get more than my money’s worth, be ready to drink Raki. Turkey is in the head, heart and soul. Many great friends for many years. Now the Cons… Bus drivers when they drive and get into accidents normally many are killed. Truck/Lorry Drivers crazier than the Bus drivers and normally overloaded. They are a major cause of accidents and death on Turkey’s badly maintained roads. A car’s suspension does not stay true long or last long. this is not a Con it is just a fact… If you are unknowing to the barter system… learn Turks are world champs and will take a naive individual. Single women by themselves I would not recommend It unless you are a blackbelt in some martial art… over the years several have been murdered that I am knowledgeable of as for single men do what you are comfortable with. I never had a problem being 6’4″. I can take people on walking tours of Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Bodrum, Marmaris, Antalya to Alana, Mersin, Adana, Diyarbakir..If you get the chance stay in a Karvansaray… the one in Kusadasi is a tourist gig the one in Diyarbakir is a great experience… just watch your head in all if you are above 180cm or 5’10”.Cappadocia and Pamukkale are musts too and while in Bodrum check out the INA or Institute of Underwater Archeology. My next trip will be to Van and Ararat but first I want my round the world cruise… looking now for that presently looking for a great deal I can’t refuse. Keeping fingers crossed.

    1. Thank you so much for all your suggestions!
      It is also really nice to read about your experiences. I’ve spent a total of almost nine months in Turkey and saw a very big part of the country. The food was delicious, I loved the Ayran and like you said, when you’re polite and kind, it definitely gets rewarded! My partner and I were so surprised and touched by the kindness and hospitality of the people!! We will definitely return to explore the cities and places that we didn’t have the chance yet to visit.
      I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you to that you can make your dream come true!!

      1. Enjoy your life’s travels… you are only as old as your bones and feet… when they give, it is less hoofing and more cruising. While in Ankara or Istanbul… Dulmus up hill and walk down… save your feet and knees. Whatever you do, enjoy.

  20. Turkey,,, İZMİR, ÇEŞME , İSTANBUL, BODRUM, ESKİŞEHİR, BURSA, EDİRNE, KUŞADASI.. very very beautifulll 🙂 ! absolute you should go 🙂

          1. No, that was aimed at Damla 😉 Loved your blog post. Have shared link on my FB wall. 🙂 Hopefully when you come again, you will make it to here. x

          2. Yaaay!!!! Well, when you come, can I recommend the Paspatur area of Fethiye, not far from the sea (old buildings, Mosque and Hamam plus souvenir shops, spice shops, jewellers and restaurants. Then there’s Kaya Koy over the mountain behind Fethiye which has the Ghost Village (THAT needs Googling) and was where Louis De Bernieres based “Birds Without Wings”. Then there’s Oludeniz a short distance away which is a resort area complete with paragliding off Baba Dag (6500ft high) and Gemlier Bay. Both stunning as you arrive. Sunsets to die for. Yesiluzumlu is about 25 minutes drive away from Fethiye and above it is Cadianda which is detailed here: https://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/turkey/turquoise-coast/around-fethiye/kadyanda/

            Sorry, my enthusiasm has made me take over a bit. I am done now. If you’re in the area, give me a shout 🙂

          3. Haha, that’s ok! We love that kind of enthusiasm! We won’t be coming any time soon though. Unfortunately we left Turkey about three weeks ago and are now moving towards Central Asia. But we will definitely come back one day and we’ll give you a big shout 😉

  21. Thank you Turkey is a great country and nice to see you saw it for what it really is and not what the papers sometime make it out to be. We need more positive comments about Turkey.

    1. Hi Yvonne, we’re also glad that we didn’t listen to the media and experienced Turkey ourselves. It is a truly amazing country and we hope we can change people’s prejudices about this beautiful and hospitable country!

    2. Hi Yvonne, we’re also very happy that we didn’t listen to the media and experienced Turkey with an open mind and heart. It is a fantastic country and we’re like a broken record, we keep repeating how wonderful the Turkish people are 🙂 This is why I wrote this article, because I want our readers and the world to know how great it is and how they shouldn’t be influenced by the negativity of the media!

      1. Lets hope, like you, lots of other people will kick the trend and come and visit. I love living here (20 odd years now). Yes, just like other peoples comments, some family and friends just don’t get it, I see it now as their problem now, not mine.

  22. I just loved your ideas!!!! I have spent 6 months in Turkey as ERASMUS student. Everybody said I am crazy to go there for such a long time as everybody think is not safe for girls.. I share the same feelings about Turkey as you. I just loved staying there, the culture, the places I visited, the amazing food and the best of all PEOPLE 🙂 I just met friendly and helpfull people. I am eager to travel or stay there again.

    Türkiye çok çok seviyorum!!!!!

  23. Very good post! We love Turkey, especially the people. Everyone was always so friendly and gracious. We can’t wait to go back again!

  24. I’m really glad to read this text. Thank you so much and i think you had more friends from Turkey than before this text. Best wishes from Istanbul

    1. I’m happy to hear that Alper!! And yes, we received so many invitations now to meet people and stay with them that it is a pity we left Turkey about 3 weeks ago! We definitely hope to come back one day!!

  25. ~Tyrenious~ AniToria Fansub

    Honestly, I was wondering if anyone visiting Turkey would ever write a journal like this lately. And then, I found yours. Media likes to make people think as the way they want. Moreover, some people still think Turkey has vast deserts and we ride camels. I don’t blame them, I just wish people would be more ‘open minded’ and search things about the world.
    Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your experiences in Turkey so far, I’m glad that you liked it and if you ever visit Istanbul, I can be your guide for some of the areas because I worked as a tourist guide for some time.
    Enjoy your visit and stay safe. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your invitation and sharing your thoughts Tyrenious! It’s interesting as I only saw one person riding a camel 😉 (I love camels by the way and was a little disappointed I didn’t see more 😉 ). The influence and power of the media is very strong. People like to believe everything they hear and read. I can only hope that this article can make a difference and it will influence people in a positive way… I once wrote this down in another article “We should not always believe what the media tells us to believe. The world looks different when we explore it ourselves.” Well, Turkey looked completely different and so much better than I expected! I never thought I could feel so much love and gratitude towards a country, but hey, nothing is impossible 🙂

      1. ~Tyrenious~ AniToria Fansub

        Well, again, I’m glad that you liked Turkey ^^
        Yeah, there are places that camels are used at transportation and stuff, but no deserts and burning sun or convoys of them ahahha

  26. So wonderful to hear positive things for a change. My daughter and I spent 3 weeks travelling through Turkey in March/April this year. Just before we left, Istanbul was bombed, and the bombing of Istiklal Street happened while we were there. Despite that, we both felt safer travelling through Turkey than we do in our own neighbourhood at home (Cape Town, South Africa). Throughout our entire journey we encountered overwhelming friendliness and a nation of people who go out of their way to help you. Their pride in their country and culture is touching but left me a little heartsore because we don’t have that same attitude at home. We definitely left a part of our souls in Turkiye and, despite the turbulence, would return tomorrow. Magnificent country with genuine people. Thank you for such a wonderful blog post, highlighting the good.

    1. Hi Karin!
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience in Turkey. I’m very happy you can relate to my (or better our) experiences there. We were there when the coup happened. We received very worried messages from the home front and we didn’t even know that something was going on! Not once did we feel unsafe, just like you. It was very hard for us to leave Turkey, that hard that we even overstayed our tourist visa with a few months… Now we’re in Georgia and we love it here too but we really hope to return back one day and see all those people back who touched us in our heart and soul!

      1. Wow, it sounds like you had an absolutely fabulous time! It really is such a special place, and yes, we too will be back one day. But next stop Vietnam. Happy (and safe) travels 🙂

    1. I’m sorry to see that this happened. This is an unfortunate situation that is lately happening everywhere in the world. This is not new, people have been fighting for as long as we can remember. I’m not choosing and creating this as my reality. I’m not ignorant and I’m very aware of the horrible things that are happening but despite that, I want to focus on the good and positive situations and people. That is probably why my partner and I only had great experiences and met wonderful people.

  27. I loved your article. You did not just hang around the famous tourist attractions but you have been to villages and interacted with local people. That’s a real good epxerience. It’s nice to see some positive news about Turkey after all.

    1. Thank you, I’m glad to hear that! 🙂
      I wanted to share the good experiences we’ve had here in the hope that travelers will come back to Turkey. It would be such a shame if they didn’t out of fear. And we like to travel and visit the non-touristic places. We believe that connecting and interacting with the local people is the best way to have a genuine experience of the country and its culture.

    2. Thank you! I’m glad you loved it. My partner and I like to go “off the beaten path” and explore more than just the famous sites (although we did go to Pamukkale and Cappadocia, which we loved by the way). We want to experience a country by connecting and interacting with the local people. A beautiful view can make a nice photo, but a beautiful meeting doesn’t need a photo to be remembered. I’ve left Turkey about three weeks ago but I’m still carrying it in my heart and hope to return one day!

  28. Thanks a lot for expressing what I wanted to say all of my friends from all around the Europe. Apparently we are not here just to be judged by brain-washed people

    1. Hi Ali, you’re welcome 🙂
      Unfortunately the media has a very powerful influence and most people will believe what they hear. It is a normal reaction. That’s why I don’t watch the news. I don’t want my opinion and thoughts to be influenced by it and rather experience a place from my own point of view. And I just love Turkey! Not just because you have a beautiful country but also because of the awesome people we’ve met!

    2. Hi Ali,
      I’m happy you liked what I wrote. Unfortunately the media has a powerful influence and people are very likely to believe what they see and read. We can’t judge them for being brain-washed, we can only show them another reality. Keep sharing positive stories to your friends in Europe, just like we are trying to do here.

  29. Well, first of all, thank you for being positive.

    What you came across in Turkey is exactly true but as a Turkish, besides other citizens of Turkey, I think it’s pretty okay to have different people in different regions like the EAST. There is nothing to be ashamed of, it is obvious we have a lot of uneducated people, there is no need to hide.(Let’s use our energy to educate them tbh)

    And I see people who politicize everything, you better not take them serious. Lots of love from Istanbul x

    1. Hi Tuna,

      Thank you for your response! Of course you’re right that it is okay to have different people with a different culture living in different regions! Imagine if we all would be the same, the world would be very boring! That is something we really loved about Turkey, it’s diversity! When we were traveling through the East, we heard for the very first time about the Laz people and that was super interesting!

      There will always be people who will politicize or criticize things, no matter what culture, region or country they come from. It’s okay to also have a different opinion 🙂
      Lots of love from Tbilisi!

    2. Thank you Tuna 🙂
      We met many different people from many different regions, also the people from the East. We even discovered the Laz culture, which we never heard of and was super interesting! If we would all be the same, the world would be one very boring place! It’s okay to be different and have a different opinion, even the ones who like to politicize everything. Eventually we all make choices for ourselves about how we want to think and what we want to give attention to. People are free to share their thoughts and it’s up to us how we choose to respond to it. So we don’t take it too serious but your words are a really nice reminder. Thank you 🙂 Lots of love to you too X

  30. I love your positive attitude towards what is going on both around the world and in Turkey. I understand that the international media shows mostly only the negative sides of our country and it’s perfectly normal to be scared considering all the bad news, but I’m glad you had the chance to see the positve sides as well. I love this post and I think what you guys are doing is amazing. Have fun and be safe! 🙂

    1. Thank you Deniz for your beautiful words and I’m happy to hear you enjoyed reading my post!
      We are also glad we didn’t listen to the news and came to Turkey with an open mind. There are so many negative things on the news that one would be afraid of leaving his/her own home. We’re very happy we had the chance to see and experience the beauty of your country and its people! And … we’ve had the best hitchhiking rides here, Turkey broke our waiting time record with an average of 5 minutes between two different rides 🙂

  31. I thought this was a nice, non-arrogant blog post about Turkey that will hopefully make those people who think it is a dangerous place think again. Having lived in Turkey, I found myself nodding at different observationsyou made during the article. I just think it’s a shame, when you look at some of the comments, that one can’t write anything without others wading in and correcting them. Afterall, this piece was by someone visiting the country, written to encourage others to visit, not an in-depth political piece. Bravo to the author and I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Turkey as much as I did.

    1. Thank you so much Robert for your kind words!
      I’m happy you read and felt with what intention I wrote this article! And yes, we really enjoyed our time here!
      How long did you live in Turkey for and where?

  32. Good but not entirely accurate.
    Firstly there is not a war between Turk’s and Kurd’s.
    Only thousands of scholar and wise man hanged in the time of Mustafa Kemal to sever the ties with peace religion Islam. And of course Ottoman alphabet is Persian and the alphabet of this geography was Persian only before that changes to the Latin alphabet. Still our language is Turkish and it has been Turkish like 1000 years.
    Secondly scarf or hijab was never in any law or anything now, before or way before.
    But, this is a big but. After 1923 there have been lots of law of how to dress! There has been dress code for students male and female, and for working people and for everyone. And if you don’t obey the dress code law such as wearing a hat you could end up being hanged! In the last 10 years this law has been abolished and some people protest it like Rondar here who speaks about a girl kicked in bus because of wearing skirt. We only have few like this news report. What about the people who was attacked for wearing just a headscarf? On the other hand we have lots of news report like this.
    Did you ever watch Turk news channels? Did you see the footage witch HDP parliamentarian was fired out of the area by the people who are saying things like; ”- You are liars, you don’t care about us Kurd’s.” ”- We don’t want you here because you are helping terrorist pkk, get lost.” This HDP parliamentarian was saved from people by police.

    Kurd’s are Turk’s and Turk’s are Kurd’s we are all in this land for hundreds of years and therefore we are brothers. In Turkish; Kürt Türktür, Türk Kürttür biz bu topraklarda yüzlerce yıl beraber yaşadık bizler kardeşiz.
    For the first time in a hundred years we all are have been united like as never before.
    What do we say for that?
    One Nation
    One Flag
    One Country
    One Government
    This is how we’ll walk this way.

    1. Hi!
      Thanks for rectifying certain points in my article.
      What I wrote down was what I heard, read and especially experienced and lived. I don’t watch news channels as I prefer to see the world from my own point of view. There are shitty things happening in the world, situations like in Istanbul happen also in European countries and everywhere else in the world. I’m not ignorant but I prefer to focus on the good things around me and that’s maybe why I only had great experiences in Turkey.

      1. I just love the way you think and answered, if we were to meet by chance it would probably be one of my best days!
        By the way i really liked your blog 🙂

      2. War is between a terrorist organization named PKK and Armed Forces. This is a human and organ trafficker, arms smuggler and drug dealer terrorist organization. It can’t be seen as a Turk-Kurd war. Kurds are suffering generally, because PKK militants have been disguising themselves as revolutionists and organization located in southeastern-eastern provinces where the population mostly consists of Kurdish citizens.

      3. there is no war between Turks and Kurds There is a wat between Turks and Kurdish Terrorrist organisation (PKK). ok i live in Capitol in Turkey i have kurdish friends also but they are like me, they hate terrorist kurdish people, but in the south east part mostly kurdish people support them it is an guerilla terrorist organisation. as a summary i can say in Turkey not all kurds are terrorist. but all terrorists are kurds. hope you visit more, we are an underrated country 😉 if you re a beach, holiday people you can try Antalya, Fethiye, Bodrum, Side and all mediterrian south part. if you re historical person you can try Istanbul, Trabzon, Edirne, Çanakkale(Troy;)). and as a southern person i have to admit. people who lives in north of Turkey (blacksea cost) are kindest and have most hospitality. they amaze even me 🙂

        1. Hi Can,

          thank you for your suggestions 🙂 We have left Turkey three weeks ago and saw the South West, Central, North and East part of your country. We combined beach with mountains and history and really enjoyed it. And you’re totally right, the people on the Karadeniz are super kind!!!

        2. Hi Can,
          by now we’ve left Turkey after staying nearly for nine months. And we didn’t even found the time to visit certain areas, like Istanbul and the South East. And you’re right, the people in the Karadeniz region are super kind!! We were invited by a family to spend the night in their home and we left their house six weeks later 😀

  33. Generally I liked your post but this sentence is not true: “the war between the Turks and the Kurds”.
    They’re our brothers! Also the World’s Press always attacking our country! For this, the people thinks travelling to Turkey will be dangereous!

    1. Hi Berkay,
      Thanks for your reply. Happy to hear you liked the post.
      About “the war between the Turks and Kurds”, this is what we hear on the news and that is what we emphasize at the beginning of this article: that this is what the media talks about, whether or not it is the full truth. And because of all that negativity in the press, we wanted to share with our readers that Turkey IS a beautiful country and that travelers DON’T have to be afraid to travel there. We had an amazing time here and we were touched by the kindness and hospitality of the people.

      1. There aren’t war between Turks and Kurds. There is a war between Turks and Kurdish workers’ party (as we say PKK) which terrorist organization that they try to influence people to think that they represent Kurdish people which is absolutely wrong. Turks and Kurds are brothers. Never mind. I would like to thank you for the beautiful post. Enjoy your journey.

        1. Hi Can,
          like I mentioned at the beginning of this article,this is what the media tells us whether or not it is the full truth. I’ve received many comments about the Turks and Kurds being brothers, which is super nice to hear!
          And I’m happy you liked my article! Wishing you all the best!

  34. Generally the people in little cities and villages will be kind, nice and welcoming and the western part will be more peaceful compared to anywhere else. The people there will be more openminded above anything else. The story will not be the same for as you travel east and bigger places especially for Istanbul. It would be pretty much like any other touristic metropole to be honest. The people will still be kind and nice and welcoming. This comes from the culture however especially the merchants at touristic places and taxi drivers might only be after your money. And as you travel east the people will be less welcoming. This is actually totally against our culture as we culturally welcome people who knock on our door as “tanrı misafiri”(a guest from god). However among majority the latest “trend” is returning back to strict islamic rules and being ignorant. A women in a bus in Istanbul got kicked in the face by a guy last week because she was wearing shorts another one got attacked in the street because she wasn’t interested in two guys calling her from their car. Neither got arrested for this. The kicking one said “anything was done according to islamic rules. if I don’t like how a women dresses I can beat her up”. Also you should consider you are traveling as a couple. Unfortunately we have heard many horrible stories about women traveling alone in this country. I wouldn’t hitchhike here as a Turkish male and wouldn’t recommend it to you either. You were lucky so far but don’t push your luck so much I’d say. Sad truths about this beautiful landscape. I hope people will someday remember their culture and start behaving accordingly.

    1. You can be right. I am a Turkish guy who is living in abroad for 5 years i lived one year in england and 4 year in poland,4 month in america,3 month in valencia i have seen so different people and cultures. But you cant blame Turkey with some news like that. I agree with you after erdogan some people started to be more ignorance. How ever Turkey had always different cultures I am frOM Izmir and we are genarally nice to people. Also i lived 5 year Maltya whic is eastern Turkey. and thehe were really nice people there too. Also I have seen some wrong and weird things but Also in US you can hear dangerous story about hitchhiking. There are bad and good people everywhere ı was beaten just cause im turkish

      1. Hi Orkun

        Everywhere we go people tell us how dangerous it is in their country to hitchhike (even in Europe) but not once did we have a bad encounter. And you’re right, people are nice everywhere in Turkey! And the things that happen in Istanbul, the harassment of women, people being extreme about their religion,… unfortunately this happens everywhere, especially in major cities. It’s too bad that people have so many prejudices and we hope that we can open some eyes with this article.

    2. Hi Rondar,

      Thanks for commenting. We appreciate your opinion. We wrote this article about six months ago and we stayed almost nine months in Turkey. We traveled all over the country, we only didn’t visit the South East. We didn’t visit Istanbul nor Ankara. We did visit bigger cities such as Konya. Not once did we have a bad experience. Hitchhiking was so easy and so much fun in your country. We only met great, kind and hospitable people. We’re very sorry to hear what happened to those women in Istanbul. Unfortunately those are situations that also happen in big cities in Europe or other continents. A country can’t be defined by the stupidity of a few people.
      You could be right, it might not be the best thing for a woman to hitchhike by herself in Turkey. But not just in Turkey, there are other countries that are also more dangerous for a woman alone. Nevertheless, whenever I, Cynthia, was on my own, I never felt unsafe or harassed.

      We were also in Turkey when the coup happened and we know how the situation has changed. But… even since that day we didn’t feel like we were in danger nor did we meet any of these extremists. Maybe it’s because we wanted to focus on the good things we saw around us rather than the bad.
      We keep our fingers crossed that things will calm down again in Turkey because it would be a big shame! You have a beautiful country and culture and we hope that people will see that.

  35. first of all i am very glad to see foreign people dont have prejudice about Turkey.

    when i read your article i was smiling i dont know why. even our citizens blame our country and citizens of course, you and your friend shared amazing adventure. i am very glad you enjoyed your trip, if you wanna come to Turkey again you can contact with me, i am living in Kuşadası.

    1. Hi Emre,
      it’s so nice to hear that I made you smile 🙂 I wrote this article at the beginning of our travels in Turkey. We eventually stayed almost 9 months because we liked it that much in your country :D. Even though a lot happened during those months and we heard more and more bad news in the media, we never have felt unsafe! We loved the generosity and kindness of the Turkish people, we loved the beauty of the country and we hope that we can inspire people to come to Turkey and experience the same things that we could witness. We’re now traveling towards Central Asia but when we come back to Turkey, we will let you know. Thank you for your invitation!

  36. Aferin la iyi karşılamışlar turistleri. Sevindim cidden. Kazıklamaya çalışan taksiciler falan da yok oh ne güzel.

    Yes our country is very nice but you have seen only West of it. İ can not say same thing for east of TURKEY. Your afraid is valid about terror, army-pkk battle or syria. But you are all safe at West or center of TURKEY . Like me. 🙂

    1. Hi! Thanks for commenting. Yes, fear is a normal response but we discovered that Turkish people are very gregarious, generous and kind-hearted! We just left Turkey and the only part that we didn’t visit was the East, near the border with Syria. Everywhere else we have felt very safe!

      1. Actually I was living in east of Turkey and there is nothing to be afraid there. This guy similar like western media. Firstly I prefer Karadeniz, north of Turkey. U should definetely check this up! Turn east of Turkey after finish Karadeniz from Artvin city. U ll see how eastern ppl are kind. Almost all our ppl kind but eastern ppl incedibly hospitable, they can give their home key to u for ur rest even they dont know u. 4 years i was volunteer guide for tourist in Mounth Nemrut is UNESCO World Heritage when I was in high school. Now I lives in Singapore I barely come Turkey. After i saw ur post in facebook I really want to thank u for ur honesty about my country. U got a follower over here <3

        1. Thank you bearbeard, that is really nice to hear 🙂
          I wrote this article after my first few weeks in Turkey. After that I almost spent nine months here. My partner and I hitchhiked across the whole country. Unfortunately we never made it to the South East, we would have loved to visit Mount Nemrut! We spent 3 months in the Karadeniz area and absolutely loved it there!! And you’re right, they are incredibly hospitable and helpful! One night, when it was raining hard, a family invited us to spend the night in their home. We were supposed to leave the day after but instead we left 6 weeks later 😀

        2. Hi bearbear!
          Thanks for your suggestions. In the meantime we have left Turkey (after staying almost nine months) but we still miss the people and the vibe! We spend a lot of time in the Karadeniz region and absolutely loved it! The only region we didn’t visit was Istanbul and the South East. We would have loved to see Mount Nemrut but we save it for the next time we come to Turkey 🙂 And you’re totally right, everybody is incredibly hospitable!! We were invited to spend the night in the home of a family in Findikli, near Rize, and we left the house 6 weeks later 😀

          1. Well, i dont know if my english enough to describe turkish people hospitality but i’ll give it a try 🙂
            When you read a total stranger’s article at 03:10 which makes you happy and put a smile on your face just because you learned they had good time in your country. We’re obsessed with our guests comfort and sometimes even i find this creepy ^^’ Anyway i feel honored and really happy that you enjoyed your visit. I hope you encounter all kind of amazing people on the road along. Best wishes from Fındıklı / RİZE 😉

          2. 3 months ?! Its a shame that i spent most of my time in my cage away from hot weather 🙂 Only social activity was swimming in river with friends 😛 I’m from fındıklı and i spent whole summer here, normally i stay in Samsun city. Forgot to ask who invited you to stay ?

          3. Maybe we saw you at the river, who knows! 🙂
            We were invited to stay by Sevil Fertinger. She organized an English summer camp and we volunteered as teachers. It was really fun and we often went swimming with the kids in the river too 🙂

          4. I would surely remembered , better luck next time! 🙂
            Mrs. Fertinger must be such a nice person i must get to know her asap.
            Also thank you for your great contribution, some may not see but communication matters a lot and you helped to make it happen! Everybody should be able to express feelings,thoughts etc. even if basicly.I believe that will neutralize most of information pollution and insecurity among people.
            If its ok, could you tell where are you atm ? 🙂
            (Sorry for late reply, besides im not an active internet user got stuck by some matters.)

          5. Hi Can,
            sorry for the late reply 🙂
            We’re in Georgia at the moment, we’ll live and travel here for a while now.
            How is life in Findikli? We’ve heard you’ve got a lot of rain lately!

    1. Definitely not! A lot of people have cancelled their trip to Turkey which is very sad! If you avoid the border with Syria then there is no reason to feel unsafe here! It’s a stunning country, the best country so far on our trip!

  37. We loved Turkey and agree with many of your observations. They are very social and we never drank so much tea! We loved it all. I’d would definitely go back!

  38. This is great and reassuring. I’ve not been too skeptical of safety in Turkey, but it’s nice to hear that there are some really progressive areas. As a gay man with a family, we are cautious about selecting certain destinations, Turkey being one. I’ll have to research more before we add it to our plans though.

    1. It’s interesting you mentioning this Rob! I am so used of seeing gay couples and families and it’s also so accepted in our western society that I did not think about it how it would be accepted in Turkey. Honestly, I don’t know how Turks are towards homosexuality. A lot of them are open -minded but I can’t reassure you anything. I will do some research about it too, it will be interesting to know!

  39. Turkey is a meeting place of two continents and a great melting pot of cultures, enjoy your stay and look forward to you sharing your experiences.

    1. The media shows a lot of negative news. We want to focus and spread positive news 🙂 Turkey is a wonderful country and the people are so kind! Just yesterday we got invited again by a Turkish family to join them for diner!

  40. Turkey sounds like a very welcoming place. I love all the flags and your pics of the market. Local markets are my favourite way to see a city/country.

    1. Local markets are my favourite too! They tell so much about a country without using words.I’m working on a post about the Turkish markets. I think you’ll like it (and the video that we made about it).

  41. It’s unfortunate the media concentrates on the “bad”. We loved Turkey and didn’t feel or see any of the danger the media hypes.

    1. In the past couple of months there have been bomb attacks in Istanbul and Ankara. It’s scaring people. We don’t notice anything though. And to think about it, last week there was a huge bomb attack in my home country (Belgium) so it could happen everywhere nowadays. We can either choose to stay at home and be scared or still go out there and feel safe. We prefer the second option 🙂

  42. Great post and thanks for putting some light on the topic. I think for a lot of travellers, the topic of danger in certain countries gets difficult to judge as for the media reports… So, we as bloggers should help to clarify!

    1. Thank you! I’m happy you are aware of it too. Media likes to show the negative in a country. I mean, it’s good that they keep us updated about what is going on but it also puts a lot of fear in people, which is too bad. That’s why we want to show how reality is in the countries we go to and also give people hope that it is really not as bad as they might see on tv!

  43. Turkey appears to be such an eclectic mix of old and new. On one hand is moving towards Europe on another hand seems to be trying to hold on to the old way of life.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *