Turkey Today

Over the past few days I have had no end of calls from worried friends wanting to know how safe it is in Turkey at the moment.  Yes there is anger and frustration in the streets of many cities.  Thousands of Kurdish people are protesting across the country including in its capital Ankara and Istanbul.  They are furious that Turkey seems to be standing by as Islamic State advances on the Syrian town of Kobane.  They say that Turkey’s failure to help the Kurdish fighters there will no doubt lead to the city falling to IS.

I have learned from writing this blog to keep my opinions to myself as I do not have sufficient knowledge or education on the complicated relationship between Turkey and the Kurdish people.  I will only say that Turkey is in an extremely difficult situation.  They are, of course, a powerhouse in the region and they will vigorously protect their land and their citizens (including their Kurdish citizens).  Should Turkey cross the border into Syria they are entering foreign soil and crossing that border would be considered a hostile act by Syria.  Should a Syrian or Kurdish citizen be injured or killed at the hands of a Turkish soldier then I suspect all hell will break loose.  Turkey also has the underlining concern of keeping peace within its Kurdish communities which can prove a difficult task particularly when Erdogan is comparing the PKK to IS.

The Australian Government has today emailed its citizens living or visiting Turkey and have advised against all travel to the towns of Akcakale and Ceylanpinar.  They have also advised against all but essential travel to areas within 50km of Turkey’s border with Syria.  You should remember that each countries give their citizens their own advice with the UK Foreign Office advising against all but essential travels within 10km of Turkey’s border with Syria.


Friends, where we are in Mersin it is perfectly safe right now.  We are approximately 4-5 hours drive from the Syrian border.  There have been no protests however there is a heavy polis presence in the city.  If I feel in any way that the situation has changed or that Daughter and I are no longer safe here we will make arrangements to leave the city and, if necessary, the country immediately.

Remember if you intend on travelling to Turkey in the coming days I suggest that you check with your own Foreign Office.  If you are travelling to Marmaris or along the western coast of Turkey you are 12 hours – I repeat – 12 hours from the Syrian border.  Of course your personal safety and the safety of your family is paramount but do not let the remote possibility of terrorism by Islamic State (or by any other terrorist organisation) control your lives.

If you are interested in reading more about what is going on – here are a few links that I found interesting.

4 Questions  /  The Prize and Peril of Kirkuk  /  Smart Traveller  /  UK Advice  /  Ankara on Alert

Please share this page to your family members who are concerned about safety while travelling or living in this beautiful country.

Finally I will add that Turkey is one of the most amazing countries in the world with its magnificent beaches, glorious scenery and its surprising history.  The Turkish Government will do everything in its power to control the situation along its borders and to protect its citizens and its visitors – that means you!


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13 thoughts on “Turkey Today

  1. I agree with much of what you have said here but would add that the Turkish government is up to its neck in what is happening in Syria and I have been saying openly for three years or more that the ‘chickens’ will, without a shadow of doubt, come home to roost – here as well as in the other murderous, interferring states like US, UK, France, Saudi, GCC and Australia!


  2. I live in Batman. I can assure you that it is perfectly safe otherwise my children and I would be gone. The protests are mainly peaceful they involve banging a pot on your balcony and flicking your light on and off. People gather and march peacefully around, there are however a group of people, or possibly professional rioters who like to cause trouble – these people have no interest in the protest but use it as their excuse! Like you I do not air my opinions and agree that the situation is not easy to understand. What I do fail to understand though is why Turkey has been free to allow many people into Syria to join the fight against Assad (hello foreign fighters!) but now that Kurdish people want to go to Kobane and fight against IS (ISIS or whatever else they want to call themselves) Turkish forces are not letting them. People just want to have the choice to go and help, what is wrong with that! Turkey have stated that they would only join the fight against IS if the long term plan was to remove Assad.

    If every parent in the world taught their children respect wouldn’t that mean an end to all conflict….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Is it safe to travel to Turkey? | Earth Laughs in Flowers

  4. I remember reading something you wrote on daily telegraph some time ago about Turkey. It was unsafe at that time due to fighting in Syria. I wonder whether there will ever be a time when the Middle East is safe. Probably not.

    I like your posting on your opinion, not everyone does it in fear. Keep going, you right very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing your blog. Being in America we get sensationalized news that is not very helpful. Thank goodness for NPR Radio or I would have no idea what was going on in the world. I pray for peace in your region and I am happy to hear that most proteters are peaceful. Keep writing, I enjoy reading your blogs. ^_^


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