The New Normal

Once again terrorism has raised its ugliness stealing more lives and ruining countless others with this most recent atrocity in Istanbul, Turkey.  My thoughts go out to the families of those who died and to those who were injured in yesterday’s attack.  I wish with all my heart that we didn’t live in such a tumultuous time but we do and we need to take control of how we react to what is going on around us.  Terrorism is rife throughout the world and frankly we need to accept that this is the new norm for all of us.  We all know that fear is a commodity and terrorists are more than prepared to manufacture fear with the help of today’s media. istanbul 3

Right now many of you who were thinking of visiting Turkey are asking the same question, “Is it safe to travel there?”  Yesterday the Turkish Government was quick to respond to the attack by declaring that the bomber was a member of Daesh (IS) and that Turkey will continue the battle against all terrorism until it no longer remains a threat to Turkey or to the world.  That’s great but does it make it any safer for tourists or for those of us living here?

I really love Istanbul.  It is, without doubt, one of the most unique cities in the world.  When Napolean said “if earth was a single state, then Istanbul would be its capital” he summed up how so many of us feel about her (yes to me Istanbul is a ‘her’).  She is a city with over 2500 years of history, culture and traditions.  She is jam packed with amazing landmarks, vibrant nightlife and something new around every corner.  She is truly sensational.  And she should not be passed over because when it comes down to it nowhere is truly safe anymore.

Paris.  Tunisia.  Egypt.  Lebanon.  Sydney.  Hell even San Bernadino in LA.  But it is our response to that fear that will determine our future.  Please don’t turn your back on these amazing places.  Do not let evil win.

Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and savour its magnificent view.  Visit the Pyramids of Gaza or Tunisia’s famous beaches and please – please – come and stand in awe at the grandeur before you in Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul.  Be amazed by the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.  Indulge in the heavenly cuisine and be welcomed with open arms by some of the most kindest people you will ever have the pleasure to meet.

There has always been a strong police presence in Istanbul and no doubt security will be beefed up again in the aftermath of this most recent attack.  For those of you travelling to Turkey remember to be safe, be aware (see links below) and be smart but please do not let evil control your future.  Only you can do that.

Travel advice for Australian tourists

Travel advice for UK tourists

Travel advice for US tourists

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17 thoughts on “The New Normal

  1. Nowhere is 100% safe any more and you simply can’t legislate for what might happen. I think the Tunisia attack is a key example of that; it could just as easily have been Ölüdeniz, down here on the Mediterranean coast….or Bondi Beach in your homeland…..or Brighton in mine.
    We haven’t yet made it to Istanbul since moving here, but it’s on our ‘to do’ list and will remain so.
    If we stop travelling and give in to the fear, then in my view the terrorists have won. That doesn’t mean going into war zones; it means using our common sense, taking what precautions we can, and continuing to enjoy our lives and the amazing world we live in.

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  2. We were just in Istanbul in October. It was the week after Ankara. We agreed it wasn’t the best time to go, but decided that we couldn’t let terrorism win. I’m so glad we went. It was an amazing trip. I think when traveling as a family, we certainly have to think before we make plans – we were going to go to Egypt over the xmas break and the logistics didn’t work out – probably for the best (this time). But we aren’t going to let these problems stop us from seeing the world…

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  3. I agree Janey. I’ve been a regular visitor to Turkey for many years for both work and holidays. I have also lived in Istanbul for short periods and was shocked and saddened by the latest attack aimed at tourists. This action will definitely affect future tourist visitor plans, which will also affect many more Turks directly and indirectly. I still consider Istanbul a fabulous and generally safe tourist destination and I plan to go back there this year.

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  4. Pingback: Am I safe in Turkey? | Love.Life.Istanbul

  5. actions have consequences and when the biggest terrorists are nation states and (mostly) Western alliances then they must expect ‘blow-back’. Doesn’t make it right, just inevitable. Want to live in peace? Then end Western imperialism!

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  6. We have never been safe the difference is that today the Media will hype and sensationalize everything. Life goes on and these sad events will be with us also in the future, however I do not call them the new normal since it is not new and or normal, it is life. There is no mythical time of perfect peace to return too.

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  7. You’re very right, of course — I was going to go to Istanbul this month but had to cancel due to other plans and can’t help but feel a little bit glad I did. But — I’ll be there later this year, without a doubt. 🙂

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  8. I particularly appreciate your recommendation that people not let a tragic and unfortunate event prevent them from visiting Istanbul. It is always wise to remain aware of one’s surroundings. This is true at home and abroad. Istanbul is such an amazing city. I was there more than half a lifetime ago and I remember it as though it were yesterday. Thanks for jogging my memory!

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  9. I agree: Find joy in the moment (You could die tripping over your front step).

    The western world isn’t used to the level of violence that the Middle East and parts of Africa have experienced throughout history — by either their own hands or through foreign military intervention. We fail to remember that for millennia most people met violent deaths and many children didn’t live past infancy. Those of us over 40 had the chance to enjoy a relatively calm time in human history. It looks like our grandchildren aren’t going to be that lucky. *sigh*

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