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.
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
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