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Has anyone been to Turkey recently?

(44 Posts)
mrsnec Mon 15-Jul-19 06:34:39

I used to love Turkey. I have been several times to Bodrum and Gumbet, city breaks to Istanbul and to the Lara area of Antalya a few times.

But it's been a few years since our last trip. DH was disappointed as he found the country as a whole had got a bit more regimented in terms of religion and politics. I have felt a bit more anxious than before too.

I am wondering if it's calmed down a bit and if it's time to give it another go. I have found decent flights to Izmir but I'm not familiar with that area at all.

Has anyone been to that area recently? any recommendations? what are the resorts like and how far are they from the airport?

edgeofheaven Mon 15-Jul-19 06:41:43

Izmir is a huge anti-Erdogan part of the country. I was nearby there at a seaside resort last year and there was not a hint of the political issues. No issues at all - alcohol available to buy and drink everywhere, women in two pieces, etc.

The main resort town near Izmir is Cesme.

mrsnec Mon 15-Jul-19 07:24:57

Thanks that's a great help and thanks for understanding! I was trying to put it delicately without sounding like a bigot!

Just looking for somewhere a bit more laid back. looks like accommodation is great value in Cesme too but the transfer seems a bit long. Might be worth it though.

Macca84 Mon 15-Jul-19 07:29:29

I was in Bodrum last year and it was lovely. You hear the call to prayer but most seem to ignore it grin it's a very liberal region still.

FiveShelties Mon 15-Jul-19 07:44:27

We have just got back from 4 weeks in Turkey, we had a fabulous holiday. Spent three weeks in Turunc which is around 10 miles from Marmaris. Marmaris is huge, very geared up for tourists, but Turunc was lovely, much quieter. We hired a car and explored widely - once you get used to tailgating, cars on wrong side of road, blind bends etc it is easy to get around. Turunc is about 1.5 hour drive from Dalaman airport. Then one week in Istanbul which we loved, so much to do and see.

Would love to return, everyone we met was helpful and friendly. Had fantastic meals all over and no issues concerning religion or politics. People were dressed casually, had to cover up arms and head as we visited the Blue Mosque, rest of the time in shorts and tee shirts.

Bookworm4 Mon 15-Jul-19 07:47:24

We are not long back from Olu Deniz, lovely town, beautiful area, plenty to do/visit.

magimedi Mon 15-Jul-19 09:19:26

Am going in September again. Have been going nearly every year for the last 20 years or so. Different places & have always had a great time.

I think the only thing to be careful of is not to discuss politics with any Turk you get chatting to. If I am asked what I think of anything I just reply that I am a guest in their beautiful country & it is not for me to offer opinions.

Have a lovely time & I'd like to hear what Cesme is like, if you go, as haven't been there.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 15-Jul-19 09:19:34

We go to Turkey all the time, we have actually just bought a house out there so my husband has been out several times in the last couple of months.

Everything is calm out there and we are looking forward to our holiday in a couple of weeks smile

magimedi Mon 15-Jul-19 09:27:22

Waves to Sootica. Can I ask where you have bought a house? If you don't want to say, that's fine.

Witchofzog Mon 15-Jul-19 09:31:06

Kusadasi is one of the main resorts near Izmir. To be honest it was lovely but not my favourite part of Turkey as the beaches are not quite as nice and everything seems a bit more spread out. So we had to catch a dolmus bus to the beach and then another bus to later into the centre to eat. But we still had a wonderful time as the food was gorgeous and the people so so welcoming

Witchofzog Mon 15-Jul-19 09:31:54

Ps Kusadasi from Izmir is about an hour and 15 mins transfer

edgeofheaven Mon 15-Jul-19 10:04:55

Kusadasi was nicer 10 years ago or so. Very built up and congested now.

Fluggy Mon 15-Jul-19 10:08:15

We were in Icmeler a few weeks ago

My DP who is very religious absolutely loved it - despite swearing he'd never set foot in the county

We returned home - and immediately booked two weeks for us and our children for next July as our honeymoon

Beautiful country, lovely people

mrsnec Mon 15-Jul-19 10:29:21

Thanks all, I don't actually mind the call to prayer.I find it soothing and it makes me feel like I am somewhere exotic. The problem was on our last trip to Antalya there was pro-Erdogan propaganda everywhere. Also lots of the bars we liked had closed and the ones that stayed open were dingy and crowded and there is a bit of a move towards Halal tourism in parts of the city.

DH just wants to be able to have a lunchtime Efes with his Kofta! I am looking for the same relaxed vibe I got from my first trip to Bodrum 20 years ago but we can only fly to Izmir or Antalya.

I will look at Kusadassi too. transfer time and having to get dolmus everywhere is an issue.

Starbonnet123 Mon 15-Jul-19 12:25:32

Hi , we've just come back from the turan prince not far from Side and Manavgat and had a fabulous time . Went on bus trips to Side to the ancient ruins and harbour and didn't gave any problems anywhere we went . We have been yearly fo the past 10 years and have always found a warm welcome wherever we've been . Hooe you go and have a great time 😁

Macca84 Mon 15-Jul-19 13:00:55

Can, confirm we had plenty of Efes during our stay in Bodrum grin We also had a few nights in turgitreis, a bit quieter and sunsets were to die for.

I agree with you about the call to prayer, OP - there's something quite hauntingly beautiful about it. If it wasn't for that and the fake brands everywhere you could easily be in a European country, I felt.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 15-Jul-19 13:14:17

Hi magimedi, it's on the Bodrum peninsula smile

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 15-Jul-19 13:15:46

I absolutely love the call to prayer.

I also love Efes and kofte smile

magimedi Mon 15-Jul-19 14:32:10

Great place, Sootica!

Am going back to Gundogan in a few weeks time.

I also love Efes, kofte, lahmajun, kunefe & Turkish ice cream. I reckon to gain 5lbs in 2 weeks!

mrsnec Tue 16-Jul-19 07:59:31

I'm glad everyone is still having great holidays in Turkey.

The food isn't great for my waistline either. especially since Pide is my favourite turkish delicacy! I switch to Efes light and tell myself all the walking and swimming is helping burn some excess calories. Love turkish food though.

I have found a great selection of hotels in Kusadasi and it looks like it's easier to organise airport transfers from there than Cesme. I am not too worried about it being built up. I am sure I can find some authenticity somewhere. But we're looking at October and now I'm worried about the weather because of where it is geographically. I'm thinking we may get better weather if we stick to the med coast so I'm going to look at Side. I had forgotten that there are other places we can get to from Antalya. It does sound a bit more relaxed there and that Efes consumption wouldn't be confined to the hotel. I perhaps might have to tell DH not to talk politics with locals though.

edgeofheaven Tue 16-Jul-19 08:03:13

@mrsnec if you're looking to swim and relax at the beach I think October will be too cold. The water is cold in that area even in the height of summer. We have retired family friends who summer in Cesme and they leave by end September latest.

Alarmclockstop Tue 16-Jul-19 08:09:05

Just back from Bodrum and it was ass bustling and as relaxed as always. Felt very safe wandering the streets and we walked away from the tourist areas. Love Turkey but if you want a beach holiday the weather can be iffy in October, the further into the month you go the less chance of sun

mrsnec Tue 16-Jul-19 08:25:07

I actually live by the med so I am just looking for a change of scene really! I find the turkish coasts to be more green and rugged than where I am. I have never swam in the sea in October in Turkey but I have in the pool. I just remembered that we went to Istanbul in October and froze but Antalya in October was boiling!

In Antalya we stay at a boutique hotel with a spa and an indoor pool which is family run and only about 50e a night half board. I am looking to find something similar just in a different place.

YetAgainNameChanged Tue 16-Jul-19 08:30:15

Try Dalyan. Only 30 mins transfer from the airport (Dalaman).
Beautiful place and very relaxed.

Alarmclockstop Tue 16-Jul-19 09:30:28

Sorry, thought you were a sun starved brit 😂 different if you have med sunshine all year. Agree the Dalyan area is beautiful lots of little guest houses along the canal and great food. We went last September and again hadn't changed from previous years.

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