Travelling to Turkey amidst an ongoing political struggle with Russia and recent terrorists attacks from Isil isn’t on the majority of tourists travel plans this summer. These safety concerns and nine terrorist attacks have certainly contributed to the large drop in numbers visiting over the past 12 months. The country has been gripped by a terrorism crisis for a year, with the Islamic State, Kurdish militants, the PKK and TAK, all operating within its borders. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said Turkey is the “top target for all terrorist groups in the region”.
To date most of the attacks in Turkey have taken place in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Istanbul. Indeed there are many parts where terrorist activity seems to be prevalent, mainly in the main squares, transport systems and airports. As a visitor you’ll certainly notice the heavier police forces that now occupy these areas, but is that enough to satisfy the concerns of safety?
The current news and attacks have certainly tarnished the country’s reputation once again, however in my opinion it is still one of the most fascinating, varied and under appreciated countries of 2016. Holiday prices are likely at an all time low, particularly for the beach destinations.
I recently spent some time in Istanbul only a few weeks after a terrorist attack, before heading inwards towards Cappadocia region, famous for its outdoor activities and incredible balloon rides over its desert valleys and unusual landscapes. Here’s a selection of images that certainly doesn’t do justice to seeing it with your own eyes.
A once in a lifetime experience…