Why people love to travel to Turkey?
Read Shannon's interview;
Tell us abit about yourself..?
My name is Shannon and I am 23 years old. I come from Waterford, Ireland. My interests include Irish dancing, music, travel and culture, history, literature, archaeology and languages.
What made you first decide to visit Turkey?
I didn't really decide to visit Turkey myself as such! I needed a holiday and my friends decided I needed a holiday. One of my best mates and her two sisters adore Turkey and go every year and they basically decided I should go with them. So before I knew it, I had paid the deposit and I was on my way!!! I had heard fantastic things about Turkey, about the culture, the history and the people but to be honest, I wasn't sure what to believe or if I would like it when I got there. I was apprehensive as to what I should expect from the culture etc...
Which cities have you visited in Turkey?
I have so far visited Kusadasi, Izmir, Foca, Yeni Foca, Menemen, a couple of towns around the outskirts of Izmir. Can't remember all of them I'm afraid.
Would you like to visit again? If yes - What is it about Turkey that you love?
I cannot wait to go back and that’s the truth. Last summer was very
stressful so I though that I couldn’t wait to get home and relax. However,
now every time I see or feel the sun it reminds me of Turkey…of the Imam’s
call to prayer, the beaches, the mountains, the castles, Ataturk, the sea,
the bazaars, the historical ruins, the mosques, sunbathing (lol) and
swimming. Just the other day at work, I went outside for lunch. It was a
beautiful sunny day and soon as I felt the sun on my face I got this warm
fuzzy feeling inside and I thought of Turkey straight away!
Enough cannot be said for the Turkish food. If you eat the homemade Turkish food, you can eat more and weigh less lol...no joke! The food is superb...genuinely. Turkey is beautiful people, beaches, clean oceans, amazing food, a fantastic nightlife, exquisite and captivating bazaars and great shopping. The hotels are wonderful and the hotel staff are generally fantastic!
Did you feel safe in Turkey?
I felt very safe in Turkey and myself and my friends would walk home from bar street at 5 every morning! A word of warning...safety is important anywhere so don’t do this if you’re drunk and irresponsible lol!!! However, I would like to point out that we were very well looked after and most of the time we were walked home by some male Turkish friends...gentleman. I would not walk anywhere on my own late at night, not in Ireland and not in Turkey. I think its common sense anywhere but let me put it this way. I possibly felt safer in Turkey than I did in Ireland. In that regard, it’s not better or worse than anywhere else in the world!
How were the Turkish people?
All of the above I love, but I think that if you have an open mind, enough cannot be said for experiencing different cultures, languages and beliefs. The Turkish people are extremely warm and welcoming. More so than anywhere I have ever been which is what surprised me more than anything I believe. It is also probably the main reason why I have been going back to Turkey and will keep going back again and again. They cannot do enough for you! Also, you feel like you can sit down with these people and have a laugh and a joke and a genuine conversation. They have a great sense of humour and a great respect for elderly people and children in particular. A more genuine nation of people I am yet to meet in the world…they are so similar and yet so different in so many ways. But personally, I love the differences! I love being a stranger in a strange land where people embrace you and are interested in you...willing to teach you about their way of life and beliefs.
Do you have any suggestions for new visitors to Turkey? Travel - tour tips? Can you recommend any specific places or advice?
I would recommend haggling at the bazaars but remember, don't haggle to the
point of embarrassment and remember that this is a person livelihood too!
Don't be afraid to try the Turkish foods and immerse yourself in the culture. Visit a mosque (I would ask permission of the Imam and cover yourself appropriately). Respect their culture, they will appreciate it!
I recommend not spending all your time sunbathing there. Get out and see some of the history such as Ephesus, Pamukkale, House of the Virgin Mary, the Seven Sleepers, The Temple of Artemis (One of the great wonders of the world). There is so much to do and little time.
If you get the opportunity, possibly my favourite thing to do was drive in Turkey! Not me personally, a friend drove...but I just loved driving for about 2-3 hours in the daytime and seeing all the sights and views and getting really into the heart of Turkey. Seeing the real Turkey, not just the tourist areas. Seeing the villages and the old stone houses. The culture can be quite different in these areas!
If you like a quiet time, may I recommend a trip to Yeni Foca….you wont regret it!