Turkey is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. As of the year 2014, the country was able to record no less than 42 million foreign visitors. This turnout ranked the country as the sixth most visited tourist location in the world at the time.
That number has since dwindled slightly amidst political unrest and travel warnings. Now that the country is starting to rebuild its tourism sector, there is a high chance that you are considering visiting. Here are 3 things to consider before making the trip.
1. Prepare for Internet Censorship
Turkey might not be as tough as China when it comes to internet censorship, but they are not particularly lax on their digital terrain either.
When you’re in the country, you might find that you are unable to access certain news content, sports games, and websites. This comes as no surprise given the government’s historical tendency to control the media and what the public sees. Under the country’s restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of the press and internet use, anything that steers too far from propaganda is likely banned or censored.
If you’re only traveling for leisure, you won't need to look into the troubled side of the country’s internet. But if you are there for work, running into access bans to crucial information can be very frustrating. To get around it, you can hide your IP in Turkey with a VPN to shield your identity and circumvent censorship. For a detailed list of options when it comes to VPNs, feel free to check out the best vpn extension for chrome, or whatever browser it is you use, to pick the best one for you.
A VPN works by encrypting your traffic and sending it through a private network, changing your virtual location in its course by proxying. You can choose your server location to connect from; with your new virtual location, enjoy the same internet access as a user from that country. This is an easy and risk-free way to enjoy unrestricted internet access whether you’re in Ankara or Istanbul. This feature of a VPN is also popular amongst travelers who like to stream Netflix, Hulu or other geo-restricted streaming services on the go.
2. avoid problem areas
Turkey is in a state of rebuilding as we speak. That means anything can happen at any time, and it would be in your best interest to stay informed. There are a few regions in the country that are considered unsafe for travels, so make sure to stay away from those places. The government of Turkey has listed some regions that are still in a state of high unrest, in particular the area bordering Syria.
You should also stay up to date with current travel advice issued by the country regarding natural disasters. A good number of places in Turkey are also known to be home to earthquakes, so always do your geographical research beforehand. To keep yourself safe, restrict your movements to the safe zones only.
3. Educate yourself
What goes in your country might not apply to Turkey. There is a cultural gulf, as is to be expected, between the customs in that part of the world and every other region.
Before leaving for the trip, take a while to educate yourself on the customs, laws, and people of the region you will be going to. Know their dos and don’ts. Look out for the cultural differences and start acting accordingly the moment you land. For example, always cover up and wear sleeved tops as a sign of respect.
Turkey has a good deal of tourist destinations to offer that you can scour. It is an incredible country and not to be missed. When you go, don’t forget to keep all we have said in mind. We wish you the best travels and do let us know how it went when you get back.