Myths busted for Turkey Travel

MYTH 1. Turkey is Easy to See in a Week

For those of you adventuresome types thinking Turkey looks or is small or that you can see it all in a week. No, it's actually larger than many countries in Europe like France or German. It boasts of being the 37th largest country out of 235 in the world. I'm from California and Turkey is twice as large as California and you definitely cannot drive all of California in a week.

MYTh 2. All of Turkey is Not Safe...

Wrong... Headlines might make it sound like all of Turkey is becoming unsafe with the neighboring country Syria's problems. The fact is it is only advised to not approach Turkey's southeast area. The rest of the country is as beautiful, unique and historic as ever. For instance, last year, 2015, Istanbul was voted the #1 tourist destination over Paris and London. ,

MYTH 3. It's Easy to Make Your Own Itinerary, Travel, & Hotel Plans

Not so, it's much better to hire the professionals that lives in Turkey and knows the routines assist you. There are sufficient, but not a lot of, choices for travel and you wouldn't want to have big surprises for you and your family in a new country.

MYTH 4. English is Spoken

Do not count on this, it may happen easily for you, or you may have to go to several different people until you find someone fluent. Think of it as all part of your experience.  The Turkish people are friendly and helpful in any case.

MYTH 5. You can pick up a Visa when you arrive in Turkey

No you can NOT if you are one of the travelers that 'does' need a Visa ie: (UK, Canadian, USA, Australian, Russian and some other European countries' citizens), do not wait until you arrive in Turkey. You MUST buy it online BEFORE you travel. Go here: 

MYTH 6. I Will Feel Uncomfortable in an Islamic Country

No, if you know what the Muslims believe you will see what they feel. They are truly a peaceful people. "In a religious context the word "Islam" means "the surrendering of one's will to the true will of God in an effort to achieve peace". (Islam means "surrender" or "submission". "Salam" (which means "peace") is the root word of "Islam". "Their custom is to pray and you will hear the 'call to prayer' six times a day. If you do go into an active mosque (like the Blue Mosques in Istanbul) there are two rules 1. ladies must cover their heads and shoulders and 2. no photos are allowed of the people in prayer.  No worries, non-muslims are not expected to take part in the religious practices.

MYTH 7.  Turkish Carpets are to be Bought at Turkish bazaars

No, you will be paying a huge marked up price as the buyers  buy their carpets from the nomadic women in the villages. Best bet is to go to  a weaving factory like a Hali Village in a smaller area. These are the carpets made from cocoon to finished product that the buyers in the big cities buy and resell to you at MUCH higher prices. Save money, and have the memory of watching your carpet made before your eyes. 

MYTH 8. I Don't Need a Guide to Show Me Around

When in a new country, especially one that speaks another language, it's a very smart, and time-saving, idea to hire a licensed guide for you and/or your private group.  This way you can ask all your questions, get a lay of the land, find out about the customs and then you can spend the rest of your stay being a knowledgeable guest instead of a lost tourist.

Ephesus, Turkey private family reunion tour
Women ready to go into Istanbul mosque