Turkey

I'm looking at going to Turkey for anywhere from a week to two or three. Aside from Istanbul and Cappadocia, what are some cool places? I'm very interested in historical sites be they Christian, Muslim, or Greek as well. Is Turkey the type of place I could just play by ear, going down the Western coast, or is it dangerous enough that I should have a solid plan? How much time can you spend in Istanbul? Is it a good place for an English speaker? What are some of your favorite hotels and hostels and sites and restaurants? How's the nightlife? I've heard horror stories of people getting robbed

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Knowing your luck you'll end up like Otto Warmbier after you do something moronic like accidentally insult Erdogan or some shit.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Lol, every Turk I talked to loved insulting erdogan.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Lol, every Turk I talked to loved insulting erdogan.
        I bet you're talking to the modernised, liberal, educated Turks that wish they joined Europe and fricked off the middle-east, not the Islamic fundies who are basically Turkish MAGA-hats and who Erdogan is preaching too when he acts like a strongman wannabe dictator and de-facto Caliph of the Islamic World.

        If you're European/Western then the people that want to chat with you are going to be the ones that like Europe and the West. It's usually the same in communist countries, you meet the intellectuals, fringe-dwellers, gays and dissidents because they're kind of thirsty for contact with people who don't regurgitate the propaganda and shit.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          I imagine the people in the west are more westernized?

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Is Turkey the type of place I could just play by ear, going down the Western coast,
    Yes. Use the intercity busses to get around if you don't have a car.
    >What are some of your favorite hotels and hostels and sites and restaurants?
    The best octopus I've ever had was at a seafood place up a street with a Lycian rock tomb at the end in Kaş. I don't remember the name. The whole southwest coast is to die for imo, Olimpos, Kekova, Demere, St. Nicholas Island, really everywhere I saw in the region was amazing. I don't remember the name of the place I stayed in Kayaköy, but it was really nice owned by this awesome cool guy named Recep, "Reggie", and his family. He took us out on a little aluminum john boat to check out some partially submerged Byzantine ruins and then his mom made us all delicious fresh goat with fruits and vegetables from the garden. I wish I knew how to find that guy.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Thanks for the post anon, maybe I'll just wander around western and southern Turkey for a couple weeks. You think it's worth renting a car or is the bus system robust enough? Are the people pretty friendly in general?

      Knowing your luck you'll end up like Otto Warmbier after you do something moronic like accidentally insult Erdogan or some shit.

      Cool, it'll be like Midnight Express.

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >How much time can you spend in Istanbul?
    As much as you want I guess

    >Is it a good place for an English speaker?
    Sure, why not, lots of people speak English there

    >How's the nightlife?
    I wasn't really looking to party, but you'll even see families still out at 11-12 in the tourist area, there's plenty of bars and it's easier to get alcohol than the US, maybe possible to meet girls, didn't really try

    >I've heard horror stories of people getting robbed
    You'd have to be pretty moronic for anything worse than pickpocketing to happen

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Hey, this is relevant to my interests.

    I plan to be in Instanbul for Christmas, does anyone know a good place that will be doing a full Turkey lunch/dinner?

    And I'm driving and have insurance for Turkey but will probably need to buy EU car insurance online to avoid paying the extortionate rates at the border crossing to Greece or Bulgaria. Anyone know how to do this?

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Coastline between Izmir and Antalya is top tier, Kappadokia is amazing, Istanbul is OK.
    You basically have to rent a car if you want to see the country.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      How expensive can it be to rent? Come to think of it, how much should I expect to spend on a two week trip?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I've been using Cizgi rent a car - never had an issue and prices are affordable. Airbnb and hotels are also really great and cheap in Turkey. If you want maximum bang for your buck I suggest a roundtrip from Antalya along Lycia to Fethiye, and back to Antalya. Can be done in about a week and you'll visit some of the greatest greek/roman ruins you'll ever see anywhere.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          >I've been using Cizgi rent a car
          NTA: I bought a car in Georgia and plan on driving it into Turkey, along the Black Sea and into Bulgaria.
          There's some wrinkles with getting it into Turkey, you need to convince them you're not going to sell it in Turkey but if they're not c**ts about it, I think that won't be too hard. I plan to have refundable airbnb bookings in Bulgaria to support my claim to be passing through and I have some European ID to help prove my case.

          I could incorporate Antalya into this though.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            I don't have any advice relevant to this specifically but I did live in Turkey for a couple of years and I can tell you that a little bribery will get you what you need if you have any problems. They call it soup money (corba parasi) and it helps speed things along in situation like yours.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            I wouldn't recommend trying to bribe guards. Are you selling the car in Turkey?
            Anyway, if I had a couple of weeks to spend I'd drive something like this.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              >I wouldn't recommend trying to bribe guards
              I don't plan on it, certainly not border guards.
              Just some good paperwork is more likely to work, I've heard that some people who were genuinely doing driving through with Georgian cars were sometimes given short-term visas and worst case, you might get a police escort and have to pay their expenses which is less than you might think.

              And no, I'm not selling the car, I plan to drive it through to Europe. I'd get European insurance in advance but that seems to be pretty hard to do online.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I wouldn't play it by ear only because there's so much to see.

      >You basically have to rent a car if you want to see the country.

      Not true. The bus system is extremely extensive and cheap, and flights are decent too.

      It's an amazing country and to travel it fully you'd need 3 or 4 months but for your first trip I'd say 2 weeks travelling down the West coast, starting in Istanbul & finishing in Antalya would be a good trip. Buses are the best way to get around as the drivers there are insane. Some highlights between the two are Gallipoli/Canakkale, Izmir, Selcuk, Pamukkale (this is a bit out of the way but so worth it), Bodrum, Fethiye & Kas/Kekova. I wouldn't bother with Cappadocia. It's so out of the way and a bit of a tourist trap I don't think it's actually worth going there unless you have somewhere else near it you want to check out. There are some real gems in South East Turkey like Mardin, Diyarbakir & Van but if you don't speak Turkish it would be a struggle without a guide, also the whole region is just slightly sketchy with political unrest & rogue Syrians.

      Agree with pretty much all of this. Forget Cappadocia and go to the South East instead. the people are insanely friendly. Mardin and Diyarbakir is an absolute must and Urfa is a cool stop too. You can get by knowing a few words or phrases probably and the region really only gets sketchy in places east past Mardin.

      >Lol, every Turk I talked to loved insulting erdogan.
      I bet you're talking to the modernised, liberal, educated Turks that wish they joined Europe and fricked off the middle-east, not the Islamic fundies who are basically Turkish MAGA-hats and who Erdogan is preaching too when he acts like a strongman wannabe dictator and de-facto Caliph of the Islamic World.

      If you're European/Western then the people that want to chat with you are going to be the ones that like Europe and the West. It's usually the same in communist countries, you meet the intellectuals, fringe-dwellers, gays and dissidents because they're kind of thirsty for contact with people who don't regurgitate the propaganda and shit.

      There's also a significant portion of supporters who aren't fundies but support him because it opens doors. Pretty much any professional in Istanbul and the big cities. Funnily enough, the most left-wing in Turkey are also the most likely to hate European/Westerners.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >There's also a significant portion of supporters who aren't fundies but support him because it opens doors
        That sounds like lip service.
        Standard in strong-man hybrid-democracy systems like Turkey, Georgia, MonteBlack.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Just like hordes of mindless troglodytes in the west write about lesbian womens' experience washing clothes in the 1990's, as that gives them a free pass into higher society.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous
            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              I'm and

              >I've been using Cizgi rent a car
              NTA: I bought a car in Georgia and plan on driving it into Turkey, along the Black Sea and into Bulgaria.
              There's some wrinkles with getting it into Turkey, you need to convince them you're not going to sell it in Turkey but if they're not c**ts about it, I think that won't be too hard. I plan to have refundable airbnb bookings in Bulgaria to support my claim to be passing through and I have some European ID to help prove my case.

              I could incorporate Antalya into this though.

              I'm attempting to enter Turkey with my Georgian car tomorrow. Assuming I make it in despite the car-reselling laws, does anyone have any suggestions on where to crash for the night between Sarp and Istanbul?
              It's a 15 hour drive and I'm not a well experienced driver so I probably don't want to arrive in Istanbul after midnight.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                I made it but as a non-resident of Georgia, I had to pay a lot for some special customs paperwork and they gave me a transit visa (for the car) that gives me a week to get to Bulgaria.
                I could have also gotten a police escort to Bulgaria but that would have been 2-3 days and I wouldn't be able to stop for Christmas dinner or take pictures of the Grand Bazaar.

                The police escort would only have been 10k lira, about 300euro, plus hotel and meal expenses for the police driver I think.
                The transit paperwork was way more, 1800euro in all which is extortion but now I have my car in Turkey and one step closer to Europe and can take a proper tour of the place. After I have a proper Christmas dinner at the Four Seasons and then go back to my cheap no-star old town hotel that was pretending to have four stars on wotif (my review will be unkind).

                The highway town hotel on the way was unexpectedly nice, fantastic view of a little town nestled between Karst hills with big rocks just built around by houses on the flat ground between the hills and rocks. Nothing really special but clean and good beds and a basic and adequate continental breakfast.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                I don't think I really like Istanbul, the kebab shop was messing around with prices, some guy on the street was pawing at me trying to sell fake Chanel perfume and other guys trying to get me to go to their shisha bar.
                I'll leave here asap but the place does make me want to play AC: Revelations again.

                The bit with the import fees leaves a bad taste too, those guys were just waiting by the desk at the import office, ready to "help". They said the fees are based in regulation and not their fault but they insisted on cash and I didn't get a receipt for the money so I don't really believe any of that.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                I don't think I really like Istanbul, the kebab shop was messing around with prices, some guy on the street was pawing at me trying to sell fake Chanel perfume and other guys trying to get me to go to their shisha bar.
                I'll leave here asap but the place does make me want to play AC: Revelations again.

                The bit with the import fees leaves a bad taste too, those guys were just waiting by the desk at the import office, ready to "help". They said the fees are based in regulation and not their fault but they insisted on cash and I didn't get a receipt for the money so I don't really believe any of that.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                I love Istanbul to death but you really have to GTFO of Sultanahmet. Istiklal too - side streets are mostly fine but the main road will bleed you dry, they're all ready to pop the tourist pinata the moment they spot it.
                Go to a less touristy district and there'll be absolutely no price frickery at all the eateries.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                Holy shit, the Georgian alphabet is absolute moonrunes. What a language.

                Interesting story though. I take it Turks don't much care for Georgians..

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                >Holy shit, the Georgian alphabet is absolute moonrunes. What a language.
                It's a unique script, at least within the small family of Caucasian languages that Georgian is one of, there are two others that are extant that use the same script and they're mostly only spoken in Georgia or around the Russian border with it.

                Personally I think it's pretty and looks a bit like Tengwar, one of Tolkien's elvish scripts.
                The language sounds a bit like Arabic, if you don't Arabic anyway. It has that throat-clearing kh sound but also lots of short vowels string together like -ishvili which is how half the surnames in the country end, a bit like Greek like that.

                >I take it Turks don't much care for Georgians
                They don't really care I don't think, there's trade of course and Turks go to Batumi to gamble in Georgian casinos.
                The thing with the car is because Turkey is a bureaucratic, corrupt shithole and it's complicated and expensive to buy cars so people (used to) buy cars in Georgia at the huge Caucasus auto market where I got mine, then drive them into Turkey and sell them.

                Now there are laws that say Georgian cars must be driven by their owners who are Georgian residents or citizens and they must have been owned by that person for at least six months. Otherwise, you have to do the special stuff like I did because I failed both requirements.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                >The transit paperwork was way more, 1800euro in all which is extortion but now I have my car in Turkey and one step closer to Europe and can take a proper tour of the place.

                I don’t get why you did the moronic move of buying a car in Georgia? You should have rented in Georgia outside of cities. Used a bus or rail to get to cities. And used a bus to get to Turkish cities and rented in the countryside.

                It seems like you just paid a cartoonish amount by insisting on buying a car and had to deal with all sorts of fees. Your choice makes no sense.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                >I don’t get why you did the moronic move of buying a car in Georgia? You should have rented in Georgia outside of cities
                My license is too new to rent at most agencies and I wanted to be able to drive across borders.
                In retrospect, I should have done either the police escort through Turkey or the ferry to Varna (also a bit pricy), either way, I then park somewhere safe in Bulgaria, bus back to Turkey and rent there...though that would also be difficult because Turkish law requires you to have held a license for two years to rent and mine is a month old.

                Anyway, it's done. I and my car are in Bulgaria now but it took EIGHT FRICKING HOURS to get through the border. Mostly because Turkish officials all basically said "I can't do that, go talk to that guy" who was away at prayer and when he got back sent me to some other guy who'd just send me back. I had been given specific instructions to go to talk to people in customs in the trucking area but I should have ignored them all and just gone in the regular car lane and handed my paperwork to the first customs official in a booth because that's what they ended up getting me to do after exhausting every possible alternative.

                I must have walked about six km just back and forth between offices in the truck yard which is this huge lot about three km long with thousands of trucks parked and queuing and shit.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                Still me.

                Turkish airbnb seems to be pretty high-risk. I had two refunds that were forced on hosts who fought them as hard as they could and lied their asses off.

                One stood me up, hadn't given an exact address and didn't have a key box, just sent me to a street corner to meet them and didn't turn up.
                They'd messages while I was driving then when I didn't respond claimed I made them think I wasn't coming. I argued with them for an hour and left but they bullshit to airbnb so it got escalated repeatedly and someone in the US ended up calling me to sort it out. I got the refund in the end but the host was super pissed off in chat and kept gaslighting until I blocked her.

                The other one sent me to this complete slum basement apartment full of trash and a fridge of old food with no clean bedding or even running water. It was disgusting. That was a way easier refund but they still refused to cooperate and it was involuntary.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's an amazing country and to travel it fully you'd need 3 or 4 months but for your first trip I'd say 2 weeks travelling down the West coast, starting in Istanbul & finishing in Antalya would be a good trip. Buses are the best way to get around as the drivers there are insane. Some highlights between the two are Gallipoli/Canakkale, Izmir, Selcuk, Pamukkale (this is a bit out of the way but so worth it), Bodrum, Fethiye & Kas/Kekova. I wouldn't bother with Cappadocia. It's so out of the way and a bit of a tourist trap I don't think it's actually worth going there unless you have somewhere else near it you want to check out. There are some real gems in South East Turkey like Mardin, Diyarbakir & Van but if you don't speak Turkish it would be a struggle without a guide, also the whole region is just slightly sketchy with political unrest & rogue Syrians.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Every Turk I've met has been a really weird pan-Turkic (Altaic+Japanese/Korean) nationalist. Not a bad thing, just don't be brainwashed into thinking the Japanese are nomadic herders and don't piss them off by saying so.

    I'm going to Istanbul for a week, and really wish it was Greek... alas. What are some non-Turkish districts of Istanbul to see? Any non-touristy Byzantine ruins?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      There's not that much strictly Byzantine stuff left. If you want that specifically, try walking around Fener/Balat. Whole bunch of Biz churches over there, almost all converted into mosques of course. Kariye in particular is noteworthy for its mosaics, but I'm sure Tayyip is still keeping it firmly under lock and key "for conservation effort". Fragments of the Theodosian walls are also nearby.
      Outside of that, there's the little Hagia Sophia which supposedly served as a prototype for the real deal, tucked a short distance away and entirely missed by tourists. Hagia Irene is obvious since it's part of the Topkapi grounds, but unmistakably Byzantine. Nearby the Hippodrome (which I guess counts as Biz too), there's a small museum on the former spot of the Emperor's Grand Palace which houses the remaining mosaics. There's also Constantine's Column (Cemberlitas), but you're bound to bump into it eventually while just doing the main sights.
      On the Asian side in Kadikoy, there are the ruins of Chalcedon, the city of the blind. Mind you, it's mostly a pile of rocks.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Goddamn, Byzantine academic or Istanbul resident?
        This is going to be nearly impossible in whole, but are there any neighborhoods that are either preserved in some way since that period or heavily remained the same architecturally? Guessing all of Istanbul is to a certain extent, though I'm sure the heritage is most prominent in certain places since there were Greeks throughout Ottoman rule

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