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Travelling to Turkey

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First Time....Last Time
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1.       KeithL
1455 posts
 24 Jan 2007 Wed 10:44 pm

Many of the visitors at the site have been to Turkey multiple times. How about a paragraph of what your expectations were before you came the first time, what your first impressions were once you got here, and finally, how your views have changed since your last visit here.
(My God, this sounds like a school assignment, but there has to be some funny stories here...)

2.       kate4358
333 posts
 24 Jan 2007 Wed 11:11 pm

I first went to Turkey, Gumbet 15 years ago, i imagined a third world country, with people wearing tradional muslim long clothes..... ha ha how wrong i was, i went to the most friendly place on earth, the only problem then was the four and half hour flight plus the four hour coach journey, that was until Bodrum airport opened..... Since then i have been going back to Turkey 3 or 4 times a year as i find the people, the food and the culture, the best ive ever seen..... Hopefully this year i wil move out there once i have learned the language, with the help of the Turkish sites on the computor,my good friend Ayla and my new Turkish language school which i will attend in February........

3.       kayakebab
23 posts
 24 Jan 2007 Wed 11:14 pm

I thought it would be dirty and unsafe. I even went to my GP and had a hepatitis jab even though I have a fear of needles!
Couldn't have been more wrong. Instantly fell in love with the place and had a real sense of it being where I was supposed to be, I'm sure I lived there in a former life.

12 years and many visits later have bought a house near Fethiye and want to move there sometime in the future

4.       kai
0 posts
 24 Jan 2007 Wed 11:20 pm

To be honest, I didn't have an expectaion on Turkey. I never do when travelling. I just make the most of it when out there. Speaking/laughing/dancing with the locals....always great fun! It's the best way to go I think. You get the real way of life in anothers then

As for a funny moment...should I reveal it? lol

5.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 24 Jan 2007 Wed 11:33 pm

Before going there for the first time I thought I'd see a land of the savage and a bunch of hairy guys walking five metres in front of their wives dragging a donkey. I don't have to tell you that what I saw was absolutely different. Istanbul shocked me and made me fall in love with it instantly. Since then I have returned to Turkey three times visiting Bursa, Ankara, Izmir, Side, Ephesus, Pammukale and many other places. Still, I cannot free myself from Turkish obsession and I wish I could go there in the near future, which, unfortunately, is out of the question for at least three more years

Funny stories? I could write a book about them!

6.       Elisa
0 posts
 25 Jan 2007 Thu 12:02 am

Reading this thread, it suddenly occurred to me that I can't even remember what my expectations were.. My first time in Turkey was in Istanbul, 2 1/2 years ago. I felt very excited because it would be my first travel on my own. But as soon as I got there, the city captured me. I know my way around Istanbul better than I do in some nearby places in my own country I jumped up and off buses and boats as if I had done it for years I realized that knowing a couple of Turkish words brings you to places you would never see otherwise. One day I wanted to go to a kahvehane on Çamlıca hill, took the dolmuş, started walking up the hill, but couldn't find it. A taxi driver stopped, but the guy didn't speak any English. All I could stutter out was "kahvehane - manzara çok güzel". The guy replied "aaaahhhh!!!" and in 2 minutes I was enjoying a tea and the stunning Istanbul skyline in the garden of that place
Offf, so many memories and impressions spring to my mind, I'd better write an essay but I wouldn't know where to start... and I haven't even mentioned anything about Kapadokya and Bördübet yet...
Anyway, I hope to see much more of this challenging country..

7.       Joey
0 posts
 25 Jan 2007 Thu 12:03 am

We first went to Turkey almost by accident. A week before we were due to go to the Greek island of Poros in 1988 there was a terrorist attack on a Greek ferry in the Aegean with many people killed and injured.The travel agent switched our holiday to Altınkum where we had a really wonderful time.In those days there was only a handful of hotels very few swimming pools but a lovely beach.There were power cuts every night but it did not lessen our enjoyment.We have been going back to Turkey 2 or 3 times a year ever since. My wife does not enjoy travelling so much these days so I sometimes come over myself to Hisarönü where I enjoy walking in the Kayaköy valley.

8.       kayakebab
23 posts
 25 Jan 2007 Thu 12:09 am

Ahhhh Kayakoy, thats where my love for Turkey became almost obsessive. I spend hours every year wandering around there. I know so many people now and have more friends there than in my own street in UK! Absolutely magical

9.       SERA_2005
668 posts
 26 Jan 2007 Fri 07:38 pm

first went to Turkey in 2003 i think and i fell in love with it straight away i have been back dozens of times since and have been lucky enough to see so much more of the country rather than just the holiday resorts, althought they are beautiful. All that travelling to different parts of Turkey became a reality when i met my wonderful fiance.Maşallah.

10.       Trudy
7887 posts
 26 Jan 2007 Fri 08:20 pm

First time I went to Turkey was in February 2006, I wanted just a city trip as a rewarding for myself after a nasty divorce. Berlin, Paris, London, Vienna I had been there so I thought why not Istanbul? I expected a big city, nothing more, nothing less. I got caught by the people, the culture, everything. For my summer holiday I went back in May and June 2006 and I travelled 37 days through the middle and east, backpacking all by myself. Then I met that man I fell in love with and I returned to Istanbul to meet him again - not a good decision I can tell now. Fourth time was in October/November together with my sister because I had three weeks autumn holiday and I didn't want to spent them by myself here in Holland. It became Alanya, to see some culture things and to be honest because it was cheap. The fifth time was only 3 weeks ago, I went to Kuşadası for seeing marvellous sites and meeting a friend from Turkish Class. Now I am planning a new trip to the south, east and north probably in June and July 2007. And what I did, saw and who I've met during these trips I already wrote in my essays.

11.       bliss
900 posts
 26 Jan 2007 Fri 08:53 pm

Great thread!!!
Thank you, KaithL for opening it.
I never visited Turkey(not yet). Doesn't mean never will do.
That's my dream, and all of you made me very impatient with your memories shared with us. I wish that day will come soon.
Kayakebab, you made me comfortable.
I was filling weird all the time thinking I had previous life in Turkey because every day I discover many new things very familiar to me.
Thank you, guys with sharing your stories and impressions with us.
I wish to all who will visit Turkey in near future wonderful time.

Bridge across Bosphorus

My dream to step on it one day.

12.       azade
1606 posts
 26 Jan 2007 Fri 09:19 pm

First time I went to Turkey was in 2004 and I went there with my family. They had bought an apartment in Alanya in April and had to go there in the summer to finish some paperwork and they thought we might as well make a holiday out of it (originally we were going to Tunis but cancelled it). I didn't expect much other than making a typical holiday but I got ill and spent most time at the hotel (our apartment was not ready yet).

The second time around was in December 2004-Janurary 2005 and I went to Istanbul because I needed a break from life. And well, what to expect from Istanbul? Of course I didn't know it then but still the city intrigued me. I met my (now) husband there and saw a great deal of the city, from the inside, because of him.

I went back to Istanbul in February 2005 to see him and I was particularily happy that it was Istanbul because at the same time, I had fallen in love with Istanbul; the ultimate city in my opinion. I had high expectations and was not disappointed.

Then in June 2005 I moved to Alanya to stay with my hubby (though we weren't married at the time) and although I'm not so fond of the tourism aspect, we were somewhat content there.
In October-November 2005 we went to Hakkari (and Van) so I could meet his family and stayed there during Ramazan. I was both excited and skeptical about going there, especially since some turks told me that they'd never dream of going there. The way religion is more central in everyday life shocked me because I have never seen it before and apart from some minor arguments with his oldest brother and the fact that I had to go to the hospital because of bacterial infection that kept me awake during the nights I liked staying there. Still I was happy when it was time to go back to Alanya.

On New Years Eve, after having spent a week in Denmark. I flew to Antalya and was the first 'tourist' to set food on Turkish soil in 2006 so the press welcomed me with flowers and questions. I ended up in many newspapers the following days and it was really funny.

Neyse, we went back to Van and Hakkari in May 2006 to attend my brother-in-law's wedding and I enjoyed it much more than the first time because I understood the culture better and felt that I could be myself, but especially because of my mother-in-law who's the most special and loving woman I have ever met. Everybody were so nice to me and sometimes I felt like a tourist attraction

All together it's hard to know what to expect when travelling to Turkey because there are so many sub-cultures and differences in each region that makes it special. I have been to Ankara a couple of times as well, so I have seen a great deal of the country, though never historic important places. I'd like to do that in the future and especially I'd like to go to Trabzon because of it's beauty.
I feel that Turkey is my home and I hope to see more of it when we can afford it. Actually I'd say that I feel more unsafe in Alanya than I do in Hakkari.

13.       Capoeira
575 posts
 28 Jan 2007 Sun 07:20 pm

I read a ton before going and spoke to Turkish friends so I had an idea what was ahead.

But the lasting impression is by far...realizing that smiling at everybody was a 'come hither boy' message to many men. So much for my mom teaching me to smile more!

14.       deli
5904 posts
 28 Jan 2007 Sun 08:20 pm

15.       CANLI
5084 posts
 19 Apr 2008 Sat 02:37 am

Ok guys,any other interesting stories ?!
What is your experience there,what will you surely do next time you go,and what will you be aware not to do ?!

16.       lovebug
280 posts
 20 Apr 2008 Sun 06:08 pm

Turkey is so vast, I don't know where to begin on my next trip. It is like being a kid in a candy store, so much to choose from. I would love to see Cappadocia and take a hot air balloon ride.(very touristy I know).

I also want to go to Ephesus and see the Virgin Mary's house. And my in-laws are originally from Gumushane, so I would love to travel to the Black Sea coast. I have seen pictures and the scenery is breath-taking. But no matter what I do, I know that I will enjoy myself, because I always seem to notice something different or meet new people, and it is always fun to travel.(well at least for me )

17.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 12 Feb 2010 Fri 10:34 am

The first time I went to Turkey... Even though it´s 10 years ago I still remember it very well!

After a financial hard time, my mother had saved very long for a holiday. Through teletext on the tv, she found out about last-minute trips. She came to my summer-job, proudly announced that we would be taking our first flight-holiday ever, and our first foreign trip since years. Where... Turkey! I thought...hmmm... bit boring. Only thing I knew about Turkey was through my Turkish friend´s pictures of family holiday. In my eyes, Turkey was a few boring beaches, Istanbul, and a LOT of farms

So, I just prepared for the worst. That way I wouldn´t be disappointed...and I wasn´t! We arrived in Kusadasi, in a hotel with a view of the sunset of the sea every night. The hotel was right on the boulevard...the people were so friendly, and the excursions we did that year were right up my ally! I love old stuff, so Efes was a blast!


After that my views on Turkey changed slightly, ofcourse. Knowing the country better, seeing bad sides and good sides. And also the really touristic places in Turkey itself changed. Some streets look more like Ireland then Turkey (full of pubs ) But in the end, I still have a soft spot for Turkey! And I feel like I´ve only seen about 1% of the country, so I´ll keep going there


18.       foka
597 posts
 12 Feb 2010 Fri 11:06 am


Quoting Daydreamer

Before going there for the first time I thought I´d see a land of the savage and a bunch of hairy guys walking five metres in front of their wives dragging a donkey. I don´t have to tell you that what I saw was absolutely different. Istanbul shocked me and made me fall in love with it instantly. Since then I have returned to Turkey three times visiting Bursa, Ankara, Izmir, Side, Ephesus, Pammukale and many other places. Still, I cannot free myself from Turkish obsession and I wish I could go there in the near future, which, unfortunately, is out of the question for at least three more years Funny stories? I could write a book about them!


 +100 {#emotions_dlg.applause}

19.       yakamozzz
398 posts
 12 Feb 2010 Fri 02:26 pm

i´m not sure if i ever had any previous life... {#emotions_dlg.unsure} but if i had, then i most certainly wasn´t some fish or tree or smth...and just like kayakebab said - i think that if i lived before, that was taking place in turkey...or maybe that´s my great-great-...(6 generations back from me) ancestor´s turkish DNA talking in me... {#emotions_dlg.unsure} but when i went there first time (about 2,5 years ago), i still remember my very first impression of istanbul atatürk airport (went out for smoking, since my next plane went about 3,5 hours later)...in domestic terminal i already was surrounded with locals...all those clothes and the language and stuff...i didn´t understand them that good then though (now it´s much harder for me to look blonde and silly, coz i understand a lot of what common people around me are talking about Cool)...and when i went outside, there was this smell...can´t describe it...but all the air was filled with it...later i found the same smell in the bathroom (and since that moment i have a new favourite soap i even brougth few pieces of it with me to estonia {#emotions_dlg.ninja} i think the smell came from some local herb or fruit that they use to make this soap {#emotions_dlg.think})...but when i just got out of the airport, i discovered myself thinking - AT LAST i´m home...and i got surprised how logical this thought and feeling seemed to me...before going to turkey first time i didn´t expect anything much (if you would know what people are telling about turks and turkey here in estonia, you would agree that this was the best way to even go there - without any prejudiced thoughts, open-minded and curious)...my first trip there was short, only 6 days...but it was a real paradise on earth...and when i came back to estonia, it took about 2 weeks from me to realise that i´m back and my lectures at the uni will very soon start again and i need to concentrate...and the most hard part was that i couldn´t eat anything here in estonia anymore, coz what ever i put to my mouth - not the same taste Cry ...so when we had christmas break in uni, i went back and brought all the spices i needed (and couldn´t find in our stores, for example, here we don´t even know what is sumak {#emotions_dlg.rant}) with me {#emotions_dlg.lol_fast} and it was the best new year ever for me {#emotions_dlg.bigsmile} so i´m trying to go there from time to time, coz there i feel myself like home...last time i came back from turkey in september 2009...skipped the first week of lectures ...i know i won´t have any realistic chances to go back there in the near future though (but i leave 1% open for some wonder), coz i need to graduate master´s and i really need to concentrate on my studying and dissertation...but i also know that i can go there again, it doesn´t depend on some visas or smth, it just depends on me so, my first memory of my first trip to turkey was this smell...and my last memory of my last trip is the cookery book that i bought in the airport on my way back here...in between of those 2 time points is...everything else...a paradise...hugging palm trees...boat trip in fethiye - coz i am sooooo scared of any open water, i never even swim here in estonia...travelling around by car...places and people that i have seen and visited...turkish tv soap operas that i miss now...hot days and warm nights...warm weather even in "turkish winter"...oranges and mandarines, picked with my own hand on 31. december...local food that can´t be copied in our "turkish restaurants" here in estonia, no matter how hard they try...little things that meant so much for me...and i still am soo happy that i never listened all those "good advices" here in estonia about cancelling my first trip to this savage country where i will most certainly get lost and never come back etc etc etc {#emotions_dlg.lol_fast} wanna know what was the most stupid question that i asked from my turkish friends when i needed to pack my first bag for going? {#emotions_dlg.rolleyes} i´ll tell...but you have to promise that you won´t laugh (and that goes for you, too, ReyhanL, especially for you {#emotions_dlg.lol_fast} my most stupid question was - do i have to take some toilet paper with me or do you have smth like that in turkey, too? {#emotions_dlg.shy}

Edited (2/13/2010) by yakamozzz [added Rey :)]

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