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Should I be worried?

Miami, Florida
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Should I be worried?

Hi guys,

I will be visiting my friend in Istanbul (for the 1st time) from May 3rd to the 12th and I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am! .. Now, I just read something that got me a little worried: U.S Dept. of State website warns about May 1st celebrations resulting in violent clashes lasting for weeks and even months - like last year. Should I be concerned? I know events like these cannot be predicted most of the time, but in your opinion, is there a high chance for something like that to happen in early May?

I would very much appreciate your answers. Thanks!

Eliza

Istanbul
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for Istanbul
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1. Re: Should I be worried?

Eliza, Last years events were totally unrelated to May 1st celebrations, and just happened to be in May. I do not think you need to worry about those kinds of demonstrations. However there are protests taking place in every country, including USA. If you happen to see one, just get out of the area. That is all.

enjoy Istanbul,

enigma...

Miami, Florida
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2. Re: Should I be worried?

Thank you, Enigma! I appreciate the advice and the clarification; they made it seem like they were related to May 1st celebrations and that's why I got a little concerned. I'm so glad to hear! And yes, you're completely right, protests can take place anywhere at any time.. no way to predict that. I hope nothing happens though, I'm so looking forward to enjoy this beautiful city! :)

Istanbul
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3. Re: Should I be worried?

There are usually protests on May 1st. Last year both Galata bridge and Atatürk bridge over the golden horn were opened in an attempt to prevent people from joining the protests in Taksim. There was a lot of tear gas. I'd recommend staying away from Taksim on May 1st. Other areas should be fine though.

Miami, Florida
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4. Re: Should I be worried?

Thank you, Kachika! I will actually be landing May 4th, which is a Sunday and I think the area where my friend lives is by Rumeli Hisari (not sure if I wrote it correctly or if that's even a neighborhood).. I hope that's not too close to Taksim.

Istanbul
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5. Re: Should I be worried?

It's nowhere near Taksim, don't worry.

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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6. Re: Should I be worried?

HI Eliza, I am not sure where you read that information from the US State Department. There are only four countries on the most current warning list and those are: the Ukraine, Afghanistan, Thailand and Egypt. The demonstrations last year did not start with the normal demonstrations that often occur on May 1.

People in Istanbul enjoy freedom of speech, and they exercise it. There are on-going demonstrations in the US. Yesterday people in Arizona were demonstrating against a new law permitting religious people to discriminate against gay people. People in my area were demonstrating against capital punishment, and, of course, there are always the 40 people on the same street corner waving God Is Not Dead signs at passing motorists. Last time I went to Sea World, PETA was demonstrating.

Demonstrations are part of a democratic society. If you want to vacation in a place where people do not demonstrate, you need to explore those places where demonstrations are discouraged. I almost never go to Taksim Square on the week-ends, and this permits me to avoid becoming involved in some cause that is not my own.

Miami, Florida
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7. Re: Should I be worried?

Dear Busy-retired,

I agree with your opinion in its entirety and appreciate your response; however I have never experienced any sort of protest or manifestation in my entire life (weird? perhaps...), therefore my concern is self-explanatory - up a certain point.

Please kindly see below, I'm quoting from the U.S Dept. of State website (section referring to Safety and Security in Turkey):

"May Day (May 1) celebrations have resulted in violent clashes between police and workers. Taksim Square and the surrounding neighborhoods in Istanbul should be avoided on May Day. In May, 2013 public demonstrations that began in the Taksim and Besiktas areas of Istanbul soon grew into widespread demonstrations throughout all of Turkey. The demonstrations started at varying times and often with little notice, and lasted throughout May and much of June. Violent altercations between the protestors and Turkish law enforcement occurred in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Adana, Mersin and elsewhere."

Link:

…state.gov/content/…turkey.html

Thank you.

Istanbul, Turkey
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8. Re: Should I be worried?

Hi Eliza,

Very good advise! I would also echo that foreign visitors should stay away from the Taksim Square and the surrounding neighborhoods during May 1.

Borus

London, United...
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9. Re: Should I be worried?

That is good to know. We are arriving in Istanbul (my husband and 2 children) on the 1st of May and staying in the Sultanmet area. We have arranged for a transfer through our hotel, so I hope we don't have problems getting there from the airport. We'll definitely stay away from the Taksim area. Good info. Thanks.

charlotte
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10. Re: Should I be worried?

I spent a few days ın İstanbul a couple of months ago and ıt was fıne. ı wasn't anywhere near Taksim, however. When I got back to Fethıye I was surprısed to see the protests on TV as there was no ındıcatıon of ıt whıle we were ın İstanbul. These protests seem to be very contaıned.