Is Travelling to Turkey Safe? Expert Insights and Essential Safety Tips

In a word: yes. But like anywhere in the world, you should avoid certain areas and situations.

Turkey is a much larger country than people perceive it to be, and, as with many large countries, ‘safety’ can vary greatly from one area to another. Many people may have queries about whether earthquakes will affect the cruise when doing a Go Sail Turkey trip.


Luckily (for people on cruises, but not locals), the East Anatolian fault zone that is the main cause of these natural disasters in the region lies along the border with Syria and Iran, (circled in red above) and as you can see this is too far away from our boats to be anything to worry about, so feel reassured that you would be unlikely to encounter any tremors let alone an earthquake whilst sailing with us.

The Turkey-Syria border has its other issues, with the recent war in Syria. However, the conflict has died down recently and was very much contained to the south of the border region, over 1500 km away from the likes of Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye, three of the main stopover ports on our sails. In fact, the Aegean/Mediterranean coast of Turkey is known for its safety and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists from all over the world!

Fethiye, Bodrum and Marmaris have all been listed in the top 10 safest places to travel in Turkey, and the local authorities prioritise the safety and wellbeing of tourists, as tourism is obviously an essential industry along this stunning part of the coast.

As with any travel destination, there are always ways to make your time away safer. When in Turkey, one must remember that this is a predominantly Muslim country (although it is strictly secular and is NOT an Islamic Republic) and filled with wonderful traditions and rich culture. These should be respected by all travellers whilst exploring the towns and cities along the coastline. The West of the country, around towns such as Izmir, Bodrum, Marmaris, Antalya and Fethiye has a much more relaxed, liberal attitude to things such as alcohol, nightclubs, bikinis etc and these areas can feel very European. However, the Eastern and Central inland regions and towns such as Konya, Trabzon, Gaziantep, Van and almost all the places near the Iranian border are much more conservative. If you spent a day in laid-back Marmaris and a day in a traditional Eastern town, you would feel you were in completely different countries at times!

Here are 5 ways you can stay in the good books of the locals during your time off your boat:

  • Dress modestly, with shoulders covered, when in town/villages, and especially when visiting sacred areas! Women may be asked to cover their hair when visiting many religious sites.
  • When bargaining in local markets remember to be respectful and friendly and try not to make a fool of yourself! (haggling is an essential part of a Turkish shopping trip).
  • Never discuss politics with a Turk.
  • Always respect teatime – this is essential to the essence of Turkish life.

While on board we do ask that you show respect to the captain and his crew, but we also encourage everyone to relax, have fun and adopt a more laid-back style compared to the casual formalities in some Turkish towns. Enjoy your Go Sail Turkey trip with a carefree attitude and we look forward to showing you the highlights of this awesome coastline!

Looking for accommodation in Turkey? Have a look in the Hostelworld search box below to find the right accommodation for you.

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