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warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

Kadikale, Turkey
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for Turgutreis
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warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

I do not wish to cause undue alarm or panic but I would like to suggest that, for now, visitor stay away from the Taksim area.

There is an ongoing peaceful protest against the destruction of Gezi park to make way for a new shopping mall (which of course Istanbul desperatley needs!) that the police have repeatedly attempted to break up using what amnesty international have described as excessive force. This force includes the use of tear gas and water canons. News sources are reporting 'According to the Istanbul Chamber of Medicine, seven people have been seriously injured. Six people are suffering from serious head trauma, while a teacher’s leg has been broken.' Alternative news source report at least one person has died. These source and images from social media are reporting that the Taksim metro station has been locked down and tear gas fired into the station whilst people are trapped inside.

www.dha.com.tr/dhavideogaleri.asp?vid=478788

At time of writing this is an ongoing situation.

hurriyetdailynews.com/…

DHA have been giving a live news feed but I don't know how long this will be allowed to continue.

http://www.dha.com.tr/canli-yayin/

These are in turkish but some unfortunately graphic images

http://www.dha.com.tr/

To those regulars to this forum who will no doubt want to down play this and have this thread removed please do not, even you cannot seriously want to endanger the welfare of visitors by pretending this isn't happening.

Pune, India
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611. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

Hey guys,

As promised, updates from Day 3 of our stay in Istanbul.

We did the Topkapi Palace Tour and the Bosphorus cruise and everything was normal.

People were everywhere and both - the palace as well as the cruise was full of tourists.

We haven't been to the Taksim area, but as of now, if you are going to be staying in the Old City, there is no need to alter / cancel your plans. Business is as usual.

Mount Dora, Florida
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612. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

Borus, I note that you are advising that there is no problem coming from Ataturk Airport into the city. Is this also true for the 15th and 16th? I thought there were pro-Erdogan demonstrations scheduled for these dates somewhere near the airport road. Some place, maybe even on this forum, I read that people should avoid using the road to the airport as well as public transportation to the airport on these dates.

I am not overly concerned. I have been in Istanbul when that entire road was closed for races, and my taxi drivers were always able to find a way around the road, but I wonder if public transportation would be impacted, and if so, should we be mentioning this to people arriving on these days?

Bradford, United...
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613. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

Hi Borus

I have been following this forum since it was posted and thank you for constantly updating the news about the Old Sultahahmet area. I will be travelling to Istanbul in 2 weeks with my family, our flight will land at 10:00pm at Ataturk airport and Im just worried about travelling to our hotel in the Old Sultahahmet area during late night, would it be safe? please let me know as soon as possible

Cesena, Italy
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614. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

no problems instead for sabiha airport, right?

New York City, New...
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615. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

Thank You! We were so looking forward to this trip and now all I feel is worry. On the verge of canceling but my Husband has always wanted to go- and I think the tourist spots will be safe.

Hope it does not get worse its becoming to late to cancel.

El Dorado Hills...
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616. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

Thanks for the update mod8. Was planning on being at the Grand Hyatt in Taskim but maybe should switch hotel to the old city area.

Brighton
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617. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

I've just returned from a week in Istanbul, staying in the Sultanahmet area. There was absolutely no evidence of any problems in this area and unless you'd seen it on the news you would never have known there was anything going on. Do not alter or change your plans, especially if you're staying in Sultanahmet as it really is business as usual.

We happened to pass through Taksim in our taxi from the airport (we went a very long way round to drop off other guests first) and saw several water cannon trucks (not in use) parked up in the streets, quite a bit of graffiti which was in the process of being cleaned off. That was all we saw. From the pictures on the news we were expecting burnt out cars and riot police everywhere. During the daytime that wasn't what we saw.

Common sense will tell you to stay away from Taksim, particularly at night, so if your accommodation is in this area and you have the option to change location then I would recommend Sultanahmet - it's a perfectly happy, functioning place to go sightseeing and enjoying meals / drinks day or night.

I've found this forum so helpful in the run up to my trip, I'm sure others have also felt reassured to know that what you see on the news isn't the full picture of how things are.

Istanbul, Turkey
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618. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

BR, Istanbul demonstration will be on the 16th in Kazlıçeşme (Zeytinburmu) square. I do not think it will affect the public transportation negatively. Even in the worse case, there are lots of alternative routes to get to Sultanahmet from the airport.

To all the other travellers who have questions on Sultahmet area:

The area / public transportation is perfectly safe DAY and NIGHT.

Hope this helps,

Borus

Istanbul, Turkey
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619. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

Hi forum,

FLASH NEWS!

The government spokesman announced that Mr. Erdoğan (Prime Minister) will be meeting with the representatives of the protestors this Wednesday. He also said that they are ready to hear the demands of the protestors as long as they are democratic in nature.

Absolutely a good news.

Hope everything ends in peace.

Stay safe,

Borus

Edited: 10 June 2013, 23:24
Amsterdam, The...
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620. Re: warning for anyone in Istanbul currently

Yes hope everything will end in peace and there is no need of demonstration on 16th in Zeytinburnu!

Keep Istanbul safe!

Although I am leaving Turkey soon, for sure I will be coming back. I love Istanbul!