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jim8919

A Lone Yank in Turkey

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How would I fare in Turkey alone as an American? I am not an obvious dude that would wear some shirt that said 'USA' in bright red or something ridiculous as that.

 

I did this in Canada and got strange looks but I didn't care because its Canada. I am no captain obvious but would really like to visit Turkey and generally was wondering how Turks view Americans. Im use to the typical saying 'the world hates Americans', yes I am aware of this. My neighbor is a Turk and told me the legends of Turkish women LOL. I am not going there for women but it just seems like an interesting country and sort of a mix of Europe and the Middle East. So I suppose I am a curious soul who is looking for an interesting place to see without a 'tourist group' mind you. You cannot see a culture by using them they do not show you the country entirely and I get bored going on those.

 

I am in my mid 20s and but am a responsible person. Im not a trouble maker or lewd sort so I shouldn't worry about much while I am there? Turks just seem like interesting people.

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Generally speaking, we don't hate all people of any nation. For instance Turks do not hate USA or American people. Maybe they hate political moves of US or other countries. Me? I hate all politics in the world.

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I agree with that! I've lived in Turkey since 1997 (except for 3 years in Germany) as both a US military member and a retiree. I have never encountered anybody in Turkey who had any dislike for me for being American. Quite the opposite, actually. Turks like Americans, and our two nations and peoples are actually a lot alike. If you look at Turkish history and Turkish ideals, you may find that Turks and Americans are more alike than Europeans and Americans, or Europeans and Turks.

 

In a lot of places I've been, when a Turk learns that I am American, they seem pretty happy about it and strike up a conversation. When Turks have compared all of the nationalities they meet in Turkey, they typically give high marks to Americans for friendliness and politeness as well.

 

If you want to see an exotic and fascinating country, full of friendly and hospitable people, Turkey is definitely the place. Of course there are some bad apples, just like everywhere else, but in my opinion, Turks are the nicest bunch of people I have ever met.

 

Turks may express displeasure about American politics, politicians, and foreign policy. But if they do it is abundantly clear that they are not speaking of you personally, just the US government.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about trying to blend in and keep a low profile. You hear that a lot, but really it's hard to tell sometimes who is a foreigner and who is not, unless you have some physical characteristic very different from Turks. And Turks have green or blue eyes, sometimes red hair, it's hard to tell sometimes who is a Turk and who isn't. The last time I got an advisory from the US Embassy by e-mail on my iPhone it mentioned keeping a low profile. I showed it to the Turkish girl next to me, who was wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat.

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yeah, i'm on my own here and i stand out in some crowds just because of the length of my hair, but i stood out for that in the US too. one of the clubs i go to in istanbul is a heavy metal club and 99% of the customers are turkish guys with long hair like me. like Ken said, the people here are some of the friendliest you'll ever meet (sometimes to a fault almost), you'll have no problem doing it alone. there's a huge expat community in turkey and many of us are americans; i personally have no intention of going back to the US, i'm quite happy right here

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Guest Martha88

Haha you totally made me laugh over the Canada thing with the shirt! Im afraid when I go to Istanbul in may I will not dress modest enough : /

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it really depends on where you are, even down to the specific neighborhood. that'll fly in taksim/beyoğlu or kadikoy, even be considered pretty mild there, but in dragos or fatih it would probably be frowned upon to say the least

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