Given the recent protests, I'm not sure if it's safe to travel to Turkey or not. I'm no expert on these matters, so, if possible, I'd like to hear from someone familiar with those affairs or who has recently been.

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    Just don't get close enough to active protests that armed police could decide you're a participant. – hippietrail Aug 5 '13 at 2:42
  • Depends on where you are going. I just came back from Antalya. Antalya, Izmir, and Istanbul are okay. I would not bother thinking about Ankara. Diyarbakir, Trabzone, Konya, Kapadokia, Bolu are nice places to be, but not sure how they are being affected due to the protests. Tourist cities are actually quite okay, no problems! – hagubear Aug 5 '13 at 11:33

The general answer is yes. It is safe to travel there. Nevertheless, Turkey being a very big country one cannot lump everything together. The more detailed answer to this questions largely depends on where you go. 

The area around the Syrian border should be avoided. But that's nothing really new.

Some areas in the East and the South-East should be avoided too. This isn't new either. The Tunceli province has been a place of tension for years. But anyway that's not a place a tourist would go to. Diyarbakır has also been the theater of recent tensions. But it has calmed down again. 

More recently, there have been demonstrations in the bigger cities, especially in Istanbul and Ankara. They have on some occasions been violent. There has been some vandalism from the side of the demonstrators and the police has used brute force (water cannons and tear gas) to dismantle the demonstrations. These demonstrations are pretty localized though. In Istanbul they are confined to the Taksim square. And there is strictly nothing in the other parts of the city. If you happen to be in this area, just pay attention to what is going on. But don't be paranoid. A water cannon parked in one corner of the square and some policeman around it can be considered as "normal" these days. However, when they start closing the access to the square, it is time to go. But you don't have to go very far. Crossing the Tarlabaşı boulevard is enough. On that side you are quiet and you will find a taxi or dolmuş to get away if necessary. So just avoid to get too close to protests and you are fine. There is no use in playing the war correspondent and getting too close to take pictures or videos. 

I have been to Istanbul and Bursa, some weeks ago and what I am telling here reflects my experience. I have seen the beginning of a demonstration in İstiklal Caddesi. At that moment I decided to go away and go back to the Hotel, which was near the Taksim square. The trip by taxi to the airport was much more dangerous!

It is also worth noting that there is a high seismic hazard in Turkey. This extends beyond the period you are interested in.

In case you are interested, you can follow Hürriyet Daily News, an English speaking source for news about Turkey.

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    I'd like to state that a more historically correct name for Tunceli is Dêrsim, the Kurdish name of the region preferred by the indigenous inhabitants. The name Tunceli is imposed by Ankara to dispell Kurdish aspirations. I'd like to encourage to refer to it by dual name, e.g. Tunceli/Dersim, like Amnesty International does. Just my ₤0.02. – gerrit Aug 5 '13 at 12:36
  • See also this meta question. – gerrit Aug 5 '13 at 12:44

The Australian government has a great Travel Advisory site, with information on each page. Generally they're slightly over-protective, but that's arguably a good thing. Their current status for Turkey is to exercise a high degree of caution, but they're not at the stage where you need to reconsider your need to travel yet, unless you're crossing or near the borders with Syria, Iraq or Iran:

  • We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey because of the high threat of terrorist attack.
  • Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
  • Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere at any time in Turkey. In recent years, terrorist attacks have occurred in tourist areas and locations frequented by foreigners. Foreigners have been killed and injured.
  • On 1 February 2013 an explosion outside the US Embassy in Ankara killed two people. The Turkish Government has warned that the group claiming responsibility for bombing the US Embassy is planning further attacks.
  • Since late May 2013, demonstrations have taken place in major cities in Turkey (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya and Adana). Protests have generally formed and intensified during the weekends. Clashes between the protestors and the police have occurred. Police have used tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons in response. Australians should avoid all demonstrations as they may turn violent. See Safety and security: Civil unrest/political tension for more information.
  • You should avoid protests and demonstrations throughout Turkey as they may become violent.
  • Terrorists have in the past mounted attacks on significant dates and anniversaries. The tourist season during Turkey's spring and summer months has also traditionally been marked by increased terrorist attacks. See the Terrorism section below for a list of possible targets and a list of significant dates.
  • The unauthorised sale and exportation of antiquities is prohibited and carries long jail sentences. You need a receipt and an official certificate to export these items legally.
  • When travelling to the Gallipoli Peninsula Peace Park, be prepared for the variable climatic conditions (i.e. summer, winter and wet weather protective clothing, even in winter a hat/cap and sunscreen are essential to ensure your wellbeing and comfort); strictly obey safety signage and directions; and do not wander off marked roads and tracks within the Park. If travelling as part of a tour group do not separate from the group and wander the park alone. For further information see under Local travel.
  • We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to provinces in the south-east of Turkey, including those bordering Syria, Iraq and Iran, due to the high threat of terrorist attack and the unpredictable security situation. On 11 May 2013, car bombings in the town of Reyhanli in Hatay province, close to Turkey’s border with Syria, killed at least 40 people and injured around 100 others. If you do decide to travel to these areas, you should exercise extreme caution.

Ultimately it's up to you, but it's also highly important to check with your travel insurance company and ensure they're still covering travel to Turkey given its increased risk, and whether they have any restrictions.

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    Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere at any time in Turkey ... that's true, literally, anywhere in the world. – gerrit Aug 5 '13 at 12:29
  • @gerrit, yeah, like I said, they can be slightly over-protective sometimes ;) – Mark Mayo Aug 5 '13 at 12:30

I am from Turkey . I am living in istanbul .I think safe to travel to istanbul. You can visit . Just haven't active protests. if you go Taksim in istanbul , you have to be careful. Because there is have some protest sometimes . if you need something get in touch.

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