Turkish Map

Turkey July 2019 – How Safe Is It?

Written by a UK Resident Living in Fethiye, Turkey

The absolute tragic events in Tunisia, Kuwait and France recently will, understandably, have a dramatic affect on people’s decision making when deciding where to go on holiday or, indeed, invest in foreign property.   People will naturally bring geography into their future decision making and Turkey will now be in the spotlight due to its borders with Syria in the east of the country. 


Is it safe?

My personal point of view is that Turkey is about as safe as anywhere else you would care to be! The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against traveling to within 10km of Turkey’s border with Syria.  However, Turkey is a huge country and, in the Fethiye area alone, where I have been living for the past 12 months, Syria is more than 1000 kms from where I Live.  Even the island of Cyprus is nearer to Syria than myself and no-one seems to be talking about any potential threat there.  

So why is everyone concerned about Turkey?

Well, according the FCO, neither me nor the other 2,500,000 British people who visit Turkey every year should be concerned.  It’s a safe place.  I can only vouch for my home town of Fethiye.  Sure, people are talking about the undeniable influence these maniacs are having across the world.  But, here in Fethiye, its business as usual.  It’s a relaxed, peaceful place; people go about their everyday business as they always have.  Its still ‘normal’, no-one here is so concerned that it has influenced their decision making.  

Someone commented to me recently that when London was bombed ten years ago, it did not put them off going to Scotland for their holidays.  The reality is, we are so far away from any danger zone that we don’t feel influenced or affected by it.  Even the British Government has stated that the likelihood of a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom is severe.  So, if you live and work in the UK, the question is ‘Are You Concerned?’  The local rhetoric is that we are most probably safer here in Turkey than people living in the UK right now.


But what are the chances of getting caught up in a random terrorist attack?

Statistically, more people were shot dead by gun owners in the USA last year than the total of people killed in terrorist attacks world-wide.  Would this fact prevent you from considering a holiday at Disneyland in Florida perhaps?  I read on the internet that you have a 1 in 20,000,000 chance of dying from a terrorist attack. So, even though I am not concerned about it, what I am concerned about is all the hard-working people here who work in tourism and could genuinely struggle to feed their families if we give in to the threat of terrorism and flee from any possible threat.

Our Turkish friends are much more concerned about putting bread on the table to feed their children than they are about being shot dead by a member of ISIS.  Whilst no-one can be sure of what terrorist events will take place in the future, if we have our minds influenced by the small potential of emerging terrorist threats then the terrorists will surely win, and we don’t want that do we?

Life here in Fethiye, Turkey, as it always has been, is still one of the most friendly, peaceful and beautiful places to visit in the Mediterranean.