Is Turkey safe? A review of my experiences

Ok, I guess it is just time to describe my feelings again. That is seriously not easy. Since I have this blog I am thinking about what people could be interested in, instead of just writing down what is really happening. This annoys me a lot.

Moreover, I guess, I don't even realize what is happening with me and my mind.


I remember sitting in the plain to Istanbul - my thoughts full of fear about ISIS, Islam, Hijab and Terror - those thoughts seem so ridiculous now. What I experienced is something absolutely different. Even every Turkish person told me "Yes, Turkey is nice, but be careful" (It just seems as if any Turk sees himself as nice, but is always warning of the unknown.)

I met so many different Turkish, Kurdish, Azeri Turk and Arabic people and I don't regret to have met any of them.

When I arrived in Kahramanmaraş, which is close to the Syrian border, people were incredible friendly and peaceful. Kahramanmaraş is a modern industrial city.

After we arrived a women with a Hijab talked to me in the Restaurant very casual, very easy going, we got invited for çay again when Max toped up his cellphone and when our couchsurfer tuck us around in the city I experienced Turkish people in such a non-touristy way, that I didn't regret a second of going there.

It even was one the greatest experience of the entire trip. Although I knew it is "close" to ISIS and close to Kurdish conflict cities, where people aren't allowed to walk the streets and Kurdish have to defend themselves against the Turkish army. 

When I walked the streets near the Grand Bazar in Karamanmaraş, watching how people hammer Turkish coffee makers, bowls and other things, seeing the sheep wool, hanging ready packed in little garages to bring them to spinning factories, watching carpenters and shoe makers...I felt incredible touched and peaceful.

It hasn't been the most beautiful place I have been to. It was more the people, who said  "Iyı Günler! Where from? Where from?" or mostly us asking if we can take a picture together or to make a video, who made me feel that way.

Turkey touched my heart with this warm and welcoming feeling.

It is a huge country, I spent five weeks there and I still have the feeling I left out on so much!

In the end of my time in Turkey one of my Turkish/German friends talked to me on Facebook, she is born in Antalya before she moved to Hamburg but she usually goes back to Antalya once a year. Shortly she went into the East of Turkey for the first time. She said that she was shocked when she discovered how beautiful her own country is in the East.

And I remember Alper in Istanbul, who told Max and me at the Rakı Night: "In my opinion you should go to Adana and eat the Adana Kebab and you should go to Mardin and see the historic city. Go East! Because this is the reason why you travel. You don't travel because you want to have the same pictures than everyone else at home. You want to travel, because you want to see how Turkey really is. And Turkey is big."

The picture of Turkey, Islam, the government and politics in the German media is so absolutely different to what I experienced - So different that it makes me angry. If you are a good Moslem, you are probably a better person than anyone. I like the mentality of Moslems, even I am sitting here in Georgia now with my hair down, which I never did in Turkey. Not that I could not do it there, but the way women use their sexuality (specially with hair) is often used as a political statement, in which I tried to appear as a neutral tourist.


Anyhow, I miss Turkey. I miss the food - full of vegetables. I miss the life on the streets - walking without talking, impossible. I miss this maker-mentality - they definitely make it, but just that they do it when they want and how they want.

There is no illusion of perfection, something I hate about Germany. Perfection brings no other value than winning in economical competitions. But that is not everything. Something Max had to learn harder than me. While I am used to the fact being over emotionally, feeling everything....Max was so much more impressed by the hospitality and warm feelings of people he met a minute ago, made him feel.

Five people in a shop doing the work one German would do. Still, they are all cousins, have a job and feed their families. A different kind of social welfare, if you see it from the point of a social scientist.

And I never felt not safe in Turkey. This may sound ridiculous to some of you, because of Paris, Erdogan, who shot the Russian plain, the fights in the Kurdish part of Turkey and not long ago the bomb explosion in Istanbul, which all happened while I was there. But (and I can't write that down without getting angry with myself) all of us in Germany, or any other "safe country", have no idea about life in Syria or Kurdistan, moreover we all have no idea how it is to be born into a culture, or a country, or a system, which kills or gets killed - no one chooses that. But even in Syria there are still Babies born. So how does that feel being born into something, which you don't support, something you might hate, even you are educated and raised in this system?


While I was traveling I started to watch "Mit offenen Karten" at arte and learned more and more about the history of East.

There is a pretty big mess caused by political super powers in the past and today. And now people have to deal with the outcome, because they live today in those areas, which were involved in those old conflicts.

For the western countries it could be called: You get what you seed - in human lives and no chance to get away from it. Another disgusting description of war. This makes me incredibly angry.

I am angry with ISIS and I am angry with any political power, who created those monsters in mistreating people. Terror is everywhere now, we should get used to that fact. In my opinion there are no safe and unsafe countries anymore, it's about areas who become battlefields for certain interests. 


But after all there is also an ironic feeling about all that.

In the time of terror we all getting closer, cultures mix and show more respect for each other, we even understand each other and adapt some habits. Global awareness is growing, I mean at least our social media friends are globally spread. And even politically we finally understood that there is just one planet we all live together on, so that the Clima Conference in Paris is called a success and becomes the first global politics.


I am absolutely sure that ISIS is never going to be an super power ruling the entire world, but there is just no idea about how this is going to end and how many more innocent have to die in this preposterous game.

As more I get in touch with involved cultures and people of this war-conflict, as more I lose the hope for a solution, which ever satisfy everyone. In the same time I am also less afraid. History always seems big in the review, but if history happens to you it appears so normal. A bomb is falling down and a war starts, while you are doing your groceries, using the toilet or falling asleep.

All of this is just such an unsatisfied feeling, dump and heavy in my head. I wish I would have an idea or could give at least a smart hint, but no. People have to emancipate themselves from their borders of their culture to solve conflicts like these, but they can't. For some it is all they live for, moreover their ancestors lived and died for - and the others have to live with that.

And that's something which not only belongs to the country of Turkey, I mean everyone from the North Pole to the Antartica, from the United States to China. 


My first couchsurfer in Turkey said a wise thing: "History is always written by winners." And the names of glory and harmful killers change with the one who is the winner.

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg