How safe is Istanbul for Tourists?

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Istiklal Street, Istanbul. How safe is it to visit Turkey’s Capital?

How safe is Istanbul for Tourists? One year ago, this question immediately came up again after another terror attack at Atatürk Airport. Turkey in general is a very tourist-friendly country, and Istanbul in particular a popular tourist destination. The numbers of western tourists are staggering high despite all terror attacks in the past years. Bombings in Istanbul have a long history.

How safe is Istanbul for Tourists
How safe is Istanbul for tourists?

By default the Turkish government used to point to the Kurds first when looking for suspects. But times have changed. Nowadays the Islamic State carries out the majority of terror attacks worldwide:

1999, March 13 and 14:
Istanbul pair bombings – 15 dead

a pair of bombings that took place in Istanbul, Turkey on March 13 killing 13, and March 14, 1999 injuring 2. A third bomb was found in a Burger King outlet but successfully defused. Kurdish sources have disputed the allegations against them and claimed the attacker was actually framed by Turkish authorities.


2004, March 9:
Attack on Istanbul restaurant – 1 dead, 5 injured

Two Islamic militants carried out the attack: They were holding automatic weapons and had ten homemade pipe bombs strapped to their bodies when entering the restaurant in Kartal (frequented by freemasons). Shooting the guard in his feet, they entered the dining hall and began firing at the 40 people in the room. Then they detonated bombs at the entrance. The attack occurred exactly 911 days after 9/11.


2010, October 31:
Istanbul bomb blast – 32 injured, 15 of them police officers

And explosion occurred in Taksim Square on the European side of Istanbul. The blast was reportedly a suicide bombing, targeting the riot officers and police vehicles typically stationed in the area. Multiple additional explosive devices were discovered at the scene of the incident after bomb squads examined the area.


2015, December 1:
Istanbul metro bombing – 1 dead, 5 injured

The explosion occurred at 17:15 local time near Bayrampaşa — Maltepe Metro station in Bayrampaşa, Istanbul.


2016, January 12:
Istanbul bombing – 13 dead, 14 injured

This attack occurred near the Blue Mosque, a popular tourist area. The attacker was Nabil Fadli, a Syrian member of the Islamic State.


2016, June 7:
Istanbul bombing – 12 dead, 51 injured

The attack targeted a bus carrying policemen as the vehicle passed through the Vezneciler district near Şehzade Mosque and Vezneciler Metro station.


2016, June 28:
Istanbul Airport Attack – 41 dead, 239 people injured

Gunfire occurred at the Airport’s parking lot, while explosions occurred at the entrance to the international arrivals terminal – caused by Islamic State suicide bombers. The coordinated attacks took only about 90 seconds.


How safe is Istanbul for Tourists today?

The question is not easy to answer. After the most recent terror attack at Atatürk Airport no government did issue travel warnings to its people. Only exception: Australia with a modest note to reconsider travel to Istanbul and Ankara due to security concerns. Still it’s inevitable that tourists will be frightened and consider to postpone their journey to Istanbul, even though the danger of a bombing is statistically super tiny. The good news: this year there are shorter lines to enter Turkey’s top sights, smaller crowds, and lower prices.

You might not go to Turkey to defy terrorists, or because you want to be particularly courageous. But you should go to enjoy its spectacular architecture, profound history and culture, and wonderful cuisine.

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Book a hotel in Turkey.

Safe Istanbul Tourists. By Chili and Churp | © International Destinations | more Travel News here.