In Harm's Way - a walk in Taksim Square

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by katstarr, Nov 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    You could face the same situation in, say, San Francisco or Oakland.
     
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  3. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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    I totally agree, except the language and comfort level is different in my own country. Plus, in my own country, I might've known from the news or other sources that there was a protest planned. I encountered this sort of scenerio from time to time when I lived in Europe during the first Gulf War. What I encountered in Turkey on Saturday was minor, but a good reminder to be cautious
     
  4. BWIflyer
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    BWIflyer Silver Member

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    I read your blog. Agree, part of Istanbul is in Europe but most of it is in Asia although they would like to think that they are Europeans. But Turkish people although Islamic are moderate. Their founder President Ataturk wanted a moderate Islamic country with the help of Military, but some conservative Muslims are always creating problems. And then PKK the organization of the Kurds also create violence. I don't know what the demonstration were about , but it can be related to fuel prices, inflation or any number of things. Of course it can become violent anytime. But Turkey itself is safe compared to some other Islamic countries. We spent 10 days in Western and Central Turkey recently and did not encounter any problem.
     
  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    It was probably protesting the anniversary of the murder of journalist Hrant Dink.

    I agree with you though... although you could get caught in something like that in your own backyard, there's a certain level of comfort regarding your options. First, you would (probably) understand what's going on because there's no language barrier (although that tells you something about perhaps learning the language of places you visit, but I digress).

    Furthermore, it almost seems like if you're in a place like NY or Chicago and something similar goes down, you can always manage your way out by various methods... maybe you have a better understanding of the layout of the land, or more options as far as jumping in a cab or using public transit and making your way back to your hotel or whatever.

    Personally, I rely on a paid solution provided by work from International SOS (http://www.internationalsos.com/en/membership-app.htm). The app will display alerts based on your current location and they provide assistance (from medical to evacuation and security services) in case you happen to find yourself in a jam. It's sad that there's a market for that type of stuff nowadays, but I guess that's the way the world is.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I don't recall seeing anything in the blog post about a violent protest. So I think the title of the post, "In Harm's Way", doesn't reflect reality. Peaceful protests are common in many countries. Including the US. Isn't that a wonderful right to have? If I walk around New York City this weekend, I am probably in harm's way, too... in many different ways. Crime, accidents, ...
     
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  7. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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    HaveMiles, I think you are being too literal. I don't know if I was IN HARM'S WAY, but I did find myself in the middle of something that was brewing (peaceful or otherwise) and I moved quickly. Should I have renamed the post - Almost in Harm's Way? It is prudent before traveling, to know what's going on in the country and territory you are visiting. That is the point of my blog post, and I think it contained some good reference material. I did not say that the protest turned violent, but that demonstrations such as that might have the potential of doing so, and it is good to know what to do in such an event.

    You are right. I live in NYC. I have been in the middle of lots of events. I know about being street saavy and following my gut in situations that call for it. I work about a half mile from WTC and saw the towers fall with my own eyes - I get it.

    for the record, I liked Turkey a lot and would not hesitate to return.
     
  8. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    The issue has probably been beaten to death, but I would stay away from such crowds; if I see them coming towards me, I would head in the other direction or into side streets. Don't know what else could one do. Not sure how does one find oneself in the middle of a demonstration; either it is full on, or it is forming, and both are manageable. I will definitely not walk into one already taking place, out of curiosity. Maybe I am not understanding the question or the situation.
    -
     
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  9. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    Saw several protests this year over austerity in both Spain and Italy. Most were peaceful although I did see one group try to turnover a car. The protestors in Italy were wearing red shirts with white pants and had devices that emitted green smoke. Nice touch I thought. I was able to speak with a couple of the groups to figure out what they were protesting. Both seemed to be against cuts in higher education, specifically the elimination of free college.

    That said, I talked to them after the protests were over, when they were walking back to the metro line to use their subsidized transport passes. Either that or at a coffee shop.

    The sad thing is, in the world we live in, almost everywhere you go now there's a decent chance you might run into a protest of some sort. I typically watch the local reaction and follow suit. If they're backing out of the way then I'm backing out of the way. If they seem unconcerned then that's typically the tack that I follow as well. What I don't want to do is somehow stick out in the crowd. I want to blend in during these times and be as inconspicuous as possible.

    One thing, increasingly, the locals (especially in Madrid and Rome) seem to be getting fed up with all of this. I heard more anger from people trying to go about their daily lives than I did from the protestors.
     

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