How my perception of Turkey was changed

I’d heard a lot about Turkey before I visited in September of last year.  Things like “make sure you stay in the hotel”, or even, “don’t go there it’s dangerous!” It’s misconceptions like this that can be really damaging to a countries reputation. I mean who wants to spend their whole holiday cooped inside a hotel resort? But sometimes you need to find this out for yourself, even if it does mean taking a risk.

Me and my boyfriend (Jake), were encouraged to travel to Turkey by a local travel agent. I voiced my concern to the woman, explaining some of the reasons I’d prefer to go Spain (well we Brits love Spain). However, the woman reassured me that most places in Turkey are perfectly safe, and that a lot of these ‘rumours’ are that; rumours. Funnily enough, our hotel was selected by this lady after my boyfriend jokingly said he wanted a hotel with at least three slides. Obviously, not everyone has the same sense of humour, meaning this poor woman would not settle until she found a resort with three slides. I honestly had to work very hard to keep my composure at this point.

Finally, we settled on a resort that met Jake’s need of waterslides, and my desire of a beach hotel. The resort we chose was Club Tuana, just 13km from Fethiye. I was amazed at the sheer size of the club. In fact we were escorted to our room by a golf cart (very extra, I know). Activities were being carried out in various areas of the complex, creating an exciting and welcoming atmosphere.

But this isn’t an advertisement for a hotel. I want to tell you about the grandeur of Fethiye’s natural scenery. We were lucky to be walking distance from a pier, which stretched over the sea to some harbouring boats. These boats would often take visitors to nearby islands, which were strikingly visible from our local beach. One day, Jake and I ventured to a few different islands via a speed boat. When visiting Turkey I would without a doubt recommend saving some of yours spends for this. You won’t regret it.

The speed boat adventure was the highlight of our holiday. There was time set aside to tryout snorkeling too! The caves were spectacular, each cave unique to it’s natural evolution. But what made this experience so breathtaking was just how clear the sea was. I’d never swam in such clean water. I kept looking down at my feet in utter disbelief. Snorkelling didn’t go quite to plan though, before the holiday I got semi-permanent eyelashes and this pose as quite a problem with the goggles. If you’re wanting to try out snorkelling on holiday I would really advise not to wear semi-permanent eyelashes. Once that glue is in your eye it BURNS. Alternatively, I would suggest trying LVL lashes, because this just lifts your natural lashes so shouldn’t cause harm to your eyes in the salty water.

 

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As the day progressed, we would want to find nice cocktail bars. Fortunately, the city of Fethiye was just a taxi ride away. I found Fethiye both calm, and ecstatic. The natural harbour was very refreshing, with many boats sat along the port offering boat trips, and meals. Along the harbour were various restaurants, from burger bars to fancy Italian dishes. Needless to say, every restaurant had a fantastic view of the coast. You just can’t beat a sea view whilst tucking into some tasty food. Away from the port is where the night life was most energetic. Like most cities, Fethiye had many streets dedicated to pubs and clubs.

One thing I will say about travelling to Fethiye, you must beware of perfume sellers. We got conned into buying fake perfumes, which we knew were fake, but the man selling these bottles was very pushy. After that run in we avoided these men at all cost. Once you engage in a conversation with them they will be very persuasive. Apart from that, we didn’t experience any other kind of menace. These street sellers are just trying to make a living, but unless you want to buy an Yves Saint Laurent bottle, which literally falls apart at the first spray then I wouldn’t advise it.

So, if you’re debating visiting Turkey then there are places you can go, which are stunning, and safe. You need to find these things out for yourself. Don’t let judgements discourage you too much, you may end up having the best holiday of your life. It was mine and Jake’s first holiday together, and it is one we will always remember.

By Georgia Beech

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