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The Things I Hate About Istanbul

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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The Things I Hate About Istanbul

This thread is dedicated to all those people who fear that this forum whitewashes Istanbul and does not give potential visitors an honest viewpoint of what they can expect. I strongly suggest that we do not debate these posts but just let them "hang out" where visitors can read them at their leisure without comment or refutation.

This would be the thread where people should report all those dreadful experiences with taxi drivers, carpet salesmen, hotel owners, hotel staff, restaurants, servers, ferrys, bargaining for goods....you know, all the bad stuff!

So to get the ball rolling......The thing I hate about Istanbul is..............lamb. I am going to admit it. I used to love it, but now I don't. I recently read a book about Turkish food. The author claimed that lamb in Turkey was better because of the location and method of raising lamb. I had two lamb dishes that I really enjoyed and perhaps the lamb came from this special region. The rest of the lamb I ate was too strong. One bite and I was right back in my grandma's kitchen with a big leg of mutton roasting in the oven. I tried. I really tried, but after two weeks I gave up and started ordering beef. On our last night in Istanbul Hakan grilled lamb for us on the rooftop of our hotel. It was fantastic! I think it was the lamb, but it might have been the lights over Sultanahmet, the breeze coming in from the water, the delightful conversations of our guests and hosts or the knowledge that I would not eat it again for many months.

Now, no one is to respond and tell me how wrong my dislike of lamb is. No one is to send recipes to me. No one is to recommend restaurants where I might enjoy lamb. No one is to question my loyalty to Istanbul because I did not like the lamb. Certainly no one should provide any suggestions to help me overcome my dislike of lamb. This is the thread for things we hate in Istanbul and I should have the unequivocal right to hate lamb without discussion or debate.

Have at it folks.....tell us what you hate!

Chicago
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61. Re: The Things I Hate About Istanbul

This guy "mustafa8" is familiar with the forum. For example, he knew about this thread which had been dormant for a while. He bumped it up with a provacative post. And the thread he started wasn't written to generate a discussion. It was provacative and he sure got a reaction from forumites. This guy is familiar with the forum and its past.

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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14,153 posts
245 reviews
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62. Re: The Things I Hate About Istanbul

TA has removed Mustafa from this thread, and I suggest we do not respond to his post any further because we only sustain it. Let us just allow this issue to die.

Portland, Oregon
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63. Re: The Things I Hate About Istanbul

It's a fabulous place but since you asked:

1. Taxi drivers who race off without giving proper change at the airport. Ours pocketed 40 Euros!

2. "Friendly" people who offer to give you a tour of the Blue Mosque for no charge only to require that you go to their shop afterwards (we passed but it was going on everywhere)

3. Unscrupulous vendors who prey on tourists. You really have to be on guard here- they are very good at deception.

4. The undercurrent of resentment from some of the fundamentalists who resent non-Muslim foreigners. It is there in the back streets. A recent CNN survey found strong anti-American sentiment in Turkey. That is indeed unfortunate as there are also many wonderful, helpful people there who are most hospitable.

Columbus, Ohio
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64. Re: The Things I Hate About Istanbul

Oh BR, I knew you were not serious about your hate of anything in Turkey, You are too much of a fan to hate anything there..maybe dislike but not hate.

Pam, its a shame you missed the Janissary band, I happened to arrive just in time to hear their last 10min or so at the Palace and didn't even know anything about it beforehand. I was very lucky I guess. I am surprised to hear that there is much anti American sentiment in Turkey, at least in the parts I visited. I found none evident in the treatment I received. Most asked about the elections upcoming at that time and most also had opinions about who should win. Maybe they respond to the news reporters in the same tone as they are asked. I felt that most people there felt that maybe they didn't always like what our gov't did, but they didn't hold it against an individual American. I feel the same way about other gov'ts as well as our own.

Surrey, UK
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65. Re: The Things I Hate About Istanbul

There wasn't really anything I hated - until I read on another thread that Istanbul is opening a dolphinarium.

I did think the animal welfare situation was getting better but I am having to do a big rethink.

Mount Dora, Florida
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66. Re: The Things I Hate About Istanbul

I would tend to discount reports of anti-American feelings among the Turkish people because we have experienced virtually none of it regardless of how off the beaten track we have traveled.

However, we did meet one shop keeper in the plants and garden area by the Spice Bazaar who went into a rant as soon as we confirmed his suspicion that we were, indeed, from the US. His Turkish was so fast that we were not able to understand his fundamental problem, but he clearly was angry with the US, and, it appeared, every person who lived there.

Surprisingly the other shop keepers in the area ran to our rescue, guided us away from the ranting man, entertained us with glasses of tea and get acquainted conversations and ultimately gave us more than 50 free tulip bulbs. This man was so clearly an isolated incident that I do not feel comfortable extrapolating from it that there is a under-current of anti-US feeling among Turkish people. Really, all I can say is that there is one man operating a store near the Spice Bazaar who does not like people from the US. If you walk across from the Yeni Mosque it is the very first store, should you wish to avoid a similar experience.

I am always amazed at how well informed Turkish people are regarding US politics. I think they know more than the average US citizen who forms his opinion watching Jay Leno and John Stewart.

Portland, Oregon
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67. Re: The Things I Hate About Istanbul

I would agree with you that the vast number of people we met were very cordial and helpful. However, a friend of ours, who is a college professor in the United States and a native Turk, is very concerned about the present government and subtle moves to shift Turkey from the secular approach of Ataturk towards more fundamentalist leanings. The farther one moves to the East the more pronounced the sympathies and the more ingrained are the antipathies towards the West.

I don't want to overstate my original comment. The Turks are a wonderful people in a marvelous country. But we did percieve, and our guide confirmed, an undercurrent.

68. Re: The Things I Hate About Istanbul

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