Turkey is in the news of late — but for all the wrong reasons!

Having said that — don’t always take as gospel, what you hear on the news as everything is ‘spun’ these days. Not from a propaganda point of view you understand. It’s just TV’s way of competing with the sensational headlines mentality that you often see demonstrated by certain tabloid press. Even the ‘serious’ news channels get caught up in this behavior. The reality(and consequence) of such spin/selective editing, was graphically demonstrated to me about 10 or 12 years ago when I found myself in the centre of Jerusalem one day, right by the wailing wall. You have to go through some tight security in order to get through into the large square that faces the wall so there are army checkpoints all over the place. A smallish crowd of Palestinians were protesting right by the security area. I don’t know what they were protesting over but it may have had something to do with ease of access. Anyway, the protest was vocal and noisy (there was a lot of drum beating going on as I recall) but no violence, although I believe that things did escalate somewhat later that evening. Anyway, I flew back from Tel Aviv to Gatwick later that same evening and when I arrived at my hotel room, I turned on Sky News only to find that the protests in Jerusalem were the lead story. The way they were portraying the disturbance was as a serious escalation in violence — radically different from what I had experienced just a few hours earlier.

The point I’m trying to make is that everything is not always as it seems or is portrayed as News is a business. It is also a commodity that must be sold and traded and thus is subject to hyperbole from time to time — particularly on a quiet news day. Turkey is not becoming another Egypt or Tunisia. It is a huge country with a huge population and whilst there is clearly disaffection out there, there is not a level of unrest that should cause you to be concerned if you’ve already booked yourself a holiday to one of its tourist resorts or even a weekend break to Istanbul itself. Turkey is not without its issues but then which country isn’t? We don’t need to look beyond our own shores to see dysfunction at work.

So my advice for what it’s worth is if you are booked to go to Turkey or were thinking about doing so, then don’t change your plans! Stick with your agenda and you’ll have a wonderful time and meet many wonderful people who will be glad that you’ve come to enjoy the riches that their country has to offer!

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