Advise from an insider: Think twice before you come to Turkey
Dalyan King's Tumbs

 Is it safe to go to Turkey? Is there a war in Turkey? Would i jeopardise safety of my family if we holidayed in Turkey? How safe is Dalyan?

Yes, you read it right. If visiting Turkey this summer or ever is in your holiday agenda, you should hear what i have to say and think twice before you jump on that plane. And oh, if you are not planning to come to Turkey for any reason or if the thought had never crossed your mind, you should read this post to the end so you know what you are not missing.

Recent developments in Turkey and the feeling i get in Dalyan from locals, business owners, expats and those stay actively in connection with Dalyan makes me come to a conclusion that anyone even slightly considering coming to Dalyan this summer or ever should definitely think twice about their decision.

Boats along Dalyan River
Boats along the river waiting for season to start

I have been thinking, reading, researching and really working hard to have a grip on everything that is going around the world. I am trying my best to find that one article or footage from an insider to get the real story behind the filters of media. Social media, if used wisely and sophisticatedly, and I am not talking about posting on Facebook what you have eaten that day, as a whole can be an enormous power for those who has something to say and needs the world to hear it.  I mean as diluted as information on internet can be, especially blog content servers or articles of independent bloggers are a powerful source of distributing sophisticated ideas, information and news. Everything is filtered automatically by the relevance and importance of the subject combined with interest it creates to people with total objectivity. Being quite involved with web applications, I can say that google bots have sufficient intelligence these days to tell a good, quality article from one another and it does this with an objectivity that no being with a soul can achieve.

Dalyan King's Tumbs
King’s Tumbs standing strong for thousands of years witnessing the beauty of Dalyan.

Its not just internet or social media suffers from the hunger of genuine approach that is not solely directed on counting clicks and making money, unfortunately its everywhere. Running after money and manipulating masses of people’s minds without considering the harm they are doing to the souls of people, the earth and cosmos is all around us. We see it on internet, TV, shopping malls and we feel the destruction it can cause when it leads to people even killing each other for the sake of money or oil.

Fields around the Iztuzu Beach road
Fields on the road to Iztuzu Beach

If there is something wrong with this earth, everyone has its share in it. If everyone and all countries were so social and put other’s well being before themselves, all we had to talk about now would be the rain in England and sunny summers in Dalyan. But no, there are bad, manipulative and greedy people too. They are not as many as good people but because fighting is not in the good, it always waits to the last reserve to strike back, which is not a smart move if you are in a fight. Therefore we always need way more good people for one bad person. That one bad person with his greed can easily manipulate those who are open to manipulation because they are poor and in need or brain washed by the system.

Dalyan Market
Dalyan Saturday Market – Not as busy as summer but still colourful and fresh.


Saturday Market in Dalyan
People buying fresh vegetables, fruits, home made butter, yogurt, cheese and freshly cooked pancakes at Saturday Market.

What has been going on in Syria now was foreseen years ago. ISIS were created by western world and backed to do exactly what it did until it got out of hand. However that was expected too because it always happens like that. You create a contra-guerilla within an area to control whats under the ground until you get there after you are done with your previous subject, and by the time its right time and there is enough chaos for you to step in and say: “Hey, fight is over now. I am gonna take this oil you are fighting for and i will give you each a tiny equal part so you won’t fight. Who ever has a an objection to this gets to be hanged first.” In that kind of environment, where power games between empires go around in your neighbourhood, it is not easy or possible to be just a simple person with a family. One day you have a family, working or farming your land quietly and peacefully and next day you find yourself with a machine gun in your hands ordered to go fight “the devil”! before it comes into your house and behead you and rape your wife and children in front of your eyes.

Sulungur Lake
Dalyan Sulungur Lake is locals favourite for picnics

When you emphesize with those people, you can not help but worry for your own family, friends and your country. What if all that evil comes here one day and masses with my family? Even the thought of it is terrible, let alone millions who are actually living this nigh mate right now. Sometimes I think we are lucky in Turkey by not having any big oil reserves. So yes, those anyone who thought there is an oil in Turkey and that they should come here to get their hands on that, please don’t bother because even if there is any petrol under Turkey, its under thousands of meters of volcanic mountain chains that makes it economically impossible to unearth. So if anyone out there not aware of this and plan to come to Turkey to create chaos and terrorism to get benefits of oil, think twice. We do not have oil and that is why even though our eastern borders has always been a war zone, it stays clear from Turkey because we don’t have anything worth the trouble.

Dalyan Main Street
Dalyan Main Street – Waiting for the season, missing all the people who peacefully yacht the world go by in one of the cafes along the street.

The reason warlords stay away from Turkey is not only because we have no oil. Turkish armed forces has centuries long history and today Turkey employs one of the biggest armies in the world, has a modern navy and airforce, is capable of manufacturing its own heavy weapons, tanks, war jets and submarines. Turkey is considered 10th strongest military power in the world and hold an irrevocable membership in NATO. Ever since our NATO membership in 1952, the North Atlantic Alliance has played a central role in Turkey’s security and contributed to its integration with the Euro-Atlantic community. Turkey, in return, has successfully assumed its responsibilities in defending the common values of the Alliance. In short, it is not that easy to just walk over Turkey and start a war. This would mean starting a war with an unarguable power of NATO and its alliances. So there is no war in Turkey and lets hope there won’t be one ever as it would mean war in England, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, USA and every other NATO member state. So if you are looking for action, hoping that you would see couple missiles flying or war jets dog fighting, sorry no chance. We haven’t seen any war here since the WW1 and we hope not to see ever again.

Picnic around Dalyan Sulungur Lake
Locals at picnic around the Sulungur Lake

Turkey has a quite interesting and complex historical background in means of bringing a very diverse combination of people with different religious, racial, geographical and cultural background. Anyone who lived under Ottoman Empire and later in Republic of Turkey is considered Turk whether they are being Kurds or Arabs from Southern Caucus and Mesopotamia, Sephardi Jews who were encouraged to migrate by Ottoman Empire for centuries, nomad Turks who migrated from Central and Northeast Asia, Roman Greeks, Afro-Turks who settled in Ottoman Empire where slavery was banned, Armenians, Chechens, Bulgarians and so on. Many different cultures, religions, colours and races living together under one social identity has created a very tolerant environment to differences. Turkey is a colourful country with its culture and famous Turkish hospitality never fails to surprise you with its genuine and open hearted welcome. Dalyan is a great example of this diversity with its people. There are Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Yoruks, Caucasians, Istanbulians… living and working together happily in this small, peaceful Mediterranean town. This what makes Turkey an interesting destination, a place you would be surrounded with multi colours of culture, immense history, beautiful geography and climate. So if you are one of those who seek to stay in your hotel room, not interested in meeting locals who will share the best of everything they have with you, nor interested in history, natural beauties or don’t like blue skies with sunshine, fresh food cooked with ancient recipes, clean air, genuine hospitality and history at every step you take, than you should definitely consider not coming to Turkey and perhaps just book a 5 star hotel in a nearest big city in your own country.

Shopping in dalyan market
Tricycle filled with fresh goods from the market

So if everything is peachy and pink, why all the fuss is and who is detonating the bombs in recent attacks in Ankara and Istanbul? Just as it would happen in any other country that mix of religions and cultures live together (i.e: IRA, ETA), we have our own disagreements amongst us. The arguments between Kurds and Turks at the government level has been going on since 14th century. Establishment of Turkish Republic after the fall of Ottoman Empire was not an easy job and it has its own glitches. Kurds feel that they were not given the land they were promised before the independence war and assimilation politics of the government had lead to establishment of PKK (Free Kurdistan Party armed Forces – considered a terrorist group by Turkish government and other countries in the world) I am not going to go in detail about the disagreements among Turks and Kurds here as it has to be looked in detail and carefully with aspects of historical events but all I can say is that the acts of PKK aimed towards the Turkish Armed Forces and not civilians or tourists.

New busses in Dalyan - Comfortable and easy to get on and get off
New busses in Dalyan – Comfortable and easy to get on and get off

It breaks my heart to see that people are put off to come to Turkey because of security reasons. Really we are living here as happily and secure as anyone would in any part of the world. Unfortunately the current threat on humanity exist anywhere in the world  but i can not think of a safer and more peaceful place than Dalyan.

Dalyan Kaunos Tea Garden
Preparations and work going around Kaunos Tea Garden

If you are not planning to come to Turkey because you think it is not safe or if you have never been here and don’t know much about Turkey and Dalyan, please think twice and get all the facts before you cancel it out. We would want everyone who would consider coming to Turkey to have the clearest information and facts to help them make their own decision. I would strongly encourage anyone to be informed and think twice before they come to conclusions as there is so much of beauty to miss if you don’t come and join us this summer.

Doga Ocakbasi Restaurant
Ocakbasi Restaurants offer tables with BBQ in the middle and you choose and cook your own meat. “Doga Restaurant” Dalaman is a great Ocakbasi Restaurant where we enjoyed a great meal and company with English friends who live here in Dalyan


BBQ Ocakbasi Dalyan
Our private own bbq in a table top


Ortaca Vizyon Baron
After meal we stopped by at Vizyon Bar in Ortaca and enjoyed live Turkish Music and danced until late hours.

Please feel free to comment, ask questions or share your thoughts below. Looking forward to seeing you here in Dalyan and sharing all the beauties that come with it.

With peace and love,


TIP: You can find vast amount of information about the History, Culture, Food, Flora and Fauna, Things to Do, Practical Information, Geography of this “Bouquet of Beauties” Dalyan as well as Restaurant, Accommodation and Cafes & Bars and may more suggestions on our very well organized Guide section

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Claire Aniolkowski
March 7, 2016
Wow..... Well done Volkan- excellent xxx
March 7, 2016
You have always been a great friend and support for me and for Dalyan so a big thank you too. xxx
Claire Aniolkowski
March 7, 2016
Always xxx
Sheena Watt
March 7, 2016
Great piece to read We will be there on 13th May for 2 weeks......and we can't wait
March 7, 2016
Glad you liked it and so glad to hear you will be with us in May. Have a safe journey coming to your second home xx
March 7, 2016
Well said Volkan.
March 7, 2016
Thank you so much and thank you for reading and supporting.
Julie Brayfield
March 7, 2016
Well said Volkan. We've said it before, the world needs more people like you. We'll never be put off coming back to Dalyan or indeed Turkey as a whole. Looking forward to experiencing the wonderful hospitality in May. Julie and Paul
March 7, 2016
Hi julie and Paul,You are so missed here. I am so looking forward to catching up with you both. Please take care of each other until May than we will take it over and take great care of you both :)Lots of love, Volkan
March 7, 2016
I love turkey and I am coming back in june for the 6th year in a row. I have a couple of questions I see on the news alot and forums showing missiles being fired from turkey into syria at the kurds is this true. And the mounting evidence showing the purchase on black market oil heading into.turkey is this true
March 7, 2016
Hi Martin,Thank you for reading my blog and really thank you for your questions.There are several different nations live in Syria and Turkey has mixed relationships, interests with them. Turkey finds Turkmen groups closest to itself and tries to keep a corridor open between them and Turkey. Our government is also concerned with the PYD and YPG, whom both are Kurdish armed groups fighting to control Northern Syria, border to Turkey. Turkish government doesn't want kurdish groups to pass north of Euphrates River and at any attempt they do Turkish Army fires T-155 Fırtına (Storm) self-propelled howitzers which has 480 kms range. Turkey is not firing any missiles towards Syria but they are using artilleries. As opposed to USA or EU nations, Turkish government considers YPG and PYD as terrorist groups as they are linked to PKK. Turkey has been actively involved with cross the border operations against PKK, YPG and PYD in Iraq and Syria since 1991. Its not anything new. This used to be done by the airforce and in rare cases army would also cross the border to northern Iraq for operations. However since the Russian Jet was shot down by a Turkish Jet, Russia has intervened and brought their s400 air defence missiles to Syria and declared if Turkish planes ever invade Syrian airspace, they threatened to shoot our planes down, which they will. So since November 2015, Turkey has not been able to carry any operations over Syria with its airforce therefore now using artilleries to try and stop Kurdish groups from blocking the corridor with Turkmen Groups.Regarding ISIS Oil, I have read a lot of documents. As far as I understand, Turkey is buying black market oil from Iraq as central Iraqi Government limits the amount that can be sold to Turkey. However Northern Iraqi companies/government who needs money tends to do black market oil trading with Turkey. It is said that source of this oil is ISIS oil from Mossoul. However, this is kind of untraceable as Northern Iraq also runs secret operations on its own land to unearth oil secretly from central Iraqi government and distributes it under the counter. However, I can tell you that Turkish government was obviously helping/sending weapons to opposition groups and who know who got a hold of all those weapons. There has been a issue about this in Turkey as 2 journalists found out about trucks full of weapons going to Syria and made a news about it. They were arrested for espionage but recently they are released with the order of higher court.I hope this answers your questions Martin. I understand that the politics and way of life may be different than ho it is in Europe. however Turkey has its own cultural treats and its own unique way of dealing with issues. Turkey has been going through some tough days, both directed from inside and outside but I have a strong belief that our inside problems are coming to a point that people of Turkey is about to say "enough" and much better days are ahead of us. We will all live and see.Looking forward to seeing you here in Dalyan. Please always feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will try to answer with my best ability.Best Wishes, Volkan
March 7, 2016
Execellent and True informations well done and Thank you friends
March 7, 2016
Thank you too Mesut :)
March 8, 2016
An excellent read, well done Volkan. Been holidaying in Turkey for over 20 years and living here in Dalyan for 4 so nearly a quarter of a century, and couldn't think of anywhere else I would rather be. Dalyan is idyllic. Steeped in history.
March 8, 2016
I am glad you enjoyed reading it Lorraine. Thank you for your comment xx
Claire Aniolkowski
March 8, 2016
Volkan I need to try that restaurant!!
March 8, 2016
Its Doga Restaurant, right outside of Dalaman going towards Fethiye. Its a traditional Ocakbasi Restaurant where each table has its own bbq in the middle. Its a meat restaurant that serves really high quality meat and fresh starters.
March 8, 2016
Hi volkan excellent reading once again mate and that restaurant can go on our possible list for our meal with you all the best and please take care xoxoxoxoxobean :bye: :bye:
Liz and Dave Vowles
March 8, 2016
Excellent Volkan
March 8, 2016
Thank you Liz & Dave. It was great seeing you and lovely evening. Thank you xx
Claire Aniolkowski
March 8, 2016
Ah bit out of my geographical range then- oh well!! Sounds great though xx
March 9, 2016
Hi Alan,Loved reading your comment, read it couple times, thank you so much. You are and have always been a great friend to have. Both for me and Dalyan, Turkey and i am sure everywhere you go. It is absolutely and honour to consider myself your friend. Love you both xxVolkan
March 9, 2016
Great blog Volkan. Really enjoyed reading it and being able to gain an "insider's" knowledge of the situation. I also read Rachel Drury's article on Dalyan , which was similarly insightful. As you know, Richard and I are coming back twice this year, in June and October - we're making the most of our retirement and feel very lucky to be able to do so. Life is for living and if you can spend at least part of it in a place like Dalyan, with all it has to offer,( its warm welcome to all, its friendliness and beauty ) then that really is the icing on the cake. We wouldn't allow any doom-mongers to stop us coming to Turkey and especially to Dalyan. As you say, there are many more good people than bad in the world, even though just sometimes we have to remind ourselves of this fact, and Dalyan seems to have more than its fair share of these. Can't wait to return and meet up again. By the way, loved the title of your piece - very clever psychology - and also the photos. Who wouldn't want to come, having seen those? Take care.
March 10, 2016
Hi Pam;Thank you so much for your lovely comments. It is always great to see you and Richard here in Dalyan and her from you. I am so glad that you will be able to come twice this year and we get to see you more and spend some time together. People here are grateful to everyone for their support and love. Difficult days like this reminds us how important it is to have friends and power of good. I was invited for a dinner at friends house in a village here. The family hosted me has nothing to do with tourism, they never see a tourist and we were chatting and i was telling them how our friends from England, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, Dubai, USA, India, Malaysia.... were supporting us, sending us their good wishes and that they will be visiting or at least they would want to be here. Elders of the family started praying for the souls of everyone supporting us and the father was telling me to bring you all to their house :) When i suggested that only last summer we went on a trip with more than 2000 people and most of them are friends now he immediately came up with seating plan in their orchard and started calculating if all the oranges, mandarins would be enough to share with everyone :) They were very genuine with their words too :)Its so heartwarming to read your comment Pam. Can not thank you enough. It means the world for people here and everyone appreciates your friendship.Lots of love to you and Richard. Can not wait to see you both and hopefully we will meet some of your friends this time also.With my kindest wishes, Volkan
March 11, 2016
What a lovely thought Volkan, sitting in an orchard eating freshly picked oranges and chatting to friends - perfect! It makes me wish that I knew more Turkish, but I guess that sign language works well too, when both sides are open to being able to communicate. :yes:
Tony G
March 10, 2016
Hi Volkan, We didn't think twice about coming back to Dalyan and probably never will. I don't think it matters which country you visit there is always a risk from terrorism. Don't let them win. Now to what I really wanted to ask is, are there any Ocakbasi restaurants in Dalyan? Best regards and good luck for the season. Tony
March 10, 2016
Hi Tony,Thank you for reading for your comment and good wishes. I couldn't agree with you anymore about terrorism.The restaurant in the picture, which i consider what really Ocakbasi is, outside of Dalyan but not that far. ıts pass Dalaman towards Fethiye maybe couple kms.In Dalyan there are several places named Ocakbasi. The reason, they also offer same type of meat cooked in same way, on hazelnut-shell-charcoal bbq fire. however you do not get to cook it yourself. Its cooked for you by the chef.Than again, in summer months you may prefer someone cooking it for you. In that case you can always try Kervansaray Ocakbasi Restaurant on Gulpinar Street, towards Calbis Hotel. I think Tunay Restaurant also has a kebab ocakbasi and probably at least couple more. I like both Kervansaray and Tunay Usta.Please let me know if you need more info or help Tony. Would be my pleasure to help you experience an ocakbasi meal if I can.Kind Regards, Volkan
Lynn Dalton
April 19, 2016
I am beyond excited and thrilled to be making my first visit to Turkey (I'm ten years behind on my bucket list) and the lovely area of Dalyan....great article and follow up. Thank you.
John Morris
January 15, 2017
Well done Volkan! I watch the news on the BBC. Russian, French and American news as well. You are right, it is hard to know what the real news is! They are all lovers of the negative-you may as well take "Eastenders" as real life ( and they bumped off the shows dog because he wagged his tale!). Tricia and I feel safer in Dalyan that anywhere else we know-and that includes our home town in the UK. We will be taking our eighth Dalyan break in June and are already counting down the weeks. Thank you for this intelligent and thoughtful article-hopefully,it may stop missing out on a truly wonderful place! John and Tricia
Billy Irwin
August 8, 2019
Visiting Turkey for the first time on Wednesday 12/07/19 really looking forward to a great holiday in Dalyan

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