Istanbul Layover Safety

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    Is Istanbul, Turkey a “safe” layover between E”Y and N.Y ? It is the cheapest coming home for Pesach tickets I can find for 2 of my sons but am not sure if this is a good idea as Israel and Turkey are not on the best of terms at the moment. It would be a 12 hour overnite layover.

    The Best Bubby

    I live in London, and know that sometimes it is cheap through Zurich, Rome, or Vienna, try those destinations rather than Turkey. I travelled through Vienna and the airport is smallish and the plane is held up on the continuation if the 1st plane is delayed. There was a duty free shop that is cheaper than the average Duty Free. 12 hours is a very long time to sit around waiting in an unfamiliar territory. But then, I can understand in these difficult times to try to save money with kids flying back and forth for Yom Tovim to Yeshiva/Sems. At the end of the day, we have to have emunah and bitachon with much siyaata dishmaya. Try to find out if there are Chabad there and maybe they can stay there overnight, and not stay in a airport. Then, they would be able to have a kosher, warm meal and a bed with a frum family who would welcome them with open arms. Be matzliach and zai gebenched to make the right decisions always.


    Turkey is not an Arab country at all. It is one of the few Muslim nations in the world with a functioning Jewish community and reports are that they are generally well treated. Turkey has had problems with terrorism, though, and don’t know about airport security.


    I was actually in Izmir, Turkey last year. It was really beautiful and there is even a Jewish community there in Turkey.

    I’d recommend them to just wear baseball caps and to be careful, as you should be in any foreign country.


    Turkey is a wonderful place. I would have no hesitation about visiting let alone spending a couple hours in the airport.


    Recently went through istanbul and back. I did this because I refused to go through Spain or France. We found the security somewhat strange, scripted, backward and incompetent(not speaking Hebrew, and not very intelligible in English. All in all, though, not much worse than the TSA folks. No feeling of being unsafe. I was unable to wiggle much on the plane due to seatmates much less get into tallis and tefilin, so I davened netz as best as possible and did T&T in the airport lounge. There were all manner of far off, odd dressed strangers that I drew zero attention.

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