Is a potential holiday destination as picture postcard perfect as our trusted high street travel agents want us to believe in? Besides, in these unfortunate days of terror threats in far too many countries is it a safe spot on the map in the first place? And last but not least, can we actually afford to travel there without breaking the bank?

Seldom has your friendly columnist come across an expat hot pick which without a single instant of hesitation would prompt me to answer ‘yes’ to all three questions. But there is one indeed.

As booking in advance makes good sense for leisure travel and as it is rather standard to open up reservations and related hotlines for a particular journey in the future well ahead of departure date and time (six months quite common if not longer) your friendly columnist would suggest you get down to business by January, traveling to Turkey in 2018 – business as it is.

On the one hand and with a view to commenting on my first point made in my introductory paragraph Turkey is indeed as beautiful as it is portrayed in any travel agents brochure regardless of being featured online or in good old color print. Sandy beaches galore, five-star rated all-inclusive resorts everywhere, small B&B’s tucked away in splendid countryside, mountains and health tourism and history and metropolises (only mention Istanbul) and 8333 kilometers of splendid coastline and so on and so forth… world class food and beverages around every corner, welcoming hosts and a general level of tourism sector quality often unparalleled with many other top destinations my family had the pleasure to visit: so ‘yes’ to my first item.

On the other hand and moving on to issue number two we approach a topic not normally written about in our newspaper as we focus on other subjects and rightly so but in order to make my point I had to at stake – personal safety which is of course on all our minds these days. In eras long gone by we simply worried about pick-pockets in a crowded place regardless of whether taking souvenir shots in Piccadilly Circus or outside the Louvre in Paris, respectively. On a less serious note spotting and then avoiding fake cameramen in a sense of camera yet no film inside, then asking for a fiver to mail us our photo which of course never ever arrived was another favorite tourist pursuit. It happened to me like probably to many of our readers but did that stop us from enjoying our stay?

Then all changed as the threat of global terror emerged – recent attacks in Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels; the world just remembered 9/11… unfortunately, one can almost compile a list of the complete A-Z of terror so sadly finding a city or country for each letter of the alphabet linked to such heinous crimes and atrocities. But democracy fights back, day in, day out. And we will always have the upper hand and so will Turkey and the proud Turkish nation which welcomes all us expats and tourists with arms wide open.

Yes, we witnessed deplorable terror attacks over here too. But as Turkey had to understand the vast danger of terrorism both from within and abroad probably sooner than many other nations it has today a state of the art internal warning system. I am not saying no terror attack could ever again happen on our shared soils but due to the meticulous intelligence gathering in this fine nation more and more threats are intercepted long before they ever surface than anywhere else. I say Turkey was and is one of the safest global holiday and expat destinations one can find hence another clear ‘yes’!

So, picture postcard perfect and extremely safe to visit and to live in – what about the hard cash?

Turkey’s economy is set for a year end growth of a remarkable 5.1 per cent in 2017 as was announced some weeks ago by London based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. New houses, hospitals, hotels, high-speed trains everywhere! More schools, more universities. A country on the up! But this economic rise has not led to any unfair increases in holiday related costs as we witness elsewhere, far from it. Eating out or enjoying your hotel restaurant, traveling overland or flying, buying souvenirs or just sipping a glass of so delicious locally harvested black tea – affordable, top quality and when compared with most other European sunshine destinations unbeatable price-quality ratio wise. Rents for long-term expats are very manageable even for a family of four and buying a home or apartment is always a very sound investment here in Turkey, too.

Thus said and as the festive season is upon us let us all enjoy quality time with our loved ones or with neighbors and friends and then put pen to paper where to vacation, or perhaps even where to relocate to in the new year 2018. And the winner is… the one destination with the three ‘yes’ of course.

May I extend a sincere Thank You to all our readers whether near or far from Kusadasi and at the same time wishing them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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