People often ask me about this, are there any poisonous snakes in Turkey? Or do you have to worry about scorpions; it always makes me laugh as I get a mental image of some hapless British tourist with a knotted handkerchief on his head, lobster red suntan and union jack boxer shorts trying not to spill his beer whilst grappling with a giant man eating scorpion at the hotel bar like an outtake from Clash of the Titans. The short answer is yes Turkey does have some poisonous inhabitants but the chance of you coming across any of them is so negligible as to be almost nonexistent. I have travelled around Turkey and visited many times and have managed to spot a poisonous snake on just one occasion, which means I see more poisonous snakes in my hometown in the south of England (Adders) then I do in Turkey. Admittedly the one snake I saw in Turkey was a horned viper, considered to be the most dangerous snake found in Europe, which my mother in law almost trod on when we were visiting a Phrygian grave site near the Yazilikaya platform in Eskisehir province, but said horned viper turned tail and crawled in the opposite direction as fast as possible.
Most of the spiders in Turkey are again small and harmless; I have never seen a spider in Turkey that is even the quarter of the size of the domestic house spiders we get in England, that frequently attack you when you are sleeping. Of course a poke around the internet turned up a list of scary contenders including the world famous black widow, to read it click here: Venomous spiders of Turkey. I think it’s worth bearing in mind I have an extended Turkish family and many Turkish friends and have never heard a single story involving a spider bite.
Again I have never seen a Scorpion in Turkey, never heard of anyone who knows someone I know getting bitten by a scorpion in Turkey and don’t really think it’s something the average tourist needs to worry about. However Turkey does have some scorpions the scariest of which is Androctonus crassicauda which apparently translates as fat tailed man killer, how cute! Mostly they inhabit south east Turkey towards Syria and Iraq. If you want to freak yourself out more read this report by the Turkish parasite periodical:Scorpionism in the Sanliurfa Provinces of Turkey.
My advice is to ignore all that unnecessary scaremongering and chill out, the most irritating insect you are going to experience in Turkey are the mosquitoes......