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Ken Grubb

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  1. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Giray for a article, Burglary in Turkey   
    The Usual Burglaries
    The majority of burglaries committed in Turkey are unplanned and disorganized. Burglars rely on lax security and look for the easiest target with the least risk. They make sure nobody is home through some method which can be easily explained away, such as knocking on a door with a pretext question or walking around the house to see if they are challenged, as they look for an easy entry point.
    If they find they're able to walk through an unlocked door or climb through an insecure window, speed is essential. so they take what is left on tables and dressers or stored in the usual drawers. Even the most basic security measures could stop these burglaries. Just hiding valuables in a place one would not normally expect them to be can prevent their loss.
    The usual burglaries are committed during the day, when the resident has gone out for a short time. Victims can be especially complacent ıf their town is known for having a low crime rate.
    Burglaries During Local Events
    Well-advertised events, such as concerts, assure would-be burglars that a lot of people aren't going to be home at a certain time. In Çeşme, a mostly crime-free resort area, teams of burglars came from out of town to find unoccupied homes during the well-advertised concert of a famous European singer. Thankfully, the burglars were caught and most of the property returned.
    Swarms
    Although rare, a swarm involves three or more people (in a recent case all women) who knock on a door, then get inside. While one or two of the group keep the homeowner distracted, the other(s) roam around grabbing what they can. Then they leave as quickly as they came.
    Doors
    Doors are the primary entry point for burglars, especially when they are unlocked or left open.
    Most houses and apartments in larger towns in cities come with a Çelik Kapısı (cheh-leek kah-puh-suh) or steel door, which is fitted with a regular lock, separate from the handle. These also lock with a bolt at three different points in its steel frame by a turn the knob one to three times for three different depths.
    They are quite secure, and without a locksmith, it would take several hours (and cause a lot of noise) to get through one when it is completely locked. Steel doors also come with a "spy hole" or "peep hole" so you can see who is on the other side of the door before you open it.
    If you don't have a steel door, have one installed. Make sure that it also has a steel frame, and that the frame is at least as strong as the door.
    Door Cages
    Consider installing a door cage. These are made of decorative steel bars, and lock with a key, so you can open your main door without letting a person on the other side enter. They can also pass things to you between the bars.
    Spy Holes
    Have a door with a spy hole so you can see who is on the other side before you open it. Talk to the person through the door rather than opening it to someone you don't know.
    Door Chains
    Make sure your door chain is a high-quality steel chain, with a sturdy attachment to the door frame. It should only be used as a secondary means to address someone on the other side of the door if you don't have a locked door cage.
    The Back Door
    Back doors can be more vulnerable to break ins because a burglar can work out of the view of neighbors or passers-by on the street. Back doors should be as sturdy and have the same security features as the front door.
    Doors with Windows
    Some back doors (and front doors) have window panes which can be broken if the door is locked. Replace any standard single panes with double-glazed laminated glass. These windows have two panes which are bonded together with a laminate, making them stronger and harder to break.
    Instead of having a deadbolt lock with a knob on the inside, which a burglar can access by reaching through a broken window, have a lock with a key on both sides.
    Sliding Balcony or Patio Doors
    Sliding doors are attractive to burglars, because many of them only have a single, flimsy latch which locks to the frame. On upper balconies, sliding doors are often left open, an invitation to burglars.
    When poorly-secured sliding doors are closed and locked, a burglar can pry and force the door open, or use a lever to lift the door from the bottom so the latch releases from the hole in the frame. They can also lift the door off its track and remove the door entirely.
    You can stop the door from being lifted by screwing a thin, flat piece of wood into the inside of the top track. This will take up any excess space and prevent the door from being lifted.
    Sliding doors should always have locks which are separate from the latch, and which secure the door to the frame on the top and bottom with a key. Have these types of locks installed if they aren't already.
    At minimum, a good way to prevent a sliding door from being opened is to drill a hole through both door frames, at the bottom, and insert a bolt through the hole in both doors. Even if a burglar is able to defeat the standard latch, he will not be able to slide it open if the bolt is in place, unless he smashes the glass, which would attract attention.
    Note: When a door locks with a key on both sides, you can keep the key in the lock when you are at home. But when you are out, put the key in an in a nearby, easily-accessible place, always in the same place, but out of reach of anyone who could reach through a broken window or use a rod to retrieve it. This way, if the key isn't in the lock and you need to get out quickly because of a fire or other emergency, the key will be near the door and you will always know where it is. This is especially important with door cages, since they should not have the key left in them at any time.
    Don't hide an extra key under a door mat, flower pot, or rock in the garden. Have a trusted friend keep your key for you.
    Windows
    Windows are a secondary entry and exit point for burglars, or a primary point when unlocked or open. Windows should be laminated and double-glazed. Wooden single-frame windows are the least secure, and should be replaced.
    Window locks should fasten the window to the frame by means of bolts, at least three of them. The locking mechanism should be separate from the handle and lock the window itself, not just the handle. It is best to buy windows with these locks already installed, since the necessary drilling and fitting may weaken the frame and void the warranty of the window.
    Window locks should lock with a key, not just a knob, and the key should not be left in the lock. To leave a window partly open, but still secure, buy a window which has a sliding lock, or buy one and have it installed.
    Lighting
    Lighting should be used to augment, not replace, other security measures. Lights can be used to illuminate entry points and to make your house look occupied.
    You can get security lights which have motion-detection capability, which can be adjusted both for the scope of the area they sense, as well as their sensitivity. Sudden, unexpected illumination will sometimes scare off a burglar before he tries to enter, and also deny him the darkness he needs to do his work.
    If you are out, leave a light on in a sitting room with the curtains closed. Don't use a hallway light. If a hallway light is on for hours, it is rather obvious that nobody is living in the hallway. Get light timers which will turn interior lights on and off at random, or at certain times. Timers can also be used for the radio or TV.
    Again, these are merely methods to augment an overall security plan, since a burglar can also knock on your door with a pretext, to find out if anyone is home.
    Apartment Security
    The front door of your apartment building should have an intercom system so you can verify the identity of someone wanting to enter the building, and an electric lock that you can open remotely by pressing a button. It should have an automatic door closer, which closes the door completely and locks it automatically, as well as a manual means to open the door from the inside in case of a power outage. The building front door should never be wedged open.
    Don't open the building front door until you verify who it is. Just because you are expecting a delivery, or a guest, doesn't mean they are the ones who rung the bell. Unfortunately, the building's front door is only as secure as the least security-conscious occupant of the building.
    Lower Floors
    If your apartment is on the lower floors, the security precautions covered earlier in this article apply.
    Climbing Burglars
    Burglars sometimes use trees, drain pipes, ladders, and even the security bars on lower apartment balconies to climb to the apartments on higher floors. A prime target is a balcony door which is left open and is easily seen from the street. Many a morning has seen a group of people gazing up at a second, third, or fourth-floor apartment, scratching their heads and asking themselves "how did he get up there?"
    Besides a securely-locked balcony door, putting a motion-sensing light on your balcony can be an effective deterrent to this type of burglary.
    Top-floor Burglaries
    Top floors are sometimes targeted because only a few people in an apartment building ever go there. By watching the elevator's floor indicator, burglars can know when someone is coming. If the elevator doesn't stop its ascent and is about to come to the floor they're on, they can run down the stairs.
    In this case, your front door is your only defense. Make sure that you have a high-quality steel door, and that all of its locks are locked, including the deadbolt. A completely locked steel door takes hours to get through, and the work involved to do so makes plenty of noise.
    Newspapers, Mail, and Fliers
    Have someone come by every day or so to pick up newspapers, mail, and fliers which are left at your door. Even if you don't subscribe to a newspaper or get much mail, a few unsolicited fliers stuck in your door which have been there for several days is a sure sign that nobody is home.
    Garden Security
    Make sure your house is visible from the street and that vegetation doesn't provide hiding places. Lock up ladders either by storing them inside or with a chain and lock. Don't leave tools laying around which could be used by a burglar. Lock up bicycles and maintenance equipment in the garage or in the house, or chain them up to a secure post.
    Alarms
    An alarm system can significantly reduce the chances of a burglary, and various types of systems are widely available in Turkey. You can get an alarm system which simply makes a loud noise at most any do-it-yourself store. More sophisticated alarm systems, which are are monitored by security professionals who call the police when an alarm activates are available from local security firms.
    Property Marking and Photography
    Marking your property makes it more difficult to fence, as well as providing police a way to return recovered property to you. Engrave your most valuable items with your name and a number so you can show that it belongs to you. Record serial numbers of expensive electronics, and photograph valuables to make it easy for police to know if any recovered property is yours.
    Mobile Phones
    You can shut down your mobile phone if you have recorded it's International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. For more information on this, see the article on lost or stolen mobile phones.
    Learn Security Consciousness
    Even if you have the highest level of security devices available in your home, they are completely ineffective if you don't use them. Get in the habit of closing and locking doors and windows even when you are at home, for example, hosting a barbecue or swimming in the pool. At minimum, learn the habit of locking doors and windows when you go out, even if it's only for a short time, until it becomes second-nature. Brief family and visitors who are staying with you about security precautions they should take.
    See Also
    Crime, Safety, and Terrorism in Turkey Forum: Please visit an join our forum to post questions or comments about this topic.
  2. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Liz Clarke for a article, Frequently Asked Questions about Mobile Phones in Turkey   
    How much is the tax to register an imported mobile phone or device?
    138 TL.
    If I buy a mobile phone or device in Turkey, do I have to register it?
    No. The registration rules only apply to imported mobile phones or devices.
    If I register an imported mobile phone or device, and change the SIM card, will it work?
    No. Once an imported mobile phone or device is registered, it will only work with the SIM card it has assigned to it when it is registered. If you buy a mobile phone or device in Turkey, you can change the SIM cards and it will work.
    I have several imported 3G / 4G devices, not just one "phone." Can I register all of these in my name?
    No. You can only register one device against your name every two years. And it must be registered within 120 days of the last entry stamp in your passport. The only way you can have more than one registered mobile phone or device is to buy the additional ones in Turkey.
    What happens if I lose my mobile phone or device? Can I register another imported mobile phone or device then?
    No. You can only register one mobile phone or device every two years. You would have to wait until that two years lapses, or buy a replacement mobile phone or device in Turkey.
    Can my child register his own imported mobile phone?
    Yes. Each individual may register one imported mobile phone or device.
  3. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Liz Clarke for a article, Turkish Hospitals   
    If you've never been treated in a Turkish hospital before, it can be kind of scary since you don't know what to expect. But once you go for the first time, you'll probably be surprised at the level of professionalism and quality you find, not to mention the low price--especially at the state hospitals.
    One of the main differences with Turkish hospitals and clinics is that you run your own paperwork and samples around. After seeing your doctor in his her office, he or she may tell you to go have blood drawn at another office, then take the blood to the laboratory and bring the paperwork back. So lines tend to form in the hallways in front of various offices. Really all you have to do is let them know you're there by name and have a seat in the hallway. There usually isn't a number system.
    State Hospitals (Devlet Hastanesi)
    State hospitals in Turkey offer low-cost care which is available to everyone who is enrolled in the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu, also known as the SGK, which is Turkey's national health insurance plan. While most foreigners who have used state hospitals give good reports about the care they receive, some have had negative experiences. State hospitals suffer from a lack of funding, shortage of personnel, and too many patients. It may also be difficult to find a doctor or staff member who speaks English. The number one reason to use a state hospital is the low cost of treatment.
    Private Hospitals (Özel Hastanesi)
    Private hospitals can be found mostly in the larger cities and resort towns of Turkey, where income levels are higher and the locals are willing to pay more for a higher standard of care. Not all private hospitals accept the national SGK insurance, and those that do typically apply what SGK will pay to the bill, and charge the rest to you.
    You're far more likely to have a good experience in a private hospital than a state one. They are often staffed with doctors who finished their medical training in the United States or a European country, and who hold US or European certifications in their specialties. They usually speak English, as do some on the hospital staff. Private hospitals cost more than state hospitals, but you can be assured shorter waiting times, a higher level of training, more modern facilities, and personalized service.
    Hospital Appointments
    Typically you can just show up at the hospital and be seen on the same day. The usual wait is around 45 minutes. If your local hospital has on-line appointments, you can book one with a general practitioner or specialist. Just show up around 15 minutes prior for the paperwork, and you'll be seen immediately.
    Medical Clinics
    In many tourist towns which aren't big enough for a hospital, you'll find medical clinics called sağlık oçağı. These are often run by independent doctors and specialists. The care you'll receive is equivalent to that of a private hospital, but since their services are limited you may have to go elsewhere to see a specialist or get laboratory tests done.
    See Also
    Turkish for Emergencies: Turkish terms which may help you in case of emergency.
    Health, Healthcare, and Health Insurance Forum: If you have questions about hospitals in Turkey, please post them in this forum.
  4. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from IbrahimAbi for a article, How to Become a Turkish Citizen   
    Turkish citizenship applications, made within Turkey, are processed at the local İl Nüfüs ve Vatandaşlık Müdürlüğü, (Population and Citizenship Directorate). This will probably be in the local Adalet Sarayı, the law building where court is held, or at the governor's office building. Applications made outside of Turkey are processed at Turkish embassies or consulates.
    Once your application package is assembled and your ability to converse in Turkish is confirmed, your package will be sent to the İçişleri Bakanlığı, (Ministry of the Interior), for approval.
    The law concerning Turkish citizenship is Turkish Nationality Act 5901 Section 403.
    Benefits
    As a Turkish citizen, you can
    Enter Turkey without a visa Live in Turkey without needing a residence permit Work without needing a work permit, in any job you want Open and operate a business without the requirements levied on foreigners Buy property without the usual delay caused by a military check Vote in local and national elections Contribute to a state-sponsored pension Receive inexpensive, global heath insurance through Turkey's national healthcare plan Buy a car as a Turk and not be required to use foreign license plates Negative Aspects
    If you are of an age suitable for service, you may have to serve in the Turkish military Consular services in Turkey will end, since while in Turkey, your Turkish citizenship will take precedence If you work, you will probably receive lower wages and work longer hours, unlike most foreigners who work in Turkey Your male children will be obligated to serve in the Turkish military once they reach 18 years of age If you are arrested, you will be treated as a Turkish citizen and not a citizen of your home country Dual Citizenship
    Turkish law does not prohibit you from having two nationalities, but some other countries do. Check your own country's laws to see if your government prohibits the holding of two nationalities.
    No Name Change is Required
    You won't have to change your name to one which is Turkish, unless you want to.
    Eligibility
    If You Are of Turkish Descent
    If you have a Turkish mother or a Turkish father, and can prove it, the Turkish government considers you to already be a citizen of Turkey. Therefore, the citizenship process is just a formality. Nothing is required other than proving that you have a Turkish mother or father. This does not extend to other relatives who might be Turkish, for example a Turkish grandmother or Turkish grandfather. However, it may help you to become a Turkish citizen as you go through the regular Turkish citizenship process.
    If You are Married to a Turkish Citizen
    Turkish citizenship is not automatically granted by marriage with a Turkish citizen, but your application is not likely to be turned down. You do not have to live in Turkey to become a Turkish citizen if you are married to a Turkish citizen. The main reason you still have to go through the process is so the authorities can be sure the marriage is real. If they are convinced the marriage is real, and you have been married for three years or more, becoming a Turkish citizen is pretty much automatic.
    Requirements
    You must be at the age of majority and have the capacity to decide and act on your own, according to the laws of the country you are from (usually 18) You must be married for at least three years, in a marriage which is ongoing and fits the normally accepted conditions of marriage You must have abstained from acts incompatible with the unity of marriage You must have no disease which is a threat to public health You must not be threat to national security or public order If You Are Not of Turkish Descent and Not Married to a Turkish Citizen
    Requirements
    You must be at the age of majority and have the capacity to decide and act on your own, according to the laws of the country you are from (usually 18) You must be a legal resident of Turkey for at least five (5) years, without any interruptions totaling six months or more at a time. You must show intent to settle in Turkey, such as owning property, starting a business in Turkey, or having some other binding tie with Turkey You must be able to speak a sufficient amount of Turkish (the standard is higher for those not married to a Turkish citizen) You must have enough income, or a profession, which will allow you to support yourself and your dependents You must not have a disease which is a threat to public health You must not be a threat to Turkey's national security or to the public order You must be of good moral character Required Documents
    Application form Passport (translated and notarized) Birth Certificate Medical certificate confirming that you are in good health and free of any disease which might endanger public health Document from the security directorate showing how long you have lived in Turkey, as well as all exits and entries into Turkey Certification of your ability to speak Turkish (see below) Four (4) to six (6) passport-size photographs Marriage certificate (if married to a Turk)* Identity documents for your spouse and underage children Note: Any documents obtained from a foreign country must have an apostille, then they must be translated by an official Turkish translator and notarized.
    Fees
    The application fee is around 100 TL. Translations and notarization of documents cost around 80-120 TL each.
    The Application Process
    The application process for Turkish citizenship can take up to a year. It is a good idea to have this much time on your current residence permit in case you need to leave the country during the process.
    1. Citizenship Directorate, or Turkish Embassy/Consulate, for Initial Application
    Fill out the application forms and get a list of what you will need (requirements usually vary from province to province). Pay the application fee.
    2. Police Station (or Embassy/Consulate), for a Police Records Check
    Fill out their police records check form. Provide a set of fingerprints and a photo (the police or consular officials may take this themselves). Get a document which shows how long you have lived in Turkey, as well as all exits and entries into Turkey.
    3. Doctor's Office or Hospital, for a Medical Examination
    Have a medical examination done and obtain the medical report.
    4. Your Home, for a Police Check
    If you are living in Turkey, a policeman will come by your house and do a brief interview to make sure you are living where you say you live. If you are married, he or she may verify that you and your spouse are living together.
    At some point you will receive notification of an appointment for your interview at the Citizenship Directorate, or Turkish embassy/consulate.
    5. Citizenship Directorate or Turkish Embassy/Consulate, for Interview
    The interview is done by a panel of local government or consular officials.
    Arrive early for your appointment to fill out forms, then wait to be called for your interview. During the interview, panel members will verify the information you put on the citizenship application form, and engage you in an informal Turkish conversation. There is no set list of questions, but you can expect to be asked questions such as:
    Where are you from? When did you come to Turkey? What is your profession? Are you working now? What is your spouse's job? When did you meet your spouse? What is your religion? What do you think of Turkey? What do you think of the Turkish people? Who is Atatürk? What are the words to the Turkish National Anthem? If you are married to a Turkish citizen and your spouse is there, they will likely call them into the room and speak with them privately, or with the two of you together. For those married to a Turkish citizen, the language interview is mostly a formality, so even if you don't do very well you are unlikely to be rejected.
    If you are not married to a Turkish citizen, the interview will be more strenuous, and you will need to be conversant in Turkish to qualify for citizenship.
    The results of the interview will then be combined with the rest of your package and sent to the Ministry of Interior for approval. You can expect to wait six months to a year for approval.
    Dependent Children
    If you have custody of children, they may also become Turkish citizens if the father consents, or if you go to a Turkish court and get for a court order giving them eligibility for Turkish citizenship.
    See Also
    Turkish Citizenship Forum
  5. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from IbrahimAbi for a article, Burglary in Turkey   
    The Usual Burglaries
    The majority of burglaries committed in Turkey are unplanned and disorganized. Burglars rely on lax security and look for the easiest target with the least risk. They make sure nobody is home through some method which can be easily explained away, such as knocking on a door with a pretext question or walking around the house to see if they are challenged, as they look for an easy entry point.
    If they find they're able to walk through an unlocked door or climb through an insecure window, speed is essential. so they take what is left on tables and dressers or stored in the usual drawers. Even the most basic security measures could stop these burglaries. Just hiding valuables in a place one would not normally expect them to be can prevent their loss.
    The usual burglaries are committed during the day, when the resident has gone out for a short time. Victims can be especially complacent ıf their town is known for having a low crime rate.
    Burglaries During Local Events
    Well-advertised events, such as concerts, assure would-be burglars that a lot of people aren't going to be home at a certain time. In Çeşme, a mostly crime-free resort area, teams of burglars came from out of town to find unoccupied homes during the well-advertised concert of a famous European singer. Thankfully, the burglars were caught and most of the property returned.
    Swarms
    Although rare, a swarm involves three or more people (in a recent case all women) who knock on a door, then get inside. While one or two of the group keep the homeowner distracted, the other(s) roam around grabbing what they can. Then they leave as quickly as they came.
    Doors
    Doors are the primary entry point for burglars, especially when they are unlocked or left open.
    Most houses and apartments in larger towns in cities come with a Çelik Kapısı (cheh-leek kah-puh-suh) or steel door, which is fitted with a regular lock, separate from the handle. These also lock with a bolt at three different points in its steel frame by a turn the knob one to three times for three different depths.
    They are quite secure, and without a locksmith, it would take several hours (and cause a lot of noise) to get through one when it is completely locked. Steel doors also come with a "spy hole" or "peep hole" so you can see who is on the other side of the door before you open it.
    If you don't have a steel door, have one installed. Make sure that it also has a steel frame, and that the frame is at least as strong as the door.
    Door Cages
    Consider installing a door cage. These are made of decorative steel bars, and lock with a key, so you can open your main door without letting a person on the other side enter. They can also pass things to you between the bars.
    Spy Holes
    Have a door with a spy hole so you can see who is on the other side before you open it. Talk to the person through the door rather than opening it to someone you don't know.
    Door Chains
    Make sure your door chain is a high-quality steel chain, with a sturdy attachment to the door frame. It should only be used as a secondary means to address someone on the other side of the door if you don't have a locked door cage.
    The Back Door
    Back doors can be more vulnerable to break ins because a burglar can work out of the view of neighbors or passers-by on the street. Back doors should be as sturdy and have the same security features as the front door.
    Doors with Windows
    Some back doors (and front doors) have window panes which can be broken if the door is locked. Replace any standard single panes with double-glazed laminated glass. These windows have two panes which are bonded together with a laminate, making them stronger and harder to break.
    Instead of having a deadbolt lock with a knob on the inside, which a burglar can access by reaching through a broken window, have a lock with a key on both sides.
    Sliding Balcony or Patio Doors
    Sliding doors are attractive to burglars, because many of them only have a single, flimsy latch which locks to the frame. On upper balconies, sliding doors are often left open, an invitation to burglars.
    When poorly-secured sliding doors are closed and locked, a burglar can pry and force the door open, or use a lever to lift the door from the bottom so the latch releases from the hole in the frame. They can also lift the door off its track and remove the door entirely.
    You can stop the door from being lifted by screwing a thin, flat piece of wood into the inside of the top track. This will take up any excess space and prevent the door from being lifted.
    Sliding doors should always have locks which are separate from the latch, and which secure the door to the frame on the top and bottom with a key. Have these types of locks installed if they aren't already.
    At minimum, a good way to prevent a sliding door from being opened is to drill a hole through both door frames, at the bottom, and insert a bolt through the hole in both doors. Even if a burglar is able to defeat the standard latch, he will not be able to slide it open if the bolt is in place, unless he smashes the glass, which would attract attention.
    Note: When a door locks with a key on both sides, you can keep the key in the lock when you are at home. But when you are out, put the key in an in a nearby, easily-accessible place, always in the same place, but out of reach of anyone who could reach through a broken window or use a rod to retrieve it. This way, if the key isn't in the lock and you need to get out quickly because of a fire or other emergency, the key will be near the door and you will always know where it is. This is especially important with door cages, since they should not have the key left in them at any time.
    Don't hide an extra key under a door mat, flower pot, or rock in the garden. Have a trusted friend keep your key for you.
    Windows
    Windows are a secondary entry and exit point for burglars, or a primary point when unlocked or open. Windows should be laminated and double-glazed. Wooden single-frame windows are the least secure, and should be replaced.
    Window locks should fasten the window to the frame by means of bolts, at least three of them. The locking mechanism should be separate from the handle and lock the window itself, not just the handle. It is best to buy windows with these locks already installed, since the necessary drilling and fitting may weaken the frame and void the warranty of the window.
    Window locks should lock with a key, not just a knob, and the key should not be left in the lock. To leave a window partly open, but still secure, buy a window which has a sliding lock, or buy one and have it installed.
    Lighting
    Lighting should be used to augment, not replace, other security measures. Lights can be used to illuminate entry points and to make your house look occupied.
    You can get security lights which have motion-detection capability, which can be adjusted both for the scope of the area they sense, as well as their sensitivity. Sudden, unexpected illumination will sometimes scare off a burglar before he tries to enter, and also deny him the darkness he needs to do his work.
    If you are out, leave a light on in a sitting room with the curtains closed. Don't use a hallway light. If a hallway light is on for hours, it is rather obvious that nobody is living in the hallway. Get light timers which will turn interior lights on and off at random, or at certain times. Timers can also be used for the radio or TV.
    Again, these are merely methods to augment an overall security plan, since a burglar can also knock on your door with a pretext, to find out if anyone is home.
    Apartment Security
    The front door of your apartment building should have an intercom system so you can verify the identity of someone wanting to enter the building, and an electric lock that you can open remotely by pressing a button. It should have an automatic door closer, which closes the door completely and locks it automatically, as well as a manual means to open the door from the inside in case of a power outage. The building front door should never be wedged open.
    Don't open the building front door until you verify who it is. Just because you are expecting a delivery, or a guest, doesn't mean they are the ones who rung the bell. Unfortunately, the building's front door is only as secure as the least security-conscious occupant of the building.
    Lower Floors
    If your apartment is on the lower floors, the security precautions covered earlier in this article apply.
    Climbing Burglars
    Burglars sometimes use trees, drain pipes, ladders, and even the security bars on lower apartment balconies to climb to the apartments on higher floors. A prime target is a balcony door which is left open and is easily seen from the street. Many a morning has seen a group of people gazing up at a second, third, or fourth-floor apartment, scratching their heads and asking themselves "how did he get up there?"
    Besides a securely-locked balcony door, putting a motion-sensing light on your balcony can be an effective deterrent to this type of burglary.
    Top-floor Burglaries
    Top floors are sometimes targeted because only a few people in an apartment building ever go there. By watching the elevator's floor indicator, burglars can know when someone is coming. If the elevator doesn't stop its ascent and is about to come to the floor they're on, they can run down the stairs.
    In this case, your front door is your only defense. Make sure that you have a high-quality steel door, and that all of its locks are locked, including the deadbolt. A completely locked steel door takes hours to get through, and the work involved to do so makes plenty of noise.
    Newspapers, Mail, and Fliers
    Have someone come by every day or so to pick up newspapers, mail, and fliers which are left at your door. Even if you don't subscribe to a newspaper or get much mail, a few unsolicited fliers stuck in your door which have been there for several days is a sure sign that nobody is home.
    Garden Security
    Make sure your house is visible from the street and that vegetation doesn't provide hiding places. Lock up ladders either by storing them inside or with a chain and lock. Don't leave tools laying around which could be used by a burglar. Lock up bicycles and maintenance equipment in the garage or in the house, or chain them up to a secure post.
    Alarms
    An alarm system can significantly reduce the chances of a burglary, and various types of systems are widely available in Turkey. You can get an alarm system which simply makes a loud noise at most any do-it-yourself store. More sophisticated alarm systems, which are are monitored by security professionals who call the police when an alarm activates are available from local security firms.
    Property Marking and Photography
    Marking your property makes it more difficult to fence, as well as providing police a way to return recovered property to you. Engrave your most valuable items with your name and a number so you can show that it belongs to you. Record serial numbers of expensive electronics, and photograph valuables to make it easy for police to know if any recovered property is yours.
    Mobile Phones
    You can shut down your mobile phone if you have recorded it's International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. For more information on this, see the article on lost or stolen mobile phones.
    Learn Security Consciousness
    Even if you have the highest level of security devices available in your home, they are completely ineffective if you don't use them. Get in the habit of closing and locking doors and windows even when you are at home, for example, hosting a barbecue or swimming in the pool. At minimum, learn the habit of locking doors and windows when you go out, even if it's only for a short time, until it becomes second-nature. Brief family and visitors who are staying with you about security precautions they should take.
    See Also
    Crime, Safety, and Terrorism in Turkey Forum: Please visit an join our forum to post questions or comments about this topic.
  6. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Dean for a article, Mugging (Robbery) in Turkey   
    Mugging
    The occurrence of violent crimes, even in large cities, is lower than in comparable cities in other parts of the world. In smaller towns, it is practically unheard of. But muggings can happen, in places including shopping malls, parking lots, and even outside of your own home. In most muggings in Turkey, thankfully, the victim is not hurt. The muggers simply overpower the victim by holding them down, or may display a weapon, get the valuables, and disappear.
    Muggers
    Muggers typically roam around or lie in wait looking for an unprepared or unaware target. They are not necessarily looking for a weak victim, but an easy one--a soft target. While deciding whether or not to mug someone, street criminals weigh the potential benefits with the potential risks of being caught, or even hurt. They also read the behavior of their intended victim as they decide whether to act or pass him or her by for an easier victim. You can prevent yourself from becoming a victim by making these factors work to your advantage.
    Make Yourself a Hard Target
    Learn to be alert. Learn what is normal on any route you usually take, so you will know when something is not normal. Travel with others. Stay in well-lit areas which are populated with people. Avoid taking shortcuts you are unfamiliar with or are less secure than your normal route. Walk tall, with confidence and a sense of purpose, alert and looking around rather than always at the ground or straight ahead. Know where you're going before you go. Don't walk while preoccupied with texting, listening to music, or talking on a mobile phone. Note "safe havens" nearby, such as restaurants, hotels, police stations, or other places you can go if something looks wrong. If you need to look at a map or get your bearings, do so in a cafe or restaurant. Learn where dangerous areas of town are and avoid them, especially at night. Take a taxi instead of walking at night. Walk on the sidewalk, near the curb, facing traffic. If a car comes to a stop you will see it, and you will better be able to see inside the car. Keep your distance from someone on the street or in a car asking you a question or for directions. Look behind you as well, since the question may be a distraction. If you've had too much to drink, take a taxi home. If something looks wrong to you, it probably is. Don't hesitate or think you are being overly cautious. Move to a safe haven. Minimize Potential Loss
    Don't carry valuables you don't need. Keep excess cash and your passport in the safe in your room, or at reception. Carry a copy of your passport (identifying information and the entry stamp page) instead of the original. If you need to have a credit card or debit card, take one and leave the others in a safe place as above. Use a money belt or a neck pouch to keep your valuables out if sight, inside your clothes. Using Bank Machines
    Use bank machines only in well-lit, populated areas. Don't keep your PIN number in your wallet. If you are in the middle of a transaction and something looks wrong, hit cancel, grab your card, and leave. Mobile Phones
    While mobile phones are a great way to call the police, they are also a popular item to steal. If your mobile phone is stolen, you can shut it down if you know your mobile phone's IMEI number and report the theft to your service provider.
    If You Are Mugged
    The safest thing to do is cooperate and hand over your valuables, especially if a weapon is involved, since your life is the most valuable thing you have. Some street thieves sniff glue or various household chemicals, and there is no telling what mental state they may be in or what they will do. They often carry knives.
    If the situation dictates, or you are trained to do so, you can make a lot of noise and fight back. Some recommend shouting "fire" (ateş, [ah-tesh]) on the assumption that more people will come to your aid for a fire than they would to a mugging. The fact is that, at least in Turkey, a good, loud scene will almost always bring people running to see what's happening.
    Aggressively shouting fighting words can also make you seem too aggressive (and noisy) for the muggers to deal with, while at the same time bringing others to your aid. Don't forget simply running away (also while making a lot of noise) as another option.
    In any case, try to keep your wits about you and get a description. Besides height, weight, hair color, and clothing worn, note anything unique about the mugger. Then report the robbery to the police immediately.
    What you do in a mugging situation is your decision, and you should think your options carefully, before you are in a bad situation, and take a street safety or self-defense course from a qualified instructor.
    See Also
    Crime, Safety, and Terrorism in Turkey Forum: If you have questions or comments about this topic, please post them in our forum.
  7. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Sean R. for a article, How to Find and Rent an Apartment in Turkey   
    Apartment Shopping
    If you don't speak Turkish, the first thing to do is to find a friend or a property agent who does. Turks generally go out of their way to help foreigners, and many business owners at least have someone nearby who speaks enough English to get the job done.
    Internet Listings
    By using the Turkish property listings, you'll find better deals than you would on English-language websites directed at foreigners. See the External Links section for websites which have property listings. Some have English versions, and some don't. You can use our Guide to Turkish Property Terms (see the links at the bottom) to understand what you're reading. If you check the listings daily, you may find a great place to live before anybody else does. And by printing out the listings you like, you'll have handy information in hand for your apartment shopping trip.
    National and Local Newspapers
    You can go to a local newsstand and find out what hard-copy newspapers are circulated in the area, both national and local papers. Find out on what day the new property listings are published. On that day, pick up a paper early, and be ready to start making phone calls at 09:00 AM. Good properties go fast.
    Property Agents
    Property agents, or emlak, are plentiful in Turkey, and they come in all sizes. They are a handy resource to find quality properties. Visit several of them, since there is no central directory of properties for rent, and each agent will have different apartments available.
    Turkish property agents get a commission for the properties they rent, equivalent to one month's rent, paid by the renter. If an agent doesn't have what you need but knows of another agent who does, and if you rent from the other agent, the two agents split the commission. For that reason, property agents will first show you their properties (sometimes including properties with characteristics you said you didn't want) before they show you those of competitors.
    Using All of the Above
    If you find in the internet or newspaper listings that an attractive apartment is being advertised by a particular property agent, you can also ask that agent to show you the properties of other agents which you found in the listings. This can save you the time of making appointments and finding addresses.
    Walking Around
    Walking or driving around a neighborhood where you would like to live ls also a good way to find a place to live. Look for a sign which says kiralik (kee-rah-look), which means "for rent." You'll also see signs which say satılık (sah-tah-look), which means "for sale." Another important term is sahabinden (sah-ha-been-den) which means "from owner." The name and telephone number of a property agency or the owner will be on the sign.
    The Inspection
    Have a good look around the property to make sure everything is in good order. Include every detail in the contract, so the landlord can't claim compensation from you when you move out. Some landlords can be very picky, and will look for any excuse to retain part of the deposit.
    If there is anything in the apartment you don't want to stay and don't intend to turn over to the landlord at the end of the lease, have the landlord remove it. Do not discard anything thinking the landlord will be okay with it. An old rickety set of shelves that you remove while occupying the premises may be later claimed by the landlord to be an antique given to him by a some beloved deceased relative, and used to extort your deposit from you.
    Previous Owners Will Have Removed Everything Which Was Not Nailed Down, and also Some Things That Were
    You will find that any former Turkish tenants have taken everything but the kitchen sink (they do, however, sometimes take the faucets). Even light fixtures may be removed, leaving a bare wire protruding from a hole in the ceiling. The water heater and other such fixtures will likely have been removed.
    Apartment Layout
    In cities, all apartments have a similar layout. The kitchen and salon (living room) face the outside, and the bedrooms are on the inside. Typically there is a large master bedroom with the other bedrooms being smaller, sometimes much smaller. The washing machine goes in the bathroom. Use of electric clothes driers is rare but gaining in popularity, so there might not be room for a washer and a drier in the bathroom. Stacked washer and drier combination units are available for this purpose, if the water heater (normally attached to the wall in the bathroom) doesn't get in the way.
    Turks like balconies (who doesn't?). You might find that even your kitchen and bedroom have a balcony. Balconies are usually where clothes are dried, either on lines attached to the building walls or on collapsible clothes drying racks that are widely available. Turks sometimes sleep on their balconies during warm weather.
    Closet Space
    Many Turkish apartments don't have closets. So you will have to buy a wall unit to store your clothes.
    Curtains
    You will also have to buy curtains. See our article on furnishing and equipping your home for ideas on how to get set up in your new place.
    The Landlord
    Some landlords in Turkey will do little or nothing to repair anything that needs repair or upkeep. They will expect you to pay repairs, of everything, including sinks, toilets, plumbing, and electrical wiring and fixtures. One option to deal with this is to deduct the cost of any repairs you have to make from the rent, and provide the landlord with a fatura (invoice), for the cost of the repairs. Your landlord may object to this, but it is doubtful that he or she would ever go to court about it, because of the amount of time court cases take in Turkey. Besides that, the judge involved would be unlikely to side with the landlord. To be on the safe side, though, it's a good idea to have a clause for this placed into the rental contract.
    Important! When you apply for a residence permit, the Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General of Migration Management, or DGMM), will require a copy of your landlord's identification card as part of the documentation you need to prove you have an address. So make sure the landlord understands this and is willing to provide one.
    Negotiation
    Once you find a place that you like and can afford, try to negotiate the rent to a lower price. A few minutes of haggling may save you a lot of money. Once you reach an agreement, you will sign the rental contract.
    The Rental Contract
    Property rental contracts in Turkey are rather standard, and can be bought in a stationery store. But make sure you have someone translate it for you so you know exactly what you are signing.
    The typical Turkish rental contract is a four-page document (one large page folded in half). On the contract's pages are the following:
    Page 1: Landlord and renter personal information and the terms of the rental, such as duration and the amount of rent.
    Pages 2 and 3: Covers the terms of the rental agreement.
    Page 4: A record of payments. Each time you pay, you record the payment amount and date, and sign it with your landlord. If you deposit the rent into the landlord's bank account, have the bank add a note that the payment is for rent (kira). Save the deposit receipt. This bank deposit receipt can also serve as proof of payment.
    Additional Agreements: If you make any additional agreements with the landlord, make sure they are in the contract, because your friendly and amiable landlord may not be so lenient later.
    Terminating the Contract
    According to the Turkish code of obligations, you must provide 15 days notice, in writing (translated to Turkish) before the anniversary date of the contract if you want to terminate it. If you don't do this, the contract will automatically renew for the period set in the contract (as in another year) and you will be legally bound to pay the extra year's rent whether you are living there or not. When you deliver written notice, take two copies. Sign both and also have the landlord sign both. Keep one copy as proof of notice.
    Some tenants think they can just forfeit the deposit and vacate the property any time they want. This is not so, and a landlord can take you to court, if he or she wants to go through the trouble, and successfully sue you for the remaining balance due on the contract. If you think you might need to vacate the property some time in the middle of the contract, have a "get out early" clause written in to the contract to protect yourself. If you want to renew the contract on a monthly basis, make the new contract so it expires in one month. In that case it will automatically renew every month (instead of every year).
    The Deposit
    Although the deposit is often the equivalent of one-month's rent, its purpose is to cover the repair of any damages, and not non-payment of rent. While legally it is limited to a maximum of three month's rent, it can be negotiated, and you should never pay any more than reasonably necessary.
    Important! If you do decide to hand over cash to your landlord, beware of any request for an excessively high deposit. Some landlords ask for a high deposit amount because they intend to keep it when you vacate, using any excuse to not refund it, assuming that you are at a disadvantage and unlikely to sue them to get it back.
    The proper way to pay a deposit is not by handing cash to the landlord. According to the most recent version of Turkey's Code of Obligations (Turkish law), you and your landlord should go to a bank and put the deposit into a kira depozito ortak hesabı (rent deposit joint account). If you do it that way, then the bank, by law, must return it to you upon request after three months of the date you vacate the property, unless the landlord informs the bank, in writing, that there is an active lawsuit against you for damages. If your landlord balks at this, don't rent from that landlord.
    Rent Increases
    If you pay your rent in Turkish lira, your landlord cannot legally raise your rent more than the yearly increase in Turkey's wholesale price index.
    Aydat, the Kapıcı, and Yönetici
    Aydat (pronounced like "eye-dot"). It is a monthly payment which covers common area lighting, cleaning, elevator maintenance, and the salary of the kapıcı (kah-puh-juh), if there is one.
    The kapıcı (literally translated "door man") looks after the building and maintains it. He will almost always live on the ground floor of the apartment. He may also do additional duties like paying your utility bills, getting you a loaf of bread and a paper in the morning, and even fixing things in your house for a small fee. The main thing you would need to be careful of when dealing with the kapıcı is asking him to do things which are beyond his expertise. For example, your kapıcı is not a car mechanic (if he could fix cars, he wouldn't be a kapıcı!). For work which requires a professional, such as electrical work, hire a professional.
    The yönetici (yuh-neh-tee-jee, manager) is a resident who collects the aydat and makes the required payments.
    Utilities
    The landlord will sometimes keep the utilities in his or her name, since there is no penalty or impact on one's credit rating for non-payment. The utility is simply shut off, and a fine is paid to restore it. If you get the utilities in your name, you can pay them at various banks or at the Turkish post office (PTT). On the back of your utility bills is a list of places where you can pay them. Some of the banks only take these payments in the morning or afternoon hours, depending on their policy. The water bill needs to be paid at the water department at the belediye (beh-leh-dee-yeh), or municipality.
    You can have your utility bills automatically paid by your Turkish bank account. To do this, go to your bank and take your utility bills with you, so they can arrange for automatic payments. You can also give the bills and the required cash to your kapıcı and have them pay them for you-this is a common practice in Turkish apartment complexes.
    Most every city and town also has a consolidated bill-paying shop. For a small fee, you can pay all of your utilities there, at one time.
    Other Notes
    If you're single, you may find that some Turkish landlords won't rent to you. Don't take it personally. Some Turks are rather traditional, and don't want to rent to anyone but a married couple or a family.
    See Also
    Furnishing and Equipping Your Home: A guide to finding white goods (appliances), furniture, and other helpful equipment for setting up your home in Turkey.
    Renting in Turkey Forum: Our forum devoted to renting apartments or properties in Turkey. If you have a question, please ask it there.
    Guide to Turkish Terms for Buying or Renting Property
    External Links
    www.sahibinden.com (sahibinden means "from the owner," but you'll also see property companies advertising there as well. Look for "Emlak" (real estate, or property) and "Konut" (Residence)
    www.hurriyetemlak.com: Look for "Konut" (Residence). It has English listings.
    www.milliyetemlak.com: This one has English listings also.
    www.turkstat.gov.tr: Here you can find the Producer Price Index (PPI) for Turkey. If your landlord wants to increase the limit, it cannot exceed the percent change in the PPI by law.
  8. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Liz Clarke for a article, Documents Required for a First-time Short-term Residence Permit in Turkey   
    The following documents are required:
    Residence Permit Application Form Your passport, and a copy of your passport's identity information page, photo page, and the page showing your latest entry into Turkey * Four (4) photos which meet Turkey's official photo requirements Declaration of financial capacity stating that you have sufficient, or regular income for the duration period of the residence permit you are applying for** Proof of health insurance coverage, which is valid in Turkey and meets Turkey's minimum coverage requirements, which may be any of the following: A document showing that you are covered for health care under a bilateral agreement between Turkey and your home country Private health insurance from your home country which meets Turkey's minimum requirements. Private Turkish health insurance Proof that you have a place to live * For passports which are not issued in Latin letters, you must have it translated by a Turkish sworn translator, and include the translation with your passport
    ** You make the declaration during the online application process. However, be prepared to show documentation proving this if you are asked during your interview.
    Turkey's Foreigner Communications Center
    The DGMM has a number you can call to speak to an immigration specialist. Call 157 from any telephone within Turkey. The call will be free. From outside of Turkey, call +90 312 157 1122. Long-distance charges will apply.
    Need to buy the required health insurance coverage for your residence permit? You can buy it online, or just get a free quote, by using our Expat Health Insurance Inquiry Form.
    See Also
    Short-term Residence Permits Forum: Have questions or comments? Please post them in our forum.
  9. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Ad Jam for a article, How to Find and Rent an Apartment in Turkey   
    Apartment Shopping
    If you don't speak Turkish, the first thing to do is to find a friend or a property agent who does. Turks generally go out of their way to help foreigners, and many business owners at least have someone nearby who speaks enough English to get the job done.
    Internet Listings
    By using the Turkish property listings, you'll find better deals than you would on English-language websites directed at foreigners. See the External Links section for websites which have property listings. Some have English versions, and some don't. You can use our Guide to Turkish Property Terms (see the links at the bottom) to understand what you're reading. If you check the listings daily, you may find a great place to live before anybody else does. And by printing out the listings you like, you'll have handy information in hand for your apartment shopping trip.
    National and Local Newspapers
    You can go to a local newsstand and find out what hard-copy newspapers are circulated in the area, both national and local papers. Find out on what day the new property listings are published. On that day, pick up a paper early, and be ready to start making phone calls at 09:00 AM. Good properties go fast.
    Property Agents
    Property agents, or emlak, are plentiful in Turkey, and they come in all sizes. They are a handy resource to find quality properties. Visit several of them, since there is no central directory of properties for rent, and each agent will have different apartments available.
    Turkish property agents get a commission for the properties they rent, equivalent to one month's rent, paid by the renter. If an agent doesn't have what you need but knows of another agent who does, and if you rent from the other agent, the two agents split the commission. For that reason, property agents will first show you their properties (sometimes including properties with characteristics you said you didn't want) before they show you those of competitors.
    Using All of the Above
    If you find in the internet or newspaper listings that an attractive apartment is being advertised by a particular property agent, you can also ask that agent to show you the properties of other agents which you found in the listings. This can save you the time of making appointments and finding addresses.
    Walking Around
    Walking or driving around a neighborhood where you would like to live ls also a good way to find a place to live. Look for a sign which says kiralik (kee-rah-look), which means "for rent." You'll also see signs which say satılık (sah-tah-look), which means "for sale." Another important term is sahabinden (sah-ha-been-den) which means "from owner." The name and telephone number of a property agency or the owner will be on the sign.
    The Inspection
    Have a good look around the property to make sure everything is in good order. Include every detail in the contract, so the landlord can't claim compensation from you when you move out. Some landlords can be very picky, and will look for any excuse to retain part of the deposit.
    If there is anything in the apartment you don't want to stay and don't intend to turn over to the landlord at the end of the lease, have the landlord remove it. Do not discard anything thinking the landlord will be okay with it. An old rickety set of shelves that you remove while occupying the premises may be later claimed by the landlord to be an antique given to him by a some beloved deceased relative, and used to extort your deposit from you.
    Previous Owners Will Have Removed Everything Which Was Not Nailed Down, and also Some Things That Were
    You will find that any former Turkish tenants have taken everything but the kitchen sink (they do, however, sometimes take the faucets). Even light fixtures may be removed, leaving a bare wire protruding from a hole in the ceiling. The water heater and other such fixtures will likely have been removed.
    Apartment Layout
    In cities, all apartments have a similar layout. The kitchen and salon (living room) face the outside, and the bedrooms are on the inside. Typically there is a large master bedroom with the other bedrooms being smaller, sometimes much smaller. The washing machine goes in the bathroom. Use of electric clothes driers is rare but gaining in popularity, so there might not be room for a washer and a drier in the bathroom. Stacked washer and drier combination units are available for this purpose, if the water heater (normally attached to the wall in the bathroom) doesn't get in the way.
    Turks like balconies (who doesn't?). You might find that even your kitchen and bedroom have a balcony. Balconies are usually where clothes are dried, either on lines attached to the building walls or on collapsible clothes drying racks that are widely available. Turks sometimes sleep on their balconies during warm weather.
    Closet Space
    Many Turkish apartments don't have closets. So you will have to buy a wall unit to store your clothes.
    Curtains
    You will also have to buy curtains. See our article on furnishing and equipping your home for ideas on how to get set up in your new place.
    The Landlord
    Some landlords in Turkey will do little or nothing to repair anything that needs repair or upkeep. They will expect you to pay repairs, of everything, including sinks, toilets, plumbing, and electrical wiring and fixtures. One option to deal with this is to deduct the cost of any repairs you have to make from the rent, and provide the landlord with a fatura (invoice), for the cost of the repairs. Your landlord may object to this, but it is doubtful that he or she would ever go to court about it, because of the amount of time court cases take in Turkey. Besides that, the judge involved would be unlikely to side with the landlord. To be on the safe side, though, it's a good idea to have a clause for this placed into the rental contract.
    Important! When you apply for a residence permit, the Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü (Directorate General of Migration Management, or DGMM), will require a copy of your landlord's identification card as part of the documentation you need to prove you have an address. So make sure the landlord understands this and is willing to provide one.
    Negotiation
    Once you find a place that you like and can afford, try to negotiate the rent to a lower price. A few minutes of haggling may save you a lot of money. Once you reach an agreement, you will sign the rental contract.
    The Rental Contract
    Property rental contracts in Turkey are rather standard, and can be bought in a stationery store. But make sure you have someone translate it for you so you know exactly what you are signing.
    The typical Turkish rental contract is a four-page document (one large page folded in half). On the contract's pages are the following:
    Page 1: Landlord and renter personal information and the terms of the rental, such as duration and the amount of rent.
    Pages 2 and 3: Covers the terms of the rental agreement.
    Page 4: A record of payments. Each time you pay, you record the payment amount and date, and sign it with your landlord. If you deposit the rent into the landlord's bank account, have the bank add a note that the payment is for rent (kira). Save the deposit receipt. This bank deposit receipt can also serve as proof of payment.
    Additional Agreements: If you make any additional agreements with the landlord, make sure they are in the contract, because your friendly and amiable landlord may not be so lenient later.
    Terminating the Contract
    According to the Turkish code of obligations, you must provide 15 days notice, in writing (translated to Turkish) before the anniversary date of the contract if you want to terminate it. If you don't do this, the contract will automatically renew for the period set in the contract (as in another year) and you will be legally bound to pay the extra year's rent whether you are living there or not. When you deliver written notice, take two copies. Sign both and also have the landlord sign both. Keep one copy as proof of notice.
    Some tenants think they can just forfeit the deposit and vacate the property any time they want. This is not so, and a landlord can take you to court, if he or she wants to go through the trouble, and successfully sue you for the remaining balance due on the contract. If you think you might need to vacate the property some time in the middle of the contract, have a "get out early" clause written in to the contract to protect yourself. If you want to renew the contract on a monthly basis, make the new contract so it expires in one month. In that case it will automatically renew every month (instead of every year).
    The Deposit
    Although the deposit is often the equivalent of one-month's rent, its purpose is to cover the repair of any damages, and not non-payment of rent. While legally it is limited to a maximum of three month's rent, it can be negotiated, and you should never pay any more than reasonably necessary.
    Important! If you do decide to hand over cash to your landlord, beware of any request for an excessively high deposit. Some landlords ask for a high deposit amount because they intend to keep it when you vacate, using any excuse to not refund it, assuming that you are at a disadvantage and unlikely to sue them to get it back.
    The proper way to pay a deposit is not by handing cash to the landlord. According to the most recent version of Turkey's Code of Obligations (Turkish law), you and your landlord should go to a bank and put the deposit into a kira depozito ortak hesabı (rent deposit joint account). If you do it that way, then the bank, by law, must return it to you upon request after three months of the date you vacate the property, unless the landlord informs the bank, in writing, that there is an active lawsuit against you for damages. If your landlord balks at this, don't rent from that landlord.
    Rent Increases
    If you pay your rent in Turkish lira, your landlord cannot legally raise your rent more than the yearly increase in Turkey's wholesale price index.
    Aydat, the Kapıcı, and Yönetici
    Aydat (pronounced like "eye-dot"). It is a monthly payment which covers common area lighting, cleaning, elevator maintenance, and the salary of the kapıcı (kah-puh-juh), if there is one.
    The kapıcı (literally translated "door man") looks after the building and maintains it. He will almost always live on the ground floor of the apartment. He may also do additional duties like paying your utility bills, getting you a loaf of bread and a paper in the morning, and even fixing things in your house for a small fee. The main thing you would need to be careful of when dealing with the kapıcı is asking him to do things which are beyond his expertise. For example, your kapıcı is not a car mechanic (if he could fix cars, he wouldn't be a kapıcı!). For work which requires a professional, such as electrical work, hire a professional.
    The yönetici (yuh-neh-tee-jee, manager) is a resident who collects the aydat and makes the required payments.
    Utilities
    The landlord will sometimes keep the utilities in his or her name, since there is no penalty or impact on one's credit rating for non-payment. The utility is simply shut off, and a fine is paid to restore it. If you get the utilities in your name, you can pay them at various banks or at the Turkish post office (PTT). On the back of your utility bills is a list of places where you can pay them. Some of the banks only take these payments in the morning or afternoon hours, depending on their policy. The water bill needs to be paid at the water department at the belediye (beh-leh-dee-yeh), or municipality.
    You can have your utility bills automatically paid by your Turkish bank account. To do this, go to your bank and take your utility bills with you, so they can arrange for automatic payments. You can also give the bills and the required cash to your kapıcı and have them pay them for you-this is a common practice in Turkish apartment complexes.
    Most every city and town also has a consolidated bill-paying shop. For a small fee, you can pay all of your utilities there, at one time.
    Other Notes
    If you're single, you may find that some Turkish landlords won't rent to you. Don't take it personally. Some Turks are rather traditional, and don't want to rent to anyone but a married couple or a family.
    See Also
    Furnishing and Equipping Your Home: A guide to finding white goods (appliances), furniture, and other helpful equipment for setting up your home in Turkey.
    Renting in Turkey Forum: Our forum devoted to renting apartments or properties in Turkey. If you have a question, please ask it there.
    Guide to Turkish Terms for Buying or Renting Property
    External Links
    www.sahibinden.com (sahibinden means "from the owner," but you'll also see property companies advertising there as well. Look for "Emlak" (real estate, or property) and "Konut" (Residence)
    www.hurriyetemlak.com: Look for "Konut" (Residence). It has English listings.
    www.milliyetemlak.com: This one has English listings also.
    www.turkstat.gov.tr: Here you can find the Producer Price Index (PPI) for Turkey. If your landlord wants to increase the limit, it cannot exceed the percent change in the PPI by law.
  10. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Matthew G for a article, Ten Ways a Turk Might Wish You Well   
    Turks are known for their friendliness and close relationships, as well as their politeness and consideration of others. So they have certain "set phrases," which are used to express good wishes to you in various circumstances. Usually, the reply would be "teşekkür ederim" (teh-shek-kyur eh-deh-reem), which means "thank you," or "sağol" (sah-ol), which is a wish for life, but is also used to say "thank you." If a different reply is called for, it will be noted below.
    1. When you sneeze, a Turk will say...
    "Çok yaşa!" (choke yah-shah), Meaning "a long life to you!"
    You would reply "sen de gör!" (sen deh-goor), Meaning "may you live to see it!"
    2. When you are about to eat something, a Turk will say...
    "Afiyet olsun!" (ah-fee-yet ol-soon), Meaning "good appetite!" Or they may say "Beraber Olsun!" (beh-rah-behr ol-soon), meaning "may it be so, together!" and insist you join them and share their meal.
    3. When you are feeling ill, or going through a difficult time, a Turk will say...
    "Geçmiş Olsun" (gech-mish ol-soon)! Meaning "may it pass quickly!"
    4. When you have just taken a shower, a Turk will say...
    "Sıhhatlar olsun!" Meaning "may it bring you health!"
    5. When you have just bought a new article of clothing, a Turk will say...
    "Güle güle giyin!" (goo-leh goo-leh gee-yeen)! Meaning "wear it with a smile!"
    6. When you have just bought a new computer, smart phone, appliance, etc, a Turk will say...
    "Güle güle kullanın!" Meaning "use it with a smile!"
    7. When you have just bought a new house, started a business, or started your business day, a Turk will say...
    "Hayırlı olsun!" Meaning "may it have a good result!"
    8. When you have bought a new pair of glasses, or jewelry, a Turk will say...
    "Güle güle takın!" Meaning "wear it with a smile!"
    9. When you are working, a Turk will say...
    "Kolay gelsin!" Meaning "may it (your work) come easily!" Or they may say "Hayırlı olsun!" meaning "may it have a good result!"
    10. When you are departing, a Turk will say...
    "Hoşça kal!" Meaning "stay well!" He or she may also say "kendini iyi bak!" Meaning "take good care of yourself!"
  11. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Matthew G for a article, Quotes About Mustafa Kemal Atatürk   
    "The name of Atatürk reminds mankind of the historical accomplishments of one of the greatest men of this century: His leadership gave inspiration to the Turkish nation, farsightedness in the understanding of the modern world, and courage and power as a military leader. It is without a doubt that another example can not be shown indicating greater successes than the birth of the Turkish Republic, and ever since then Atatürk's and Turkey's broad and deep reforms undertaken, as well as the confidence of a nation in itself."
    -- John F. Kennedy, President of the United States
    "He was a soldier-statesman, one of the greatest leaders of our era. He ensured that Turkey got its rightful place among the most advanced nations of the world. He has given to Turks the sense of self-confidence and endurance to the Turks, that forms the foundation stone of a nation's greatness. I take great pride in being one of Atatürk's loyal friends."
    -- General Douglas Macarthur, Commander-in-Chief of the Far East Forces, U.S. Army
    "In connection with the permanent memorial facility for Kemal Atatürk, I take pride in presenting my congratulations to Turkey. Your great country that is advancing on the course that he demonstrated has obtained very significant successes. This ceremony that is being held to commemorate the memory of Atatürk, the architect of progress and Turkish unity, is a very appropriate respect to a person who became a source of inspiration to free peoples throughout the world."
    -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America
    "During a conversation with the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Soviet Union, Litvinov, I asked him who was, according to him, the most valuable and remarkable statesman of Europe. He replied that, the most valuable and interesting leader in the world was the President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk."
    -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States
    "My sorrow is that, it is no longer possible to fulfill my strong wish to meet this great man."
    -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States
      "Probably no other 20th century leader did more for his country than Ataturk. He brought Turkey independence, changed its alphabet and culture, and created a secular democracy. And probably no 20th century general had any better battlefield instincts, skill or discipline."
    -- U.S. Army General Wesley Clark
    "The death of Atatürk, who saved Turkey during the war and revived the Turkish nation, is not only a loss for his country, but it is also a great loss for Europe. The sincere tears that people from all classes have shed, are nothing more then the true reflection of this great man - the Father of the modern Turkey... The sincere tears shed after him by all classes of people is nothing other than an appropriate manifestation to this great hero and modern Turkey's Ata."
    -- Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    "We meet genius people very rarely in centuries.  It is so unlucky that, in this century that great genius person belongs to the Turkish Nation."
    "The centuries rarely produce a genius. Look at this bad luck of ours, that great genius of our era was granted to the Turkish nation."
    -- D. Lloyd George, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    "Atatürk was one of the greatest statesman of everyone who has lived and died throughout history. At no time did he dwell on the period in which he lived, he would see the future and accordingly would carry out a task."
    -- Lord Patrick Kinross
    "The presence of that young and genius Turkish Chief at the Dardanelles at that very moment, is one of the most painful strikes in history to the allied side."
    -- Alan Moorehead (Writer)
    "Having not pondered in vain with old sciences, Atatürk was a fresh and brave thinking leader. As we can say that Atatürk is today’s strongest Statesman of Europe, he’s without doubt the most brave and original of all statesmen."
    -- Herbert Sidebotham (Writer)
    "To grasp in depth any event, the power to get into immediate action when a way out is seen, is one of the primary sources of his authentic authority."
    --  Grace Ellison (Journalist)
    "Atatürk has left Turkey without a single enemy. This is something that no other state leader of our time has succeeded in doing."
    -- German Volkischer Beobachter Journal
    "Germany is amazed with Atatürk’s work and struggle. It sees in him, his historic monument, a powerful figure that will stay as a symbol for all the people who love freedom."
    -- Berlin, German Agency
    "He is not a simple dictator who is after personal benefit and glory, but a hero who is trying hard to lay a solid foundation for generations to come."
    -- Prof. Walter L. WRIGHT Jr.
    "The ones who want to restore peace and health in this painful world, and who want mankind to develop not only materially but also morally, must take as an example and ponder upon Atatürk’s galvanization and course."
    -- Professor Herbert Melzig (Historian)
    "By looking at his piece of work, which is Turkey, one could judge his historical greatness. This true people’s leader and statesman who has united his iron will and zeal, his intelligence seeing the future and his wisdom, has brought a very different soul to the villages of the far and desolate corners of the Anatolian mountains."
    -- Illustrierte Magazine, France
    "By maintaining an affection for his people and for mankind and the world, Ataturk shows an exciting stage to the world about what a genius can create."
    -- Herbert Melzig, France
    "Because of the 25th year of Atatürk's death, I want to express the feelings of loyal friendship felt for the Turkish nation by the French nation. Today, Turkish history even more than ever is inseparable from Western and European history. Atatürk's efforts in this direction were not left without results. The friendship between our countries that has surpassed hundreds of years, has formed the foundation for this development."
    -- Charles de Gaulle, President of France
    "All of mankind’s signs appear immediately in him."
    -- Noelle Journal, France
    "While the Old Ottoman Empire disappears like an illusion, the foundation of the national Turkish State is the most impressive success of this era. Mustafa Kemal has exposed a monumental piece of work. Atatürk’s brilliant success has been an example for all the colonies."
    -- Maurice Baumant (Professor), France
    "The Turks who are the most loyal of all nations, will never forget that Atatürk was a savior of the nation."
    -- Noell Roger Journal, France
    "Today’s Turks... who terrified Europe centuries ago... are standing next to this great master, with a strong and energetic Turkey."
    -- Pierre Dominique (Journalist)
    "The work that Ataturk has achieved, with intelligent and peaceful methods, will leave traces in the history of mankind."
    -- Albert Lebrun (French President)
    "This could be presented to mankind as an example of untested philosophy. Atatürk has done in ten years, the work that could take centuries."
    -- Gerrad Tongas (Writer)
    "In turn, a revolutionary and a rebel, then becoming a glorious commander, the “Father of Turks” has created the New Turkey, expelled the sultans, has given freedom to women, abolished the fez, and made a radical revolution in his country."
    -- From Paris-Soir
    "It can be said that without him, the Islamic world would have waited another fifty years to find its way."
    -- Berthe Georges-Gaulis
    "He looks like a great mountain. The ones living on its foot cannot see that greatness. In order to grasp the greatness of this mountain, one must look at it from far away."
    -- Claude Farrer (French Writer)
    "In order to show a part of Kemal Atatürk’s character, I want to make a point. He was relating one of his wars. Suddenly he stopped: you see, he said: I’ve won many victories. But even after the greatest of them each night, I feel a deep sorrow inside of me by thinking about all the soldiers who died in the battlefield. Could one be amazed about the chief who has created miracles to his country, other then his courage and intelligence, to have such a great heart?
    -- George Bennes, Vu Journal (1938)
    "The great thinkers of the period have proclaimed in their books and in conferences that, Turkey would never change and would die without changing. However it has changed without dying. Has even changed from the root and from top to bottom. Beliefs, traditions and methods broke down. They have swept away from the country the last remains like the foreign battleships and capitulations. Turkey had changed its soul. Totally and as one could imagine is possible."
    -- Raymond CARTIER (Le Nouvelliste Journal)
    "He was not only a great man for Turkey, but he was also a great leader for the Eastern People."
    -- Emanullah HAN, Afghan King
    "Atatürk is the man who created the biggest truth of the twentieth century."
    -- Kponhag-Nasyonal Tidende, Austria
    "Atatürk is the only statesman who has served his people in that magnitude, in such a short time."
    -- Libre Belgique Journal, Austria
    "No country has reached a strong and speedy modernization movement from the root, as was achieved by the Father of the New Turkey."
    -- Dness Journal, Bulgaria
    "Ataturk is an elder and father of the entire Asian continent."
    -- Chinese Press
    "The people of China, we all are in mourning with Turkey. The death of the leader of a great nation, who was much loved by the Turkish people, has not only left an emptiness and void for Turkey, but also for our continent, and the world."
    -- Chinese Press
    "Mustafa Kemal is the heart of a new Turkey. He has built a strong new country from a worn-out nation, and with his unequaled character and energy, he has earned the respect and trust of everyone."
    -- Ma Shao-Cheng, Writer, China
    "Atatürk was the giant-like sign of character and talent. He was the man who created the twentieth century’s most splendid event."
    -- National Tidence Journal, Denmark
    "He was one of the most extraordinary persons of the era, even perhaps of entire history."
    -- Egyptian Journal
    "Atatürk was an extraordinarily talented statesman, one of the most important figures of post-war history."
    -- Hufvud Stadbladet Journal, Finland
    "On November 10, the entire world, and we Germans as well, remember with praise the life and works of a person to whom we are attached with friendship and respect. Atatürk always tried to establish firm ties between Turkey and Europe."

    -- Prof. Ludwig Erhard, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany
    "I am the child of a generation that knows closely Turkish-German friendship. At an early age I saw a man's heroism's, the services he carried out and the self-sacrifices he undertook for his country. This man was Mustafa Kemal. Today I comprehend even better that this person was a great statesman. He was great, because he used all his courage for his nation, his country to save his homeland at an unlucky moment. He was great, because he directed his nation towards the absolute necessity of adjusting them to the necessities of history. He was great, because he always knew how to defend suitable limits and he did not go beyond the limits that would put his work into danger. Courageousness and his own courageousness was intelligent enough as well to be able to draw the limits."
    -- Kurt G. Kiesinger, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany
    "Turkey is in possession of a genius man that friends and foes are astounded with."
    -- Katimerini, Greece
    "In the life of a nation it is very seldom that changes to such a radical degree were carried out in such a short period of time... Without a doubt, those who have done these extraordinary activities have earned the attributes of a great man in the complete sense of the word. And because of this, Turkey can be proud of itself."
    -- Eleutherios Venizelos, Prime Minister of Greece (October 31, 1933)
    "Kemal Atatürk or Kemal Pasha by which name we knew him in those times, was my hero during my youth. I was very moved when I read about his great reforms. I met with great praise the general efforts made by Atatürk on the course of modernizing Turkey. His dynamism, undauntedness and unawareness of fatigue created a great effect on people. He was one of the builders of the modern age in the orient. I continue to be among his greatest admirers."
    -- Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India
    "One of the greatest men that the world has ever seen."
    -- Star of India
    "Atatürk was not only the Turkish people’s leader, but also he was the leader of all the people who fought for their freedom. Under his directives, you have gained your freedom. We too have followed that route to gain our freedom."
    -- Mrs. Sucheta Kripilani, President of the Indian Parliament Delegation, India
    "Men like Atatürk are not born for just one generation, nor are they born for just one period. They are persons who will reign during centuries over people with their leadership."
    -- Teheran Journal
    "Without doubt, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is one of the greatest statesmen that during the 20. Century and before the war has ever arisin; he has been a brave and great reformist that no other people have ever known."
    -- Ben Gurion, Israeli Prime Minister, 1963
    "Kemal Atatürk is not only one of the greatest leaders of this century. We in Pakistan see him as one of the greatest men of all times who has lived and died. He is not only the beloved leader of your country. All the Moslems in the world have turned their eyes to him with feelings of love and admiration."
    -- Muhammed Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan
    ""Had he not been, modern Turkey wouldn’t have been. Thanks to him, the Turks will follow his extraordinary work and they’ll promote higher their already high honour in the world."
    -- Nya Dagligt Journal, Sweden
    "With his superior will, his inexhaustible bravery and unique discernment, he has brought down his opponents to their knees. In three years, his virtue and seriousness have brought to his country not only a military, but also a full and satisfactory political victory too."
    -- F. Perrone Di San Martino, Writer, Italy
    "With the death of Atatürk, an extremely strong figure that was a primary element in the development of the Near-East has disappeared."
    -- Tribuna Journal, Italy
    "The greatest leader that the Small Asia has put forward for a century."
    -- The Japan Chronicle
    "Great men are at the head of generations. At the head of the Turkish People, the great and genius Atatürk was an undaunted great and patriotic man in the political and battlefield arenas."
    -- Kerama, Lebanese Prime Minister, 10 November 1963
    "In the true sense of the word, as a constructive and creative leader, Atatürk has drawn an entirely new border to his country on the world’s map."
    -- L’Orient Journal, Lebanon, 1938
    "Atatürk is one of the rare geniuses that the world has put forth. He has changed the entire course of history."
    -- An Nahar Journal, Lebanon, 1938
    "Ataturk has been the first man in our century to prove the historical fact which is, “there is nothing that can not be done."
    -- Esti Ujsag.Magjar, Hungary
    "The world has become destitute with the death this great man, the hero of war and peace."
    -- Pester Lioyd Journal, Hungary
    "We feel a great admiration for Atatürk in his efforts towards ensuring the modernization of Turkish society by separating religion and politics from each other and by carrying out the Turkish Language Reforms."
    -- Hayato Ikeda, Prime Minister of Japan
    "In our times, it is Atatürk who brought Turkey to its current status as a modern republic with his farsighted and courageous political, social and economic reforms. At the same time, it was also he that prepared the foundation of the modern economy that will ensure today Turkey's attaining the strength to be able to enter the European Economic Community."

    -- Joseph Luns, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
    "Atatürk will remain as one of the greatest men of his country in history."
    -- Le Morgen Bladet Journal
    "Kemal Atatürk is not only one of the greatest men of this century. In Pakistan, we see him as one of the greatest men of all eras. A military genius, a leader by birth and a great patriot."
    -- Eyup Han, President of Pakistan
    "The exploits of your leaders in many a historic field of battle; the progress of your Revolution; the rise and career of the great Ataturk, his revitalization of your nation by his great statesmanship, courage and foresight all these stirring events are well-known to the people of Pakistan."
    -- Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan, March 4th, 1948
    "There is no domain where his creative and vivacious patriotism has not got into action."
    -- Gazeta Polska, Poland
    "Atatürk will remain in history as a genius organizer, a people’s ruler creating miracles, and a savior of his country. "
    -- Independence Romaine Journal, Romania, 12 November 1938
    "Atatürk ranks the first among the rulers who have saved a people with an unshaken will from the edge of the precipice, strengthened and lifted them."
    -- Timpul Journal, Romania, 12 November 1938
    "The ruling of an experienced president who’s fame has spread all over the world, has strengthened with continuing success the independence of the great Turkish people, who have attracted the love and respect of everyone, and have created a new national structure."
    -- Soviet Prime Minister Kalinin
    "We are indebted to him for the birth of the first republic in the Near and Middle East. This Republic showed the way for the wars of national freedom for many nations. Under Atatürk's administration, Turkey's international authority advanced and his country started to play an important role in world politics."

    -- Nikita S. Khrushchev, President of the Soviet Union
    "By saving his country from a certain dismemberment, after he brought the ship to a safe harbour, he did not want a throne from his people. He was, in the true sense of the word, a man, a unique genius, a heroic soldier and a politician."
    -- Elifba Journal, Syria
    "The achievements of Atatürk are in the category of miracle and wonderful. The reforms that he has done in his country in just a few years, are works that cannot be done in a few centuries. "
    -- El Tekaddum Journal, Syria
    "The Sakarya Battle, the Sakarya Victory became the strongest recollection when I was twenty. At that time I said to myself, I wonder whether or not I can mobilize my country like this? Can I not instill in his spirit this delivering attack, this unreigned passion?"

    -- Habib ben Ali Bourguiba, President of Tunisia
    "The genius of Atatürk is one of the highest examples of the virtue that the Turkish people have carried all along in history."
    -- Branko Aczemovic Yugoslavias's Ambassador to Turkey
    "History will preserve the name of this statesman with indelible figures."
    -- Politika Journal, Yugoslavia
  12. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from IbrahimAbi for a article, Turkish Superstitions   
    Every culture has its myths and superstitions. And many are quite amusing! These are superstitions from all over Turkey. Hey, all of us occasionally do or say something, "just for good luck." When's the last time you knocked on wood?
    Animals
    A rabbit passing in front of one's car is a bad omen. An owl singing atop a house brings death to the house. Crows flying around one's house is bad luck. If a bird's excrement falls on one's head, it is good luck. If one sees a flying stork, they will travel. If one sees a sitting stork, they will stay at home. A black cat crossing one's path brings bad luck. Seeing a black cat brings bad luck. If a cat looks toward Mecca and scratches its head with its front paw, it will rain. If a dog howls during the ezan (call to prayer), someone in the neighborhood will die. If a bird pecks at the window of a house, news will come.  If bread or sugar is placed in a wound, then given to a dog before the morning call to prayer, the wound will heal. If one sees a snake on their way somewhere, they will have good luck. Birth, Babies, and Children
    One should not visit a woman, who has just given birth, at night. A newborn baby should not be washed on Friday. If a baby is kissed on the bottoms of their feet, they will walk early. If kissed on the lips, they will speak early. If a baby looks between their legs, someone will come home. If a baby clenches their fist, they will be stingy. Placing a pencil in the hand of a newborn child will insure they are happy and successful at school. Blowing into the mouth of a newborn baby will ensure the baby grows up with a cordial personality. If a child plays with fire, they will wet their bed. A child should not be left alone. But if one must, a broom should be placed next to the child. A Nazar Boncuğu (pictured above right) attached to a child will protect them from the evil eye. One should not jump over a child, or the child will be short. If one measures a baby's height, the baby will be short. A child's clothes should not be left outside after sunset, or the child will become bewitched by evil spirits. When a boy gets his first haircut, if the father should put the hair into his pocket, so the boy will prosper. A boy who drinks coffee will not grow facial hair. If a woman eats eggs during her pregnancy, her child will be naughty. Business and Prosperity
    The first money of the day received from a customer should be dropped to the floor of the shop, so, like a seed being planted, it will grow into more money. If one's left eye twitches, wealth will come. If one's right eye twitches, they will be healthy. If one's left palm itches, they will receive money. If their right palm itches, they will spend money. A woman should not pass in front of a man going to work, otherwise his business will not go well. Eating and Food
    Drinking a cow's milk after dark will cause the cow to be unable to produce any more milk. One should not eat a meal with one foot placed atop the other, since it is a sign of famine, and brings disrespect to the table. Bread should never be thrown away as waste or thrown on the ground, it should be eaten or set out for the birds. House, Household and Hospitality
    A broken mirror brings bad luck to a house for seven years. It can also mean that someone in the house will die. To prevent this, all pieces of the mirror should be buried immediately. One should not look into a mirror at night. Laundry should not be done on Tuesdays or Saturdays, because this will bring bad luck. One should not sweep one's house at night, because this will bring poverty. If someone in the neighborhood dies, water should be poured out of any vessel containing it. One should not sit on the threshold of a house, or they will bring bad luck to themselves. One should enter one's home, one's place of work, or a room with the right foot, to bring good luck. Boiling water for no reason brings bad luck. Scissors should be kept closed, otherwise there will be fighting in the house. Placing shoes or slippers upside down will cause someone in the house to die. Speaking while on the toilet brings bad luck. If wood burning in a stove makes a noise, then someone is gossiping about the resident. Throwing water on the ground behind a departing guest will insure their return. Nature
    An abundant harvest of quince means the coming winter will be long and cold. An abundance of cones on pine trees mean the winter will be long and cold. One should not count the stars. Personal Behavior
    One should always get out of bed on the right side, so the day will start well. One should not put on trousers while standing, since it is a sign of poverty. Hair in a comb should not be thrown in the street, since it may entangle the feet of a chicken, and cause one to have a headache. A red dress should never be worn when lightning is flashing. Knocking three times on wood wards off bad luck. After a marriage ceremony, when the groom enters a room for the first time, a glass should be broken. If one raises their right foot while taking an oath, the oath will be considered invalid. Whatever one says forty times will happen. If one refers to another as a pig, they will lose their appetite for forty days. Walking under a ladder brings bad luck. If one finds a four-leaf clover, they will have good luck. One should not cut their fingernails and toenails at the same time, or something good, as well as something bad, will happen to them. One should not cut one's nails at night, because it will shorten your life. Fingernails and toenails should not be dropped on the ground, or stepped on. One should not pass a sharp instrument or scissors directly to someone. Instead, they should set it down for the other person to pick up, or they will fight. If a young girl wears a married man's ring, she will have bad luck in her marriage. May 13th is an unlucky day, so it is better to stay home and do nothing. One should not chew gum at night, since it is the same as eating a the flesh of a dead body. Cracking one's knuckles is the same as counting prayer beads to Satan. If one plays with their foot at night, their mother or father will die. One should not look at their fingernails while a deceased person's body is being carried to the cemetery. One should not point at a graveyard. If one does, they should bite the finger and put it under their foot. One should not whistle at night, since this will attract the devil. One should not pass in front of a wedding car. If a prisoner wears the ring of a dead person, they will be released from prison soon. A man who passes between two women will not be able to make his wife obey him. If a woman with a headache enters a mosque and sweeps it with her scarf, her headache will go away. If one lights a cigarette with a candle, a sailor will die at sea. Sleeping and Dreams
    If one sleeps while stretched out on a bed, they will earn a lot of money. If one sleeps with their arms and legs held closely together, they will not earn much money. Seeing a minaret in a dream brings good luck. Seeing eggs in a dream brings harsh words and gossip. If a woman sees a penis in a dream, one of her relatives will die. One who sees human excrement in a dream will receive money. One who sees a girl child in a dream will receive bad news. One who sees a boy child in a dream will receive good news. One who holds gold in their hand in a dream will earn money. One who sees a white horse in a dream will accomplish their desire.
  13. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Tasteof Asia for a article, Ramazan in Turkey   
    During certain times of the year, many Turks do not eat or drink during the daytime. They are fasting during the holy month of Ramazan (Turkish for "Ramadan"). This is when Muslims worldwide commemorate the revelation of the Koran to Mohammed.
    Ramazan is considered to be the "sultan" of the eleven months since that is the month in which Mohammed started to receive the Koran. It's the month of great spiritual and material blessings that Muslims all over the world look forward to. The religion of Islam is based on five principles:
    Belief in one God and Mohammed as his prophet. Prayer, five times daily. Giving alms to the poor and needy. Fasting during the month of Ramazan and Pilgrimage to Mecca and other holy sites in Saudi Arabia at least once in one's lifetime. Ramazan is the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar. The months on the lunar calendar begin and end with the sighting of the new moon. Because of this, from year-to-year, Ramazan rotates throughout the four seasons and through every month of the solar calendar.
    Every Muslim is supposed to observe the fast of Ramazan. Children, pregnant women, sick people, travelers and soldiers at war are exempted from fasting. The fast starts daily from before sunrise and lasts to the moment the sun sets.
    During the daylight hours, one is to abstain from food, drink and intimacy between husband and wife. After sunset, Muslims are permitted to break the fast for the day, starting with the İftar (eef-tahr) meal. However, one is not supposed to over eat, over drink, or over indulge in any self-gratifying activities as this can take away from the spirit of the fast.
    The Ramazan fast is regarded not just an abstention from food, but as a ritual for the benefit of the total person physically, spiritually, and mentally, as well as for God's pleasure. While fasting, Muslims are to be conscious of the need to appreciate and respect both man and outer world as a creation of the Almighty God. Those fasting are also to get a better understanding for the needy ones who cannot find food to eat. Things to be avoided during the fast are the tendency to be spiritually idle or morally absentminded, and the tendency to miss daily prayers.
    The time one would spend watching television, listening to music or playing sports should be spent in prayer, contemplation and religious study. Muslims should read one thirtieth of the Koran each day so as to complete the reading over this 30-day fasting period. The time spent in devotion to God will help keep one in tune with the inner spirit of the fast.
    Conduct During Ramazan
    If you aren't observing the Ramazan fast, there is still etiquette you should practice as a foreigner in Turkey.
    Don't eat or drink anything in public during fasting hours in the month of Ramazan, or in front of someone who is fasting. Obviously, this is impolite. Many restaurants in Turkey serve food for those who are not observing the fast, so it's okay if you eat in one of them. If you smoke, you should do so out of sight if you can.
    Driving
    Avoid driving during Ramazan. If you must drive, be even more cautious than you usually are. During the afternoons, those fasting will have low blood-sugar levels and a lower level of alertness. The lack of food, and nicotine in the case of regular smokers, can cause more aggressive behavior than usual. Şeker Bayram, (sheh-kehr by-rahm), or the "sugar holiday," occurs the week after Ramazan, and most Turks visit family. This causes the roads to be congested, and a lot of traffic accidents. Avoid driving during Şeker Bayram as well.
    Ramazan as a Boy's Name
    Ramazan is a popular name for Turkish men. Baby boys born during the month of Ramazan are usually named Ramazan.
    The Ramazan Drummers
    Drummers have been a part of Turkish traditional culture year round, but especially during the month of Ramazan. Turks who intend to fast for the day need to wake up before the start of the fast and eat the Sahur (sah-her), a hearty breakfast to help make it through the day. And even though most anybody can afford an alarm clock, traditional Ramazan drummers still stroll the streets, beating a large drum, to wake the cook of the household so she (it is practically always a she) can make breakfast and wake the other family members so they can eat. The drumming starts at around 3:00 AM. Some drummers sing while beating their drums.
    Every district in most every city and town has a drummer. At the end of the fasting month, on the first day of Bayram, also called the Sugar Festival, the drummers do their drumming during the day, knocking on every door in their district. That's when the believers tip the drummers for the service they have provided during the fasting month.
    Istanbul alone has about 1,000 Ramazan drummers, and there is a big rivalry among them. They try to sing the best songs and wake the people at the most appropriate time. In order to be able to do that, some drummers work as a two-man team riding on a motorcycle. While one of them drives the motorcycle, the other rides in the back seat beating the drum.
    When the fast ends in the evening, just after dark, a cannon is fired in most cities and towns to let everyone know it is time to break the fast. At around this time, everyone rushes to a restaurant where they will have the İftar meal, breaking their fast. During this time you may see people with knife and fork in hand, poised over their meal, waiting to hear the cannon go off. When it does, they begin eating heartily.
    Another way of knowing the fasting time is over is by looking at the minarets on a cami (jah-mee), or mosque. In the evening, minarets are illuminated when the fast is broken and kept lit until the fast begins again the next morning.
    A video depicting and explaining the tradition of the Ramazan drummers.
    If you're wondering what the drummers sing while they drum, here's an example of one drummer's song as he walks through town to collect his tip the day after Ramazan ends:
    Ramazan Evening Festivities
    If you're not a Muslim and you get tired of being awaken by drummers at zero-dark-thirty every day, know that Ramazan also has fun side. Municipalities and private organizations both put on special public İftar dinners, in which anyone can participate, although some are invitation-only. If you are invited to one, it is an honor that should not be declined. Those who don't attend these special dinners often go to the grounds of a mosque or a park, and have a picnic.
    Additionally, every large city and most towns have an evening celebration, which is much like a county fair. There you can enjoy excellent food, concerts, exhibitions, and carnival rides. You don't have to participate in the day's fast to come and enjoy the evening's events, so be sure to find out what's happening during Ramazan in your city or town, then go out and have some fun!
  14. Thanks
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from IbrahimAbi for a article, Ten Ways a Turk Might Wish You Well   
    Turks are known for their friendliness and close relationships, as well as their politeness and consideration of others. So they have certain "set phrases," which are used to express good wishes to you in various circumstances. Usually, the reply would be "teşekkür ederim" (teh-shek-kyur eh-deh-reem), which means "thank you," or "sağol" (sah-ol), which is a wish for life, but is also used to say "thank you." If a different reply is called for, it will be noted below.
    1. When you sneeze, a Turk will say...
    "Çok yaşa!" (choke yah-shah), Meaning "a long life to you!"
    You would reply "sen de gör!" (sen deh-goor), Meaning "may you live to see it!"
    2. When you are about to eat something, a Turk will say...
    "Afiyet olsun!" (ah-fee-yet ol-soon), Meaning "good appetite!" Or they may say "Beraber Olsun!" (beh-rah-behr ol-soon), meaning "may it be so, together!" and insist you join them and share their meal.
    3. When you are feeling ill, or going through a difficult time, a Turk will say...
    "Geçmiş Olsun" (gech-mish ol-soon)! Meaning "may it pass quickly!"
    4. When you have just taken a shower, a Turk will say...
    "Sıhhatlar olsun!" Meaning "may it bring you health!"
    5. When you have just bought a new article of clothing, a Turk will say...
    "Güle güle giyin!" (goo-leh goo-leh gee-yeen)! Meaning "wear it with a smile!"
    6. When you have just bought a new computer, smart phone, appliance, etc, a Turk will say...
    "Güle güle kullanın!" Meaning "use it with a smile!"
    7. When you have just bought a new house, started a business, or started your business day, a Turk will say...
    "Hayırlı olsun!" Meaning "may it have a good result!"
    8. When you have bought a new pair of glasses, or jewelry, a Turk will say...
    "Güle güle takın!" Meaning "wear it with a smile!"
    9. When you are working, a Turk will say...
    "Kolay gelsin!" Meaning "may it (your work) come easily!" Or they may say "Hayırlı olsun!" meaning "may it have a good result!"
    10. When you are departing, a Turk will say...
    "Hoşça kal!" Meaning "stay well!" He or she may also say "kendini iyi bak!" Meaning "take good care of yourself!"
  15. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Star for a article, How to Get a Residence Permit in Turkey   
    Foreigners typically first enter Turkey with a visa. If you want to remain in Turkey beyond the duration of your visa, you must get a residence permit. There are no "visa extensions."
    Residence permit applications are handled by the Göç İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü, (Directorate General of Migration Management, or DGMM). There is a DGMM office in the capital city of each province in Turkey, and in many towns with a significant foreign population. All applications for residence permits (both first-time and extensions) are made online. Supporting documents are then delivered to the DGMM.
    For first-time applications, the documents are delivered in person, at a time and date you will select as an appointment during the online application.
    For extensions, you can mail the documents to an address you will be given during the online application.
    Required Documents
    In all cases, you must provide documents proving:
    Who You Are
    Done with your passport or passport substitute, and a copy of it. The copy must include the identity information page, the page containing your photo, and the page showing the stamp for your most recent entry into Turkey. If your passport is in a non-Latin language, you must have it translated by a sworn translator.
    That You Have a Place to Live
    Done with a rental contract, a tapu (title deed to a property), or even a letter from a hotel manager stating that you are using a hotel for a residence. Learn more here.
    That You Have Enough Financial Support
    Usually, you only have to declare that you have the financial capacity to live in Turkey for the duration of the residence permit you are applying for. You make this declaration during the online application process. However, the DGMM may ask for supporting proof of financial means, so you should be prepared to present it on demand.
    Cash: Until recently, the standard of proof was the equivalent of $500 USD in a Turkish bank account. However, the DGMM no longer uses this as a set rule. Obviously, if you have that amount of money in a Turkish bank, that will certainly be accepted as proof that you can support yourself. But if you have less, don't worry. You just need to convince the immigration specialist handling your application that you have enough to live on, based on your monthly expenses and lifestyle.
    Income from a Pension or Other Source: If you have a pension or other income, you can present a letter or statement from the organization which manages your pension or otherwise pays you. Learn more here.
    4. That you have health insurance which is valid in Turkey, and meets certain minimum coverage requirements. The following types of insurance are accepted:
    Health insurance from a Turkish private insurance company. Health insurance from your home country if if it meets certain minimum coverage requirements. Turkish government health insurance, managed by the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu, or SGK, which you can purchase after you have legally resided in Turkey for one year or more. Coverage under a bilateral agreement between the Turkish government and your country. Some types of residence permits, such as family residence permits and long-term residence permits, require additional documentation.
    Photos
    For new applications, four (4) photos are required. For extensions, two (2) are required. You must also scan one of the photos and, when applying using the online residence permit system, upload a scanned copy of your photo (so have your photos taken before you apply online). Photos must meet certain official requirements.
    Types of Residence Permits
    Short-term Residence Permits
    The short-term residence permit is what most foreigners who live in Turkey have. It allows you to stay in Turkey beyond the time allowed on your visa from one month to two years. Then you can extend it when it is within sixty days of expiring. You can continue to extend it for as long as you want to remain in Turkey.
    Family Residence Permits
    The family residence permit is for the foreign spouse, or foreign children or dependents, of a Turkish citizen or foreign legal resident who acts as the family sponsor. In all cases, the sponsor is already legally living in Turkey as a citizen or with a residence permit.
    Long-term Residence Permits
    If you have been legally residing in Turkey for at least eight years with any type of residence or work permit, you can apply for a long-term residence permit. This type of residence permit never has to be extended, but the approval of your application can take six months or more. Once you have one, you can also apply for an unlimited work permit, which will enable you to work for any employer, without the restrictions other types of work permits have.
    Student Residence Permits
    If you want to attend a university in Turkey, you will need to get a student residence permit. This requires an application at a Turkish embassy or consulate outside of Turkey, after being accepted as a student by an educational institution within Turkey. You must first get a student visa, then come to Turkey, and then apply for a student residence permit after you arrive.
    Four Steps for Residence Permit Applications and Extensions
    Residence permit applications and extensions both involve four basic steps:
    1. Gather Your Documentation
    Before you apply online, you need to get some of your documentation ready, because the online system will ask you for information from them, or ask you to scan and upload them.
    A Copy of Your Passport: Get a color copy of your passport to include with your application.
    Photos: You'll need to upload one of these, and the one you upload must be the same as the photos you include with your application.
    Health Insurance Policy: You'll need the name of the company from which you bought the policy, the policy number, and the start and end dates of the policy. If you already have one policy and have bought a new one which activates when your old one expires, enter the start date of the first policy, and the end date of the second policy. Get a Turkish and an English version of the policy. Keep the English version, and send the Turkish version in with your application.
    Proof of Your Address: For first time applications, you'll need to have a notarized copy of your tapu (title deed) or a rental contract. For extensions, you'll need a Yerleşim Yeri ve Diğer Adres Belgesi (Place of Residence and Other Addresses Document). You can get this at the local Nüfus ve Vatandaşlık İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü (Citizenship and Population Directorate) office. If you are staying at a hotel or with a friend, or are in another situation, get the documentation as described in this guide about proving you have a residence. You'll be entering your address exactly as stated on whichever document you use.
    2. Online Application
    Turkey has an online system where you can fill out the residence permit application forms and upload scanned copies of your documents, and a scanned photo of yourself. If it is your first application, it will then allow you to choose an available day and time for an appointment. If you are extending the duration of your residence permit, it will give you the address to which you must mail your documentation. The online system also allows you to pay the residence permit fees, using a credit card. All applications and extensions are done at this website:
    Online Residence Permit Application System
    Tip! You should already have your health insurance arranged before you begin the process, since the system will require you to enter information from your health insurance policy. You should also have your photos ready beforehand, since you must scan and upload one of them, and this photo must be the same as the ones you submit with your application.
    3. Payment of Fees
    If you didn't already pay the residence permit fees by credit card online, you can also pay them at any vergi dairesi (tax office) or at any Ziraat Bankası (Ziraat Bank). Tell the clerk you need to pay the ikamet ucreti (ee-kah-met ooj-reh-tee). Be sure to get at least two receipts: one to give or send to the DGMM, and one for your records.
    4. Delivery of Documentation
    First Time Application
    After you successfully submit the online application, you must go in person on the day and time you selected for your appointment. During your appointment, a migration management specialist will go over your documents to make sure everything is in order. If anything is missing, you can go and get it, then bring it back. You have 30 days to get any missing documents, but typically things like getting something notarized or getting health insurance can be done in a few hours.
    Extension
    If you are extending a residence permit, the process is the same, except instead of an appointment, the system will give you an address to which you must mail the supporting documents by taahhütlü posta (registered mail), using Turkey's national postal system, PTT. You may also send them using a Turkish cargo delivery company.
    Important! Each extension application must be mailed separately. Do not combine more than one application in the same package.
    Foreigner Communications Center
    The DGMM has a number you can call to speak to an immigration specialist. Call 157 from any telephone within Turkey. The call will be free. From outside of Turkey, call +90 312 157 1122. Long-distance charges will apply.
    Need to buy the required health insurance coverage for your residence permit? You can buy it online, or just get a free quote, by using our Expat Health Insurance Inquiry Form.
    See Also
    Residence Permit Forum: If you have questions or comments about residence permits in Turkey, please post them in our residence permits forum.
    External Links
    Directorate General of Migration Management, Required Documents: Several downloadable PDF documents available here, which cover the documents required for first-time applications and extensions.
  16. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Star for a article, How to Get a Residence Permit in Turkey Using Someone Else's Address   
    If you want to stay longer than your visa allows, you must get a residence permit. If you don't have your own address and are staying with a friend, you can use the residence of a friend as your residence.
    Your host will  need to create a taahhutname (literally, "an undertaking"), at a noter (notary) office. The taahhutname will be a guarantee, by your host, to be responsible for any debts, fees or fines you incur while staying with them, and ensure you leave Turkey before your residence permit expires. If your host is married, his or her spouse will also have to sign the taahhutname.
    Your host (and spouse, if applicable), must go with you to the noter. Take your and their identification, and their tapu (property title deed) or a rental contract with their name on it. Once the taahhutname is created, if any of the involved parties don't speak Turkish, an official translator will read it out loud to make sure everyone understands it. Then the parties will sign it.
    You can then include the taahhutname with your residence permit application as proof of your address. The DGMM may require that the person you are staying with also attend your appointment. So have one of them go with you, or make sure they are immediately available on the day of your appointment.
    Turkey's Foreigner Communications Center
    The DGMM has a number you can call to speak to an immigration specialist. Call 157 from any telephone within Turkey. The call will be free. From outside of Turkey, call +90 312 157 1122. Long-distance charges will apply.
    Need to buy the required health insurance coverage for your residence permit? You can buy it online, or just get a free quote, by using our Expat Health Insurance Inquiry Form.
    See Also
    Proving You Have an Address
    Residence Permits Forums: If you have any questions or comments about the residence permit application process, please ask them there.
  17. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from IbrahimAbi for a article, Toll Highways and the HGS System in Turkey   
    Toll Highways (Otoyol)
    Depending on where you are driving in Turkey, you may come across an otoyol, which is a modern highway where the speed limit is 120 KPH. Otoyols also have rest stops with petrol stations, restaurants, and other travel necessities strategically placed along their lengths. These are toll roads, and the only way you can pay the toll is by registering with the Hızlı Geçiş Sistemi (heez-lee geh-jees see-steh-mee) [HGS]), which means "Fast Pass System." This involves pre-paying into the system, and mounting an HGS transponder on the inside of your vehicle's windshield behind the rear view mirror. The transponder is really not much more than a sticker. It allows you to breeze through HGS toll booths without even slowing down.
    If you are renting a car, ask your car rental company if your itinerary will require an HGS transponder before you set off on your journey. If so, they should give you a car which already has a transponder on it.
    How to Get an HGS Transponder For Your Vehicle
    Go to any PTT, (Turkish Post Office), or to a Turkish bank with your visa or residence permit Pay 5TL for the transponder, and 30TL for tolls in advance Mount the sticker-transponder they give you as described above If you have an account at a Turkish bank, ask them about having the your HGS account automatically topped up from your bank account.
    Alternatives to Toll Highways Using the HGS System
    If you come upon an otoyol and don't have the HGS system, you can use secondary roads which run alongside it. You will have to enter the secondary road well before you come to the toll highway entrance, so keep an eye out for the exit as soon as you realize you are approaching a toll road. If you miss the turn, there may be no way to turn around.
    If you go through the automatic toll system without an HGS transponder, an alarm will sound, a camera will take a photo of the car and license plate, and a fine will be assessed which is ten times the toll amount. Most toll amounts are around two or three Turkish Lira, so expect a fine of 20 to 30 Turkish Lira.
    Toll Bridges and Tunnels
    The bridges going in and out of Istanbul use only the HGS system. Bridges (and tunnels) in other parts of the country are not part of the HGS system, and usually have toll collection systems run by private contractors or local municipalities, so they accept cash.
    The HGS Smartphone Application
    You can download an HGS application in the Google Play and Apple Store. Just search for "HGS." With the HGS app, you can check the balance on your HGS account and top it up using a credit card.

    See Also
    Cars, Car Insurance, and Driving in Turkey Forum: If you have questions about the HGS system or driving in Turkey, please post them in the forum.
    External Links
    HGS Customer Services: In Turkish. On the PTT website, this page provides a variety of customer service options regarding your HGS account.
    Road, Bridge, and Tunnel Tolls in Turkey: From the General Directorate of Highways, provides a linked list of all motorways, bridges and tunnels subject to tolls. Click on the links to find out how much the toll is for each kind of vehicle.
  18. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from IbrahimAbi for a article, Şeker Bayram: The Sugar Holiday in Turkey   
    Şeker Bayram (sheh-kehr by-rahm) or sugar festival, is a national religious holiday in Turkey which begins the day after Ramazan. In Arabic, the name of the holiday is Id-ul Fitr. The name Şeker Bayram came from the tradition of exchanging sweets during this holiday. Ramazan is the month of fasting for Muslims all over the world. Şeker Bayram, like Ramazan, is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, so it occurs during different periods each year. Officially, Şeker Bayram lasts three and one half days, but Turks may be off work, and businesses may be closed, for a longer period if it occurs near a weekend.
    In the days preceding Şeker Bayram, shopping centers and stores are crowded with Turks buying gifts for relatives and new clothes for themselves and their children, which are called "bayramlık." The new clothing is proudly worn during the holiday. Additionally, houses are thoroughly cleaned and prepared for the inevitable throngs of family and friends the holiday will bring.
    Schools, banks, and government offices are always closed during Şeker Bayram. Many private businesses also close, so the owner and workers can enjoy their holiday.
    The first day of Şeker Bayram is the most important. Everyone wakes up early, and the men go to the mosque for a special Bayram prayer. When they return from the mosque, everyone dresses up in their new clothes, and they begin their Bayram visits.
    A Tradition of Visiting
    Young people visit their elders first, followed by their other relatives. Bayram visits are kept short--usually to ten or fifteen minutes. Hosts of the visits offer candy, cakes, chocolate, coffee and cold beverages. Those who cannot visit their friends and family members in other towns will call them or send cards to wish them a happy bayram.
    Cemetery Visits
    From one day before Şeker Bayram to its end, Turks also visit the graves of deceased family members, to pay their respects and pray.
    Important! The highways and streets are crowded during Şeker Bayram, and many serious and fatal accidents occur during this holiday period. So it's best to avoid driving if possible. If you must drive, exercise additional caution. Bus travel is also affected by the throngs of travelers moving all over the country. If you need to take a bus somewhere during Şeker Bayram, try to book in advance.
    Bayram Getaways
    Resort towns and holiday spots swell with Turkish visitors during the Şeker Bayram holiday. Many hotels offer special deals to attract the Turkish holiday makers, so once the family visits are over, many will hit the road for a well-earned vacation.
    Children During Şeker Bayram
    Children love Şeker Bayram and the associated visits. They want to visit as many elders as they can, since it's traditional for elders to give them pocket change. Children can collect this money for up to a month. Since there is no restriction on how much the children can spend or on what, amusement parks spring up in practically every city and town in Turkey. The children follow a traditional routine. They kiss the back of your hand and hold it to their forehead as a sign of respect. It is meant to say "you are in a position on the top of my head!" And when they do that, you are supposed to kiss them on both cheeks. Then they will hold out their hand, into which you should put a small amount of money--a few lira will suffice. Children also go door-to-door doing this, expecting to be given candy. It's much like the "trick or treat" tradition of Halloween. So you should have a bowl of good candy ready by your door.
    Boy's Names
    As male children born during Ramazan often take that name, boys born during Şeker Bayram are often called "Bayram." So when you meet a man named Bayram, you'll know why he has that name.
    Tipping
    People who regularly provide services, such as the kapıcı (kah-puh-juh), or apartment building superintendent, domestic workers, are traditionally given a tip for the Bayram holiday. On the first day, you'll also hear that inescapable "boom-chook-chook-boom" as those Ramazan drummers who woke you up at 3:00 AM over the past month, go door to door for tips.
    Gifts and Good Wishes
    If you visit your Turkish friends, take a box of candy or chocolates with you. It should be wrapped, and left on a table near the door. Turks don't open gifts when presented, so don't expect this. To wish your Turkish friend a happy holiday, say "İyi Bayramlar!" (ee-yee-by-rahm-lahr), which literally means "good festivals," or "I wish you a happy festival!"
  19. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from IbrahimAbi for a article, Şalvar: Those Turkish Baggy Pants   
    If you've been wondering about those baggy pants a lot of Turks wear, especially in rural areas, they are called şalvar (shahl-vahr). They're a very practical garment. You'll see them worn in every region of Turkey, but each region has it's own style. They can also be styled differently according to the type of work the wearers do.
    Before elastic became common in Turkey, a cord was threaded through the waist and ankle castings of trousers to gather the folds of material. The methods used to gather the waste of the şalvar vary according to region. In Alanya, for example, the waist ties are often brightly-colored, striped, hand-woven silk sashes.
    The design of şalvar embodies the Turkish sense of thrift and economy. Şulvar typically requires a piece of cloth four meters long and 40 centimeters wide. There is little cutting or seaming. In the Konya style of şalvar, there are no side seams. The material they're made from can be a solid color, or feature attractive and fashionable patterns.
    Şalvar is worn mostly by villagers, domestic workers, and some housewives because they allow ample air circulation, making them cool and comfortable They also allow for easy bending and kneeling.
    Besides being practical attire for hard-working Turks, they are also popular gifts to take or send home to a loved one, to be worn around the house, or elsewhere!
  20. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from FenerEniste for a article, Ramazan in Turkey   
    During certain times of the year, many Turks do not eat or drink during the daytime. They are fasting during the holy month of Ramazan (Turkish for "Ramadan"). This is when Muslims worldwide commemorate the revelation of the Koran to Mohammed.
    Ramazan is considered to be the "sultan" of the eleven months since that is the month in which Mohammed started to receive the Koran. It's the month of great spiritual and material blessings that Muslims all over the world look forward to. The religion of Islam is based on five principles:
    Belief in one God and Mohammed as his prophet. Prayer, five times daily. Giving alms to the poor and needy. Fasting during the month of Ramazan and Pilgrimage to Mecca and other holy sites in Saudi Arabia at least once in one's lifetime. Ramazan is the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar. The months on the lunar calendar begin and end with the sighting of the new moon. Because of this, from year-to-year, Ramazan rotates throughout the four seasons and through every month of the solar calendar.
    Every Muslim is supposed to observe the fast of Ramazan. Children, pregnant women, sick people, travelers and soldiers at war are exempted from fasting. The fast starts daily from before sunrise and lasts to the moment the sun sets.
    During the daylight hours, one is to abstain from food, drink and intimacy between husband and wife. After sunset, Muslims are permitted to break the fast for the day, starting with the İftar (eef-tahr) meal. However, one is not supposed to over eat, over drink, or over indulge in any self-gratifying activities as this can take away from the spirit of the fast.
    The Ramazan fast is regarded not just an abstention from food, but as a ritual for the benefit of the total person physically, spiritually, and mentally, as well as for God's pleasure. While fasting, Muslims are to be conscious of the need to appreciate and respect both man and outer world as a creation of the Almighty God. Those fasting are also to get a better understanding for the needy ones who cannot find food to eat. Things to be avoided during the fast are the tendency to be spiritually idle or morally absentminded, and the tendency to miss daily prayers.
    The time one would spend watching television, listening to music or playing sports should be spent in prayer, contemplation and religious study. Muslims should read one thirtieth of the Koran each day so as to complete the reading over this 30-day fasting period. The time spent in devotion to God will help keep one in tune with the inner spirit of the fast.
    Conduct During Ramazan
    If you aren't observing the Ramazan fast, there is still etiquette you should practice as a foreigner in Turkey.
    Don't eat or drink anything in public during fasting hours in the month of Ramazan, or in front of someone who is fasting. Obviously, this is impolite. Many restaurants in Turkey serve food for those who are not observing the fast, so it's okay if you eat in one of them. If you smoke, you should do so out of sight if you can.
    Driving
    Avoid driving during Ramazan. If you must drive, be even more cautious than you usually are. During the afternoons, those fasting will have low blood-sugar levels and a lower level of alertness. The lack of food, and nicotine in the case of regular smokers, can cause more aggressive behavior than usual. Şeker Bayram, (sheh-kehr by-rahm), or the "sugar holiday," occurs the week after Ramazan, and most Turks visit family. This causes the roads to be congested, and a lot of traffic accidents. Avoid driving during Şeker Bayram as well.
    Ramazan as a Boy's Name
    Ramazan is a popular name for Turkish men. Baby boys born during the month of Ramazan are usually named Ramazan.
    The Ramazan Drummers
    Drummers have been a part of Turkish traditional culture year round, but especially during the month of Ramazan. Turks who intend to fast for the day need to wake up before the start of the fast and eat the Sahur (sah-her), a hearty breakfast to help make it through the day. And even though most anybody can afford an alarm clock, traditional Ramazan drummers still stroll the streets, beating a large drum, to wake the cook of the household so she (it is practically always a she) can make breakfast and wake the other family members so they can eat. The drumming starts at around 3:00 AM. Some drummers sing while beating their drums.
    Every district in most every city and town has a drummer. At the end of the fasting month, on the first day of Bayram, also called the Sugar Festival, the drummers do their drumming during the day, knocking on every door in their district. That's when the believers tip the drummers for the service they have provided during the fasting month.
    Istanbul alone has about 1,000 Ramazan drummers, and there is a big rivalry among them. They try to sing the best songs and wake the people at the most appropriate time. In order to be able to do that, some drummers work as a two-man team riding on a motorcycle. While one of them drives the motorcycle, the other rides in the back seat beating the drum.
    When the fast ends in the evening, just after dark, a cannon is fired in most cities and towns to let everyone know it is time to break the fast. At around this time, everyone rushes to a restaurant where they will have the İftar meal, breaking their fast. During this time you may see people with knife and fork in hand, poised over their meal, waiting to hear the cannon go off. When it does, they begin eating heartily.
    Another way of knowing the fasting time is over is by looking at the minarets on a cami (jah-mee), or mosque. In the evening, minarets are illuminated when the fast is broken and kept lit until the fast begins again the next morning.
    A video depicting and explaining the tradition of the Ramazan drummers.
    If you're wondering what the drummers sing while they drum, here's an example of one drummer's song as he walks through town to collect his tip the day after Ramazan ends:
    Ramazan Evening Festivities
    If you're not a Muslim and you get tired of being awaken by drummers at zero-dark-thirty every day, know that Ramazan also has fun side. Municipalities and private organizations both put on special public İftar dinners, in which anyone can participate, although some are invitation-only. If you are invited to one, it is an honor that should not be declined. Those who don't attend these special dinners often go to the grounds of a mosque or a park, and have a picnic.
    Additionally, every large city and most towns have an evening celebration, which is much like a county fair. There you can enjoy excellent food, concerts, exhibitions, and carnival rides. You don't have to participate in the day's fast to come and enjoy the evening's events, so be sure to find out what's happening during Ramazan in your city or town, then go out and have some fun!
  21. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Meral for a article, How to Deposit Money into a Turkish ATM without a Bank Account   
    If you go to the bank to transfer money into someone's bank account, you can do so for free, as long as it is the same bank, and as long as that person's account is with the specific bank branch you happen to be in. But if their account is at another branch, it will cost you. To deposit 100 TL for someone at another branch, for example, it will cost you a 40 TL fee.
    And if you use a bank machine, or "bankamatik," it's free.
    Here's some useful information about how to do it using the touch-screen bank machines, obtained from İşbank.
    Kartsiz Para Yatırmak (Depositing Money Without a Card) 1 Kartsiz İşletme Basınız Press "cardless transaction." 2 Para yatırmayı seçiniz Select "deposit money." 3 Başkasının hesabını seçiniz Select "someone else's account." 4 TCKN (TC-vatandaşlık) kimlik numaranızı (kendinisin) yazınız Enter your Turkish or foreign identity number. 5 Cep telefonuzu (kendinizin) yazınız Enter your mobile telephone number. 6 Para yatıracağınız kişinin hesap numarasını giriniz Enter the account number for the person you are depositing the money for. 7 Diğer tuşuna basınız Press "other" 8 Parayı veriniz A deposit slot will open. put the money into the deposit slot. 9 Açıklama istiyorsanız değiştire basınız If you want to provide an explanation for the deposit, press that option. 10 Ekrana gelen bilgileri kontrol ediniz (son kontrol) Check the information on the screen and make sure it is correct. 11 İşleme devama basınız Press "İşleme Devam" to execute the transaction. 12 Makbuz yazdırmak için makbuz tuşuna basıniz. To get a written receipt, press "Makbuz."  
  22. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from IbrahimAbi for a article, Dolmuş Mini-buses in Turkey   
    Somewhere between a bus and a taxi is the Dolmuş (dohl-moosh), a kind of "shared taxi" which has characteristics of both. It's a cheap and easy way to get around--from your hotel to a nearby beach--or from your home to work.
    By all means get over any reluctance to ride one for the first time. Once you take your first dolmuş ride you'll probably use them as a regular means of transportation, and probably wonder why they don't have them in your own country.
    Although cars are sometimes be used for this purpose, 12-passenger mini-bus dolmuşes are the norm. The word "dolmuş" means "stuffed." It recalls the days when dolmuşes were overcrowded with passengers, many of them packed in the aisle with little or no room to move. Laws now require dolmuşes to carry only the number of passengers they can properly seat.
    A dolmuş runs a fixed route from origin to destination, with regular stops along the way as indicated on a placard on the windshield. Regular dolmuş stops are marked with a sign, bearing a white "D" on a blue background. They usually don't work on a time schedule. If you miss one, another will probably be along in about 20 minutes.
    Boarding a Dolmuş
    Dolmuşes congregate at a garaj, which is usually an open parking lot. They wait until they have a few passengers, and then start their route. You can catch one at the garaj or waive one down anywhere along its route. Waive at the driver, and he will pull over and stop, traffic permitting. To make sure you're getting on the correct one, look for a placard in the windshield which displays its destination(s).
    Paying the Fare
    Dolmuş fares are set by the municipality. The fare is much less than a taxi, usually around 5TL. You can pay as soon as you board, or you can sit down and pass the fare to a passenger in front of you. The passengers will pass it to the driver. If you have change coming, they will pass it back to you the same way.
    Getting Off at Your Stop
    When the Dolmuş comes to a place where you want to get off, say inecek var (ee-neh-jek vahr), which means "there is one to get off." If you are new to the area and don't know which stop you need, you can tell the driver what hotel you're staying in or where your final destination is, and he'll let you know when your stop comes up.
    Operating Hours
    Dolmuşes usually operate during daylight hours. During the summer, in tourist areas, they may operate until midnight.
    Inter-city Buses
    Although not officially a "dolmuş," there are larger short-haul mini-buses which run routes between nearby towns, beaches or sights, either for a company or a cooperative between the two towns. They usually depart from the bus station, and have a set schedule and fare, but unlike long-haul inter-city buses, they may also pick up passengers who signal them along the way.
    See Also
    Travel, Tours, and Activities Forum
  23. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Yasmin & Suse for a article, Turkish Hospitals   
    If you've never been treated in a Turkish hospital before, it can be kind of scary since you don't know what to expect. But once you go for the first time, you'll probably be surprised at the level of professionalism and quality you find, not to mention the low price--especially at the state hospitals.
    One of the main differences with Turkish hospitals and clinics is that you run your own paperwork and samples around. After seeing your doctor in his her office, he or she may tell you to go have blood drawn at another office, then take the blood to the laboratory and bring the paperwork back. So lines tend to form in the hallways in front of various offices. Really all you have to do is let them know you're there by name and have a seat in the hallway. There usually isn't a number system.
    State Hospitals (Devlet Hastanesi)
    State hospitals in Turkey offer low-cost care which is available to everyone who is enrolled in the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu, also known as the SGK, which is Turkey's national health insurance plan. While most foreigners who have used state hospitals give good reports about the care they receive, some have had negative experiences. State hospitals suffer from a lack of funding, shortage of personnel, and too many patients. It may also be difficult to find a doctor or staff member who speaks English. The number one reason to use a state hospital is the low cost of treatment.
    Private Hospitals (Özel Hastanesi)
    Private hospitals can be found mostly in the larger cities and resort towns of Turkey, where income levels are higher and the locals are willing to pay more for a higher standard of care. Not all private hospitals accept the national SGK insurance, and those that do typically apply what SGK will pay to the bill, and charge the rest to you.
    You're far more likely to have a good experience in a private hospital than a state one. They are often staffed with doctors who finished their medical training in the United States or a European country, and who hold US or European certifications in their specialties. They usually speak English, as do some on the hospital staff. Private hospitals cost more than state hospitals, but you can be assured shorter waiting times, a higher level of training, more modern facilities, and personalized service.
    Hospital Appointments
    Typically you can just show up at the hospital and be seen on the same day. The usual wait is around 45 minutes. If your local hospital has on-line appointments, you can book one with a general practitioner or specialist. Just show up around 15 minutes prior for the paperwork, and you'll be seen immediately.
    Medical Clinics
    In many tourist towns which aren't big enough for a hospital, you'll find medical clinics called sağlık oçağı. These are often run by independent doctors and specialists. The care you'll receive is equivalent to that of a private hospital, but since their services are limited you may have to go elsewhere to see a specialist or get laboratory tests done.
    See Also
    Turkish for Emergencies: Turkish terms which may help you in case of emergency.
    Health, Healthcare, and Health Insurance Forum: If you have questions about hospitals in Turkey, please post them in this forum.
  24. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Yasmin & Suse for a article, Burglary in Turkey   
    The Usual Burglaries
    The majority of burglaries committed in Turkey are unplanned and disorganized. Burglars rely on lax security and look for the easiest target with the least risk. They make sure nobody is home through some method which can be easily explained away, such as knocking on a door with a pretext question or walking around the house to see if they are challenged, as they look for an easy entry point.
    If they find they're able to walk through an unlocked door or climb through an insecure window, speed is essential. so they take what is left on tables and dressers or stored in the usual drawers. Even the most basic security measures could stop these burglaries. Just hiding valuables in a place one would not normally expect them to be can prevent their loss.
    The usual burglaries are committed during the day, when the resident has gone out for a short time. Victims can be especially complacent ıf their town is known for having a low crime rate.
    Burglaries During Local Events
    Well-advertised events, such as concerts, assure would-be burglars that a lot of people aren't going to be home at a certain time. In Çeşme, a mostly crime-free resort area, teams of burglars came from out of town to find unoccupied homes during the well-advertised concert of a famous European singer. Thankfully, the burglars were caught and most of the property returned.
    Swarms
    Although rare, a swarm involves three or more people (in a recent case all women) who knock on a door, then get inside. While one or two of the group keep the homeowner distracted, the other(s) roam around grabbing what they can. Then they leave as quickly as they came.
    Doors
    Doors are the primary entry point for burglars, especially when they are unlocked or left open.
    Most houses and apartments in larger towns in cities come with a Çelik Kapısı (cheh-leek kah-puh-suh) or steel door, which is fitted with a regular lock, separate from the handle. These also lock with a bolt at three different points in its steel frame by a turn the knob one to three times for three different depths.
    They are quite secure, and without a locksmith, it would take several hours (and cause a lot of noise) to get through one when it is completely locked. Steel doors also come with a "spy hole" or "peep hole" so you can see who is on the other side of the door before you open it.
    If you don't have a steel door, have one installed. Make sure that it also has a steel frame, and that the frame is at least as strong as the door.
    Door Cages
    Consider installing a door cage. These are made of decorative steel bars, and lock with a key, so you can open your main door without letting a person on the other side enter. They can also pass things to you between the bars.
    Spy Holes
    Have a door with a spy hole so you can see who is on the other side before you open it. Talk to the person through the door rather than opening it to someone you don't know.
    Door Chains
    Make sure your door chain is a high-quality steel chain, with a sturdy attachment to the door frame. It should only be used as a secondary means to address someone on the other side of the door if you don't have a locked door cage.
    The Back Door
    Back doors can be more vulnerable to break ins because a burglar can work out of the view of neighbors or passers-by on the street. Back doors should be as sturdy and have the same security features as the front door.
    Doors with Windows
    Some back doors (and front doors) have window panes which can be broken if the door is locked. Replace any standard single panes with double-glazed laminated glass. These windows have two panes which are bonded together with a laminate, making them stronger and harder to break.
    Instead of having a deadbolt lock with a knob on the inside, which a burglar can access by reaching through a broken window, have a lock with a key on both sides.
    Sliding Balcony or Patio Doors
    Sliding doors are attractive to burglars, because many of them only have a single, flimsy latch which locks to the frame. On upper balconies, sliding doors are often left open, an invitation to burglars.
    When poorly-secured sliding doors are closed and locked, a burglar can pry and force the door open, or use a lever to lift the door from the bottom so the latch releases from the hole in the frame. They can also lift the door off its track and remove the door entirely.
    You can stop the door from being lifted by screwing a thin, flat piece of wood into the inside of the top track. This will take up any excess space and prevent the door from being lifted.
    Sliding doors should always have locks which are separate from the latch, and which secure the door to the frame on the top and bottom with a key. Have these types of locks installed if they aren't already.
    At minimum, a good way to prevent a sliding door from being opened is to drill a hole through both door frames, at the bottom, and insert a bolt through the hole in both doors. Even if a burglar is able to defeat the standard latch, he will not be able to slide it open if the bolt is in place, unless he smashes the glass, which would attract attention.
    Note: When a door locks with a key on both sides, you can keep the key in the lock when you are at home. But when you are out, put the key in an in a nearby, easily-accessible place, always in the same place, but out of reach of anyone who could reach through a broken window or use a rod to retrieve it. This way, if the key isn't in the lock and you need to get out quickly because of a fire or other emergency, the key will be near the door and you will always know where it is. This is especially important with door cages, since they should not have the key left in them at any time.
    Don't hide an extra key under a door mat, flower pot, or rock in the garden. Have a trusted friend keep your key for you.
    Windows
    Windows are a secondary entry and exit point for burglars, or a primary point when unlocked or open. Windows should be laminated and double-glazed. Wooden single-frame windows are the least secure, and should be replaced.
    Window locks should fasten the window to the frame by means of bolts, at least three of them. The locking mechanism should be separate from the handle and lock the window itself, not just the handle. It is best to buy windows with these locks already installed, since the necessary drilling and fitting may weaken the frame and void the warranty of the window.
    Window locks should lock with a key, not just a knob, and the key should not be left in the lock. To leave a window partly open, but still secure, buy a window which has a sliding lock, or buy one and have it installed.
    Lighting
    Lighting should be used to augment, not replace, other security measures. Lights can be used to illuminate entry points and to make your house look occupied.
    You can get security lights which have motion-detection capability, which can be adjusted both for the scope of the area they sense, as well as their sensitivity. Sudden, unexpected illumination will sometimes scare off a burglar before he tries to enter, and also deny him the darkness he needs to do his work.
    If you are out, leave a light on in a sitting room with the curtains closed. Don't use a hallway light. If a hallway light is on for hours, it is rather obvious that nobody is living in the hallway. Get light timers which will turn interior lights on and off at random, or at certain times. Timers can also be used for the radio or TV.
    Again, these are merely methods to augment an overall security plan, since a burglar can also knock on your door with a pretext, to find out if anyone is home.
    Apartment Security
    The front door of your apartment building should have an intercom system so you can verify the identity of someone wanting to enter the building, and an electric lock that you can open remotely by pressing a button. It should have an automatic door closer, which closes the door completely and locks it automatically, as well as a manual means to open the door from the inside in case of a power outage. The building front door should never be wedged open.
    Don't open the building front door until you verify who it is. Just because you are expecting a delivery, or a guest, doesn't mean they are the ones who rung the bell. Unfortunately, the building's front door is only as secure as the least security-conscious occupant of the building.
    Lower Floors
    If your apartment is on the lower floors, the security precautions covered earlier in this article apply.
    Climbing Burglars
    Burglars sometimes use trees, drain pipes, ladders, and even the security bars on lower apartment balconies to climb to the apartments on higher floors. A prime target is a balcony door which is left open and is easily seen from the street. Many a morning has seen a group of people gazing up at a second, third, or fourth-floor apartment, scratching their heads and asking themselves "how did he get up there?"
    Besides a securely-locked balcony door, putting a motion-sensing light on your balcony can be an effective deterrent to this type of burglary.
    Top-floor Burglaries
    Top floors are sometimes targeted because only a few people in an apartment building ever go there. By watching the elevator's floor indicator, burglars can know when someone is coming. If the elevator doesn't stop its ascent and is about to come to the floor they're on, they can run down the stairs.
    In this case, your front door is your only defense. Make sure that you have a high-quality steel door, and that all of its locks are locked, including the deadbolt. A completely locked steel door takes hours to get through, and the work involved to do so makes plenty of noise.
    Newspapers, Mail, and Fliers
    Have someone come by every day or so to pick up newspapers, mail, and fliers which are left at your door. Even if you don't subscribe to a newspaper or get much mail, a few unsolicited fliers stuck in your door which have been there for several days is a sure sign that nobody is home.
    Garden Security
    Make sure your house is visible from the street and that vegetation doesn't provide hiding places. Lock up ladders either by storing them inside or with a chain and lock. Don't leave tools laying around which could be used by a burglar. Lock up bicycles and maintenance equipment in the garage or in the house, or chain them up to a secure post.
    Alarms
    An alarm system can significantly reduce the chances of a burglary, and various types of systems are widely available in Turkey. You can get an alarm system which simply makes a loud noise at most any do-it-yourself store. More sophisticated alarm systems, which are are monitored by security professionals who call the police when an alarm activates are available from local security firms.
    Property Marking and Photography
    Marking your property makes it more difficult to fence, as well as providing police a way to return recovered property to you. Engrave your most valuable items with your name and a number so you can show that it belongs to you. Record serial numbers of expensive electronics, and photograph valuables to make it easy for police to know if any recovered property is yours.
    Mobile Phones
    You can shut down your mobile phone if you have recorded it's International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. For more information on this, see the article on lost or stolen mobile phones.
    Learn Security Consciousness
    Even if you have the highest level of security devices available in your home, they are completely ineffective if you don't use them. Get in the habit of closing and locking doors and windows even when you are at home, for example, hosting a barbecue or swimming in the pool. At minimum, learn the habit of locking doors and windows when you go out, even if it's only for a short time, until it becomes second-nature. Brief family and visitors who are staying with you about security precautions they should take.
    See Also
    Crime, Safety, and Terrorism in Turkey Forum: Please visit an join our forum to post questions or comments about this topic.
  25. Like
    Ken Grubb got a reaction from Yasmin & Suse for a article, Typical Street Crimes in Turkey   
    Street Criminals Blend In
    Don't expect to be able to spot one. Thieves may dress like businessmen or women, or even tourists.
    Teams
    Pick pockets often work together, one creating a distraction while the other takes your belongings. Even children can be involved. One team member may work as a spotter, directing another to an inattentive target or unattended item of value. After a theft, the thief may pass the stolen item to another, so if confronted, or even searched, he or she won't have the stolen item on them.
    Crowds
    Anywhere people are close together is a good place for a pickpocket or bag-snatcher to get close to you, unnoticed. You should be especially alert at tourist attractions and sporting or entertainment events, while riding buses, trams or other public transportation, and also when going through entranceways which cause people to bunch together.
    Crowded bars and night clubs are also a popular place for thieves, since they can easily blend in and grab unattended jackets, purses, or anything else of value and slip out unnoticed.
    Distractions
    A distraction may be anything from asking you a question, to bumping in to you, to spilling a drink or squirting a liquid on you. They can be created by a lone thief or a team. Some pickpocket teams even stage fights or dramatic chase scenes to draw a crowd and distract lots of people at the same time while another moves in from behind to pick pockets or snatch bags.
    The Swarm
    The swarm involves a group of people which suddenly accost you. It's sudden and usually dramatic, such as pleas for medical attention, money, or even directions. If you have a small child, they may show attention to your child to the point where you have to intervene, causing you to momentarily divert your attention from your bag.
    The Lady in Distress
    This technique is used for people driving at night. A well-dressed woman waives down your car. When you stop and open the door, several men jump from the bushes and take whatever is in it, and on you.
    Women in Chadors
    Female thieves in Chadors (the long, black shroud which covers women from head to toe) work in places like the interior of the Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, grabbing bags while the owner is gazing up at the architecture. Then they hide the bag under the chador while and make their getaway. Women who do this are professional thieves in disguise, not pious Muslims.
    Pick Pocketing and Bag Slashing
    Rather than picking pockets, some thieves use a razor to slash your pocket, or the outer pockets of day packs. Even if it's your trousers pocket, you probably won't feel it being slashed or your wallet being removed.
    Prevention
    Don't think you're smarter than they are. Professional thieves spend years learning and practicing what they do, as well as how people behave and how to spot a potential victim. Don't expect to be able to feel it when a pickpocket strikes--you probably won't.

    Be a Hard Target. Pickpockets and bag snatchers are after the easiest targets. The more difficult you make it for them, the more chance they will pass on you and target someone easier. If you need to relax, read something, or make a mobile phone call, do so in place where you are protected by your surroundings.

    Don't have valuables on you in the first place. Put anything you don't need in your hotel room safe, or in the safe at hotel reception. Don't wear expensive jewelry or carry large sums of money around.

    Make your valuables difficult to access. At minimum, move your wallet from your back pocket to a front one. Use a money belt, or a neck pouch, and wear it inside your clothing. Don't keep valuables in a waist-worn pouch, since the strap can be easily and quickly cut. Strap purses and cameras diagonally across your body rather than hang them on your shoulder. Keep a hold on your bag or camera, in front of you. Wear day packs in front.

    Be situationally aware, and have a plan in advance. Pay attention, and know when you are in a place where you are vulnerable to pickpockets or bag snatchers. While there, keep an eye on what's happening around you. Situate yourself so your back is against a wall. If you are a hard target, pickpockets and bag snatchers will pass you by for a softer one. Situational awareness will also help you anticipate a swarm, so you can get out of the situation or better secure your valuables before it happens.

    Don't hang bags on the backs of chairs at restaurants, cafes, or bars. If you are seated next to shrubbery, thieves will even reach through them to grab your bag. Some shops sell bag hangers, which allow you to hang your bag from the table, in front of you.

    Mobile phones. Don't lay your mobile phone on a table at restaurants, cafes and bars. It just takes a few seconds to put it in your pocket or take it out again. When talking on a mobile phone in public, don't get so engrossed in the conversation that you are not paying attention to what's going on around you. It's better to walk in to a secure place and have your conversation there.
    What To Do If You Are Targeted
    Make a scene. Shout hırsız (her-sooz), meaning thief, or yankesici (yahn-keh-see-jee) meaning pickpocket. Or just start shouting in English, anything to attract the attention of others.
    Point at the person who took your belongings. Don't try to apprehend the thief, since street criminals often carry knives. Turkish men are often ready to intervene and help you in such situations, so it may just happen that a Turk will grab the thief for you before he gets away.
    If you are swarmed, make a lot of noise to attract attention. Grab hold of anything of value, pick a gap between the group and push quickly through it, Keep moving and keep making noise. If you just sit there, nobody will even know you need help.
    If a sudden distraction like a dramatic scene or fight occurs, make sure you have a firm grip on your bag and keep an eye on what's happening behind you. Move somewhere else, preferably to a place where your back is against a wall.
    See Also
    Crime, Safety, and Terrorism in Turkey Forum: Please visit and join our forum if you have any questions about this topic.
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