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  1. 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. Ken Grubb As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.
  2. 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. Ken Grubb As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.
  3. Sexual harassment is illegal in Turkey. Those committing it, especially if they are in a position of influence over the victim, can actually be sentenced to three months in jail. Unfortunately it is one thing to pass a law, and another to change the mentality of every man in a society. The most common types of sexual harassment in Turkey are Leering Making kissing noises Honking by men in passing cars Touching or groping on crowded buses or other forms of public transportation Insistent advances Following Misunderstanding Intentions Being friendly, making eye contact, smiling, and talking to a man may be perceived as sexual interest, since most Turkish women don't behave this way around men they don't know--in fact, they come across as being rather cold. Turkish men who are well-educated or are familiar with western cultures will likely understand that friendly communication is not a come-on, but men from villages or Eastern Turkey may not. So when addressing a Turkish man you don't know well, be formal and serious, and avoid smiling when making eye contact. In Crowds or On Public Transportation Crowded buses, subways, and trams are the usual places women are touched or groped. Since everyone is pushed together, it's difficult for a victim to know exactly who was doing the touching. To prevent such incidents, long-distance bus companies don't seat women next to men. On city buses, the front seats are traditionally reserved for women. Walking Alone While Turkish women walk unaccompanied during the day in larger towns and cities, they seldom do so at night. When they go out, it's with friends or family. If you walk the streets alone at night the probability that you will be harassed is much higher. Women occasionally report being followed. This can involve a man walking next to you, making advances and refusing to go away, or someone stalking you from a distance. While rape is rare in Turkey, being followed in such a way can be a very scary experience. What To Do If You Are Harassed Make a scene. Speak loudly. Point at the man and let others around you know what is happening. Public shaming will cause most harassers to stop and go away. Other Turks may come to your aid and deal with your harasser in their own way. The phrase to use is Çok Ayıp! (said as "choke eye yoop"), meaning "shame!" or "shame on you!" Others around will quickly understand what is going on. If you think you are being followed, get to a safe haven, such as a restaurant, hotel, or other such venue, and let someone know you are being followed. You may also call the police, but at minimum, take a taxi home. Thankfully, for every Turkish man who engages in such behavior, there are many more who will come to your aid. See Also Crime, Safety, and Terrorism in Turkey Forum: If you have questions about sexual harassment in Turkey, please post them in the forum. External Links iHollaBack.org: An organization dedicated to ending street harassment through education, media exposure, training of government officials, and providing a place where women can write about their own experiences. Ken Grubb As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.
  4. 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. Ken Grubb As a special investigator for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and teacher for the University of Maryland, Ken Grubb has lived and worked in Turkey since 1997. He now lives in Antalya, where he researches and writes guides to help others live skillfully in Turkey.
  5. Thanks to @FenerEniste, a source of information on buying a firearm and getting a permit for concealed carry. The page you need is "Silah Ruhsat," in the navigation menu. The page is in Turkish, so run it through Google translate or view it in Google Chrome. Silah Dünyası (Gun World) Turkey
  6. Exercise increased caution when traveling to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Do not travel to: Areas near the Syrian and Iraqi borders due to terrorism. (Level 4) Reconsider travel to: Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli, and Van (Level 3) Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Turkey. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. Terrorists have also previously targeted Western tourists and expatriates. Security forces have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including U. S. citizens, for alleged affiliations with terrorist organizations based on scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated. U. S. citizens have also been subject to travel bans that prevent them from departing Turkey. Participation in demonstrations not explicitly approved by the Government of Turkey, as well as criticism of the government, including on social media, can result in arrest. Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page. If you decide to travel to Turkey: Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners. Avoid demonstrations and crowds. Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures. Monitor local media and adjust your plans based on new information. Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Review the Crime and Safety Report for Turkey. U. S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler's Checklist. Areas near the Syrian and Iraqi Borders - Level 4: Do Not Travel Do not travel near the Turkey/Syria and Turkey/Iraq borders due to the continued threat of attacks by terrorist groups, armed conflict, and civil unrest. Terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, ambushes, car bomb detonations, and improvised explosive devices, as well as shootings, and illegal roadblocks leading to violence have occurred in these areas. Specific Areas in Eastern and Southeastern Turkey - Level 3: Reconsider Travel Reconsider travel to specific areas in eastern and southeastern Turkey where the U. S. government has very limited ability to provide emergency services to U. S. citizens. These areas are the provinces of Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hakkari, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli, and Van, as the U. S. government restricts its employees from traveling to these provinces without prior approval. Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with updates to a risk indicator and the Travel Advisory Level.
  7. Hi everybody, I'm new to the forums and am considering a move this fall to Turkey - specifically the Antalya, Fethiye or Alanya areas. I've spent a great amount of time in Turkey prior to 2016 as a female on my own and fell in love the country, but haven't been there since and am not sure what to expect in these days and times. Being an American, I know we are not currently seen in the greatest light (putting it lightly) and wanted to know if any of you (American expats) have felt or experienced an increase in anti-americanism, or have not felt safe and considered leaving? I am concerned about safety, not just for me but for my older mother who would be moving there as well. I'm especially concerned after reading the travel warnings on the govt website, which I know can be extreme but I'm not there so I don't know . Most notably this kind of thing worries me: Security forces have detained tens of thousands of individuals, including U. S. citizens, for alleged affiliations with terrorist organizations based on scant or secret evidence and grounds that appear to be politically motivated. U. S. citizens have also been subject to travel bans that prevent them from departing Turkey. I don't want to feel like I have to "hide" my identity or that I am under some kind of possible threat just because of my nationality. Can anyone shed some light on this subject? Thank you so much!
  8. The U. S. Embassy in Ankara informs U. S. citizens that the U. S. government continues to receive credible indications that terrorist groups are seeking opportunities to attack popular tourist destinations throughout Turkey. The U. S. Embassy reminds U. S. citizens that foreign tourists in Turkey have been explicitly targeted by terrorist organizations, and advises U. S. citizens to be mindful of the potential for danger in crowded public areas and at popular tourist destinations. See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Turkey’s Country Specific Information. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Contact the U. S. Embassy in Ankara, located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara, at +90-312-455-5555, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U. S. citizens is +90-312-455-5555 or +90-212-335-9000 (U. S. Consulate General Istanbul). Contact the U. S. Consulate General in Istanbul, located at 2 Uçsehitler Sokagi, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer, at +90-212-335-9000. Contact the U. S. Consulate in Adana, located at 212 Girne Bulvari, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir, Adana at +90-322-455-4100. Contact the Consular Agency in Izmir at [email protected] Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U. S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
  9. I think I am probably beating a dead horse but here it goes. I am moving to Istanbul in a little over two weeks. I have registered in the American Embassies STEP so that they can send me alerts via e-mail. I just received an alert about a demonstration in Istanbul at the American Embassy this week. Because I am not familiar with Istanbul yet I have no idea if this is anywhere near where I will be working or living. I stay abreast of world news and events but I also know from experience and talking with others that the news may not be completely accurate. My question is this - What is your thoughts/views of the actions taking place in Syria, Iran, and Iraq and has it had any impact on how you conduct your daily activities in Turkey. Just trying to get an idea of what to expect and how to acclimate. Thanks.
  10. I am not even sure if this can be counted as a robbery because maybe these kids were just trying to tease me, and they didn't force me to handle in my phone or wallet. They grabbed me a pair of sunglasses (worth 500 TL) when I was waiting for the bus in front of the Merkez Park (Central Park). As I didn't expect this to happen in broad daylight, it took me quite a while to realize what was going on, and by that time, these teenage boys had long disappeared in the traffic, not to mention that I had to put on my normal glasses because of my poor eye-sight. I had to admit I was being too careless because I clearly had noticed that these boys were approaching me in a suspicious way. I thought they were probably just some kids who were curious about my Asian face. PS: an advice to those who are living in Adana or have plans to live here (I learned this from my own experience and from my local friends): the areas around Merkez Park and Optimum Outlet are not safe zones. Many street wanderers, pocket-pickers, and drug dealers exist in these zones. Avoid going to these areas when it gets dark and watch out for suspicious people even in daylight.
  11. I received the following message from a Turkish person who works for a relief organization at the same shared office space that I work from. I dont know if this 100% accurate, but am sharing anyways. Stay safe, y'all. This statement is for areas in HATAY, ANKARA AND ISTANBUL ISIS has threatened a number of areas and has released it to the media. ISIS have mentioned Hatay, Istanbul and Ankara and areas that FSA are know to be. It is recommended that areas where large gathering are happening for your own safety it would be suggested to stay away. ISIS is targeting FSA and other opposition groups. This is due to the G2 happing and the active role that Turkey is playing. this potential that their threats are real. It is suggested that no large gatherings in hotels, function halls or large conference centres and shopping centres which are hosting public events or well known expat areas over the next few days. This warning will be until the G2 is over, this will be till the weekend. On top of this it is recommender that all projects continue as normal but drivers are not to take any STL staff into the centre of the city. If you are a Staff member make sure your driver does not take you into the city find other routes. For the next three days please have food delivered to your work place and minimise exposure to public areas, if possible. http://webtv.radikal.com.tr/turkiye/6423/turkiyede-3-kent-icin-bombali-intihar-saldirisi-alarmisaniye-kaydedildi.aspx
  12. Could anyone please share, with honesty, the current condition for foreign (particularly British or American) English teachers working/living in Turkey (in Istanbul and Ankara)? Is it safe to work in Turkey as an English teacher given the current events unfolding today? And what are the challenges or possible issues to be had for English female instructors?
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