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Where Can I Buy Pepper Spray in Istanbul?

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A visiting student I know used it last year on an assailant who grabbed her whilst jogging on konyaaltı beach at dusk. She had brought it with her from her home country. That wasn't all the assailant got, he definitely came off worst. She was assisted by staff from the nearest beach bar, who drove her back to her house. She didn't bother to report it to the police as she was unsure if it was legal. I'm looking forward to hearing for sure whether it is or not here so ı can let her know.

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I am not sure if pepper spray is legal in Turkey but one of the reasons it isn't legal in the UK is not because it has any long term effects. The main concern is that the attackers may start using it as a means of disabling their victim whilst carrying out what ever crime is intended.

There are various types but the most simple is made of strong Cayenne pepper which if sprayed in the eyes will disable someone for some time. The eyes need to be washed out with plenty of water but there should be no long term effects.

There is another spray out there which is legal. This is a spray that when used takes the attacker by surprise and they will unsure of what has just been sprayed in their face. What this spay does is cover the persons face with a red dye which takes ages to remove. This information can then be useful to the police who can be on the look out for someone who is more than just embarrassed.

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There is another spray out there which is legal. This is a spray that when used takes the attacker by supprise and they will unsure of what has just been sprayed in their face. What this spay does is cover the persons face with a red dye which takes ages to remove. This information can then be useful to the police who can be on the look out for someone who is more than just embarrased.

Sounds like a viable alternative .... but ....is it sufficient to stop the assailant in their tracks, ie. stop them carrying out their attack ? Or must one simply take advantage of the surprise to escape ?
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G'day Meral,

İt certainly is!!

Works on both 2 or 4 legged ones.

200.000 to 500.000 volts delivered,(depending on the type-brand) not lethal, only 20 micro amper, world standard set for safe usage.

It is for protection only, of course.

We have stray dogs here, just the crackling noise it emits was enough to scare them off so far.

Regards,

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I was an Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray instructor (or pepper spray), and carried it daily for years. As part of the instructor course and during classes I've taught, I've been both sprayed with it and sprayed students with it several times (you must be sprayed with it before you can be certified to carry it, so you know it's effects).

What Jozsika posted was a stun gun, which is often called a Taser, but a Taser is a little different. I have never used a stun gun, so I can't speak to that.

OC spray comes in different grades, and is even used for protection against bears. Police-grade OC spray is 15% OC, although it is sold in lesser concentrations, so check the label and get the 15% concentration if it's available. The rest of it is simply an alcohol-based carrier, which evaporates and leaves the OC resin on the face of the person sprayed. The residue can be washed off with soap and water.

OC spray will definitely stop an attack, or at minimum leave an attacker unable to see, and the burning sensation on the face will give an assailant a lot more to think about than attacking you.

I think there are some advantages to OC spray over a stun gun:

With OC spray, you can spray an assailant (or dog) from a distance, as well as up close, but up close you do have some risk of breathing it or getting some of it on yourself. With the stun gun, you must be up close to zap them. Faced with someone who had a knife, I'd choose the OC spray. That loud, crackling spark that the stun gun makes is a nice deterrent, though!

With OC spray, you can also spray multiple assailants at a distance. I've never used a stun gun, so I personally would prefer the pepper spray, especially for dogs, since if you're close enough to use a stun gun, you're probably being bitten!

Regarding it leaking or spraying accidentally, that probably depends on the configuration. The ones we carried were in a leather case with the trigger outside of the case. The trigger being outside of the case also kept the canister in a way so it could be sprayed without opening the flap of the case on top. Between the trigger and the canister was also a flat plastic safety block which snapped into place. before spraying, that piece would be unsnapped and moved down, freeing the motion of the trigger. The case was fastened to the belt with a metal clip so that it could be pulled free of the belt easily, while still in the case. I would imagine some configurations you might encounter in the stores might be less secure, you would have to look at the safety mechanism it has and decide for yourself if you would want to carry it.

An interesting story about the Taser, which I have never seen available for non-police use:

The Taser fires two pointed electrodes which are connected to the firing mechanism and power source by wires. Once it hits the target, electricity travels down the two wires and into the target, zapping him that way.

The Taser actually got it's name from the "Tom Swift" children's stories, specifically, "Tom Swift and his Electric Rifle." It was originally called the TASR, for "Tom Swift's Electric Rifle."

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If using a pepper spray you must know which way the wind is blowing or you might get a faceful yourself!

I can't see me wanting to carry one on my belt. Do they do a pocket/handbag version?

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Actually that is a very good point Sunny, wouldn't be much good if you managed to get it into your own eyes, and also I would think you would have to be careful about people passing by as well.

Whilst watching the news I have seen people squirting what looks like lemons into their eyes after they have been sprayed at demo's by the police, what an earth is that all about, surely that must hurt even more.

As far as stun guns goes, don't even think about using them on dogs. A couple of summers ago a man and his family were riding their bikes in the wooded area at the bottom of my garden and it is a fairly large area and couldn't understand why for some reason best known to themselves they kept riding up and down along the fence line at the bottom of my garden, as you know my dogs are very protective of the property, anyway the dogs were barking and then suddenly all hell broke loose and the dogs went berserk.

I went down to see what was going on and the man was pointing a stun gun at each of the dogs in turn and as Ken said it was making that funny crackling noise. This did not scare my dogs at all in fact it made them even more angry and if they had been out of the garden he would have got badly bitten.

I would really say to people who are thinking of buying these things to be very careful, we see them being used in films and it looks easy but I doubt that it is like that in real life. There must be a very good reason why people like Ken were trained first before going out onto the streets. Whilst we all have the right to defend ourselves we should be aware that we could put ourselves in more danger because we are not trained in their use.

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If using a pepper spray you must know which way the wind is blowing or you might get a faceful yourself!

Regarding getting some on you, I now realize it sounded like I was referring to the wind blowing it back onto you. I should have said that in a different way. What I was referring to was a grappling situation with an assailant, where he's face-to-face with you, very up-close and personal. OC spray is not a gas, like the old tear gas police used to use, so it doesn't really blow around much. Oleo Capsicum is simply a highly-irritating resinous substance delivered by an alcohol-based carrier, which delivers the OC resin from the nozzle to the target, and leaves it there when the carrier evaporates. And since it's not a gas, it doesn't interfere with breathing. It just burns like hellfire as you hurl expletives at the person who sprayed you.  And really, that's probably all you'll be able to do.

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I would think you would have to be careful about people passing by as well.

I don't mean to be impolite here... but really, if the passers by are not helping you fight off an assailant who is trying to hurt, rob, or kill you, why would any sane person be more concerned about them getting a little taste of OC spray than they would be about their own physical safety? Spray away. They'll get over it.

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I can't see me wanting to carry one on my belt. Do they do a pocket/handbag version?

There's nothing that says it has to be fastened to your belt, the case will probably have a belt clip on it, but you don't have to use it. So certainly, you could carry it in a handbag.

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I have seen people squirting what looks like lemons into their eyes after they have been sprayed at demo's by the police, what an earth is that all about, surely that must hurt even more.

I doubt they were lemons. It's probably been 12 years or so since I went through re-certification, so I'm sure lots of new things are being used in OC spray training these days. I assume it's some solution that mitigates the effects in the eyes.

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I would really say to people who are thinking of buying these things to be very careful, we see them being used in films and it looks easy but I doubt that it is like that in real life. There must be a very good reason why people like Ben were trained first before going out onto the streets.

Well, I agree with you there... but I would say it's more a matter of being very ready than being very careful. It would be clear negligence for a police department to put a policeman on the street with no training, to hand them an OC canister and say "here you go, now go to work." So of course we had training, courtesy of the US government. The OC training was really just a part of our overall training. I do have some advantage in that I've had this stuff drilled into my skull for years. But a lot of expats in Turkey, perhaps thinking about buying such a weapon for the first time, how can they be very ready? Nobody here is any less capable of learning than I am, I just had my training for free. So I would suggest the following:

Do some research on the Internet for training materials on how and when to use OC spray, and read them.

Learn some basic street safety techniques, like avoiding bad situations in the first place. I'd also suggest that you buy two OC canisters, and use one for practice. Give it a try.

See how wide the cone of spray is and how far it goes so you'll know what to expect if you need to use it.

Familiarize yourself and get comfortable with it before you have to use it in an emergency situation.

Now, I am not suggesting that you have someone spray you with it as part of your self-training, but if you do decide to give the OC spray a test, you'll certainly see how effective it is, and I can assure you that if you're using the 15% concentration, you'll become a believer real fast.

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I feel that I'm more likely to need it in the UK than here. But the world is getting more dangerous all the time I fear, so perhaps I'll get a can (or 2) just in case.

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Isn't it a sad day when we have to walk around with weapons to defend ourselves. This makes us not much better than the attacker. I was in the British Army and had to use a weapon in both situations. Either to attack or defend. I never carry any weapons on my person now. I just go about my business in the hope that I will be safe. I try to avoid situations and be sensible when out and about. Its women that I feel sorry for because they are often seen as soft targets by cowards and perverts. The answer for them is not so easy.

With regard to dogs I have been trained to handle dogs and how to face up to them. most of the times that I have been bitten was without warning. They appear to be just nosy at first but if you look into the eyes of the dog it can attack without warning.

The training would be to stay calm and face up to the dog and back away. In theory this works but to be honest I have been anything but calm when a dog is hanging onto my butt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i have a story to tell about the pepper spray.

Well it was like 2 month ago. i was on my way to airport to fly to Antalya for work. My phone rang, that was my wife with a scary voice. While i was going to airport she wanted to go to a shopping center. At the parking area she argued with a girl because of the wrong way or something like that. Then after a few words she came next to my wife and punched her. Yeah actually she did that.

Then my wife took of her spray and squeeze (maybe wrong verb) it to the girl.....the police came, took them to the station etc...

So the thing i want to say is that we became guilty cause my wife attacked her with the pepper spray .pepper spray is not legal!

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Thanks for the information everyone. Guess from reading Kerem's post, I'm better off looking for martial arts class or something.

Istanbul is the first large city I've lived in. It's rather hard esp. since I just don't blend in with the normal crowd. I had to stop working outside the home because I was constantly getting followed by crazed men asking me to get into their cars so that they can drive me to Aksaray (um...yeah, right). I've taken their car tags given their description to my husband so he can report it (my Turkish is still a bit beginner-ish) and nothing was ever done about it.

One evening while going to meet my husband at the local market, I got attacked by a crazed guy who was insisting that I "assist" him in the park. He grabbed me and I hit him with my keys.

I yelled and screamed the whole time but no one stopped to help me. I had to run in the middle of the street while a large truck was turning. Almost got ran over but the loud horn got people looking but no help. Unfortunately, all the noise I was making didn't stop the guy from following me. Luckily I was able to call my husband who came to my rescue (my hero).

We've reported the incident but I doubt anything will happen. I no longer go out after 4 pm alone.

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dear mia,i'm so sorry. I am really ashamed :United_States: when i heard something like this. I want to say we, turkish peaople are not like this man (damn him) but i can't. Unfortunatly there are a lot of danger in the streets. Pls be careful.and by the way i changed my mind. Buy a pepper spray and next time squeeze it through his throat !! :winner_first_h4h[1]:

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I'm sorry to hear about your experiences Mia. Maybe no one helped because they thought you were a married couple having an argument?

I agree with Kerem, go and get yourself a pepper spray. Much better to be safe than sorry.

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