Is Istanbul Safe?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Feb 3, 2012 7:46 AM Last Post By: yellowpurple
Jan 31, 2012 3:31 PM
Jan 31, 2012 4:57 PM
Jan 31, 2012 11:50 PM
3Istanbul is, at minimum, as safe as any other European city.
Feb 1, 2012 12:16 AM
Feb 1, 2012 12:53 AM
5I too would say that on the whole Istanbul is probably safer than most comparable European cities.For a city of some 14 million people crime is surprisingly low and mostly affects locals rather than tourists.
Visitors need to be aware of the traffic as said, plus things like pick pocketing on public transport which pretty much goes for any tourist city in the world.Use your street smarts and you'll be fine :)
Feb 1, 2012 5:27 AM
Feb 1, 2012 9:44 AM
Feb 1, 2012 12:42 PM
8Very, very safe. Except for a couple of scams. Do a search for Istanbul+bar scam. Also taxi scam (same as everywhere in the world, really) and shoeshine scam.
Feb 2, 2012 3:32 AM
9bristolnewbie writes: "Turkey "exports" most of its criminals to Western Europe, which makes Turkey itself very safe. You`re much more likely to get mugged, raped or beaten by a Turkish criminal in Berlin, Paris or Vienna than in Istanbul."
Very interesting comment, is the evidence you have of this "export" policy documented enough that you would swear to it in a court of law? I would like to see the sources of your information please. Thanks...
yellowpurple, take a look at some of this stuff:
Watch what you do and listen to the "uh-oh" inside of you and you should be just fine. Take a look see through these:
Travel safety for solo ladies. Tips from the famous sarıkanarya of Lonely Planet, a lady of long residence in Turkey.
Women Traveling in Turkey by Tom Brosnahan of Turkey Travel Planner
Istanbul’s Crime Conundrum - by Claire Berlinski: "The Turkish metropolis is one of the world’s safest big cities—but burglaries are booming. Why?...I walk alone through almost every neighborhood of Istanbul, often at night. This is a megacity of at least 12 million people..."
A Lonely Planet thread called Why I Keep Returning to Turkey (and why more from the USA should visit)
You might want to avoid these:
Come Back Alive - A list of countries you probably should avoid; Turkey is NOT on this list.
The World's Most Dangerous Places
"...is a frequently updated handbook written by Pelton and an unusual crew of contributors."
America's Most Dangerous Cities
You can also read the US state department fear mongers if you want some comic relief. I gave up reading their "Warden Warnings" long ago. They started to sound worse than Fox on a slow news night, akin to hysterical shreiking. As the bard told us "Much ado about nothing..."
Turkey-Country Specific Information
Feb 2, 2012 5:15 AM
The "Istanbul's Crime Conundrum" article is excellent! Very much in line with my experiences.
We once spent a couple weeks in the Istanbul apartment of a Turkish friend. A "bad neighborhood" to quote the friend. One of the first things done was to introduce us to neighbors and shopkeepers. Comments like, "Be quiet during the day. That's when the prostitute who lives below me sleeps and she's very nosy." (She obviously conducted her business elsewhere.) The near panic when I was leaning shirtless out the fourth-floor rear window opening into a courtyard of sort fully enclosed by buildings on all four sides to hang laundry to dry, "Don't you know that neighbors are watching?!?!?" "Don't go in or talk to anyone near this internet cafe--they are robbers."
The Turkish take personal and family honor very seriously. While it can definitely go too far, it is a refreshing change from the USA where such ideas have become mainly old-fashioned and quaint. That the Istanbul burglary problem is PKK-related seems quite in keeping with the ideas of personal and family honor--it is an alternate system of honor that places "the cause" above all else.
Feb 2, 2012 12:00 PM
11bristolnewbie, thank you for the update on your earlier comments. You ask if that is enough "evidence", I am not sure. Without researching it further I would be loathe to comment on crime in Germany.
That being said, I took an admittedly quick look and found an article in the English version of Der Spiegel, which, I believe, is a German newspaper. In an article concerning the immigration debate they dispute such high percentages.
The article is Part 3: Unproven Assertions and Bogus Correlations and it is about "Thilo Sarrazin's controversial new book on Muslims in Germany." The article states in part:
Sarrazin frequently cites the example of crime among foreigners. He claims that "20 percent of all violent crimes in Berlin are committed by only 1,000 Turkish and Arab adolescent criminals," and that there is empirical evidence to support his contention.
When Naika Foroutan, a political scientist at Berlin's Humboldt University who has studied the Muslim population for years, contacted the office of Berlin's chief of police to verify Sarrazin's claim, she discovered that it was completely erroneous.
Some 18,899 violent crimes were committed in Berlin in 2009, including robberies, rapes, assaults and murders. According to the statistics, Turks and Arabs were suspects in 1,651 cases, or 8.7 percent. Even if all suspects whose ethnicity was unknown were included in this figure, no more than 13.3 percent of all violent crimes could be linked to suspects with Turkish, Arab or unknown origins.
I have probably spent far more time on this issue than necessary since I do not plan to travel to Germany any time in this century, so it is probably irrelevant and maybe even none of my business.
Feb 2, 2012 3:48 PM
Feb 3, 2012 7:46 AM
13Thank you everyone. This is great information. I'll be happy to rub it in the faces of everyone who doubts Turkey's safety.
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