Safety Tips for a Safe Travel
Travel safety is a big issue these days. So it will be wise to know all about safety tips before you arrive. It
is perfectly normal if you are planning a trip to Istanbul soon and a
little bug is eating you inside about how safe this city is.
But no place on earth is completely
safe. Istanbul, like all big cities, requires normal precautions. Act as
if you are in New York or London and don’t leave things to chance.
So here is a list of things to be careful about and some safety tips:
Turkey is admirably safe in most regards, street crime (pickpockets and
bag-snatchers) is on the rise in the large cities, particularly in
Safety tips for bag-snatchers are:
- Wear your purse/bag strap across your chest if possible. If not carry it on your shoulder but don’t let it dangle down.
- Keep your bag closed at all times. Keep your bag close to you, with a hand on it. The
point here is a bag-snatcher would look for the easiest bag around.
Your behavior pattern will automatically take you in or out of the
- Don’t show where you put your money to strangers.
your bag, wallet, cell-phone, camera, jewelry, wrist watch, and
anything else of value in any crowded place. (such as Metro, bus, tram,
market, street, entrance to a place).
- Keep your
bag in front of you where you can see it, not behind you. Because
bag-slashers might slash your bag or pocket with a razor blade without
you even seeing or feeling a thing.
- Keep an eye on the young boys without families around. That small cute boy might grab your bag while runs past you.
- Never carry your passport and plane ticket with you. Have a copy of your passport if you need to.
- Never carry more than $50 with you, there are ATMs everywhere.
- Hold your cell phone while speaking. Cell-phone theft is very common these days and it can happen anywhere in Istanbul.
- Despite all this, if your bag is snatched, it's best to scream hard. Yelling “Help!” will call bystanders to your aid.
not attempt to pursue the thief, even if you think you can catch him.
Bag-snatchers carry knives so it would be best to leave it to the
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are lots of con-artists around the touristic areas. There are a zillion
kinds of cons, so it is impossible to classify them.
one is the basic of safety tips: Just be on your guard for anyone who
is approaching as an innocent stranger. Keep an eye on your purse, bag
and valuables at all times.
(robbery by force) is rare but seen in Istanbul, especially in tourist
areas. And the police are using high-tech methods like surveillance
cameras, to minimize crime accordingly.
Here are some safety tips to avoid mugging;
- Travel with others if possible. Alone travelers are targeted more often.
- Use taxis instead of public transportation, especially if you're carrying luggage or packages.
- Use taxis to go to places that involve long walks after getting off the bus or tram, especially when it's dark.
you will be carrying packages back to your hotel, have your hotel
concierge call a taxi for you. And talk to the driver to take you from
an appointed place at an appointed time to get back to your hotel.
Daytime safety tips:
Safety tips vary depending on time and place.
- All neighborhoods are safe, even the poor ones. But avoid neighborhoods like “Tarlabaşı”, “Dolapdere” even during daytime.
- The best thing to do is to be on the streets where you see a lot of people, especially women.
you are not around the highly touristic areas, remember that each
neighborhood has a main street where some stores are open until
21:00-22:00 in the evening; you can enter these stores and ask
directions if you feel that you are lost.
Nighttime safety tips:
Nighttime in Istanbul has its own rules like every city. Safety tips for nighttime are;
As a rule of thumb, avoid dark, suspicious or deserted side streets. Simple logic: There is a reason if they are deserted. The
safest parts are Sultanahmet, Beyoglu (Pera), Taksim and European part
of Bosphorus until midnight. When the people on streets and restaurants
start to decrease in number after midnight, it is best to remember the
first rule: Stay away from deserted streets. Main roads are usually fine. Prefer to pick a taxi from a station if you can, instead of the ones passing by.Avoid Tarlabaşı, Dolapdere, Karaköy and the backstreets of Old City during nighttime.
Pedestrians, watch out!
most visitors to Istanbul, the most dangerous thing they will do is
crossing the street depending on the traffic light. Just because the
light is green, doesn't necessarily mean you should cross the street.
There are other safety tips to look for;
- Check the traffic light,
- Then check if any car is rushing to catch the last millisecond of the green light,
- Check one more time,
- Be sure that every car has stopped,
- After that and only after that it is safe to cross the street.
- In Turkey the drivers don’t know why pedestrian crossings are where they are and they ignore the crossings totally.
don’t even slow down at a pedestrian crossing and they tend to be angry
if you try to cross. Turkish people rarely use them because it simply
doesn’t work that way. Instead we prefer to take our chances wherever it
looks convenient for us to cross.
- Don’t make the mistake that drivers will give you way when you attempt to cross the street, you have to fight for that!
Single male travelers:
Istanbul residents will start a friendly conversation with foreigners,
this is totally normal. But men traveling on their own should read these
- Be aware of scams in which you would be
talked into to going to a bar or a restaurant with your new so-called
friends. After some drinks you would possibly be held responsible for a
bill which you can not afford. And things can get ugly before you know
it. Stay away from anything with neon and the word "nightclub" or "club"
in the sign. And somehow if this happens to you, pay the bill with the
credit card. And once you are out call your bank and tell that you have
lost your credit card before the incident.
- Don’t talk back to a herd of young men snapping at you for your hair or earrings. Just walk away.
War or terrorism:
If you're worried about war or terrorism, don’t be. Otherwise it' impossible to get out of your front door!
Don't be precautious, just be aware.. Remember, you're here to have fun and to explore!
hope you will never need these safety tips. None of these suggestions
are meant to alarm you. I’ve covered all reported issues, that is why
the list is this long.
Probably you will never encounter any of these situations.
This is just a heads-up for the worst case scenario.
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