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Istanbul Mass Transit Security

The World
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Istanbul Mass Transit Security

I am pretty travel smart, however; I got caught last night! There is a nice tram service that is used to travel to all the touristy spots...the tram travels from Kabatzh to Zeytunbrner. This takes you via Sultanhamet/Blue Mosque area.

I boarded on Sunday evening at about 21:00 at Sultanhamet. It was VERY busy..very crowded. Lots of pushing and shoving.

About 4 stops from where I boarded, I noticed that my pocket was picked clean!

I usually lock my valuables in my back pack, but I was tired and neglected to do so. Consequently, I lost just a little cash, but all my credit cards and some personal ID.

I went to the local police and they were of NO help. There is a Tourist Police station adjacent to Aya Sophia. They wouldn't take a report, didn't want my name and told me.....'You should be more careful!" So...the local police don't really care.

I learned a good lesson. Please be careful here in Istanbul.

Istanbul
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for Istanbul
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1. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

The woorldtrveller,

Sorry that happened to you. You are right, in big cities of the world the police don't have the time for minor crimes. My briefcase with valuable documents in it was stolen from the trunk of my car right in downtown Los Angeles. And the police told me to be careful and not to leave anything valuable in the trunk next time, and that is all they did.

Everybody should be very careful, whether they are in Istanbul, Rome, Paris, Chicago or Los Angeles.

enigma...

Ruhr Area, Germany
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2. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

It was a very unpleasant incident that happened to you and I can understand that you are annoyed.

But unfortunately these things happen in all big cities, as EG Paris, Rome, Berlin ASO, I know some people who had similar experiences in those cities.

You have to be careful in all crowded public areas, as trams, markets, basars or just crowded streets, everywhere.

But without beeing biased or blue-eyed I never noticed that these incidents happen in Turkey and Istanbul oftener than in other cities or countries.

Tschüss

patara01

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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3. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

In Mexico the thieves just cut the straps from my backpack and took the entire thing. We lost cash, credit cards, and my only pair of regular glasses. You should try to enjoy the Ballet Folklorica wearing sun glasses.

I suppose many travelers have similar stories to tell of visits to big cities. As we endure these unhappy events, we just get a little wiser and a bit more careful.

It would be completely impossible for the police to catch someone who removed your valuables from your pocket somewhere between four stops on the tram. Think about that. What could they possibly do for you?

I hope that police in large cities are protecting me from homicides and gang violence and drug wars and terrorists. I do not expect them to protect me from having things removed from my own pocket. You need to be responsible for yourself at some level.

I appreciate how dreadful it is to lose your credit cards, and how disappointing it is that the police cannot walk onto the sidewalk and apprehend the thief and restore your cash and credit cards. We would all like that kind of an outcome when we are the victims of a crime.

However, in this situation, it is unrealistic to expect much of any response. Your advice is good, but should be extended to include every metropolitan area in the world.

Milton Keynes...
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for Milton Keynes
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4. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

from my point of view its not about what they can do but about needing a report for your insurance in order to claim for your losses - we had to fight and argue for this in Barcelona when my Mum was mugged....after about 6 hours they finally agreed to write a report!!

Ruhr Area, Germany
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5. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

I think it is similar in most towns and cities: if you report it to the police they will tell you politely that it is a shame but that they can do ...nothing.

Even in my very unspectular hometown it happend like this. After shopping at the market I missed my money bag. I called the police by telephon and asked what to do. They answered that I could do nothing, there were about 4 - 5 complaints every week and it would be useless to make an official complaint. And then they gave me some advices how to protect from those incidents.

But the better our precautions the better their methods:-).

Tschüss

patara01

Istanbul, Turkey
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6. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

B777av8r, I'm very sorry for this bad experience.. It could happen anywhere, please don't make this ruin your good memories about Istanbul.

I think most of the police force, not just in Istanbul but all around big cities, are unwilling to write a theft report even it doesn't cost them anything. In my opinion the reason for this, besides they might be lazy or they have more important things to do such as murders or big crimes so they can't loose time with your lost wallet, is that each time they file a crime report it raises up the crime rate of that neighborhood (and of the city in general) statistically so their superiors won't be happy about this and will give them a hard time. And overall, by the end of the year, the mayor or governor or the Government or whatsoever won't be happy with the crime rates of the city or of the country going up, again statistically. Everybody tries to make their city look more "safe" in the eyes of their own people or the visitors.

Well, this is just INMO of course, there is no proof for this attitude, I'm just guessing.

Like the police says, "be careful and watch your possessions" :-)

Burak

Istanbul, Turkey
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7. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

Hmm i 'm sorry for your event . If you go to Barcelona , Madrid , Paris , Athens and Cairo you must be careful for pickpocker :(

Sceaux, France
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8. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

It happened to me several times,in my town PARIS. the police station just gave me a paper because my passport and identification card were in my bag.A simple ring to my bank was enough to stop my credit card.Just to say thet it happens in many countries, the police gives the same answer everywhere.

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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245 reviews
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9. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

When we lost everything in Mexico we did not require a police report to make a claim against our insurance.

We also had two times on vacations where our van was broken into. These were more expensive for us because the thieves removed things like our CD player, and they also broke the window.

One of those events happened in Vancouver, Canada and the other in a town of 5000 people in southeast Idaho.

I appreciate what Barak is saying about trying to keep crime statistics low, but I truly do believe they are lower than many metropolitan cities. If you think about it we read lots of reports from people who have been to Istanbul, and those that have unhappy experiences do not hesitate to share them. We have very few reports of theft.

In the largest city in Florida located adjacent to our city the population is about 800,000 and the we had 112 homicides in 2008, which was actually a decline from 132 in 2007. I have no idea what that rate is in Istanbul, but I suspect on the basis of population, we beat Istanbul.

10. Re: Istanbul Mass Transit Security

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