Is Turkey Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

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Is Turkey safe for women? We share our common sense tips, plus a few handy bits of advice for women to feel and stay safe in Turkey.

A woman stands in the water at Pamukkale, Turkey Photo © Getty Images/Kit Tan / EyeEm

Here are our essential safety tips for women to stay safe while traveling alone or with friends.

Traveling in Turkey

  • Pack as light as possible. As a woman traveling alone, you'll be less vulnerable and more independent if you're not weighed down by heavy luggage
  • Rather than residential details, put an office address (without the company name) on your luggage tags
  • Before traveling, find out the general dress code. Once you arrive, take note of what local women wear to get an idea of appropriate attire
  • While on your flight, talk to women flight attendants who are either from or know the country to obtain advice on areas to avoid
  • Try to avoid being loud and announcing your final destination or length of stay to fellow passengers, as the information may be overheard.

Accommodation in Turkey

  • Try to stay in a hotel or guesthouse on a residential street that has a number of restaurants and late-night stores nearby. This is far safer than staying in a corporate area that will be quiet at night and less secure – but also, you have a much shorter walk back to your accommodation after dinner
  • When checking in, use only your initials and surname; avoid titles such as Ms or Mrs
  • Enquire about staff services that escort guests to their room late at night
  • If the door to your room is open or unlocked when you return, do not enter. Instead, go back to the front desk and ask a member of staff to accompany you to the room (unless you're in a hostel, where the doors are always open).

Getting around Turkey

  • Don't stand out as a tourist; avoid looking at maps in public, and walk with purpose and confidence even if you're not sure where you're going 
  • Never let on that you are traveling alone; inform inquisitive strangers that you are expecting your friend or meeting your partner
  • If you feel a car is following you when you are walking, do a quick turn and walk in the opposite direction
  • If you are traveling alone and don't want any company on a bus, coach or train, sit on the outside seat, placing your handbag, coat and jacket on the window seat. If you are in a bar or restaurant, place your coat on the back of the seat opposite you to make it look as if you have company.

Avoiding unwanted attention in Turkey

Women traveling alone may find themselves the focus of insistent male attention. These advances can make you feel uncomfortable, if not fearful for your safety. The following advice may help prevent unwanted attention:

  • Always buy your own drinks and keep your eye on them to avoid the chance of spiking
  • If you are confronted with unwelcome attention, remain calm, be polite and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. You might also wish to approach the nearest police officer or security guard
  • In the event of verbal harassment, particularly by male bystanders, pretend you cannot understand what they are saying. You might also ignore them or speak in a foreign language they are not likely to understand
  • Unwanted attention can be avoided by wearing a wedding ring. Avoiding eye contact with men or wearing dark glasses can help 

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1 Comment

  • Scb222 said

    It's all abt dress code. I lived in turkey for over 3 yrs. Never had a problem, even out late at night. Dont flirt while drinking & dress modestly.

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