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Is Istanbul Safe?

Some of the methods of operation used by local pick-pockets and purse-snatchers include:

  • A staged "fight" or "chase scene" on the sidewalk that draws the attention of passersby -- while the thief reaches for wallets and purses. Recently these actions have increased in complexity utilizing up to five men in a choreographed chase/fight that culminates where the victim is standing. Escape is sometimes by a taxi working for the thieves. Defensive response: Immediately move into a shop, doorway or away from the attack site. Shout "police" if necessary.
  • A stranger spilling something on the victim and then taking his wallet while pretending to help clean up the mess.
  • An individual carrying boxes "bumps" into the victim while an accomplice takes the wallet.
  • A stranger bumps into victim saying "pardon" and takes the money.
  • Women's purses have been taken by utilizing deception/distraction and by simply snatching the purse and running.
  • The sidewalks have been worked successfully by teams of gypsy women and children. They usually block the victim's route, distract, ask questions, and/or request medical assistance while the children reach into the victim's purse taking the money. The victim usually realizes a robbery has occurred only later after the thieves have departed the area.

The Sari Konak Oteli
The Finest of Old Town Istanbul Hotels

Mr. and Mrs. Okan are the hosts of Istanbul Hotel Sari Konak. After many years of hotel management experience, the couple opened Hotel Sari Konak in 1996. Today, with their two sons, they are personally in charge. The staff of Hotel Sari Konak in Istanbul takes great pride in offering its guests a charming "home away from home." We look forward to welcoming you.

Our Staff

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