Where not to stay in Istanbul

Where NOT to Stay in Istanbul – 9 Dangerous Istanbul Neighborhoods to Avoid

I can sing praise to Istanbul to the right and left and I can find hundreds of reasons why I think this city is amazing. Yet, with all my love for Istanbul, I will never tell you it is a perfect destination. Because it’s not and I am fully aware of that. I have spent a lot of time in this city and visited a lot of various neighborhoods that gave me a good understanding of the best areas where to stay in Istanbul and unsafe areas to avoid.

After writing an article about the best Istanbul neighborhoods and districts, I decided why not to put this post together and highlight some dangerous parts. Yeah, like any metropolis in the world, there are unsafe neighborhoods in Istanbul too.

Istanbul dangerous areas

When walking touristy routes full of wacky cafes and fancy shops, it may be difficult to imagine that there are parts of the city where it’s kind of scary to enter and even more so to stop. But they do exist. Some of those areas are home to drug dealers and drug addicts, counterfeiters, thieves, sex workers. Others are homes to very poor people, refugees, extremists, and very religious people who choose to live in poverty in the name of Allah.

The main feature of such areas is dilapidated houses and very dirty streets with clothes hung on the lines. Although some neighborhoods (like Balat, for instance) turned from a dangerous part of Istanbul into a center of profit. Each street there still has clothes on the lines but Balat is safe to visit and live in.

So below I am including areas where you really don’t want to stay or live in Istanbul. In fact, you don’t even want to visit. And here is why:

Where Not to Stay in Istanbul 


where not to stay in Istanbul
I took this photo near the Divan Istanbul Otel (near Taksim) while waiting for the bus to Sabiha Gokcen airport. At first, I thought it was just an old neighborhood that needed reconstruction. But the driver told me that people actually live behind those walls and advised not to try to visit because it is very dangerous, especially for the woman. So if you are in the Taksim area, remember there are a lot of dangerous areas and streets around. Know where to go and what to avoid!

I would like to start with the Dolapdere neighborhood since it was the first dangerous place in Istanbul we got to see.

Dolapdere, located within walking distance from Taksim square and Istiklal street, is one of the poorest Istanbul areas. When you start talking to locals about poverty in Istanbul, a lot of people have Dolapdere on their minds. And they will warn you to stay away from this area. Extreme poverty, violence, and devastation make up daily life here. 

Those who can afford to pay for the food and some basic accommodation leave this neighborhood as soon as they can. Drivers who by accident enter the streets of Dolapdere by car risk losing their vehicles (no joke). One taxi driver told me that he had to turn off the interior lights of the taxi, turn off the radio and hang some old clothes inside the cab before entering the neighborhood. And the only reason he was safe was because he knew someone who lived there.

When local news covers Dolapdere, we often get to see how it looks like a war-torn place. Or a setting from a horror movie with zombie-looking characters, half-naked children, and starving people. So this neighborhood next to Taxim is an area to avoid.   


unsafe areas in Istanbul
Photo taken from medium.com

Tarlabaşı neighborhood is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Istanbul. Many Turks are afraid of Tarlabaşı, the only place where 5-year-old children with knives in their hands walk around the streets.

This neighborhood is located near Taksim Square too, to be more exact near the famous Istiklal street. It is easy enough to walk in there if you are just wandering around Istiklal street, not knowing the area and going in all possible directions.

Istiklal street and Taksim Square, a favorite of all tourists, are not particularly dangerous either in daylight or in the dark. However, you shouldn’t detour far to the east or north-east from both of these areas. Also, don’t accept invitations from strangers to go to bars or clubs in that direction.

There, you’ll see a different side of Turkish life. And Tarlabaşı is one of those neighborhoods where life is completely different. Tarlabaşı is rather small but it is “famous” for the fact that some transgender sex workers and prostitutes offer their services on the streets. They can cling to you, follow, or surround. Aggressive children and teens like to hang out on the streets doing nothing. 

Also, the Tarlabaşı neighborhood is inhabited by poor Kurdish migrants and Roma people who are not welcoming at all. And overall, it’s one dirty and scary-looking place. The bravest Turk will not risk walking around Tarlabaşı and local police often ignore the calls.


Gaziosmanpaşa is a densely populated area that was a wasteland until the mid-50s of the last century. Then illegal immigrants from the Balkans followed by Romani people settled there and the authorities built orphanages and homes for the elderly. 

Since the last century and until this day this is considered to be one of the most dangerous parts of Istanbul. It is a disadvantaged place with very poor infrastructure and chaotically built buildings.

The last time I was in the area with a friend, we learned from the news that the police uncovered a den with weapons on one of the streets. The whole thing was accompanied by the presence of a police tank and a helicopter. And a week before that, there was a shooting on another street and one local guy died which, however, did not surprise anyone there.

Gaziosmanpaşa is located next to the historic center, so many people can be curious about this neighborhood and want to go explore. But don’t do that. This area is dangerous even during the day. 


Photo from dreamstime.com

This neighborhood is not as dangerous as such, it just doesn’t feel well-developed and in some parts, it looks shabby. Actually, over the past few years, a lot of things here changed and some streets have made very nice improvements, even nice hotels popped up in the area like O’Pera Okanli Suites.

In fact, the area around the Kasimpasa Stadium and around this hotel is very nice and safe, it is also close to the Istiklal street and Galata, which is quite convenient. But everything beyond that point after you cross Bulent Demir Street and Kizilay Meydani Park is more disadvantaged.

Some streets look sketchy and some houses are falling apart like no one has taken care of them for a long time. During the day it is possible to see many beggars who can follow you for a while, we even saw a drug dealer there in the shady alley as he was handing over a small bag with something and was taking money for that from a person who looked like he was on drugs. It made us feel very uncomfortable and while we didn’t feel in direct danger, we didn’t feel safe too.

So I just wouldn’t recommend you wander in that part, you won’t find there any nice Istanbul attractions anyways and there are no accommodation options besides the area around the stadium. One of our friends (locals) told us that Kasimpasa is also an area where many scammers and thieves live. 

Turkish people used to associate this area primarily with President Erdogan who was growing up on its streets. But these days they associate it with migrants from disadvantaged countries, refugees, and pickpockets. 


dangerous istanbul
Photo taken from gazetemizmir.com

Kuştepe is another dangerous area in Istanbul which is home to drug dealers, beggars, and poor refugees from Eastern Turkey. As a matter of fact, this neighborhood is part of the Şişli district that many foreigners take as one cool place where to live in Istanbul.

Don’t confuse. Şişli district consists of many neighborhoods and Kuştepe is just one of them where you definitely don’t want to live and even visit. If you type ‘Kustepe’ on the map, you’ll see a small stretch that is pretty easy to walk around.

Once together with a friend who found an apartment on Airbnb in the Kuştepe area we were getting a lift and our taxi driver, with a face full of horror, asked: “Where did I get? Even the police don’t bother to come here.” After dropping us off, he disappeared in the blink of an eye. My friend’s apartment, by the way, was a bit outside the dangerous part of Kustepe and closer to Bomonti, so it wasn’t all that bad. But she moved out earlier.



While Laleli and Aksaray are not particularly dangerous, they are in my opinion the least comfortable neighborhoods in Istanbul. Also, they are not really safe for solo female travelers, particularly women. 

For the most part, both of these neighborhoods are frequented by Eastern Europeans who come here to shop in local markets, selling leather and fur products.

However, besides the markets, Laleli is famous for prostitutes and Aksaray is known for being home to a large conservative population that lives by old traditions, is very religious, and dresses in a very conservative way. In Aksaray you will see many women wear hijabs, a lot of men dress like imams (Muslim priests) and wear turbans with thobes or robes.

If you ever get to visit this area, dress as modestly as possible. Otherwise, you risk at least getting comments or into an argument. If you come to Laleli for shopping, do it only during the day. After seven, the area becomes dangerous.

I visited both of these Istanbul neighborhoods during the day once together with Mark and to be honest, both of us felt very uncomfortable. On many occasions there were people who tried selling us something, following us or grabbing a hand. During other moments, some men could make stupid comments (in Russian or English) that didn’t make any sense or shout something our way.

If you are visiting Istanbul on a package tour or with the goal of buying in bulk from the market, then I guess staying in Laleli or Aksaray is okay. For any other reason, it’s better to choose another neighborhood.


unsafe areas in Istanbul

Few tourists travel this far as the area is located on the outskirts of the Asian side of Istanbul. But some people like us who are looking for an apartment for the long-term can find their way there. We also met some foreigners who have been to the Sultanbeyli neighborhood and in the end, they were very unhappy about that trip.

At first glance, once you arrive, the place seems to be calm and peaceful although there is nothing to do in the area. However, with the advent of dusk refugees from African countries and illegal guests from Bangladesh take to the streets.

According to the police, there are a lot of dysfunctional illegal immigrants in Sultanbeyli and this neighborhood is among the most unsafe areas in Istanbul. It is better for tourists not to go there.


I didn’t know anything about this part of Istanbul until my friend told me she was moving from there because she didn’t feel safe. 

Esenyurt, as the previous neighborhood on this list, is not really a place where tourists go. It’s mainly known among people who look for a long-term apartment in Istanbul.

If you ask locals, they’ll tell that Esenyurt is a residential area with low housing prices which is popular among expats. Maybe, I personally haven’t met any expat who was living there. But after reading a few forums, I figured that some foreigners choose this area. And some of them were saying they were happy with the choice. Maybe.

However, according to police reports, Esenyurt is the leader in calls to law enforcement due to local street fights and hooliganism. Also, apparently, some drug dealers choose it too. From time to time, news show how police arrest a drug dealer living in this neighborhood.

Esenyurt can be a good neighborhood where to live in Istanbul on a budget. Apartment complexes where you could rent or buy a flat are modern and new. And as a foreigner, you may have a quiet life. But that quietness ends just behind the fence once you close the door. The neighborhood has half-empty streets, next to modern new apartment buildings there are old gray houses where very religious residents live. 


bad areas in Istanbul

Gülsuyu is a neighborhood in Maltepe district on the Asian side of Istanbul, next to Kadikoy. Chances are really low that you’ll get there as a tourist visiting the city. Yet someone was asking me about this neighborhood as a place where to live in Istanbul with the family since he found a nice apartment on Airbnb there. Oh no, you don’t want to live in this area. Especially with children.

Overall, Maltepe district (which is pretty big if you look on the map) is not a bad place where to live in Istanbul. It has its own center and beautiful coastline. Choosing Maltepe for the long term can be a good pick but not for a short stay as a tourist. 

Maltepe Coastal area with waterfront neighborhoods of Idealtepe and Kucukyalı is absolutely safe and peaceful. The view is simply gorgeous from many apartment buildings, especially with Princes’ Islands in a distance. The sea is close. 

But you want to stay away from Gülsuyu neighborhood as it’s famous for bullies and hooligans and where it is almost impossible to go out at night because it gets unsafe. With the darkness, the police start to patrol more and look at everyone walking on the street as suspects, constantly checking their identities. 

Gülsuyu is also famous for being one creepy neighborhood where people tend to do some scary things. Some of them are burning public buses for example. If in the past they could do it when protesting a political decision, last year they burned a few buses again just because they did not leave on time. Overall, people here like to protest quite often becoming very aggressive and uncontrollable. Scary stuff, you know.

There is no police station in this neighborhood and if something happens (and it does all the time), it takes a lot of time for police to show up.

More Travel Resources For Istanbul

If you landed on this page for the first time, I can offer you so many guides and tips on Istanbul travel. You need to check all my posts, they will surely help you plan a trip. I lived in a city and now return there every year, so I have a lot to share! Take a look at some of my guides below:

And if you need help with planning your own personalized itinerary, let me know and I’ll create something special for you!

More Posts With Tips on Safety in Other Countries

Traveling to Istanbul any time soon? Even if you don't, see my post about the dangerous parts of Istanbul where not to stay or even visit. They are seriously dangerous! #istanbultravel #traveltipsforistanbul #wheretostayinistanbul

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  1. Oh wow, so many scary places to watch out for – I had no idea! I better watch my back if I ever go there as an American. Thanks.

    1. Americans will be totally safe in Istanbul or pretty much anywhere around Turkey. Bad neighborhoods exist everywhere and if you avoid them, you’ll be totally fine and enjoy the destination.

      Istanbul has 20+ million people from different backgrounds and hundreds of neighborhoods on both sides. These a few on my list are like droplets in the ocean. There are still many other fantastic, super safe, and beautiful areas!

      1. Not sure if you are still active on this page – but I am headed to Istanbul to hopefully work with and record traditional musicians – I would very much like to communicate with you about this if you think you can help – I’ll be there April 20th

          1. Hi Anya, my girlfriends and I are visiting Istanbul in May. We have some free time in the evening, so we taught we will visit Balat. We are staying in bayoglu at Grand halic hotel. Do you think it is safe for us girls alone at Balat in the evening please? Is worth visiting please? Thanks

            1. Hi Rosaly, it is safe to visit Balat at night but if you stick to its central streets with businesses. Do not walk into residential areas at night that are not well-lit and where there is nothing to do for a tourist.
              Gran Halic hotel is near the Galata neighborhood which is well connected with Balat by public buses. There is a bus #55 that stops in Balat and then near the hotel which is very convenient.

    2. Yes, Ryan as an American you def betta watch your back and front and sides. I know. I suffered as a Turkish AMERICAN. All that mattered was that I was AMERICAN. Meaning= TARGET.

    3. İ have been living in Kasımpaşa for over 2.5 years. I’m white, elderly and have never ever had a problem. The people are friendly, but then again I’m an old soldier who was previously in Libya for a year, so maybe not your average snowflake.

      1. Hey Tony, thank you for sharing! Definitely, Kasimpasa is not that bad, yet in my experience, it’s not a neighborhood to recommend to expats or digital nomads.

  2. Well. Istanbul is full of contrasts! That’s it. It can be luxurious, it can be a disaster. In my opinion, as of 2021, the city is changing into a better place, yet I can see with my own eyes kids right around Taksim inhaling glue with plastic bags in their tiny hands, beggars, poor people, etc. The difference is huge, hence the contrast. To be honest, while reading this well-written article I was dead sure the author comes from the DEVELOPED WEST 🙂 Then I reached the end and learned the author is Ukrainian, which means (me being Russian) both know what the heck is our native countries in terms of safety and poorness. Istanbul is waaay more developed, can’t speak for entire Turkey, but Istanbul is for sure. And yep, my residence is Esenyurt, where I’m moving very soon 🙂 LOL. I’ll watch my back better now. Nah, don’t sweat it that much, just be normal, no fancy-schmancy clothing and expensive stuff.

    1. Hey neighbor, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! 😉 Come back and share how your experience in Esenyurt is after you get to spend some time there. It will be very valuable information. And good luck with the move!

      1. I and my husband had visited Istanbul around 15 years ago. And, I have some wonderful memories of this place. It used to be so rich in art and culture. Things have changed a lot, particularly in the last few years due to political instabilities.

  3. Great article Anya! I haven’t been to all neighborhoods on this list but I’ve recently visited Tarlabasi and can say that it looked like a ghetto. That part near Istiklal does not really feel dangerous just shady with gloomy, angry looking people but the more I walked the more I felt uncomfortable and even unsafe. It reminded me of Fiskhorn in Detroit one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the US.

    Houses had broken windows, rags with ripped clothes instead of doors, lots of trash, remnants of the fire in a couple of places, burned tires.. at first it looked like a movie set or abandoned site. But then I figured that people actually lived there.
    I went in August during the hot day when streets were mainly empty but saw a group of half naked dirty kids playing on the street. When they saw me they started to yell something in their language and suddenly more people started to show up on all sides. Women started to look through broken windows and balconies and men walked out from the buildings. I was trying to wave and be friendly and say that I got lost and needed to get back to Taksim but everyone was just boring into me and staying quiet except for kids who kept screaming. I don’t think they could understand any english and i don’t think they were Turkish, not sure where these people could be from but they looked different from Turkish.
    I apologized and started to back up and slowly went in the same direction where I came from pretending I was still looking around like a lost tourist. Everyone kept staring at me but a few men in one group pulled penknives and started to spin them in their hands like they tried to intimidate me or show off not sure. I’d just say that felt unreal, can’t believe this world exists just a bit outside touristy and happy Taksim and Istiklal.
    I’ve been to a couple of pretty dangerous ghetto neighborhoods around the world and can tell this one was ghetto too. Definitely not a place for excursions. I’ve also read that government plans to do a big cleanup there and turn it into a new modern neighborhood, wonder if it’s going to happen any time soon.

    1. Hi Shane, thank you for sharing your story! It does sound scary to me! I am surprised you decided to go there at all. Or did you get lost?

      Yes, there were talks of demolishing old houses and cleaning up the area since it has a great location and can become a prime neighborhood but I don’t know the exact dates for that. I thought it was already in progress, looks like not yet. Who knows maybe in a few years from now Tarlabasi will become one of the most prestigious places where to live or stay!

  4. Your blogs are fantastic for those looking to travel to Istanbul and have an experience beyond typical tourist sites.

    I hope all is well with you and your family in Ukraine.

  5. Oh no, you’re contradicting your own article now aren’t you? I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Laleli from personal experience as I’ve been there and in fact was taken straight there from the Yesilyurt Airport by a taxi driver. I was sexually harassed from start to finish, during my entire time in Turkey. I spent most of it in Laleli where I stayed at this hotel where there was no running water on some days. I stayed there after fleeing the tackier one that the taxi driver dropped me off at and where I could hear sex noise (from a hooker for sure) through the crappy wall while the muezzin was calling out. So disgusting! I could write a book about all my other experiences on that trip. I could NOT wait to get the hell outta that country. Harassed every step of my stay even while trying to depart the airport. And get this: I’m Turkish American, speak the language and so on. HA! All the more outrageous that I was treated that way and had to experience this BS.

    1. Hi, thank you for this article.

      But I think Kasimpasa is a decent neighborhood if you get your hotel right.
      Lower real estate prices attract poor immigrants and that need not be a deal breaker.
      Of all the places I stayed in Istanbul, Aksaaray was the most peaceful (along with Atäkoy).

      1. Hi Muhammed, thank you for your comment. It is definitely a great addition to this post and will help others understand a little more about Kasimpasa.

  6. Hello, I didn´t finish reading this very interesting article yet. But I would like to add that Tarlabasi is not East of Taksim square and Istiklal street, but West. Of course it always depends in which direction you look. But if you look on the map of Istanbul (which is the referrence), Tarlabasi is West of Istiklal Street and Taksim Square.I jsust mention it, because it can end in problems for tourists to mix up East and West in this case. 🙂
    By the way, even the other side of Taksim square, which is leading down to Kabatas and Findikli isn´t so save anymore in the dark. Although we pay amazingly high rents there. A few months ago an US-American tourist has been killed in a side road of that side of Taksim square. And I met several toruists that have been robbed in this area.



  7. It’s a pretty far stretch to say all of Maltepe is unsafe. For example the neighbourhoods of Bostanci, Kucukyali, and Idealtepe are completely safe and full of young families and great amenities.

    1. Hi Zeynep, not all of Maltepe is unsafe, you are right. Bostanci is in Kadikoy which is overall a very safe district. Kucukyali and Idealtepe are probably the best neighborhoods where to live in Maltepe, I agree. I mentioned a few words about them to make an emphasis.
      Thank you for your input!

  8. Hello , I am considering travelling to Instanbul for a cosmetic treatment- gastric baloon treatment so not overly invasive. I have been in touch with a clinic in Esenyurt… and according to this article , it isn’t a nice area. What area would be recommended in terms of a hospital offering such service. Would appreciate any possible advice. Thank you

    1. Hi Helga,

      I wouldn’t base your decision about the treatment based on the neighborhood. The clinic can be excellent and can be offering exactly what you need. Because of their location, they can also offer much lower prices than other clinics that are situated in posh neighborhoods.

      I don’t know where exactly this clinic is located and whether you need to stay there overnight or not. But if you do need to rent a flat or hotel and get to a clinic daily, then better rent it in Beylikdüzü which is in close proximity to Esenyurt and has many buses that connect these two neighborhoods and you can always use uber to commute between your apartment and clinic. Beylikdüzü is very safe with many new buildings and reasonable prices.
      Almost on the border between Esenyurt and Beylikduzu, there is a Marmara Park Mall with almost every store you may think of, plenty of nice cafes around, and overall a nice area where to relax.

      But if you don’t speak any Turkish and plan to travel on your own and need to stay solely in Esenyurt, I’d recommend you rent accommodation close to your clinic where you can walk short distances or use uber with taxi.

      I hope this helps!

  9. Hi Anya ,
    after the terrorist attack last year . do you think is safe to visit Istanbul ? we want to go this year but we have that concerned . Thanks

    1. Hi Alexander, I don’t even know how to answer. I think it’s the same if I ask: “after a few massive shootings in the US last year, do you think it is safe now to visit America?”

      While there is a risk of a terrorist attack in Istanbul, government always takes additional security measures to prevent those. If you want to have extra confidence when visiting Istanbul, avoid public buildings, major events or large public gatherings.
      Istiklal street where the terrorist attack happened last year is a very crowded place. Even without an attack, visiting it for some people can be too much (I personally always feel anxious there because of the crowds). So you may avoid going there at all or just explore adjacent streets that have hidden cafes and street art.

      I wouldn’t miss a trip to Istanbul next year. If you plan it right and invite a guide, you’ll see this city in the best light.

  10. I’m living in Istanbul for 4 years now, and I’ve lived in the neighborhoods you’ve mentioned: Esenyurt, Kasimpasa, and Tarlabasi, now I’m living closer to Dolapdere Caddesi. I think you exaggerated how unsafe these areas are. It all depends on the exact street your house is located. Yes, you can see some unpleasant things, but as long as you are minding your own business, no one cares, even if you are a white girl.
    As a digital nomad, the apartment itself is important to me, and in these neighborhoods, you can find new, completely renovated apartments for a very decent price. Meanwhile, the neighborhoods “for ex-pats” like Moda, and Cihangir are overpopulated and very loud, and in most cases, the prices for fine apartments are 3 times higher.
    The worst experiences I had was in Moda (very loud and noisy, also a problematic old apartment) and Esenyurt (once I had a stalker, and someone tried to break into my apartment in the middle of the night).
    If you can afford to pay $1000 rent, it’s better to check Nisantasi, Etiler, or some places on Levent.

    1. Well, it depends on how you look at it.
      You are telling me how someone tried to break into your apartment in the middle of the night in Esenyurt and at the same time saying I exaggerate how unsafe these areas are where Esenyurt is one of them, that just doesn’t make sense.

      Anyways, I wrote this post based on my perception of what safety is. To me, living in a place where the chance of intrusion is high (or chance of drug traffickings like in Kustepe or stalking and robbery like in Dolapdere) is not a safe place, sorry. Even though Esenyurt is not always about the invasion, it is not a good neighborhood to live in for the reasons mentioned in this post. But of course, some people will not mind and see it as a problem.

      Speaking of Esenyurt, it is huge. So of course, there are some streets that are safer than others but overall, based on the multiple Turkish reports and what Turkish people are saying, Esenyurt (as well as other areas) is not among good places where to live in Istanbul. Yes, it is much cheaper but this is why you pay less because you are either ready to compromise on safety or you live in one of the newer complexes oriented toward people with higher incomes.

      Although I agree with you on Nisantasi, Etiler and Levent. Those are very good neighborhoods where luxury housing also has been built recently and overall they are nice and pleasant.

  11. Hi! I would have loved a map on this aricle with the areas marked somehow. I have tried Google Maps, it works, but it gives you one spot, not an area. And those next to Taksim are hard to know where they start, where is ok. Just a suggestion, maybe it would help. Thank you!

  12. Can you please
    Email me as my daughter will be travelling alone in turkey and I really need help finding the best area for her to stay safely

  13. Hi Anya,

    I just need you to understand Kurdish people are not migrants in Istanbul. Kurds are Turkish citizens they’ve just been outcasted just like the Greeks, Jews, Christians and Armenians. So when you write there are a lot of Kurdish migrants in Tarlabasi please note they are not migrants they are Kurdish citizens, according to the Government they are Turks, they have just moved from Kurdish regions of Turkey such as Mardin, Diyarbakir etc due to political unrest/poverty. They’ve moved to Istanbul for better opportunities but sadly due to their Kurdish identity they don’t always have the same opportunities as Turkish ethnic citizens. Not everyone in Turkey are able to hide their identity to have a better life and that’s a sad reality of being Turkish citizen regardless of your ethnic background. In addition, I think it’s rude of you to write transgender people live in tarlabasi and try to sell you sex, without taking in note that again these people are extremely disadvantaged and are sometimes only able to live their identity by living in areas such as Tarlabasi in order to be able to be who they are: trans-man or trans -woman because they’re not accepted in Turkish society. Sadly trans-people are not welcomed in Turkish society unless they have money or power which is the only way a trans person can exist and live where ever they want as it is only then that they are able to open doors for themselves once they have enough money to have power. So please do not talk about Tarlabasi or any other part of Istanbul with words that make it sound like these areas exist because trans people are bad or Kurds are bad people etc. if you don’t understand a country’s history do not talk about people in such low terms, it’s mean especially that you may currently be living as a migrant yourself and tbh lots of people don’t want to see Ukrainians in their country which is extremely rude and mean so I hope you can relate to other people by writing articles informing of unsafe neighbourhoods without disrespecting other minorities and by being considerate of peoples backgrounds especially their struggles. Thanks for your understanding, kindly a fellow human.

    1. Hi Cagla,

      This is kind of funny, because information about some neighborhoods in this post came from a Kurd guy who is a husband of a friend I have in Istanbul.

      Not sure if you are having sensitivity issues over specific words or you’re just one of those activists who cares more about wording not to “hurt someone’s feelings” rather than about actual problem.

      But one thing is clear – you don’t understand the meaning of ‘migrant’.

      Migrant is anyone who moves from one place to another, whether within a country or across international borders with the intention of changing their place of residence for different reasons, it has nothing to do with the citizenship. Moving from one city to another within the same country is called migration. Someone who moved from one region to another within the same country is also a migrant. I haven’t said anywhere in my post that Kurds are not Turkish citizens. Migrants – yes, they are.

      I myself am a migrant and have no problem about it, I talk about it on all sides throughout my blog, not sure why you brought it up at all together with mentioning something about Ukrainians, probably just to take a jab at me.

      Most Kurdish people who live in Istanbul are migrants no matter how you personally feel about it (as per statistics and as per personal stories from Kurds).
      But again, being a migrant has nothing to do with the citizenship and it is not a bad thing. Unfortunately though, some of them who found a way to Tarlabasi are quite unfriendly to foreigners (either because of the economic disadvantage or migration struggles, or for any other personal reasons).

      But if you would have read my other posts about other Istanbul neighborhoods, you would have noticed that I recommend specific places for a visit to learn about Kurdish culture, I say that in other neighborhoods (those that are safe) Kurdish people are incredibly friendly, and I recommend restaurants where to try Kurdish food. Because obviously, there are good and bad people within any nation and ethnic group.

      As for the second part in regards to transgender people – in recent years, Tarlabasi for some reason became an area where transgender individuals engage in sex work (obviously not all transgender people, it’s just common sense). But you seem to worry more about me stating this fact rather than about such a sad reality.
      I have nothing against transgender people in Istanbul or anywhere else. They have their life and business (in fact, there are a few bars in Istanbul owned by transgender women). There are a lot of them in Besiktas and Kadikoy. Many work in retail in Nisantasi and Moda and have high values and moral. Those who don’t – head out to Tarlabasi (by personal choice or not that’s a separate topic) and this affects tremendously lives of those who live nearby.

      I’ll say it again – Tarlabasi is a dangerous neighborhood. I experienced it on my own skin, my friends who live in Istanbul told me the same, and many other people. And Tarlabasi is unsafe not because all trans people are bad or because all Kurds are bad as you say it but because some of them do certain things in Tarlabasi (together with other migrants) that makes this neighborhood dangerous.
      And this post is aimed to tell people to stay away from Tarlabasi, considering how easy it is to walk into it because of its central location.

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