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This was a new one on me, but doubtless others have run into it before — some guy came up to me asking for directions to something or other. I noticed he had a smart-type phone in his hand, so I asked him if he had Internet (so he could look up his question better than I could answer and I could go away). He shows it to me and there’s a porno in progress on the screen. I was taken by surprise, though I shouldn’t have been, but managed to spit out “Pervert!” before I crossed the street to get away from him.
This happened almost two years ago and I still feel bad for not doing anything. I was on the subway on my way to work around 8am on a weekday. At the Osmanbey stop a foreign woman in her 40s got on the train, followed by one of the oldest men I have ever seen on public transportation in Istanbul. He looked 70 years old. He sat next to the foreign woman. Once the doors shut and the train began to move, the older Turkish man moved his hand to the side of his leg and started to touch her leg. I didn’t notice it until I saw the foreign woman continue to fidget to try to move his hand away from her leg. At the next stop, she changed seats and we both were hopeful that it stop the situation. But then he moved next to her and started again. I was in shock because this man was just so old, and because I didn’t know any Turkish at that time I had no idea what to do. I’m writing this because I’m sorry that this lady had to get off the train whether or not it was her stop. I should have offered her my seat and stood up myself. Age does not excuse harassment. And I will be sure to help others in the future.
On Monday around 3pm in the afternoon I was in a home furnishing shop. I had my handbag on my left shoulder and I felt commotion on my left but an older gentleman came around on my right. He asked me to take notice of my hand bag. I pulled my bag from my shoulder and saw an enormous patch of spit on my purse. I was horrified and disgusted. I could not believe that someone had spit on me. I was disorientated and immediately upset. The older gentleman, who was well dressed, put on a sad face and made some declarations in Turkish about ‘impolite’ people. He asked me if I had a wet wipe and let me help you. My guard was completely down as he was older, well-dressed, and being germaphobic I was totally disgusted. I took out a wet wipe and he said hold the handle of your bag and he wiped it clean. Then while I was holding the handbag by the handle, he still had the bottom part in his hand, he said, ‘you have a lot on your back’. I had another handwipe in my free hand and I turned to look and wipe. As soon as I turned, he stepped closer to me, grabbed the waist band of my jeans and put his hand in my pants. He than ran away. Given the half turned position, the shock and horror of the whole thing, I had zero reaction. I was stunned. It even took me until to I came home and relaxed and thought about the sequence of events that I was able to evaluate what had happened to me.
I strongly believe that this person and many others target foreign women. Please take this as a warning to recognize this METHOD of OPERATION and if someone should approach you with something unpleasant on your clothes or purses, do not fall for it and become a victim!