Category: Stories

Photos of Headscarves in the Turkish Parliment

There was a flurry of excitement and attention in the Turkish parliament today, with female lawmakers attending a parliamentary session wearing headscarves for the first time in a very long time. People should be able to present themselves how they wish in public without fear of reprisals or discrimination. Link via  

Angela’s Story: “Made me feel helpless”

I was walking through a crowded market when a man grabbed my behind. I felt very uncomfortable and on edge for the entire trip after the incident. Being a foreigner who didn’t speak the language I felt like I couldn’t confront my harasser which made me feel helpless and tainted my impression of Istanbul. [got_back]

Nikki’s Story: The whole thing was out of control

When we asked our hotel for a recommendation on a place to celebrate the new year, our concierge warned us off Taksim Square/Istikal Street because it was too unsafe. He recommended a place close to the Osenbey metro stop. The fireworks show came to a close shortly after midnight, my cousin and I try to … Continued

KQ’s Story: I was taken by surprise

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 … Continued

Liz’s Story: Stalked & Grabbed on a Morning Run

I am training for the Istanbul marathon and went out for a long run this morning. Near Besiktas a man on a bike cut me off, a little while later I realized he had doubled back and was following me. He started talking to me a bit and I tried brushing him off. He went … Continued

Taking Control By Alyson Neel

A couple nights ago I was ambushed by a group of teenagers. While it was the most invasive and violent form of harassment I’ve suffered yet, the night ended with me feeling the most empowered I’ve ever felt after being harassed. I’ve lived in Istanbul – on both the Asian and European sides – for … Continued

Danielle’s Story: “Why is this happening?”

After living in Turkey for an extensive amount of time, I was used to the general “cat calls” and typical Turkish men’s expressions while walking down the street. No matter how I dressed, I was always looked at as if I were a “piece of meat”, or as if the Turkish men had never seen … Continued

Gail’s story: “He looked quite crazy”

I was followed by a guy who just started staring at me on the ship. When I got down he was walking in front of me but still looking back. When I stopped he stopped and waited for me. I understood this and I got a bit scared, he looked quite crazy. It was afternoon … Continued

Dina’s Story: Apologizes to My Face, Calls Me a B*tch to My Back

After spending 3 weeks in the country of the free (relatively free) – Russia- where people wear anything they want (up to pulling colorful tights over their heads) without fearing the public opinion, I returned to Istanbul. Going for 2 days without being harassed in public (probably because of not going out much) I gathered … Continued

Amy’s Story: It was disgusting, truly disgusting

I left work early to pick up my laptop from the shop. Rather than take the metro I thought, ‘I should really walk more. Why don’t I take these opportunities to walk and see more of the city.’ Just ten minutes later I was angrily reminded why. Walking down the street, a truck for a … Continued