Context sobre Istanbul

Istanbul (turc: İstanbul), coneguda antigament com a Ligos, Bizanci i Constantinoble, és la ciutat més gran de Turquia i el seu centre econòmic, cultural i històric. Situada a les dues ribes de l'estret del Bòsfor, a la confluència entre Europa i Àsia, és el principal port del país i inclou el port natural conegut com el Corn d'Or (Haliç en turc), travessat pel famós pont de Gàlata. La ciutat també és la capital administrativa de la província d'Istanbul. A 2022, la seva població és de 15.907.951 persones, cosa que en fa la ciutat més poblada d'Europa.

Des de l'any 2004, els límits de la província i de la ciutat d'Istanbul són els mateixos.

L'emperador romà Constantí el Gran va refundar la ciutat i la va anomenar Constantinoble en honor seu, a l'emplaçament de l'antiga colònia grega de Bizanci. Arran de la partició de l'Imperi Romà, en va esdevenir c...Llegeix més

Istanbul (turc: İstanbul), coneguda antigament com a Ligos, Bizanci i Constantinoble, és la ciutat més gran de Turquia i el seu centre econòmic, cultural i històric. Situada a les dues ribes de l'estret del Bòsfor, a la confluència entre Europa i Àsia, és el principal port del país i inclou el port natural conegut com el Corn d'Or (Haliç en turc), travessat pel famós pont de Gàlata. La ciutat també és la capital administrativa de la província d'Istanbul. A 2022, la seva població és de 15.907.951 persones, cosa que en fa la ciutat més poblada d'Europa.

Des de l'any 2004, els límits de la província i de la ciutat d'Istanbul són els mateixos.

L'emperador romà Constantí el Gran va refundar la ciutat i la va anomenar Constantinoble en honor seu, a l'emplaçament de l'antiga colònia grega de Bizanci. Arran de la partició de l'Imperi Romà, en va esdevenir capital de la part oriental, coneguda com a Imperi Romà d'Orient. Després de la caiguda de Constantinoble el 1453, va entrar a formar part de l'Imperi Otomà i de seguida en va esdevenir la capital. Abans de la conquesta, els turcs l'anomenaven İstanbul, però oficialment utilitzaven el nom àrab de Qusţanţaniyyeh (قسطنطنيه), en el sentit de 'Ciutat de Constantí'. Només fou a partir del 28 de març de 1930 que la ciutat fou reanomenada Istanbul de forma oficial.

Les zones històriques d'Istanbul van ser declarades Patrimoni de la Humanitat per la UNESCO l'any 1985, pels seus importants monuments i restes històriques.

Més sobre Istanbul

Informació bàsica
  • Nom natiu İstanbul
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Població 14804116
  • Àrea 5343
Història
  • Fundació de Bizanci  La mesquita Nova des del Corn d'Or

    El primer nom que va rebre Istanbul va ser Ligos. Els colons grecs de Mègara s'hi van establir el 667 aC i la van rebatejar com a «Bizanci» en honor del seu rei, Bizas. El nom «Bizanci» és una transliteració del nom grec original Βυζάντιον. En grec modern demòtic es pronuncia Βυζάντιο, /vi.za.ⁿdjo/.

    ...Llegeix més
    Fundació de Bizanci  La mesquita Nova des del Corn d'Or

    El primer nom que va rebre Istanbul va ser Ligos. Els colons grecs de Mègara s'hi van establir el 667 aC i la van rebatejar com a «Bizanci» en honor del seu rei, Bizas. El nom «Bizanci» és una transliteració del nom grec original Βυζάντιον. En grec modern demòtic es pronuncia Βυζάντιο, /vi.za.ⁿdjo/.

    Al llarg dels anys la ciutat ha estat a mans dels perses, que la van ocupar i destruir al segle v aC. Recuperada per l'espartà Pausànias l'any 479 aC, va començar a reconstruir-la el 478 aC. Més tard Esparta va haver de disputar-se'n el control amb els atenesos, els quals la van prendre el 409 aC, però en van ser expulsats el 405 aC, encara que el 390 aC va tornar a mans ateneses.

    Entre el 336 i el 323 aC va estar a mans dels macedonis, durant el regnat d'Alexandre Magne. Després la ciutat va recuperar certa independència, llevat de quan en el 279 aC els celtes van conquerir Tràcia i van imposar un tribut a Bizanci.

    Imperi Romà d'Orient

    L'estratègica posició de Bizanci va atreure l'emperador romà Constantí I el Gran, que l'any 330 va fundar de nou la ciutat com a «Nova Roma» o «Constantinopolis» en el seu honor (Constantinoble, en grec: Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstandinúpolis) i la va convertir en capital de l'Imperi Romà. Després de la divisió de l'Imperi Romà el 395, la part d'Orient va passar a la historiografia moderna amb el nom d'Imperi Romà d'Orient. El nom de «Nova Roma» no es va emprar mai amb freqüència, i va ser «Constantinoble» el que va prevaler fins a la caiguda de l'imperi el 1453. Aquesta denominació es va mantenir fins al segle xx en lloc d'Istanbul, i avui dia encara es fa servir a Grècia.

    La combinació d'imperialisme i posició estratègica tingueren un paper important, com a cruïlla entre dos continents (Europa i Àsia), i més tard com un incentiu per a l'Àfrica i altres territoris, en termes de comerç, cultura, diplomàcia i estratègia. En un enclavament tan valuós, Constantinoble era capaç de controlar la ruta entre Àsia i Europa, així com el pas del mar Mediterrani al mar Negre. Això va fer que mentre que la part occidental de l'Imperi Romà va entrar en una crisi econòmica, comercial, política i demogràfica, Constantinoble mantingué la seva posició durant segles, i esdevingué la gran urbs europea medieval.

    Del primer període d'esplendor de l'imperi destaca l'església de Santa Sofia, obra mestra de l'art romà d'Orient que va manar construir l'emperador Justinià I. Després d'una petita crisi en els segles vii i viii, tornaria una altra etapa de renaixement en el ix i x, amb el Gran Cisma d'Orient, després de la qual vindria la decadència de l'imperi amb les croades, la divisió en diversos estats com l'Imperi Llatí, i la constant amenaça turca. No obstant això la ciutat mantindria la seva importància com a centre cultural i comercial de la Mediterrània, amb consolats i colònies de mercaders de diversos països.

    L'últim emperador (o basileu) romà d'Orient va ser Constantí XI, que va morir en la defensa de la ciutat.

    Quarta Croada

    El 1202, un exèrcit de 34.000 soldats va respondre a la crida del papa Innocenci III, que convocava una nova croada a Terra Santa. Aquesta força irregular de cristians mancava de fons per a anar més enllà de Venècia, on necessitaven vaixells. Van caure sota la influència d'Enrico Dandolo, el manipulador dux de Venècia. Amb el seu suport, els croats van anar cap a Constantinoble, on van ajudar Aleix IV a accedir al tron.

    Tanmateix, quan es van adonar que no hi havia gaires possibilitats de cobrar la recompensa promesa per l'emperador, els croats van perdre la paciència i van llançar un nou atac deposant Aleix en favor d'un dels seus, Balduí I, comte de Flandes. En els anys posteriors, durant l'anomenat Imperi Llatí, l'opulenta ciutat en altres temps va ser reduïda pel pillatge, el mal govern i l'emigració a pobles situats més enllà de les muralles de la ciutat. Els emperadors romans d'Orient, expulsats de Constantinoble, van superar els mals temps unint-se a l'Imperi de Nicea, amb capital a Nicea.

    El declivi de Constantinoble

    El 1261, Miquel VIII Paleòleg (1258-1282) va recuperar Constantinoble i va restaurar l'Imperi Romà d'Orient, sense amb prou feines trobar resistència. Aquesta acció va ser possible gràcies a l'ajuda de Gènova, que sempre estava disposada a lluitar contra el seu rival, Venècia. Però de nou la ciutat va tenir un tribut que la mutilava. Els genovesos van establir la colònia de Pera al costat del Corn d'Or, davant Constantinoble, i van passar a exercir un control efectiu del comerç de la ciutat.

    El rescat i la reconstrucció de Constantinoble va implicar el floriment de l'activitat artística i de l'erudició. Una mostra dels bells edificis aixecats en aquell període és l'església de Sant Salvador de Cora.

    Durant aquest període es va adoptar l'àguila bicèfala com a escut imperial; els caps simbolitzaven els sectors oriental i occidental de l'imperi. Tanmateix, aviat va créixer la discòrdia a Constantinoble en plantejar-se una disputa sobre la successió entre Andrònic II (1282- 1328) i el seu net Andrònic III (1328- 1341), que va portar a la guerra civil de 1321-1354.

    Imperi Otomà

    La caiguda de Constantinoble sota domini turc el 29 de maig de 1453 va ser un esdeveniment que va impactar la societat europea de l'època i que es considera el final de l'edat mitjana. La ciutat va caure després d'un llarg setge i anys de conflictes amb els turcs, que ja havien conquerit la resta de l'Imperi Romà d'Orient, a causa de la tenacitat del soldà Mehmet II, anomenat aleshores Fatih, en turc 'El Conquistador', i va formar part de l'Imperi Otomà fins a la dissolució oficial l'1 de novembre de 1922. Els otomans van denominar la ciutat İstanbul o Istambul, derivat de l'expressió grega εἰς τὴν πόλιν (is tin polin), que significa 'cap a la ciutat'.[1]

    Durant el període otomà la ciutat va franquejar un canvi cultural complet, i va passar de ser una ciutat romana d'Orient imperial i cristiana ortodoxa a una altra d'otomana i islàmica. Hagia Sophia, l'església de la Divina Saviesa, va ser convertida en una mesquita com ho van ser algunes altres esglésies de la ciutat (sobretot les esglésies dels barris que van posar més esforç a defensar la ciutat contra Mehmet II). Moltes esglésies es van conservar i noves mesquites es van construir al voltant de la ciutat; cada soldà ha construït una magnífica mesquita per commemorar el seu regnat.

    Els ordes sufís, tan estesos en el món islàmic de llavors, tenien nombrosos deixebles que havien participat en la conquesta de la ciutat i s'havien traslladat per instal·lar-se a la capital. Durant l'Imperi Otomà, més de 100 tekkes (centres de reunió i retir a la manera dels monestirs cristians en els quals es feien rituals sufís) estaven actius només a Istanbul. Molts d'aquests tekkes encara perviuen actualment, uns en forma de mesquites i altres com a museus. Un element pintoresc del paisatge de certes zones de la ciutat d'Istanbul, que encara perviu avui en dia, són les türbes, característiques tombes del període otomà.

    República de Turquia  Tramvia d'època que actualment cobreix la línia Kadköy-Moda, al districte de Kadıköy, en la part asiàtica d'Istanbul

    Quan la República de Turquia va ser establerta per Mustafa Kemal Atatürk el 29 d'octubre de 1923, la capital va ser traslladada de Constantinoble a Ankara. Es va adoptar İstanbul com a nom oficial el 1930.[2] En els primers anys de la república, Istanbul es va deixar de banda en favor de la nova capital Ankara, però durant la dècada dels anys 50 i 60 Istanbul es va sotmetre a un gran canvi estructural. La ciutat, en el seu dia amb una comunitat nombrosa i pròspera grega, hereus dels orígens grecs de la ciutat, va bandejar-la després dels luctuosos esdeveniments del 6 i el 7 de setembre de 1955, en què una torba embogida va atacar i assaltar les comunitats cristianes (armenis i grecs) a Beyoğlu, sense lamentar massa danys personals, encara que un gran nombre de grecs van abandonar les seves llars i van viatjar a la veïna Grècia.

    En els anys 1950 el govern d'Adnan Menderes va procurar desenvolupar el país en el seu conjunt, i es van construir en tot el país noves autopistes i xarxes de carreteres així com fàbriques. Una moderna xarxa viària va ser construïda a Istanbul, però en alguns casos, lamentablement, a compte de la demolició d'edificis històrics a l'interior de la ciutat.

     Modern tramvia de la ciutat d'Istanbul

    Durant els anys 70 la població d'Istanbul va començar a augmentar ràpidament en el moment en què la gent d'Anatòlia va emigrar a la ciutat per trobar feina en moltes de les noves fàbriques construïdes als afores de la ciutat. Aquest brusc i sobtat augment de la població va provocar una explosió immobiliària, la construcció d'edificis no es va detenir (alguns de mala qualitat i que pateixen durant els freqüents terratrèmols que colpegen la ciutat). Durant aquest creixement desmesurat molts pobles situats prop de la perifèria de la ciutat van ser absorbits per la gran metròpoli d'Istanbul.

    Ruiz-Domènec, Hernández de la Fuente i García, 2022, p. 31. DeNovo, John A. American Interests and Policies in the Middle East, 1900-1939 (en anglès). University of Minnesota Press, 1963, p. 229. ISBN 0816657424. 
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Stay safe
  • Stay safe As with most European cities, but especially in crowded areas of Istanbul, watch your pockets and travel documents as pickpockets have devised all sorts of strategies to obtain them from you. Do not rely too much on the 'safe' feeling you get from the omnipresence of police.If prices are not on display, always ask beforehand (even for a tea) instead of just ordering something like in Europe. This can be fatal in Istanbul because tourists are constantly overcharged. Unfortunately, often prices are not on display, like in sweet shops or even restaurants. Skip these places or ask for a price knowing what the approximate or fair price is.Istanbul is home to three of the biggest clubs in Turkey and maybe European football: Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, and Galatasaray. It is advisable not to wear colours associating yourself with any of the clubs—black&white, navy&yellow, and red&yellow respectively, particularly on the days of matches between the sides due to the fearsome rivalry they share.In Istanbul, most drivers won't abide any rules. Even if you have priority on a road junction, crosswalk, or even during green light, always be aware of your surroundings. Even if you are in a one way road, check both sides before crossing the road. It is common for Turkish drivers to use shortcuts.A major earthquake with epicenter in the nearby Sea of Marmara is expected within the next few decades, so read the earthquake safety article here before you arrive.Scams

    Note, most of the following summaries are already almost 10 years old....Llegeix més

    Stay safe As with most European cities, but especially in crowded areas of Istanbul, watch your pockets and travel documents as pickpockets have devised all sorts of strategies to obtain them from you. Do not rely too much on the 'safe' feeling you get from the omnipresence of police.If prices are not on display, always ask beforehand (even for a tea) instead of just ordering something like in Europe. This can be fatal in Istanbul because tourists are constantly overcharged. Unfortunately, often prices are not on display, like in sweet shops or even restaurants. Skip these places or ask for a price knowing what the approximate or fair price is.Istanbul is home to three of the biggest clubs in Turkey and maybe European football: Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, and Galatasaray. It is advisable not to wear colours associating yourself with any of the clubs—black&white, navy&yellow, and red&yellow respectively, particularly on the days of matches between the sides due to the fearsome rivalry they share.In Istanbul, most drivers won't abide any rules. Even if you have priority on a road junction, crosswalk, or even during green light, always be aware of your surroundings. Even if you are in a one way road, check both sides before crossing the road. It is common for Turkish drivers to use shortcuts.A major earthquake with epicenter in the nearby Sea of Marmara is expected within the next few decades, so read the earthquake safety article here before you arrive.Scams

    Note, most of the following summaries are already almost 10 years old. Turkey has changed a lot since then, due to modernization, political uproar, the war in Syria, and many other things. Nowadays, the situation is actually far less fierce as it may seem in these outlines. So, relax! Nevertheless, know and read about them, to be aware. The most important ones are the overpriced night clubs and bars, pickpocketing and overly friendly strangers.

    Blue Mosque scam "guides"

    When walking through the gates of the Blue Mosque, beware of smiling, friendly chaps who offer immediately to be your de-facto guide through the mosque and its surrounds; they'd be pretty informative on just about anything relating to the mosque; etiquette, history and Islamic practices. However, they eventually demand a price for their "services", a fee that can be as high as 50 TL. You would be better off booking a private tour online; or not at all, since the mosque is essentially free to all anyway.

    Restaurant scams

    A notable scam for convincing tourists to visit overpriced restaurants with mediocre food involves the following:

    While walking along, you are overtaken by a Turkish man who claims to recognize you from the hotel at which you are staying (e.g. he will tell you that he works there as a waiter or a receptionist). He will ask where you are going. If you are going out for food, he will recommend a restaurant, claiming that it is where he takes his family or friends when they eat out. He may give you some other advice (e.g. the best time to visit the Topkapi palace) to make the conversation feel genuine and friendly. The restaurant he recommends will almost certainly be mediocre or low quality, and the staff there will try to sell you expensive dishes without you realizing. For instance, they may promote dishes which are marked as 'MP' (market price) on the menu, such as 'salt fish' (fish baked in salt), which may cost over 100 TL. They may also serve you additional dishes which you haven't ordered and then add them to the bill for an additional 25-50 TL, together with extra charges for service and tax. One restaurant that seems to be using this scam to get customers is Haci Baba in Sultanahmet.

    Bar and club scams

    High-drink price scams encountered in so-called night-clubs mostly located in Aksaray, Beyazit and Taksim areas. These clubs usually charge overpriced bills, based on a replica of the original menu, or simply on the menu that had been standing upside down on the table. Two or three drinks can already produce a fantasy bill that easily exceeds 1,000 TL.

    Also be aware of friendly behaving groups of young men or male-female couples striking up a conversation in the street and inviting you to a "good nightclub they know". This has frequently been reported as a prelude to such a scam. The people in on the scam may offer to take you to dinner first, in order to lower your suspicions. Another way they will try to lure you in is by talking to you in Turkish, and when you mumble back in your language they will be surprised you're not Turkish and immediately will feel the urge to repay you for their accident with a beer.

    Another variant of this involves an invitation in Taksim to male tourists to buy them beer (as they were "guests"). At the club, attractive women, also with beers, join them. When the bill comes, the person inviting the tourists denies having said he would pay for the drinks, and a large bill is presented, e.g. for 1500 TL; when the tourists object, burly "security" personnel emerge to accompany the tourists to an ATM (presumably to clean out their bank account). Any bar that looks like it could be a strip club is more than likely a scam joint.

    In either of these scams, if you refuse to pay the high prices or try to call the police (dial #155) to file a complaint, the club managers may use physical intimidation to bring the impasse to a close. If you find yourself in such a situation for any reason, you should do whatever they want you to do, pay the bill, buy the things they are forcing you to buy, etc. Try to get out of the situation as soon as possible, go to a safe place and call the police.

    Water scams

    Also be wary of men in Taksim who splash water on the backs of your neck. When you turn around, they will try to start a fight with you as another man comes in and robs you. These men tend to carry knives and can be very dangerous.

    Lira/euro scams

    A frequent scam, often in smaller hotels (but it can also happen in a variety of other contexts), is to quote prices in lira and then later, when payment is due, claim the price was given in euros. Hotels which reject payment early in a stay and prefer you to "pay when you leave" should raise suspicions. Hotels which operate this scam often offer excellent service and accommodation at a reasonable price and know most guests will conclude as much and pay without complaint - thus this can be a sign of a good hotel.

    Another scam is coin-related and happens just as you're walking into the streets. A Turkish guy holds you and asks where you are from. If you mention a euro-country, the guy wants you to change a €50-note from you into €2-coins he is showing. He is holding the coins stack-wise in his hands. For the trouble, he says he will offer you '30 €2-coins, making €60 in total'. Do not agree with this exchange of money, as the first coin is indeed a €2-coin, but (many of) the rest of the coins will probably be 1-lira coins (looking very similar), but worth only 1/4 of the value of €2.

    Many bars in the Taksim area give you counterfeit bills. They are usually well-made and hard to identify as fakes in the dark. One way to verify a bill's authenticity is to check its size against another one. Another is to hold the bill up to a strong light, face side up, and check for an outline of the same face which is on the bill. The value of the bill (20, 50, etc.) should appear next to the outline, light and translucent. If either of these two security features are missing, try to have the bill changed or speak to the police.

    Some taxi drivers agree on a price only to tell you your lira bills are counterfeit, or invalid, or have a wrong serial number. This is a scam to have you paying in Euro or USD, usually for a much higher price since they'll claim they don't have change.

    Shoebrush

    Some men will walk around Taksim (or other tourist-frequented areas) with a shoeshine kit, and the brush will fall off. This is a scam to cause some Western tourist with a conscience to pick it up and return it to the owner, who will then express gratitude and offer to shine your shoes for free. While doing that, he will talk about how he is from another city and how he has a sick child. At the end, the shiner will demand a much higher price for the "free" services provided than is the actual market norm. A similar trick is to ask for a cigarette and proceed similarly.

    If you actively decide that you would like your shoes shined, then expect to pay not more than 5 TL for both.

    Taxi drivers

    Taxis are plentiful in Istanbul and inexpensive by Western European and American standards. They can be picked up at taxi hubs throughout the city or on the streets. Empty cabs on the streets will honk at pedestrians to see if they would like a ride, or cabs can be hailed by pedestrians by making eye contact with the driver and waving. Few taxi drivers speak languages other than Turkish, but do a fair job at deciphering mispronounced location names given by foreign riders. It is advisable to have the name of the destination written down and try to have a map beforehand to show the driver, to avoid any misunderstanding and also potential scams. Though taxis are plentiful, be aware that taxis are harder to find during peak traffic hours and traffic jams and when it is raining and snowing. They are also less frequent during nights, depending on the area and are hard to find after midnight.

    Try to avoid using taxis for short distances (5–10 minutes of walk) if possible. Some taxi drivers can be annoyed with this, especially if you called the cab from a taxi hub instead of hailing it from the street. If you want taxis for short distances, just hail them from the street, do not go to the taxi hub.

    Few taxis have seatbelts, and some drivers may seem to be reckless. If you wish for the driver to slow down, say "yavash lütfen" (slow please). Your request may or may not be honored.

    As in any major city, tourists are more vulnerable to taxi scams than locals. Be aware that taxi drivers use cars affiliated with a particular hub, and that the name and phone number of the hub, as well as the license plate number, are written on the side of each car. Noting or photographing this information may be useful if you run into problems. In general, riding in taxis affiliated with major hotels (Hilton, Marriot, Ritz, etc.) is safe, and it is not necessary to stay in these hotels to use a taxis leaving from their hubs.

    Others may take unnecessarily long routes to increase the amount due (although sometimes alternate routes are also taken to avoid Istanbul traffic, which can be very bad). Some scams involve the payment transaction; for example, if the rider pays 50 TL when only 20 TL are needed, the driver may quickly switch it with a 5 TL note and insist that the rest of the 20 TL is still due or may switch the real bill for a fake one and insist that different money be given.

    Methods to avoid taxi scams:

    1. Sit in the front passenger seat. Watch the meter. Watch the driver's actions (beeping the horn, pumping the brakes, etc.) and note what the taximeter does. While it is rare, some drivers will wire parts of their controls to increase the fare upon activation. If you're with your significant other, do it anyway. Save the cuddling for after the ride. Check if the seal on the taximeter is broken. Use your phone for light. This will make the driver realize that you are cautious. For women it is better to sit in the back seat (where you can see the meter from the middle), as there are occasionally problems with taxi drivers getting overly friendly, and sitting in the front is a sign that a woman welcomes such behavior.

    2. Ask "How much to go to...?" (basic English is understood), before getting in the taxi. Price will be quite accurate to the one in the taximeter at the end of the ride. If the price sounds ok for you, get in the cab and tell them to put the Taximeter on. The rate they are applying is same during night and day.

    3. Know the route. If you have a chance, find a map and demand that the driver take your chosen route to the destination. Oftentimes they will drive the long way or pretend not to know where you're going in order to get more money out of you. If the driver claims not to know the route to a major landmark or gathering place, refuse his services as he is likely lying.

    4. Choose an elderly driver. Elderly taxi drivers are less likely to cheat passengers.

    5. Let taxi driver see money on your hands and show values and take commitment on it. This is 50 lira. OK? Take this 50 lira and give 30 lira back OK?. This guarantees your money value. Otherwise, your 50 lira can be 5 lira immediately on his hands. Try to have always 10 lira or 20 lira bills in your wallet. This makes money scams in general more difficult. If you realize that the driver tried to use the 50 lira to 5 lira trick on you, call the police (#155) immediately and write down the license plate.

    6. Create a big scene if there is a problem. If you are absolutely positive you have been subject to a scam, threaten to or call the police and, if you feel it will help, start yelling. Taxi drivers will only rip off those they think will fall for it; creating a scene draws attention to them and will make it easier to pay the correct rate.

    Overpricing

    Watch the menu carefully in street cafes for signs that prices are not discriminatory — if prices are clearly over-inflated, simply leave. A good indication of over inflation is the circulation of two different types of menu — the "foreigner" menu is typically printed on a laminated card with menu prices written in laundry marker/texta, i.e., prices not be printed; in these cases, expect that prices for foreigners will be highly inflated (300% or higher).

    While this is not really a problem in Beyoğlu or Ortaköy, avoiding the open air cafes toward the rear courtyard of the Spice Bazaar (Sultanahmet) is wise. The area immediately north of the Spice Bazaar is also crawling with touts for these 'infamous' cafes.

    Having nargile (water pipe) is a famous activity in Istanbul,Tophane(top-hane)is a famous location for this activity where a huge number of nargile shops are available and can easily be reached by the tram, avoiding a place called "Ali Baba" in Tophane is wise, usually you will be served there with plates you did not ask for like a nuts plate, and expect to have a bill of around US$50 for your nargile!

    Stalking

    Men intent on stalking foreign women may be present in tourist locations. Such men may presume that foreigners have a lot of money or liberal values and may approach foreign women in a flirtatious or forward manner looking for sex or for money (either by theft or selling over-priced goods). If you are being harassed, use common sense and go to where other people are; often this is the nearest store. Creating a public scene will deter many stalkers, and these phrases may be useful in such cases:

    İmdat! – "Help!" Ayıp! – "Rude!" Bırak beni! – "Leave me alone!" Dur! – "Stop!" Gider misin?! – "Will you go?!"

    Or to really ruin him:

    Beni takip etme! – "Stop stalking me!" Polisi arıyorum – "I'm calling the cops!"

    Occasionally try not to use Turkish as the stalker will like it more, just scream and run and find a safer place with crowd and police.

    Tourism Police

    Istanbul PD has a "Tourism Police" department where travelers may report passport loss and theft or any other criminal activity by which they are victimized. They have an office in Sultanahmet and can reportedly speak English, German, French, and Arabic.

    Tourism Police (Turizm Polisi), Yerebatan Caddesi 6, Sultanahmet (in the yellow wooden building between Hagia Sophia and the entrance of Basilica Cistern, few meters away from each), ☏ +90 212 527 45 03, fax: +90 212 512 76 76.
    Llegeix menys

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