Ankara - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

More out of ignorance than anything else. A lot of remarks that would raise eyebrows in the US, but it’s usually not badly intended. - Nov 2023

Probably? But, no more so than anywhere else in the world. - Jan 2023

While an Islamic country, it still remains very secular at its roots. That said, Turkey does have a bit of a “yabanci” (foreigner) culture, and expats tend to get charged more for goods and services than Turks or Turkish speakers. This is definitely a country where you shouldn’t just take the initial rate for anything and should bargain. As you stick around longer you’ll get a better understanding of what things should cost, which will help, but obviously western looking individuals will always feel a bit like outsiders here. - Sep 2020

Men seem to have more authority than women. There are some religious differences, but do not seem to impact day-to-day life. - Oct 2018

I have found Turks have mixed feelings about non-Turks. There also seem to be gender equality issues. There are reports of domestic violence. - Oct 2018

Some issues especially with Kurds and Syrians. - Sep 2018

No. - Jul 2018

Erdogan is pushing for a more conservative country. That's seen more outside the cities, but while women at the Embassy are the equal of men amongst the secular local staff crowd, outside the Embassy women are not treated as equally. - Oct 2017

While Turkey is mostly a Muslim society, they don't tend to bother expats unless you are preaching on a street corner. I openly wear my cross to the gym and I have not had any issues. Gender equality isn't quite where it should be in Turkey, I've been told that Turkish men can be dismissive of women. But by and large there are many women in all professions in Turkey. - Sep 2017

There is a little bit of machismo in the Turkish culture and some of my female co-workers have complained that they aren't taken seriously by the locals, however, they don't have to worry about catcalls when they go out shopping as they do in some Arab countries. Turkey is still staunchly secular, however, there are political movements working to make Turkey a Muslim society. - Jun 2017

Turkey is one of the rare Muslim countries where you can have a drink at the bar while listening to the prayer call. - Jun 2016

I say all of this with a grain of salt, because individual results may vary. It is a Muslim country and call to prayer occurs five times a day, as clergy I certainly did NOT wear my collar around town, but I never noticed any overt discrimination or attacks, verbal or otherwise. Women are not treated particularly respectfully overall and more women are choosing to wear the headscarf, but there is not pressure to do so, particularly as an expat (shorts and tank tops are not uncommon, although cleavage is). When I was mistaken for a Turkish woman, I was subject to a level of sexual harassment that was sort-of ingrained into the men (I never sat alone in a restaurant, but I do know women who could and did). - Aug 2015

Not any that I've noticed. - Jun 2015

Not that I have noticed. - Apr 2015

Yes. While there are a lot of secular Turks, the conservative push is happening. Prejudices against the Roma and against refugees (which is increasing greatly every month) are common. Having said that though, the Turks are fantastic with children and the elderly - amazingly fantastic - and once you get out of the city mentality you will discover why Turkish hospitality is famed around the world. - Feb 2015

Nothing I notice or that impacts my quality of life here. - Jun 2014

Not aware. - Apr 2014

None. I find Turks in Ankara and all through Turkey are very kind to all people. In fact most Turks are interested in asking about Church, Christmas, Easter etc... - Mar 2014

Yes, the country is becoming more Muslim and more prejudiced towards gays, women, etc. - Mar 2014

I have not experienced any, but I have not delved deeply into Turkish life or Turkish culture. - Jul 2013

Have not witnessed many problems. - Aug 2011

None that I've seen. There is some diversity in Ankara because of the multiple diplomatic communities. Outside of Ankara (or other big cities) it can be different. People would stare if you look really non-Turkish. I have a couple of African American friends, and they tell me when they go to rural towns in Turkey, people want to take pictures with them. - Jul 2010

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