Ankara - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Ankara is a very low crime city, and we’ve never felt unsafe walking around alone or after dark. There is still the possibility for terrorism, and expel should always remain alert to their surroundings. While we have not experienced many anti-American sentiments, we do try to keep a low profile. Driving is likely the most dangerous aspect of day to day life in Turkey, as most drivers are quite erratic. Driving the wrong way down one way streets is common, along with making multiple lanes where there are only one or two marked. - Sep 2020


Although there were many terrorist incidents, a coup attempt, and anti-Americanism is generally high, we personally never felt threatened. Personal awareness and attention to events happening around the city (e.g., election rallies) are musts when moving about. A healthy deployment of common street sense sufficed. - Oct 2018


In my opinion, very high terrorist threat. Per my recollection, we had 16 major terrorist attacks in Turkey during my 2.5 years. The risks are always at the back of your mind. - Oct 2018


Terrorism is the main concern here, however, the local security forces are very capable and have been doing a good job of thwarting attacks. - Sep 2018


No. - Jul 2018


There has been growing anti-Americanism of late, with some hassling of American and local staff when going to the embassy or consulates. The press here makes it seem like the U.S. is waging war on Turkey, which of course we're not, and most Turks don't buy into that, but some will if Turkish pride is questioned. Turks are like Arabs in that they pride themselves on hospitality and kindness to strangers, but they are quick to be slighted and jump to anger if they feel insulted. - Oct 2017


Terrorism is always an issue here and was a much larger problem when I first arrived in February, 2016. Things seem to have quieted down considerably since then. It doesn't seem to affect people on a day to day basis as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and avoid crowds whenever possible. - Sep 2017


Crime is lower than you would expect at any major city in the US. The threat of terrorism keeps people on edge. Terrorist groups are active throughout Turkey, however, as long as you keep a low profile and limit your exposure to known tourist locations you can mitigate much of the danger. - Jun 2017


Yes. This is one of the biggest challenges. In terms of crime, it is almost non-existent. But there is heightened awareness of terrorism and violence after the last several years and the entire embassy community is on edge. You kind of wait for the next "event" to happen. That said, many of us LOVE living here and don't feel like the threat is so severe that we need to leave. - Sep 2016


Due to recent events we get security advisories on and off, but it still feels very safe. - Jun 2016


Definitely the closer you get to the Syrian/Iraqi/Iranian border, the greater the security concerns. Protests in the center of town are announced so you can remain away, and Regional Security Office is excellent about keeping folks in formed. Fears run high and low like the tide, but it doesn't slow down life as usual for the most part. - Aug 2015


Avoid protests. Watch the news and keep up with RSO notices. If you stay aware of your surroundings you'll be ok. - Jun 2015


Ankara doesn't have a large problem with violent crimes, although you hear about pickpockets in some of the more crowded areas of the city. You see Syrian refugees begging on the streets in Ankara, but I haven't heard of them causing any violence. Given the situation in Syria and Iraq right now, there are concerns, but mostly in the south of the country. Terrorist groups (PKK and DHKP-C) have been a concern in Turkey for years. As in most countries, try to be smart about your travels, and you should be fine. - Apr 2015


Yes. If you look at Turkey's neighbors, there is a lot going on in the region. There was also the attack on the U.S. Embassy on Feb 1, 2013 with concerns still involving the same group responsible. Demonstrations and protests often result in excessive force (water cannon and tear gas). Areas in the east of the country are off limits. OpSec and constant awareness of surroundings are strongly encouraged. You can easily be blind to these risks, but they are still there. - Feb 2015


Street crime is low generally, compared to other Turkish cities. At times there are rumblings of terrorist-related threats against various institutions and interests. In 2013 a suicide bomber attacked a pedestrian gate at the U.S. Embassy, one U.S. Embassy local guard was killed and another visitor to the Embassy was severely injured. - Jun 2014


The Embassy was bombed a year ago. Few occasions of potential threats afterwards. - Apr 2014


None, Ankara is probably the safest city I have lived in including cities in the States. Any concerns with security at the Embassy or the schools are unjustified. The 2013 bombing was a huge disaster that was averted. The guards are very professional and highly trained. I think nothing of walking or riding buses or taxis at night. - Mar 2014


The Embassy was bombed in 2013. The compound security is not as good as compared to my previous postings. - Mar 2014


Yes! On February 1, 2013, the US Embassy was hit by a suicide bomber destroying one CAC entrance and killing one of our local guard force. More suicide bombers are suspected to be on the loose. On a separate security issue, Patriot missiles are currently deployed on the border with Syria where there have been multiple incursions and bombings on the Turkish side of the boarder. In a third recent issue, Turkish citizens in most major Turkish cities have been protesting against their governments plans to redevelop a park in Istanbul. These demonstrations quickly morphed into a general protest against the leadership of their president Tear gas was liberally used by the Turkish police. Elections are scheduled for Spring 2014. Turkey is very unsettled right now and will probably remain so until the elections. - Jul 2013


Not beyond the normal, although the drivers can be dangerous on the roads. - Aug 2011


Ankara is very safe. My wife and walk home from restaurants late at night with no problems. There have been reports of break-ins, but they are very rare. - Jul 2010


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