Ankara - Post Report Question and Answers

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

There’s a lingering risk of terrorism, but I’d argue it’s no higher than in other European cities. Street crime much lower than in the US. The real risk is earthquakes, but Ankara isn’t susceptible to a major one (unlike Istanbul or Adana). - Nov 2023

Basic situational awareness. The Embassy is very good about keeping people aware of upcoming protests, elections or any other situations. In my opinion, the most dangerous part about living in Turkey is the bad driving. Fast and careless on all streets and highways. - Jan 2023

Ankara is a pretty safe city and I feel fine being out and about on my own as a female. There are the same normal concerns you'd have in any big city. - Nov 2021

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

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More