Safety on Turkish Sleeper Trains

The few remaining sleeper trains in Turkey are generally safe, but there is never any complete guarantee of safety in any means of public transport.

I have been taking Turkish sleeper trains for decades and have never had a problem with safety.

However, in 2004 this sign (see the picture on the right—>) was posted in some Turkish sleeping cars warning travelers (but only travelers able to read Turkish!) of the danger from robbers posing as “friendly travelers.”

This appears to be a sleeping-car variation of the “New Traveling Companions” scam that has bedevilled a few single males in Istanbul for years.

It may be that the robbers concentrate on Turkish travelers and leave foreigners alone, but don’t bet on it.

Read my description of the “New Traveling Companions” scam and follow the precautions.

By the way, I usually travel by sleeper train whenever possible in Turkey, and I have never encountered this scam personally. I do not intend to stop using the comfortable, convenient sleeper trains because of occasional incidents which, I believe, I can avoid.

Here’s a translation of the notice:

“Recently some persons with bad intentions have approached our passengers and:

“Offered them food or drink containing sleeping drugs, and have then stolen their valuables.

“In addition to our official security measures [we ask that]:

“Our esteemed passengers be alert [to this danger], and report any suspicious activity to the train crew.

“We wish you a pleasant journey.” TCDD


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