My neighbor’s home was burgarized on Saturday evening. I have heard stories of several burglaries in my neighborhood recently. In fact, I have heard of them all over Ankara recently.
The neighbor rented an apartment that had the worst door in the building. It was literally made of particle board as was the surrounding frame. She had complained many times to her landlord to no avail. Asshole!
The thing about burglary is, IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. It doesn’t matter if you live in a “good” neighborhood. That’s a load of crap. And in Turkey, it doesn’t matter if your building or complex has a security guard. We all know very well by now that anyone can walk by Turkish security. (I am not including the military guards in this. I mean, those men carry big guns!) Security here is a big show and nothing more.
Most people in general, usually have at least a little bit of money in the house, and a little bit of fine jewelry and/or watches. In Turkey, most women also have quite a bit of gold that they are either still hanging onto from their own wedding or birth of their child, or have purchased in advance to give to others. I am told that most of these women hide their gold, money, and jewelry in their bedrooms. Although, I do know a few who hide it on the balconies.
I have gathered the following tips to help prevent burglary and to minimize the loss. I invite you, my dear friends and readers, to add your suggestions to my list. And I would appreciate it if someone could translate the list to Turkish. I will publish that too!
TIPS TO PREVENT BURGLARY AND MINIMIZE LOSS
- Be sure you have a strong heavy metal door. If you don’t, ask your landlord to change it. If the landlord refuses, change it yourself. The 850TL it will cost you to install a new door is worth it! Believe me, I saw this very thing happen. Fuck the landlord!
- Lock at least 2 locks on the door when you leave your home or go to sleep. Most locks here turn 3 times – meaning the lock goes deeper into the catch. Turn it as far as possible. Close and lock your windows too.
- If you are on the ground floor, have metal bars installed on your windows.
- Leave a light or radio on. There are also small timers sold at electronics stores that will enable a light to turn on at a certain time when you are not home.
- Get to know your neighbors. You don’t need to make them your friends. Knowing the faces of those who belong in your building is always a good idea. (Throw a potluck dinner where everyone brings a dish. Circulate a list to gather phone numbers in case of emergency.)
- Do not let strangers into your building. If someone is following you in (especially if they don’t have a key in their hand), turn around and ask them, “Who are you going to see?” or “Can I help you.”
- Do not buzz people into your building if you are not expecting them.
- Do not leave the front door of the building open and unattended.
- If someone comes around selling tissues, pencils, etc., in your building, call you building manager to escort them out. They are often a guise to see who is home and who is not. Then they call their friends, the thieves.
- Leave a small amount of money, or a piece of jewelry that you always hated, in an obvious place where a thief would find it. Hide the rest in a room other than your bedroom! This gives a thief something to steal without ripping up your entire home.
- Ideas for hiding places? Under your potatoes and onions. With your bath towels. Rolled up in an old stored rug. In a dirty pair of boots you tossed into a plastic bag. Of course, a bank safe is always a good idea.
- Ladies, this sounds gross but it works as a deterrent. Place an opened (not used) sanitary napkin on top of the hidden goodies. Men won’t touch it!
- If you hear a strange noise in the hallway, very quickly peak your head out. If there is a problem, get inside, lock your doors, call the police immediately, and go to a far room in your house. Do not try to stop them yourself!
- And most importantly – NEVER PUT YOURSELF IN HARM’S WAY! Your life is much more important than stuff. It is true that your money and jewelry may not be replaced. But the life of your loved one is much more precious.
Please spread the word! Check the comments for other suggestions. And be safe!