Tips to Prevent Burglary

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!

Broken Pressed Wood/Particle Board Door
The Lock Ripped from the Door

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!


  • 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!

New Heavy Metal Door & Frame with Better Locks and Better Hinges

10 thoughts on “Tips to Prevent Burglary

Add yours

  1. Good advice for people living anywhere. I’d also add buy a safe and bolt it the wall. Last time we went to London we left the laptop in the oven. Thank God, we didn’t forget it was there and turn it on to warm some rolls.

    1. Great ideas Jack! Thanks! I would be the one to turn on the oven! Although there is the drawer under it . . . Also, I can’t imagine travel without my laptop! I need a good 12-step program. I was without it for half a day yesterday. Nearly lost it! 🙂

  2. For better safety at ATM machines and checkout counters (Turks tend to stand right up against you when you are typing in your pin numbers), simply turn to the person pushing up against you and tell them to step back or cover your numbers with your free hand.

  3. Dalyan gets plundered regularly in Summer by outside gangs. Upper floors need to be barred as well! The local Jandarma have been pretty good at catching villains but they will never stop it. here in the village we are not immune – mostly gangs stealing farmer’s animals and even fleets of trucks clearing out citrus orchards. House theft is almost unknown and I wouldn’t want to be a thief caught in the act (or after), both barrels of a 12 bore up the nostrils is a bit of a deterrent!
    Good post and have shared.

  4. All gold and jewelery and money @ Bank safe.
    Install Pronet alarm system.
    Let Pronet know whenever you go on vacation.
    Have a pet, two is better.
    Have a radio with timer.
    Always leave lights on when leaving the house. Lights with timer switches are the best.
    Carry pepper spray.
    Have a fire extinguisher at home. (this is for fire, not the thief. hehe)
    Post emergency numbers on your wall or next to you phone or program into your phone.
    Let your kapici know when you are on vacation, treat him well and always give him tips.
    Look scary and yell at people so your neighborhood knows not to mess with you.

  5. An email from a friend says, “our opposite neighbours got burguled recently,. . . but it propted us to get alarm-chains for the doors, the buzzer sounds if someone tries to open the door with the chain on , not useful while we are out but a good early warning if we are upstairs asleep and just 1tl from the local shop. I like to think the burgalars in ankara have some integrity – when our upstairs neighbours were robbed a lot of sntimental but non valuable jewlerry was taken (along with the good stuff) a few days later the sentimental items were thrown back over the garden wall in a papr bag.

  6. We experienced a burglary in our home. The burglar came in through a balcony door, after having shinned to the first floor by using a drain pipe. The burglar tried to open our safe with a soup spoon..Hello? Since then we have glass enclosed our balconies, installed dead bolts on our balcony doors and signed with an alarm company. If this doesn’t protect us we’ll go for outside motion detector flood lights, although I’ve thought of machine gun towers but that may be bit too drastic!

  7. All good tips. Sounds like it has been a tough week. Hope you are ok. Was that photo of the new metal door yours, or your neighbors?

    As for living without a laptop – horrors. Let me add – in the event of a burglary, have all your laptop stuff backed up daily!

    When we are on Bozcaada, I have used the oven too. 🙂

  8. I have had my laptop stolen too. And I didn’t do any backups so you can imagine how I felt when I came home and nothing of value remained, save from my late husband’s fishing rod :/

    I agree with that we should spread the word as much as we can, so I have written an article of my own for my friend’s real estate site – there are some tips that aren’t here, so have a look.

    Let’s give the burglars hell!

    Love, Jane

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