Istanbul Turkey

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1. Posted by ppatton4ever (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I have questions about traveling into Istanbul Turkey as a single woman.
Will my cell phone from the US work there?
I need to know about making a wire transaction from my Bank of America account while there. Where are any Bank of America branches in Istanbul?
I've researched and found out that Turkish Economy Bank is affiliated with BOA bank.

2. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 334 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting ppatton4ever

I have questions about traveling into Istanbul Turkey as a single woman.
Will my cell phone from the US work there?
I need to know about making a wire transaction from my Bank of America account while there. Where are any Bank of America branches in Istanbul?
I've researched and found out that Turkish Economy Bank is affiliated with BOA bank.

As a single woman you should certainly take the same precautions you would in any other city, the Turkish men certainly have a somewhat lecherous reputation although i'm sure there are lots of women who have travel to Istanbul trouble free, use normal street smarts, avoid dimly lit streets by yourself, after dark, perhaps take taxis to and from your destinations, ask at your hotel for recommended areas to visit and to avoid. the usual stuff.

Contact your network provider regarding your cell phone, i'm sure they will be able to answer that query for you and ditto for your bank regarding the wire transfer and any Turkish affiliates.
Once you have the names of affiliated banks a simple search on google maps and you should be able to pinpoint an establishment convenient for you.

Good luck.

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1384 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi.

GoogleMaps doesn't think BOA has a branch in Istanbul, which isn't surprising. I'm not sure why you need a bank branch; does your bank have a mobile app or internet banking that would allow you to make a transfer while travelling?

I imagine your phone service provider will list on their website whether they have a Turkish roaming partner, and you can then check if they cover the bands your phone uses - which should not be a problem for most modern phones. Or, if your phone is unlocked you can buy a cheap local sim, with data too if you want.

On my couple of visits Istanbul has seemed much more relaxed than typical Muslim or Arab places, but then I'm not a single female.

4. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 334 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andyf

Hi.

On my couple of visits Istanbul has seemed much more relaxed than typical Muslim or Arab places, but then I'm not a single female.

I had no problems myself either, although 2 or 3 female friends of mine have had unwelcomed attention.

5. Posted by ppatton4ever (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your help.

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1126 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Andy (wizzmor1977) makes excellent suggestions.

This BofA link might be helpful: https://www.bofaml.com/en-us/content/emea-middle-east-africa.html

There appears to be an office in Istanbul. However, you should check with BofA to see what consumer or business services it offers there; and whether it's accessible to you. If your transaction is vital, give the office a call; and perhaps make an appointment.

As for cellular service, if you have an unlocked GSM phone you can buy a SIM there. Or, if you have Wi-Fi access, simply make calls using Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, etc.

Generally, Istanbul is OK. However, you should be aware that the U.S. State Department last month issued a travel warning for Turkey: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/turkey.html

A travel warning hasn't deterred me from traveling to certain destinations. But it pays to be informed. So if you're going, it's wise to enroll -- as I always do -- with the State Department's Smart Traveler program: https://step.state.gov/step/

Hope this helps.

7. Posted by ppatton4ever (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thank you Andy. Do you know how to find a helpful guide or interpreter while I'm in Istanbul?

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1126 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

If this visit is for tourism, your hotel can help locate a guide/interpreter.

If this visit is for business, there are several Turkish-American chambers of commerce in Texas that probably can refer you to an interpreter specializing in business matters.

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Feb-2017, at 03:24 by berner256 ]

9. Posted by ppatton4ever (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Thanks again for all your info. Pam