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confusedandannoyed

How safe is Istanbul Turkey for Shia Muslims?

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Salam all,

I am travelling with my family to Turkey for a couple months later this year. We will mostly be in Istanbul but will want to explore other regions such as Antalya or Ankara. I was wondering how safe are these places for Shia Muslims? 

Reason I ask is because in America, I often venture into a nearby Sunni mosque to pray by myself if I don't have enough time to make it to a Shia mosque. I have never had any issues praying in a Sunni mosque. Can I do the same in Turkey/Istanbul? 

We're originally from Pakistan and I know there are some sectarian issues there and we were advised against praying in a Sunni mosque there so wanted to see if Istanbul or northern Turkish cities were the same. Thank you all. 

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I went to Istanbul recently and it was fine. Outside our hotel there was a shawarma shop and the owner (who was syrian) advised us not to walk alone or into quiet alleyways at night. He also told us there were protests (both Turks and Syrians) but we never saw them in person. 

Theres criminals everywhere, I don’t think you'll be subject to any violence simply because you're Shia. And it's not like you're walking around with a flag of 'Ya Hussein'. No one will know you're Shia, and you'll just blend in well with everyone else. Theres nothing to worry about. 

Edited by 2Timeless

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1 hour ago, confusedandannoyed said:

We will mostly be in Istanbul but will want to explore other regions such as Antalya or Ankara. I was wondering how safe are these places for Shia Muslims? 

I've been to Istanbul several times, both on vacations and on extended layovers.

My take on the Shi'a Muslim situation is that honestly, speaking they aren't a very "muslimish" country to begin with so they either don't care that you are Shi'a or don't know what a Shi'a is (yes, I've met Turks that don't know what Shi'a is...the person I was talking when I explained it all of a sudden realized what I was talking about and said "Oh you meant to say you are a Jafari...now I understand"). So from a Shi'a safety perspective you don't have much to be worried about.

2 hours ago, confusedandannoyed said:

Reason I ask is because in America, I often venture into a nearby Sunni mosque to pray by myself if I don't have enough time to make it to a Shia mosque. I have never had any issues praying in a Sunni mosque. Can I do the same in Turkey/Istanbul? 

I've prayed in the Blue Mosque, in the Suleymaniya Mosque, the Yeni Cami Mosque, & the Mosque in front of the Grand Bazaar (I can't remember its name) as a Shi'a with my hands down and a turbah in front of me. Now, I don't pray in the middle of the crowd, I usually prayed against the side but people saw me and were a little curious but never really said anything to me.

Turkey is very secular. Not a Muslim country by any stretch. Alcohol, night clubs, relaxed dress code, etc...I didn't see any difference between Istanbul and any other European city. You'll see a lot of Irani people that come there to have fun, as well as many other people from Muslim countries that come there to party.

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