Nice to know there’s another Black person in Istanbul! Welcome! One thing I would add is that many cultures outside the US are “staring cultures.” I actually find that the people who have eye-followed me the most in Istanbul were Nigerian, not Turkish. Also, Turks’ staring game has nothing on Cameroonians’. We are taught “don’t stare” as Americans, but this is not a universal principle. Unlike you, I have not noticed any more staring when I’m out with my boyfriend, who is white, than I do when I’m alone. But after living in Cameroon, I barely register stares here. When you start learning Turkish you’ll start to see how curious folks really are. I’ve had taxi drivers ask me why I didn’t have any children at my age and, my god, who is going to take care of you when you’re old???!!! That being said, there is very little understanding of what baggage we as Black people walk around with. Many Turks believe there is no racism here. Many white expats will tell you that ALL foreigners are treated the same way. Not so! No one is taking unsolicited pictures of white folks — this def happens. There is anti-blackness, though it’s a different flavor than racism in the US. I wrote about some of this stuff here https://humanparts.medium.com/how-i-got-kicked-out-of-a-facebook-group-for-reverse-racism-4c7d6525c151 PS Fun fact: The Ottoman slave trade included Africans, so there is a group of their descendants in Izmir.