A TikToker has stirred controversy on the social media app after sharing video of her day as a Black woman in Turkey.
It can be awkward travelling or living in a foreign nation, especially when locals are not accustomed to seeing someone who looks like you.
This was the reality for one TikToker, who recently went viral for showing how locals in Istanbul, Turkey react to seeing a black Ghanaian woman walking through the streets.
It’s not surprising that Turkish citizens would react to seeing a black woman, considering that 75% of the country is Turkish, around 20% is Kurdish, and the remaining 5% are all other minorities. But the video shows just how visceral the reactions can be.
While Claudia said she went on a 2-hour walk, the video condenses everything down to a minute-long clip.
Throughout the day, she gets approached by groups of people who wanted to take a photo with her. A little boy was following her around for no apparent reason. A woman asked Darleene if she could touch her hair, to which she responded with “I don’t like when people touch my hair”.
TikTok reacts to Claudia Darleene’s video
People in the comments were clearly uncomfortable with the amount of attention Darleene was getting in Turkey.
One user commented “Omg I would run” with a crying face emoji. Another user added “I’m scared to go to Turkey now cause my social anxiety could never”.
Some users even suggested that the she should start charging the Turkish people to take selfies with her. Others were confused with why locals were treating her like a celebrity. “Is it really so weird for them seeing someone from Ghana? Or an African woman?”
A user commented “Its the hair”, believing that Darleene’s big afro hair may be the cause of the attention. Someone replied that it’s “not just the hair” while another commented that “most of these countries haven’t seen black people”.
Claudia Darlene’s response to controversy
Darlene later posted a comment to further reassure everyone that she did not mind the overwhelming attention she received by the Turkish people. “Hey guys! No harm no foul! Had a blast. They were so kind but I was just overwhelmed” she posted with a heart emoji.
Although she says she felt “awkward” when people were lining up to take photos with her, and that she ran home after they started arguing over who’s next to take photos with her, Darleene ended the video with a caption that read “Regardless was a great day [smiling emoji] Byeeeee”.
However, users were still unhappy when replying to her. “There are African migrants in Istanbul who face color-based racism, so just know cause they have a smile on their face doesn’t mean they mean good” one user wrote.
Another user added “You’re not a circus animal. They are not treating you like a celebrity. They’re acting like ur a zoo animal”.