Welcome to Travelers' Stories About Turkey
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Dos and Don'ts
Posted 26 June 2001 - 10:51
Do see the movie Gallipoli, starring Australian Mel Gibson, for background on the terrible battle on Turkish soil...Do be prepared for the hard-sell tactics of touts and commission boys, who will employ any ruse to get you into a carpet shop/restaurant/pension, etc. Women may find themselves constantly hassled by would-be gigolos who comb resort towns looking for likely prospects. We've found that the simplest way to get rid of pestering salesmen and coastal Romeos requires no language skills at all—just tilt your head back quickly, close your eyes and lift your eyebrows. It isn't rude—it just means "not interested" and works like a charm...Do dress very conservatively (cover shoulders, arms and legs) if you're a woman traveling alone in Turkey...Do take showers in the evening if you're staying in smaller hotels and want warm water: Solar-heated water is considerably cooler first thing in the morning...Don't be fooled into thinking every shop sporting the tourist office logo is reputable. Many are not...Do not back away from a price you've offered when bargaining—its considered extremely rude not to buy something after stating or accepting a price. Do bargain hard. If you are trying to buy a rug, you should offer 50%-60% of the asking price. If a tout or guide accompanies you, he usually gets 10% of the price (which means you pay 10% more). If you are paying by credit card and you are not asked to pay the credit card fee, you probably didn't bargain hard enough...Do take along a supply of toilet paper, but if you get caught without, the little tap at the back of the toilet is for personal hygiene the Turkish way. You turn the water on with the knob at the left of the toilet...Don't enter conversations about politics lightly, especially if you are a Greek partisan. Turkey's feud with the Hellenes is bitter and deep...Do take more film than you think you'll need. It's often difficult to find...Do check the arithmetic on restaurant and hotel bills—mistakes often occur. Be aware however, that runaway inflation sometimes renders it practically impossible for a vendor to give you exact change. In most cases, the dispute amounts to a negligible amount of money...Do be very careful to stay within the law while in Turkey (i.e., avoid drugs, even if it seems safe to use them). However, if you are the victim of a crime (even being cheated in a shop), the police can be quite helpful. The sad exception is a complaint of rape or sexual attack—there is a general assumption that foreign women are promiscuous...Do be on time for appointments...Do remove shoes before entering mosques and observe a respectful silence. Wear clothing that covers your legs and upper arms (which means no shorts or sleeveless shirts). Women should carry scarves to cover their heads...Do take a flashlight, especially to Cappadocia...Do keep in mind that if you take a ferry to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, your passport will bear a stamp that will bar you from entry into the (southern, "Greek") Republic of Cyprus and also into Greece itself. To avoid this problem, have the TRNC official stamp a separate paper instead....
This is a begining.....
Posted 23 May 2006 - 03:07
Do NOT cock a snook at somebody, do NOT show OK sign, it is very offensive.
When you go to mosque you MUST take off shoes, also when you go to ANY HOUSE you must get off your shoes.
Do not take fotos of any women without her approval. And do not touch them.
Posted 25 September 2010 - 19:57
DON'T use your left hand when dining. The left hand is considered unclean.
DO be aware that smoking while eating is common and you probably shouldn't request that your dining partners stop.
DO pay for the meal if you initiated the invitation. Splitting the bill is not traditionally done in Turkey.
DO remember that Turkey is a Muslim country and not everyone drinks alcohol, so keep that in mind before purchasing an alcoholic beverage as a gift.
DON'T stand with your hands on your hips or in your pockets.
DO be aware that in more rural areas where people are more conservative, men and women are expected not to touch. Even shaking hands can be taboo.
DO keep your feet flat on the ground when sitting. Showing the bottoms of your feet is considered insulting in Turkey.
DON'T make the "OK" sign with your hand. It's a rude gesture in Turkey.
DON'T put your thumb between your index and middle finger. It's also a vulgar gesture.
DO maintain eye contact during meetings. Turks take eye contact while speaking as a sign of honesty.