Turkey is amazing, really. It has much to offer every traveler, from the breathtaking dome of the Hagia Sophia to the azure seas of the Aegean Sea and the beautiful Topkapi Palace. However, Turkey’s culture is no different from any other place. There are certain things you should avoid doing to prevent coming out as a complete tourist novice or, worse, upsetting someone. Therefore, read this post through to the finish so you know what not to do in Turkey before you grab your baklava and board that airline.

You can thank us later.

12 Avoidable Mistakes in Turkey

1. Avoid visiting mosques with skimpy clothing

Mosques are revered locations and that the majority of people in Turkey are Muslims. In Turkey, you should visit mosques with some dignity. Dressing modestly is a sign of respect. Before entering the mosque, you must take off your shoes, cover your shoulders and knees, and cover your feet. Ladies, please cover your hair.

Additionally, avoid passing someone who is praying from the front. The Islamic faith holds that this is wrong.

2. Avoid utilizing your left hand

Allow me to clarify. Use your right hand for greeting, giving, receiving, etc. instead of your left. In Turkey, doing so is regarded as rude. If you interacted with others using your right hand, you would leave a better image. It’s similar to using a fork at a sushi bar to use your left hand for anything other than holding your plate when eating. Simply said, don’t.

3. Avoid unfair bargaining

Haggle, but not too much, as you visit open marketplaces like the well-known Grand Bazaar, which is renowned for its large selection of goods. Make a fair offer, but be prepared to back out if the vendor’s lowest asking price isn’t what you want to pay.

Keep in mind that you’re not Oliver Twist. All you’re trying to do is find a cool lamp or memento without going over budget. Besides, you really didn’t need that lamp.

4. Avoid hailing cabs at random

Do you know those unmarked vehicles driven by drivers who give excessive winks? Yes. If you can’t understand Turkish and don’t mind paying exorbitant rates for your travel, avoid taking cabs. Get into cabs only that are properly marked and with meters.

5. Avoid consuming tap water

Let’s simply say that you should stick to bottled water or boiling tap water unless you are extremely thirsty. And no kidding, that thirst needs to be at an extreme. particularly in tiny towns. Tap water in Turkey is not very nice. It is usually safe to drink in large cities like Ankara and Istanbul. However, it might taste a little bit like chlorine from a swimming pool—but not in a terrible manner.

However, things become a little murkier (pun intended) as you travel to smaller towns and villages. Since the water treatment may be subpar, it is safer to stay away from the water completely.

6. Approach instead of standing there

In Turkey, personal space operates differently. Turks typically stand next to one another when conversing. Therefore, avoid taking a distance when speaking with a friend or coworker. It’s easy to misinterpret you as being aloof or unfriendly. If you like to maintain a healthy physical distance from the person you are speaking to, this does not imply that you should put yourself through discomfort either. Reduce the space if you are willing to make a small compromise.

7. Never take photos without permission

Respect for one’s privacy is highly valued in Turkey. You wouldn’t simply storm into someone’s home, do you? That’s how it feels to photograph someone without their permission. Thus, get permission before unleashing your inner paparazzi. All it takes is a pleasant grin and a simple “Can I take your picture?” You will have a memory that is more valuable than any stolen photo if you truly engage with someone and share a smile.

Here’s just one more warning. When it comes to women wearing traditional attire, exercise particular caution.

In conclusion, taking images inside military and government buildings is strictly prohibited due to security concerns.

8. Avoid making the OK gesture

As it happens, that’s not acceptable in this place. It’s even debatable as offensive. Remain with a pleasant gesture or a thumbs-up.

9. Show respect for their national emblems

Turks take their flag seriously. To them, it is a national treasure, therefore handle it with reverence and caution. Never use it as a picnic blanket or tread on it. Get rid of any notions you may have about wearing it like a cloak right away.

Oh, and when the country’s song begins, stand up. That applies to wherever you are at any given moment. It’s a respectful gesture that will make you very popular among the locals.

10. Never decline an invitation to tea

A significant aspect of Turkish hospitality is tea. Even if you don’t feel like having tea, you should accept an invitation to tea from a Turk. Refusing tea invitations is regarded as impolite or hostile in Turkey.

11. Avoid approaching a young or unmarried Turkish woman in public directly

Turkish people are traditionalists. In Turkish culture, it is considered improper for a man to approach a young, unmarried woman. It is reciprocal. First-time visitors to Turkey might have noted that, in general, Turkish men prefer to speak to the man they are traveling with, if any, rather than to speak with them directly. They simply do it that way.

First things first, ditch the kebab and explore the local culinary scene. I refer to the Turkish crispy flatbreads known as gözleme. Those are really delicious. Or Manti. Did you give Manti a try? You’ll be left wondering how you managed to live without those small dumplings your entire life after tasting them.

Next, visit a busy marketplace. Inhale the aroma of the spices. Watch the chefs at work as you take a sip of the tart yogurt beverage. Get off the tour bus now and check out some local events. Old-time folk music that raises your heart and makes your feet tap? You’ll locate them!

Remarks Not to Make in Turkey

Here are a few questions or statements that Turks find quite hilarious

In summary

It’s not tan lines or trinkets that are the true mementos of your trip to Turkey. They’re the wonder of towering old ruins, the flavor of a perfectly prepared dinner, the giggles you enjoy with the neighborhood sellers, and the memories you create. These are the real memories you have. You’ll have a smoother, richer, and far more amazing time in Turkey if you follow these advice on what not to say and what not to do there.

Are you a resident of Turkey or have you visited the country before? Which are some things you would never advise someone visiting for the first time? Please share in this section below the comments.

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