The Do's and Don’ts When Visiting Turkey
posted on Oct 26, 2018 | 109 likes
All you should know before traveling to Turkey
Turkey is a country with so much diversity in culture, traditions and most importantly, it’s a Muslim country and you need to keep that in mind if Turkey is on your travel bucket list.
While some cities like Istanbul are more relaxed because of their exposure to the West, Turkey is still a conservative country, and as guests of this country, it is important to be respectful of another’s culture and beliefs.
Regardless of its strong Islamic culture, Turkey is a beautiful place to visit with friendly people, great food, warm welcome, historic sights among other story bound things you would see and do in Turkey.
However, if you would be visiting Turkey soon or have a friend or family member that would visiting soon, you should be aware of the following things you can and cannot do and some of them are the five below.
1. Do - Dress Appropriately
If you are not a Muslim or have little knowledge about the Islamic culture, one thing you must know before visiting Turkey is that as a Muslim country, women should keep their knees and their shoulders covered. When entering a mosque, you must remove your shoes, and you must have yourself well covered.
The mosques in Turkey are built so beautifully that you could easily mistake some for a museums. Before you enter a mosque-museum like building, confirm you are where you want to be, so you can be certain you are well dressed for the location. You don’t want to be arrested for taking a selfie with your hair uncovered or with your flip flops on.
If you are Muslim, then this would be extra fun for you.
2. Do - Eat the Local Food and try cultural
When in Turkey, try to eat everything on your plate when served, especially if it has been offered free by a local host that is trying to welcome you. Although it is hard not to finish your food as the food is usually delicious especially the fish sandwich in Istanbul.
However, the Turkish meals are enormous, and Turkish hosts love feeding and treating their guests well including their local restaurants. Don’t be surprised if you are served more than you have paid for, it’s just their way of showing their hospitality. So ensure to ask for less than you usually would take so you can have just enough.
3. Don’t – Don’t take pictures of people without asking permission.
This applies to a lot of countries not just Turkey. It is considered rude to take the pictures of other people without their consent, especially if you would be posting it online as part of your experience. Though you might mean no harm but it is still considered rude. In Turkey, older people, in particular, are afraid of the camera and consider it “the evil eye.” Also don’t take pictures of any woman wearing a veil, people praying, or any military facility. You could be arrested for it.
4. Do - Kiss both the cheeks when greeting.
Turkish people are generally quite affectionate and this is apparent in the way they greet others. Although first encounters tend to include a handshake, but when meeting a friend or someone you already know, the general rule is to kiss both cheeks regardless of gender. This, at times, tends to be coupled with a hug. Being greeted like this would warm your heart and make you feel at home.
5. Don’t – Don’t buy gem stones or fossils.
As beautiful and handy as they may look, they are considered cultural artifacts, and it’s illegal to export them. Many people may try to sell it to you, but it’s better to buy them when it has been converted to a neck piece than in its natural state.
Regardless of the don’t, Turkey is a beautiful place to visit as a group. You would get more discount when buying things in the local market and it would be merrier.
That being said it’s time to call your friends, get your finances sorted and plan your group trip to Turkey.