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Things You Should Avoid in Turkey
What should you Avoid in Turkey? This is a common question asked by many people who want to visit Turkey for the first time. Turkey is an extraordinarily colorful and boisterous country that is on the travel lists of millions of people all around the world. Thanks to its very diverse culture, combining its glorious history, picturesque nature, and vibrant modern life, Turkey has so much to offer for travelers. Due to the wide selection of activities available in Turkey, you can have a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory tourist experience while visiting the country.
You can relax on its aquamarine beaches and splendid beach resorts on the Mediterranean Coastline, or spend a weekend on numerous mountains and ski resorts, you can visit many ancient ruins and cities from prehistoric eras, or you might want to witness the beauty of countless breathtaking natural wonders, you can walk around in the colorful and chaotic Old City in Istanbul or you can embark on a journey to try the mouth-watering Turkish food. But, no matter what it is, before you visit this magical country, you have better keep in mind that there are certain things you should avoid in Turkey.
What should you Avoid in Turkey?
Turkey is located between western Asia and eastern Europe. Turkey is a Middle Eastern country rich in culture, inspired by the Roman, Greek, Ottoman, Byzantine, and Persian empires. This is because it was formerly dominated by various empires. It should come as no surprise that Turkey’s lengthy and distinguished history has been filled with ups and downs. While the majority of Turkey’s population considers themselves to be Turkish, Kurdish people are a minority in the country. When visiting this wonderful Middle Eastern country, be aware of the things not to do in Turkey to ensure a nice trip!
Even though some things do not pose a danger or issues in other countries in Europe or the rest of the world, it is always more convenient to have some tips than being totally clueless when you visit a country for the first time, in this case, Turkey. For that reason, here are some of the things you should avoid in Turkey.
14 Things You Should Avoid in Turkey
The Seijun Turks migrated to this region in the eleventh century, and this is where Turkey’s civilization began. As a result, Turkey has a varied range of culture, art, architecture, and so on. There are, however, a few things you should avoid doing in Turkey. If you’re wondering what not to do in Turkey, here are a few items to add to your list of dos and don’ts during your holiday in Turkey.
- Don’t buy anything without negotiating,
- Do not make fun of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,
- Wearing revealing clothes in religious places is strongly discouraged,
- Avoid leaving food on your plate,
- Avoid overindulging in alcohol and becoming drunk,
- Stones and fossils are not to be bought,
- Definitely do not speak the Turkish language inappropriately or incorrectly,
- Avoid obscuring the view of a praying person,
- Don’t Disregard Ramadan Traditions,
- Don’t get into a cab that doesn’t have a taxi logo on it.
- Shoes are not tolerated in places of worship,
- Smoking at the dinner table isn’t a problem for Turkish people so don’t mind it,
- Avoid addressing a Turkish woman directly in public,
- Remember to follow proper table etiquette.
You should avoid disrespecting the local culture and traditions in Turkey
One of the most important things to avoid in Turkey is to disrespect or disobey the Turkish culture and traditions. Turkey is well-known for its friendly people and hospitality, but there are some things that Turkish people would not be so keen about the way foreigners act. Certainly, Turkey houses some of the most spectacular mosques in the world as a tourist attraction. Millions of tourists are visiting these architectural and historical masterpieces such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Suleymaniye Mosque every year. But these exquisite places are not only for tourists to visit but also for local people to practice their religion. Therefore, while people are praying there, tourists are expected to respect them and be silent.
You should also avoid entering these mosques with inappropriate clothes and your shoes on. Since it is a sacred place for so many believers, you should avoid wearing clothes that are not allowed in a mosque according to the Muslim traditions during your visits, such as; short shorts, crop tops, or a mini skirt. Alternatively, you can simply cover your shoulders, legs, and head (only women) in the course of your visit to a mosque. Almost any touristic mosque in Turkey will provide a cover piece for visitors to use temporarily to enter the religious places if their attire is not appropriate.
Similarly, walking into someone’s house or a mosque with your shoes on is considered disrespectful in Turkey unless it is instructed otherwise. Therefore, entering a mosque or someone’s house with your shoes on is one of the things you should avoid in Turkey.
You should avoid eating and shopping in main tourist areas in Turkey
Most of the tourist spots in Turkey, whether it is an ancient city in Antalya or a grand Ottoman Palace in İstanbul, all have shopping and dining facilities nearby. Although these places are not necessarily bad quality or unappealing, it is a good idea to avoid them. Because the prices in those restaurants and stores are usually more expensive than the rest of the city. As the majority of their customers are transient tourists that do not know the regular prices in the city, businesses in popular touristic areas can mark up their prices more than what it is worth. So, if you do not want your Turkish kebab for dinner to cost you an arm and a leg, you should avoid dining and shopping in popular tourist destinations in Turkey.
You should avoid taking taxis in the big cities in Turkey
As it is the same almost anywhere in the world, taxi drivers love ripping off tourists that do not know the area. It is not much different in the big cities in Turkey either. When they notice that you are a tourist, some taxi drivers may take you on a longer route and end up charging you more, or they might be traveling with a rigged taximeter to make some extra cash. Unless it is a reliable taxi that has a visible company logo or is stationed in a taxi stand, you should avoid taking a taxi in tourist areas in Turkey.
Also, the traffic in big cities like İstanbul, Ankara, etc. can get extremely tedious, and going somewhere within the city with a taxi can take forever. Luckily, public transportation such as the metro/subway, buses, and trams in these big cities are very convenient and time-saving. That is why taking cabs unless you really need to are one of the things that you should avoid in Turkey.
You should avoid waiting until the last minute to book your hotel in Turkey
Turkey is a very popular tourist destination with an average of 51 million foreign visitors every year.1 That is why, regardless of where in Turkey you are going to, you should avoid booking your hotel reservation for Turkey at the last minute. Especially during the peak vacation seasons in summer and spring, most hotels in Turkey are already fully booked months ahead, so you might have a hard time finding availability in hotels that are located in popular destinations, or you might end up paying exorbitant prices.
Besides, booking your hotel a lot earlier than your trip to Turkey would be cost-efficient, too, since a majority of the hotels in Turkey offer special deals and discounts for the early birds, which helps you save a great deal of money. Therefore, waiting until the last minute to book your hotel is definitely something you should avoid in Turkey.
Here is another article that might interest you further; “3 Cultural Taboos in Turkey You Should Know and Avoid.”
- Wikipedia contributors. (2021a, March 27). Tourism in Turkey. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Turkey