|Turkish Travel Tips -- 4 things you shouldn't do
Travel Tip #1 -- Don't bring your bone-crushing Wharton School of Business handshake with you. That's because ordinary Turks (both male and female) shake hands very gently. [Of course, American-ized or European-ized Turks may sometimes be exceptions to the rule.)
Travel Tip #2 -- A man can touch another man (even someone he's only met recently) during a public conversation. It's too forward for him to touch a woman (not his girlfriend or spouse) in the same situation. (This doesn't refer to all woman -- and behavior is 'looser' in places like Kuşadası, Bodrum, Marmaris, Antalya (etc.), for sure. Just think twice before you do it.) Note: Women touch women with frequency in any situation...
Travel Tip #3 -- A man must not flirt with another man's girlfriend or spouse. People get shot for this 'offence' on occasion. (Also, this doesn't refer to all woman -- and behavior is looser in places
like Kuşadası, Bodrum, Marmaris, Antalya (etc.), for sure. Just think twice. Or maybe three times, for this one.)
Travel Tip #4 -- Until you are sure of your friendship with a Turkish person, do not talk about religion, politics, or the opposite sex. And, especially at this particular time, don't get involved in a conversation about the PKK, Öcalan, or the Kurds -- or the Armenians. Whichever side you support might be the opposite side of the person you're talking to, or the person who overhears the conversation. After living here all this time, I feel 'comfortable' talking about these subjects, with my Turkish friends -- but never with strangers. Some people (on both sides) get quite emotional on these subjects.
Next: Turkish Culture -- 5 things you should do in Turkey
Profiles of the Turkish People
Our Two Favorite Traditions of Turkish Culture
Movie Superhero Tarkan, historic and erotikMature Dutch Bride in Turkey
Mature British Bride in Turkey
Mature Swedish Bride in Turkey
Turkish Culture -- Circumcision and what many Turks believe about Westerners
Turkish Culture -- Traditional Turkish Circumcision Ceremonies
Turkish Culture -- Circumcision Fear... The Boys of Erzurum make a run for it
Posted by Yagiz | February 12, 2007
Yes it is rude to do this in public areas especially to
do it in a place where people eat something, because in such places people
think about the things you are blowing... they can be disgusting
sometimes... And people never think good about that action. If you must, do it with
a low noise -- at least try it. Don't directly blow like announcing...
that's all you have to do. Generally everyone will understand you after that.
Have a nice day in Türkiye :D
Posted by Beverly | Sept 14, 2006
Personally I'd prefer someone blowing their nose
discreetly in a restaurant to someone blowing cigarette smoke over me
whilst I am eating (or any other time for that matter!)
Posted by Nurdan | July 6, 2006
(Re: Comments posted below on May 10, 2006) Yes, blowing one's nose at the dinner table is as rude as
someone passing gas while eating. It is not only rude but it is
disgusting and nauseating as well.
Posted by Tina | June 28, 2006
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments about 'What
not to do in Turkey,' as I'm learning a bit about Turkish culture -- and
find that it's surprisingly similar to our Cook Island culture. But I'm also doing
this for the benefit of my 8-year-old daughter's study about Turkey. So I
thank you in several ways! Each country's people have their own unique style and
attitudes towards one another.
Posted by Louise | May 29, 2006
Another do or don't tip for travellers concerns public teeth picking, which is all right to do as long as you're discreet -- making sure to keep the picking activity (and the toothpick) concealed behind one's hand.
Also, pegging out (setting aside) undewear on display is definitely taboo!
Posted by Carol | May 10, 2006
I read your blog with interest, especially the bit about what not to
do in Turkey. On our last visit to Bodrum at Easter we came across a
local newsheet, written for the benefit of the english-speaking
community. It too had a section on what not to do in Turkey and one of
the things not to do was blow your nose in public, and especially not
in a restaurant. Some years ago we were in a restaurant and one of our
visiting english friends had a bad cold. Inevitably he sneezed several
times and was obliged to blow his nose, whereupon some Turks at a
neighbouring table told him off. We had no idea why and they didn't
offer any explanation. Do you have any idea why nose-blowing is so
bad? If it really is such a sin, perhaps you could add it to your
Jim and Peri's Reply | May 10, 2006
That's a good question, Carol.
One we'll 'add to our list' right away.
The answer is...
A lot depends on the place and the manner in which you blow your nose
in public in Turkey. If it's just an simple sniffle into your hankie
to stop a runny nose while you're waiting at the bus stop -- there's
nothing negative that anyone would think, nor complain about. But a
restaurant, because of the hygiene considerations, is a 'sensitive'
place to begin with. And since Turks consider "dining" to be a
semi-sacred act, a native Turk would excuse him/herself from the table
and take her/himself to the restroom for nose-blowing -- if caught in the situation you