Turkey - Travel Destinations

Turkey Special Advice

Turkey Special Advice!  

Although most of Istanbul isn’t very conservative, local dress is influenced by Islamic tradition. Men and women rarely wear shorts on the street unless the shorts reach the knee or below.

Although Turkish women might wear tight or revealing clothes, foreign women in short skirts and low-cut or bare-midriff tops are likely to draw unwanted attention.

Tank tops are fine for women, but they should cover your upper chest. Turkish men almost never wear tank tops on the street. With this being said, many of the cultural norms are becoming ambiguous and in a state of transition, because the booming economy in Istanbul has also sought to appease foreign travellers and businesses.

There are places from the center of the country towards the east that are really underdeveloped. If you  are going to a main tourist spot around these regions of Turkey, there should be no problems. Many of the smaller towns and villages will be harder to navigate, with less help and less spoken English.

Areas all throughout southeast Turkey have various ongoing disputes and conflicts and these areas tend not to be recommended for tourists.

Turks are known to be some of the most hospitable people, but if you do not know them and are disrespecting local traditions, things could get a bit tricky.

Many Western tourists do complain about being hassled in many of the bazaars and markets, so pay careful attention and travel in groups, especially if it is your first time in Turkey.

Most importantly, driving in Turkey can be very chaotic! Drivers will be speeding through tiny, crowded streets not adhering to any of the laws. Pay close attention when walking the streets or main intersections. The drivers dictate the terms, not the pedestrians.    

Turkey Special Advice: Mosques

Plan to cover most of your body when entering a mosque. This includes your shoulders, upper arms and legs. Women should bring a shawl or hooded top because they are required to cover their heads. Wear socks because you will have to remove your shoes before you go in. A robe or shawl will be provided for you (usually for free) if your clothing is inappropriate.


Turkey Special Advice Insight

In nice restaurants, most Turkish people wear smart, tailored clothing, but only the most expensive and posh restaurants require very dressy outfits. People dress up for most bars and clubs, and even foreign women can get away with mini-skirts and revealing tops at the very high-end clubs.

Turkey Special Advice: Travel Warnings

Travel warnings are issued to inform travellers of conditions that may affect travel. These issues may include natural disasters, health emergencies, political unrest and/or terrorism.

The warnings sometimes include information on how to avoid these situations and contain immunization requirements. Travel warnings cannot forbid a traveller from entering the affected area, but is only issued as advice against it. Ultimately, the traveller is responsible for his or her own safety.


Travel Advisory Scope

When a travel advisory or warning is issued, the traveller should find out if the entire country is affected or just a specific area. Another question that should be answered is if the risk of danger is high.

If the advisory is not recent, the situation may have improved. Contact the embassy in the area to which you are travelling to find out the current status and ask about any applicable tips or requirements to improve the safety of your trip.

Turkey Special Advice: Safety

If you should decide to move forward with the trip, there are a few things that should be done in the event of an emergency. Register with the government to let them know the dates of travel and your destination. Make sure friends and family members know your itinerary in case of an emergency.

Try to keep access to news reports that may have an effect on the trip. Make sure to carry contact information of the embassy in the area and be familiar with what actions they are allowed to take.


Language:  Turkish is the official language with Kurmanji being spoken more in regions of southeast Turkey. University students and many of the younger generations are growing up with an understanding of English and it can be heard sporadically from city to city (many people in the service and tourist  industry know English).

It is also common to hear some Arabic phrases and words, which stems from the transition of the Arabic language during the Ottoman Empire into modern Turkish.


Major Cities

  1. Istanbul (12-13 million) 2. Ankara (Capital of Turkey, 4-5 million) 3. Izmir (2.5-3 million), 4. Bursa (1.5-2 million) 5. Adana (1.5 million)