Blueroselady's Weblog

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Istanbul, we learn about you before we visit you

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Still so much more to learn …
99% of Turkish are Muslims.

Islamic Etiquette:
SHOES – Remove our shoes before entering a mosque / a Turkish home.
MEN and WOMEN – A man should not touch a woman (other than family), even to shake hands, unless the woman proffers her hand / cheek first.
NO LEFT HAND – Never eat or pass something to a person with our left hand (traditionally used for wiping ourselves).
PORK and ALCOHOL – Though many people in Turkey do drink alcohol, we should never offer alcohol or pork to a Muslim.
DRESS – Dress modestly, no bare knees, shoulders or midriffs (for either sex).
COVER HEAD – It is considered polite for a woman to cover her head when entering a mosque.
RAMAZAN – No eating and drinking in public during daylight hours.
SIGHTSEEING – DO not go sightseeing in mosque at prayer times (particularly noon on Fridays).
LOVERS – Avoid public displays of affection btween couples.
NO JOKE – DO not joke about any religion.

SHOPAHOLICS
I want to buy Blue beads for Mum (she has been wanting it for few months and I am so lucky to go Istanbul to buy it for her),
Turkish delight (I ate it before in Cyprus), almonds, hazelnuts, honey. I also want silk scarves for myself.
The blue bead is actually a charm to ward off the “evil eye”.
If you buy saffron spices, check it is the real think – there is a cheaper alternative (safflower) on sale.
Souvenirs for friends: pointed slippers or a sparkly belly-dancing outfit.

STREET-SMART
It is illegal to be out in public without photo ID.
Western women are seen as free and easy – Turkish men will flirt and younger women will be hassled, stop it with a POLITE but FIRM response.

Unscrupulous cab driver: Most cab drivers are fine, but some, particularly in the old city (near Grand Bazaar), charge 3x. They may try to cheat on payment. E.g. 50 YTL note we gave, they will say 5 YTL. Inspect every note and say what it is out loud as we hand it over. Keep small notes at all times, the drivers will rarely have change.

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Written by blueroselady

August 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Posted in travel

Tagged with , , , ,

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