Turkey is a country with special traditions and customs, its own way of life. Officially women and men have equal rights. But in some towns women have a lot of prohibitions, usually in family life. A man is a head in the family and he takes all decisions. Sometimes only a woman works in the family. Marriages are quite early. Divorce takes place but not quite often. Family is the most important part of Turkish life.
Social status is very important for Turks. Most of all they respect wealth and education. Rich and educated people prefer western way of life, respect this culture. Women in small towns wear headscarves not only because of religious prejudices but to protect their hair from dust. In big modern cities women have more equal rights and work at the same places as men, wear modern cloths (the western style). Attitude to foreigners is neutral. Turks don’t interfere in their life. They understand that every country has its own laws, traditions and customs. But in Turkey you have to follow their way of life. For example ladies shouldn’t wear opened clothes in the streets. You will see only misunderstanding from local residents. If you are invited for a dinner you should take off your shoes before coming inside. It’s possible to take a special packet where you can put your shoes. Mosque is a sacred place for Turks, to enter to this place you must be barefooted. It’s better not to visit mosques during prayers and on Friday (it’s a holy day for devout Muslims). Don’t dress short skirts, t-shirts, shorts. Clothes should be closed and clean.
Local residents like to talk during eating. They like to eat, different dishes and especially delicacies. Tourists like Turkish cuisine with interesting original taste. Be careful with alcohol and don’t buy cheap alcohol on the streets – it can’t be very dangerous.
It’s prohibited to drink alcohol in public places. Be careful in the streets, markets because of pickpockets. Places where Kurds live are quite dangerous. Being in these places you have to be attentive. Turks are quiet and calm, they don’t like hurry. They are honest and well-mannered. But if you are going to make contract with Turks it’s better to confirm prices in advance. Turks respect foreigners who know some Turkish words. Going to Turkey it’s better to learn some Turkish words. Believe, it will help you a lot in the country! Be careful when you take pictures in Turkey. Don’t photograph women in hijab. If you want to take picture with a Turk you need to ask his permission. Talking with Turks it’s better not compare Turkey with Greece. Don’t call Istanbul – Constantinople. Local resident don’t understand such confusion. Don’t laugh at Kemal Atatuk. He is Turkish national hero. As in other country it’s customary to leave a tip (10% from the bill). Don’t give taxi drivers tips, you pay them for taxi.