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How to behave in Turkey

How to behave in Turkey
Going to another country it’s better to know national traditions and customs, local laws to avoid problems and awkward situations there and the worst – to get into the police for reprehensible behavior. Turks are very hospitable, they like tourists. Local residents like good food and talks during eating. Usually bill is paid by a person who invited you. You can show your respect and offer to pay your half of a bill. But it’s quite rare in the country. Addressing to a Turk you should add “Bay” after his name and to a woman “Hanum” and if someone (a passerby, a taxi driver or a waiter) addresses to you he calls you “effendi” (the translation is “Sir”). In such way local residents show their respect and politeness to a stranger.
It is usual to shake hands when you meet Turks but not for parting. Close people – relatives or members of a family kiss each other. People respect the older generation. Meeting an old person they kiss his right hand and then put his hand on the forehead. As a rule, first Turks greet older people and then the others. Close friends kiss each other on the check.
If you want to show your good attitude to Turks it’s better to learn some Turkish words for example “Asalamu alaykum”, it means “Peace be upon you”. Paying for purchase you can with the help of international credit cards “Visa” and “MasterCard”. Any way it’s better to have some cash. We recommend exchanging currency only in banks or in special offices, don’t buy currency in so-called “the black markets”.
Visiting a mosque you have to respect traditions of other people. Don’t wear too opened clothes (for women – long skirts and headscarves). Be quite inside. Take off your shoes before coming to the mosque.
Do not drink tap water even if someone tells you that this water is safe fro drinking. Buy water only in closed bottles. Alcohol in Turkey is good. Many people try raki, it is a special Turkish drink. Don’t drink too much because its strength is 45% by volume.
Smoking is prohibited in public place (some restaurants, on the street, cinema, hospitals, stations and on Turkish planes). Antiques can’t be exported from Turkey. Otherwise you will have problems at the customs.
At work people don’t give presents to each other. But if you give someone something he will accept it with gratitude (such presents as sweets and souvenirs but not alcohol). Devout Muslims don’t drink alcohol at all.
Be careful with traffic in Turkey. Less of drivers follow rules of the road.
Don’t forget to haggle in the markets. You can buy a thing with a good discount 10%- 20% from the original price.
Don’t forget to take sun lotions, special sprays. Use headwear, sunglasses and sun lotion to protect a head from the sun. It’s easy to get sun burn or sunstroke.