Who says that a single woman can’t take up a journey all by herself? Whosoever says so or believes so is still caught up in the 19th century concepts. If a woman traveler is alert and takes up precautionary measures perfectly she can manage such journeys very well. In this section of our ‘Travel Guide’ category I am going to place some tips that I hope would be extremely helpful to you if you’re a single woman traveler going to visit Turkey.
1. Formal dressing: Turkey is comparatively moderate than other Islamic states. Nevertheless don’t expect them to be as liberal as westerners in matter of dressing. Keep it up with their way of dressing and Turkish people love to wear formally. It’s better to respect their sentiments in matter of dresses and to keep your legs, shoulders and neckline covered up. Shun away from wearing figure hugging, transparent clothing.
If you’re not visiting a mosque there is no need to cover your head. Pack long skirts, loose fitting jeans, harem or yoga pants and knee- length capris. You can visit a local boutique and buy out Turkish attire; wearing it you’d blend in within the rest of the gentry smoothly. That would be more comfortable and the photos would bring in unique memories.
2. Mosque etiquettes:
Ignoring the Turkish mosques would leave you half of the grandeur that country has to offer as they display grand pieces of architecture. Take a look at Sultan Ahmed Mosque of Istanbul and you’ll instantly fall in love. But before you enter a mosque there are some dos and don’ts to follow. Such as you should be properly covered up from top to bottom; yes I mean your hairs too. You should be bare footed and that’s not a case of worry as mostly the floor is carpeted. Some mosques offer light slippers also.
For covering your hair you may bring in scarves from your home or buy a colorful, big scarf from Turkish grand bazaar. Contrary to what one believes, they look quite stylish.
3. Reserved behavior: I am not saying you to be artificial but just the somber version of yourself, that’s it. Turkey is a conservative society and that’s why smiling at strange men on streets, initiating handshakes with men or hugging them are strict no-no. These types of harmless acts are considered to be flirtatious or having romantic intones which may end you up in soup.
4. Getting friendly with locals: Making genuine friends on foreign shores is a great thing that you could cherish for long, even after you leave for your home. I would suggest you to bond over your hobby such as photography, fashion, jewelry or food. Search for such groups and enroll yourself for short crash courses. After few days over there you may share your family details with those you’ve started to forge a bond. Turkish people believe in traditional ethics and are very close to their families. Thus they love to talk about family members and friends. Another nice way is to show the photographs of your family members.
5. Home etiquettes: Turks love to have friends at their places and best bonds are forged over a great meal. It’s a great opportunity to taste sumptuous Turkish dishes (especially their lamb preparations) and feel their domestic lives from closer quarters. If you’ve been invited, try to honor it (given to you have generated faith on your host). Bring in local sweets or pastries as they are exceptionally appreciated as gifts. Put your shoes outside and in most of the cases you’d be offered house slippers by your host. Try to help the ladies in their meal preparations as this is also a great opportunity to know your host closely. In the end wish your host ‘elinize saglik’ which means ‘health to your hands’ in Turkish and is a genuine show of appreciation of food.
6. Keep a reserve of toilet papers: Don’t expect that you’ll find toilet papers at all place. However major tourist centers have them still carry them not in large amount but a bit so that you’ll never face any problem.
7. Business cards can be useful: Always carry a business card of your accommodation and keep in mind any famous landmark that is near your place. These small things can mean a lot in emergency situations.
8. Knowing a few Turkish words: Now this point may look like common trait which doesn’t depreciate its value in any way as it is always helpful and in particular when you’re visiting Turkey that takes great pride in its language and culture. Learn common Turkish stock words such as selam (hello), teşekkür ederim (thank you) and İyi günler (goodbye or have a nice day). This quality will help you when bargaining goods at Grand Bazar.
9. Taking a bath at Hammam:
No visit at hammam, no complete visit to Turkey. These traditional bathes are an important part of Turkish tour itinerary. Get a proper knowledge of its timings as special hours of the day are reserved for men and women separately
10. Switch-on your funny bone, adventurous spirit and a million dollar smile:
Carrying a big smile, being humorous and flexibility to adjust are qualities that are helpful at all situations. In Turkey most people would love to project their country in sparkling lights. If you’re hoping to meet great people on the way, you’ll most often meet them which will bring an everlasting memory.
Hope you find our tips helpful. Wish you an amazing trip in Turkey.