As a woman travelling to another country it can sometimes be daunting, especially if you are travelling alone. Questions will arise: how should you dress? Will you be safe? Are there any laws that you should know about? Travelling to Turkey is no different, and it’s vital to become au fait with the local traditions before you get there, ensuring you don’t upset any locals without realising it or putting yourself in potential danger. Here are some tips for staying safe in Turkey.
Read up on traditions
As with all countries, they have their traditions in Turkey, and as a visitor, you need to make sure you respect them while you’re there. You can find out about Turkey’s laws and customs here, for a start. It might be a good idea to read up on the local ways before your Turkey holiday so that you are prepared before you leave and know exactly what to expect. Make sure you show respect for the traditions of the country, especially when visiting a religious place.
If you’re visiting any mosques, it is important to cover up; you shouldn’t have your shoulders or legs on show at all (generally it is best to show minimal skin). The rules vary from place to place, of course, and some places have stricter rules than others. If you are unsure, then carry extra clothes to cover up when necessary – though you might want to avoid tight tops and short skirts, just to be on the safe side. If you visit a mosque, you may be asked to put on a robe and headdress too, and you will also be asked to remove your shoes – a custom for men as well as women.
If you’re travelling in a group, make sure you let each other know where you are going to avoid any one being split from the group. Also, ensure you have a way of getting in touch with one another. If you are splitting up, arrange a safe place to meet back at and avoid being alone when it gets dark. If you are travelling alone, it may be wise to avoid being out at all unless you’re in Istanbul or a busy resort. If you’re in neither of those places and you are going out, you might want to tell somebody where you are going when you pop out. If there is an English speaking receptionist or employee at the place where you are staying (it’d be strange to find somewhere without one), then ask them about the traditions of the local area, including whether there are any places that should be avoided or any laws that you may still be unaware of.
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