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Turkey | What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Turkey? | Expat Exchange
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Istanbul, Turkey

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Turkey?

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William Russell
William Russell
William Russell
William Russell

We asked people in Turkey if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!...

"I told my students in class one day that I was afraid of something, but I actually said that I "smelled bad"--the words are similar in Turkish," commented one expat who made the move to Istanbul, Turkey.

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"It is important to be respectful of the culture and customs of Turkey. It is considered rude to show the soles of your feet, so avoid sitting with your feet pointing towards someone or putting your feet up on furniture. It is also important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Avoid discussing politics or religion in public, as these topics can be sensitive. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the local customs when it comes to eating and drinking, such as not eating with your left hand or drinking alcohol in public," remarked another expat in Turkey.

Other Questions:

What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Turkey?

If you live in Turkey, newcomers to Turkey would love to hear your answer to this question.

If your answer relates to a specific city or town in Turkey, please include the name of the city/town below:


About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Istanbul, Turkey

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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William Russell
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