In all my years travelling I’ve never really come across a place I didn’t like.
I think that’s changed.
When I landed in Istanbul, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d heard in passing conversations that it was an amazing city and there was a lot to see there, but I hadn’t really researched it in any real depth. I was simply going to land, explore, and see what the city gave me.
I ended up spending four nights in Istanbul before heading west to Gallipoli, knocking off the major sights while eating my way through the city. The Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, spice market, Istiklal Street, Kadikoy, all while eating as much Turkish food as my stomach would allow.
The city itself was stunningly beautiful. Lots of little alleyways and coffee shops hidden amongst cobblestone streets, a deep history to explore, and a cheap and functioning public transport system to get you anywhere you needed to go. Regular ferries carted people between the Asian and European sides of the city for only a couple of dollars, and the food was delicious, just as I’d expected.
What let the city down was my interactions with the local people. During my limited time in the city and the rest of the country, I found the Turkish to be quite an insular community – not hostile in any way, but just a bit cold and stand-offish. It can be easy to quickly disregard this as plain unfriendliness, so I wanted to dig a bit deeper to understand why I was getting this vibe.
Over my remaining days in Turkey, I spent most of my time closely examining my interactions with the locals. I found the Turkish often fell between two extremes – while some showed extreme friendliness and kindness, the others were so dismissive it was as if they were offended I was even talking to them.
One example was the man sitting next to me on the ferry, who I hadn’t spoken a word to, buying a handful of fridge magnets off some kid and then insisting I take one as a souvenir of my visit to Turkey – a completely random act of kindness that I was quite taken aback by. On the other hand, there was the guy at the bus office who gave me a look that just said “f*ck off” the moment I walked in and refused to talk to me, and his colleague who I had to practically beg to sell me a bus ticket.
Unfortunately, I had many interactions in line with the latter. There was an indifference about them, a feeling that they really couldn’t care less that I was a visitor in their country. And of course, I never expect anything more than that. In their country, they are welcome to treat me however they please. What I still couldn’t figure out though was, why? It’s typical of most countries to welcome foreigners and try to give a positive impression of their country, but this didn’t seem to be the case in Turkey. Why?
At first I assumed it was the lack of English spoken. Almost all locals I interacted with weren’t able to communicate in basic English, even those working in tourist-related areas, and the ones that could were people who had made the conscious effort to seek out and study the language. Perhaps I’d confused unfriendliness with them simply avoiding English interaction with foreigners. Once I learned a few Turkish words, even simple things such as “hello” and “thank you”, people did seem to warm up considerably.
There was bit of a chicken and egg scenario here. Did they not speak English because they didn’t care to learn about the outside world, or did they only seem that way because they couldn’t speak English? Who knows.
My next observation was that the coldness came almost exclusively from the men. I’m no Adam Levine, but the women were always extremely friendly and helpful whenever I interacted with them. If I asked questions at the restaurant, they did their best to explain. If I asked for directions, they pulled out their phones and tried their best to help. If I asked the men, they shook their heads or shrugged their shoulders and waved me away. As I walked down the street, I noticed various men give me the glare or a suspicious once-over. What was going on here?
One interesting experience was on my bus out of Istanbul. We’d just been served our snacks and drinks, and once the guy in the seat next to me had finished he casually placed all his trash onto my tray table, folded his table up and went to sleep. I was so shocked that I started laughing. Had we been in New Zealand I would’ve kindly placed the trash back in his lap and smiled, but I’ve learned on the road it’s always wise to tread a little carefully. Besides, he did in such a blasé and casual way I started wondering if maybe this was just normal behaviour in Turkey?
In the end, I just put it down to a symptom of the culture. Turkish people in general seemed to be very direct, no-nonsense and in-your-face, and I just accepted it as the way it is. It wasn’t something I could really figure out in my short time there, and probably never will.
Funnily enough, my fellow travellers seem to fall between two extremes as well. Some were churning through all the sites at light speed so they could just leave the country as soon as possible, while others were in love with Turkey and were trying to extend their stays. As one girl put it, “I just need to see Cappadocia and then I can get the f*ck out of here!”, while another girl had spent 20 days in Istanbul and was already planning her next trip back.
For me, travel has always been about the people. The most magnificent city in the world is nothing if it does not have warm and interesting people to create the kind of energy and community that a city needs to be great. And while I never really felt unsafe or threatened in Turkey, I never felt very comfortable or welcomed either.
To be fair to the Turkish, these are all generalisations from a very short visit, and I did come across many friendly and welcoming people during my time there. For every bus driver that rolled his eyes at me, there was a waiter or waitress who did try to show some warm Turkish hospitality. Like I said, a case of two extremes, and it made for an interesting visit if nothing else.
I ended up cutting my visit short and actually missed out on a lot in Turkey – Pamukkale, Cappadocia, the beach towns in the south and a bunch of other famous sites. But in a country where I never truly felt welcome, seven days felt like long enough.
Have you been to Turkey? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Note: If you’re planning a trip to Turkey, don’t let my observations stop you. The country itself is beautiful and Istanbul is certainly a must-see city, unlike any other I’ve ever seen. There’s also a good chance your experience will be completely different to mine. Go with an open mind, explore and enjoy! (the food is incredible, too).
That’s a really interesting read! I was in Turkey through April and whilst we did encounter people like you mentioned, I felt like I had a great time overall. We spent 5 days in Istanbul and definitely came across people of both extremes and it was the place where we encountered that the most but I think I would put it down to being the big city and all.
When we explored the smaller towns, nestled in the country side (Goreme in Cappadocia, Pamukkale and even Antalya, although that’s a still a big city), I found the people to be very kind, open and helpful. Goreme was actually our absolute favourite place we visited in our 2 weeks. Maybe that’s to do with me currently living in Cyprus where the ‘Zero F**ks Given’ attitude is very ripe and I deal with it on a daily basis. I’ve probably become very accustomed to it to the point where I don’t pick it up in other countries anymore, and the people who are friendly and helpful stand out more.
To me, the most interesting interaction in Turkey was down in Antalya where it was the first real time I noticed some of the men didn’t talk to me directly, or even look at me whilst speaking, instead they directed their entire conversation to my boyfriend. Regardless whether I was speaking as well. It was quite a strange experience, but an eye opening one. That’s not to say those men were nasty, they were actually really friendly and chatty, just not directly to me!
Interesting. It wasn’t hostile for me either, just unwelcoming. I’ve experienced similar attitudes in places like China and France but definitely not to the same degree. But an interesting thing to experience nonetheless.
Dear Bren and all other Commenters
I found this blog and comment section after googling 'why are turks so rude and difficult'
I'm so grateful to find all these other comments, it makes one realise that we're not going mad… it really is this ghastly culture
Where to begin, omg, so i am a male from London in UK. I lived for 1 year in Antalya and now 6 months in Ankara. I am working with an International Charity helping refugees and i speak a Middle Eastern Language. I am astonished at how simply backward the Turkish mentality and culture is.
Ok lets start at the cause not the symptoms. They are HYPER NATIONALISTIC. They worship they're Turkishness, they're culture and Mr Ataturk. Especially Over the past 20 years they have been fed a diet of rancid propaganda that tells them they are a special people, from a distinguished Ottoman empire etc. They believe they can lead the other small Turkic countries, Azeri, the Stans etc. They did a poll where a large number of Turkish people believe they're neighbours want to invade and carve up they're country. There is suspicion, xenophobia and constant threat in their minds as it's fed by the political regime. This sense of entitlement. Feeling that one has reached perfection means they have no desire to learn or grow or explore. My GOD THEY ARE SMALL MINDED.In everything parochial, ignorant.. just ignorant.
Education: They're education level is low, especially among men. So many experiences from the man at the gas station who didn't understand what a different currency was when i paid, to the several people who are illiterate and can't read a google translate to the man who didn't understand what a calendar was. Just a dumb, dense coarse attitude.
Language: I can only describe it as hostility and anger when i speak English. They actually get angry, it's unbelievable. And before you criticise me, i always start with a Turkish greeting and a sentance. My manner is meek and warm. English is the Lingua Franca of the wohld. It's a mark of cultural advancement to know or to desire to learn a small amount of English. The vast majority of people in this world (and i am a big traveller and have been to dozens of countries) when they meet an English speaker their faces light up and they're so happy to practice & learn. Not so here. I've lost count of the abuse I've received. From the lady worker and security guard in Turk Telecom screaming at me 'only turkish' to the Taxi driver who refused to recognise left & right and was shouting to speak Turkish to the Turks who won't even respond to Yes & No until you say Evet or Yok. A Turkish friend told me that most can understand a bit and they basically know simple communication but deliberately won't engage with you out of spite.
Culture: It's mono cultural. Dull, boring, totally lacking in variety. I've travelled to visit every corner and it's just identical. Same ugly buildings. Anything one buys is usually locally made, it's nearly impossible to find well made international brands. Yet everything they do doesn't quite work, doesn't fit, has something missing. They're workmanship is abysmal.
Food: Just Shit. Unhealthy, greasy, oily, fatty. They only have 5 dishes and that gross tea. You cant ask for Ceylon, Herbal, Rooibis, Fruit Tea.. they just stare at you. The beauty of western culture is we have embraced Italian, Chinese, French etc. It simply doesn't exist in 99% of the country. The natives wouldn't go. They eat raw bread, Simit etc. But they don't have the mind to put a filling in, cream cheese and salmon, prawn salad, coleslaw etc etc no they sit there with the bland tea chowing on a hunk of bread, it's prison food.
The men are utterly revolting. I feel vomit in my mouth just walking down the street, they are a disgusting disgusting people. The men stand there with their 4 day stubble, big gut, sunken eyes, sallow pallid faces chain smoking and barking and grunting at each other. I have nicknamed it 5000 bc because they are barely one step up from the loin cloths and clubs. Turkic oeople wete nomadic scavenging tribes from central Asia. The bible talks of the Scythians as a byeord fir uncivilised savagery. Thats where the Turjs came from. They are about 1 degree from going full Saladin, waving their scimiter around and drinking wine from the heads of their enemies. The men are aggressive and ready to fight at the slightest provocation. The women are very beat down and look scared. They are even scared to sit next to a man on the bus.
Yet as other commentators have said i too have found the extremely friendly and genuinely helpful attitude of some. It's probably like 1 to 1000. Yet the extremely helpful Turks are probably the friendliest in the world and it feels sincere. Then i feel guilty at the loathing i feel inside as i realise an extreme minority of Turks who are open minded and outgoing and cultured hate this dominant attitude.
The comments that explain that the lack trust and don't even like each other are so true. The attitude improves from Izmir down to Antalya then dramatically gets worse when you go into the smaller cities and Ankara is the WORST. Although Antalya is still surprisingly ignorant and small minded for an apparently big modern tourist city, it's a big country town. They still have a tiny brain mentality. And good grief, what is it with people who WORK IN HOSPITALITY BUT CANT SPEAK ANY ENGLISH IT'S YOUR [email protected]#$%^&G JOB MORON!!!!!
The religion also clearly is a corrupting factor. A war god who preaches violence and vengeance and a prophet who was a mass murdering child raping warlord… is hardly a good example but yet there is a surprisingly high number who cling to it. I respect Western cultures who cast off the oppresion and fables of religion and enjoy modern secular socities. I don't respect Turks because they haven't made religion irrelevant in their societies as any modern country should.
They are clearly resentful that their economy is tanking, they are poor and frustrated and insecure. I think they have national insecurities because thr EU rejected them, thankfully.
Byron, please don't masturbate in the public area. This is inappropriate behavior. This is so rude! Give your hand some rest. And many people must have seen your text is shitty that they didn't even consider it worth replying to. By the way, you are not the part of the EU anymore. 😀
Ah, why are white supremacist fascists so stupid?
PS: No, I'm not expecting an answer from you Byron. :))
Look dude, your points are probably true, but you come across as really hateful and aggressive yourself in the post and that&#39;s very detracting from what you&#39;re saying.
I&#39;m annoyed by much the same things as you.
I hate bigotry/nationalism/chauvinism etc. I was annoyed af when I lived in Florence (one of the biggest tourist towns in Italy) and the service people barely spoke any English, and was constantly annoyed at their lack of a service culture, &quot;directness&quot; (read: rudeness) etc.
But you&#39;re really not doing yourself any favours or making yourself look any better than them when you write stuff like &quot;WORK IN HOSPITALITY BUT CANT SPEAK ANY ENGLISH IT&#39;S YOUR [email protected]#$%^&amp;G JOB MORON!!!!!&quot;
Also, you have to remember – London is one of the greatest, most diverse, advanced metropolises on the planet (if not the most). You can&#39;t compare it to London. I&#39;m from the North of England and there&#39;s huge differences between here and London.
Sometimes it&#39;s good to let off steam. The Turks may be unkind, but honestly, you don&#39;t come across as kind yourself here and it ruins your point.
Sorry your post is full of a lot of errors just like I think the points you’re trying to state is. If you can not write properly with sense, stop wasting your time. Also you sound really angry are you ok?
Oh my I am in central Istanbul as a black female in 2022 and I’m absolutely appalled at this behaviour. I could have written your review myself. Your absolutely correct. There are two extremities. Swindlers who appear to be helping or completely ghastly people- majority men. I absolutely believe that they understand a bit of English is such a touristic city, but believe that they are superior looking sweaty and dirty. I have traveled to a lot of different parts of the globe but this is the rudest country I’ve ever been. I came to the south of Turkey nearly 10 years ago, and one thing I left with that even though the majority people you meet on the street don’t have a lot they are very content and proud of their county. However, dont let this fool you. If they can get something out of you they will. 10 years later my opinion has been made worse. People who work in hospitality damn rude and unhelpful and a place where the majority are on the rob that you just get fed up and want to go home. Most of the food I’ve tasted in Istanbul, is greasy and dissatisfying, and not worth any mount of Liea
Unfortunately with all the political shits that has been going on for the past few years it is possible that a lot of ppl in Turkey have changed and become less friendly. Turkish ppl are extremely nice but they’re easy to brainwash. Also yeah some men are sexists or they simply didn’t want to directly look at you because they did not want to look like perverts and there is still the old thinking way in Turkey that guys should work and women stays at home so they’re not used to interact with girls. I guess it all depends on where your going. Some places like izmir are better and the ppl there are decent. Like I said earlier tho, the president rn is literally trying to make the Turks to hate Americans so that’s probably why you didn’t had a good time.
I came across your post totally by chance and, as a Turk, feel somewhat ashamed by how you were treated by some of the locals here. It upsets me that the guys in the ticket office were downright rude to you; I do think it has to do with the language barrier to a certain extent, but still, for a nation that is knowns for its hospitality and friendliness, I am sorry to hear you had it enough and decided to cut your stay in Turkey short.
Personally, I’ve rarely heard foreigners complaining about Turks being rude to them; this is not to say I don’t believe you or you were exaggerating. Maybe someday in the future, you’ll pay my country another visit and run into friendlier and more helpful people.
I have read not only your posts on Turkey but many other articles you’ve written and I have to commend you on your amazing writing skills and interesting stories. I will continue following your posts.
All the best!
Hey Murat, apprecite you stopping by to read some of my stuff. As I hinted in the title, I may indeed stop back for another visit someday. I did meet some friendly Turks too, so it wasn’t all bad.
I've lived in Turkey off and on for 30 years. Its changed a lot for the worse almost everywhere. I don't know why. I just moved back from an extended absence and I'm shocked at the attitude I've been getting. In the old days, most shop clerks would give you the five star treatment, now they just give dirty looks and bark the prices at you. Hospitality used to be routine, now I also see an extreme of either welcoming staff or the cold shoulder. And most people don't speak English, and most people don't have any interest in learning it either. I speak perfect Turkish and many still act like they don't understand what I'm saying because I'm a foreigner. No one is equal here. Either you prove you are richer or better than them or they think they are better than you and will take advantage of you.
Being overcharged was normal, but you were expected to haggle. I had a guy just straight up demand money for helping me shop in the market the other day. The people are insular and keep to themselves. There is no benefit for them to interact with strangers. You need to learn this as well here. Turkey is a great place to be left alone. Its fine if your world is just you and your family, just don't come here expecting to meet interesting people. It will be to your detriment. I do know some upper class decent Turks and they keep their social circles extremely small.
Ive lived in Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya and its the same. The "nice" Turks living in foreign countries are the ones that keep their heads down and you wouldnt know they are Turkish. The ones I hate are the ones that go on about Turks being so great while living in a foreign country. If they were treated the same as foreigners in Turkey they would shut up about it. I used to get teased about choosing to live in Turkey when I could live anywhere in the world. Now I understand it wasn't teasing, it was malicious.
My husband and I have traveled to turkey many times and we have faces what Bren faces with people seeming to hate us! But in places like bodrum and Izmir people were very kind, the rudest people were in Antalya and sadly in trabzon where we bought a small apartment.
Istanbul is so beautiful but honestly I cant wait to leave. Almost everywhere I go people are making me so so uncomfortable.
I have been looking forward for this vacation for quit a long time and now I want to leave as soon as possible ?
I lived in Istanbul for a year. They are only friendly to sell things. They are not even good at that: if you don’t buy anything immediately they become hostile. I could give a hundred examples but for example I looked at purses once the guy screamed at me for not buying one. I was going to think about it and come back. But he started yelling. I’ve had Taxi drivers almost every time Drive me long distances intentionally out of my route (I live here so I know). I’ve seen 3 Americans attacked in Istanbul this summer openly. They hate America so if anyone speaks English they are mean.
I’ve been hit by men on busses. I’ve been hit from a taxi driver who didn’t like my fare because it was a short distance and I was carrying a heavy item.
Come to Istanbul if you want but be prepared for a lot of pushing and yelling.
We returned from Istanbul today,very similar experience-couldn’t work out why some people were soo rude and others so kind,for every act of kindness we had a negative experience to match,beautiful city unfortunately not welcoming!
I have lived here six months and am aching to leave because I experience the same hostility and rudeness that you speak of on a daily basis-even when I attempt kindness and speak the basic Turkish phrases. It saddens me, because I moved here anticipating the warm Turkish hospitality that people rave about. I was hoping to make this a long term home, but instead, am researching daily, my escape to a kinder country.
P.S. The incident you experienced on the bus is totally unacceptable and I have never seen or heard of such a thing before. What an asshole indeed. Had I been there, I’d have told him to fuck off, actually.
Good to know!
I’ve been to Turkey so many times and I can assure you that its not a uncommon thing to happen to you. I have to go Turkey for business and I hate it. Every time i get on the plane i get bad feeling. And so many people getting scammed and lied to there.Its almost impossible to create a long lasting business relationship. I’m not even going to start on their arrogance and self involvement
As a Turk myself what pisses me off about the Turks in general is that they hardly take things serious…for example in Australia we took our car to a Turkish mechanic and the guy who runs the business was busy drinking tea and smoking cigarettes whilst reading his newspaper….when I complained about my car the guy tells me that its a car and they do cause problems in a very careless and laid back manner… but nothing about what can be done to resolve the issue a.s.a.p…I also saw this type of arrogance in other people of the Balkan regions such as the Macedonians and Greeks. I guess people of that part of the world place their own leisure before addressing peoples’ issues even if their job requires them to serve other customers.
Yes we have been scammed with our apartment that we bought in trabzon and in general I feel turks don’t like foreigners, however I felt that Izmir and bodrum were friendlier, I don’t know why.
I lived in Turkey for almost a year while teaching French in one private school. Coming from Canada it was a cultural shock. It took me some time to adjust to it. It all depends what people expect. If you think that Istanbul is a modern European or American city that you will be very disappointed. the city is very old. People are generally not friendly at all. But I didn't like my stay at all either. Coming from North America I am not used to guys whistling, yelling, or shouting at me…They pee and defecate on the street. It is very common to see that everywhere, from children, men, and women. I was in shock. They can be very disrespectful, especially if you are young blonde girl. They won't help you. They are so rude. I have travelled extensively, but Turkey was my worse experience . It was so bad that I cancelled my contract and left the country 3 months before my contract expired. I couldn't wait to leave and I will not ever go back.
I would also like to add, that I met a few nice people , but that wasn't enough for me to keep me. The ratio is so small comparing to majority who are just angry, agressive, and rude.
Turkish food is ok, but you can never find nothing healthy on the menu. I am not used to eat rice and kabobs every day. They were so offended when I said that I've tried better food. Never ever criticize Turks. They are self proclaimed the best in everything. I can't stand this attitude. I am back to Canada, thank God, I won't live there again.
I've had very bad experiences with the Turkish people I encountered in Antalya. I am also from Canada.
I booked an appointment for acrylic nail fill and a pedicure with a man at the front desk At a place called Viking Hair. After he forced me to give him money/deposit for the appointment he made a comment about my hair needing a treatment and how awful it looked.
I had an weird feeling about this comment and my husband said it’s ok, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
When I arrived the morning for my appointment I asked the lady if she was also going to do my nail fill for acrylic and she told me we do not have acrylic, the the man who booked my appointment showed up.
I asked him very politely why he booked me an appointment for a service they can not provide, he said I told you shellac and this is not true, my husband was with me.
I decided after he was so rude to me I didn’t want anymore service from this place, so I asked if I can have my deposit back because he was screaming at my in the shop, telling me I was disrespectful and I was a liar screaming at me in Turkish and also swearing at me in English.
The lady was very kind and she apologized to me about how rude he was.
He continued swearing/yelling at me so I called Someone from the dental clinic we are receiving treatment from to come help me because I was afraid of him he was grabbing at me (I actually took a video of this)
He then continued yelling at me on the street saying “you people think you can come here and disrespect me in my country, go the fuck home and don’t come back he said to me.
Being from canada this was a really scary experience for me.
I went to Turkey last year for the first time and I am unlikely to go back. Mostly because of the people, which is very sad but clearly not uncommon!! Being a female in Turkey is obviously a bit different and being a fellow kiwi I really wanted to tell the guys who touched, whistled, stared at me to FUCK OFF but I didnt, I had no idea what they would do, after all they were treating women disgustingly so I assumed they were capable of worse things than what I experienced.
Oddly enough I have met a few Turkish people (men and woman) in London and they have all been nothing but nice!
Hmm, seems a common experience and it’s a shame for such an otherwise beautiful country. Glad you got out without incident 🙂
travelling people have a different attitude they are out to meet and experience so of course they are freindly .hostile people dont do world travel unless they have a bomb strapped to them
I am really sad after I read your comment and Unfortunately you rıght. The normally Turkısh people are kındly and frıendly but the place ıs you talkıng about lıke ıstanbul we have many problem there because of our polıtıcal forced.I really felt sad too read that but ıf you want to vısıt agaın please go and vısıt the cıty mıddle of country lıke konya,Ş.urfa,Gaziantep.You wıll see the really turkısh people over there and see how they are frıendly and kındly.(sorry for the Englısh)
This is a really interesting read. After meeting some absolutely lovely Turks (all female in my case) in London, decided to “follow the heart” and move here. Wow – totally different over here. Have been here 1 year completing a Masters. Deliberately chose a non-expat city to immerse myself. Result – zero social life, more or less gave up after 6 months. Guys – roosters who give me the combatative stare thing. Girls – avoid eye contact and if we do chat will invariably be intercepted in a flash by nearby males. Demographics matter here – couples and families usually well-received. Single males not so. All about family and friends – met a few foreigners who met and married Turks overseas then moved here – been warmly embraced by extended families and community here. Have always felt really safe here. But kind of invisible, neither rejected nor accepted…just tolerated. For me, the prior infatuation with this country and its culture is pretty much done – warmth and hospitality are not words I’d use to describe my time here 🙂 I’m sure it will be different for others. For a fact, I maintain that the loveliest human I’ve ever encountered (in London) hailed from this land. Happy travels 🙂 🙂
Totally agree about Turkish guys and the "stare." They seem to really put on this macho tough guy thing a lot, but I got the feeling that underneath a lot of it seemed to stem from insecurity. Whatever it was about, it was very juvenile and off-putting. Never had a problem with the women, they always seemed decent.
I think you should have told the guy, the simple etiquette to put your trash in a dustbin or dispose it in a proper way. These type of people make our world filthier.
In a country I’m familiar with, sure. But in very foreign countries, especially a place like Turkey I tend to tread a little more carefully. Like I said, maybe this kind of thing was normal there?
It is not normal. But happens. Once I was at a movie theater and the guy behind me put his foot on the area between my chair and an empty chair next to me. I mean imagine having a dirty shoe right by your ear for an hour! And just like you, I felt too terrorized to say anything! It is a country of opposites you know. There are people who are so kind and there are people who terrorize you. What is obvious is that there is a lack of awareness of others that is very common.
Wow so glad not alone. The arrogance of the majority of men I’ve encountered here is amazing. Never knew such pandemic behaviour existed. They deserve for no one to visit their wonderful country. Also the obsession to smoke everywhere, no wonder so many look unhealthy. Again such a beautiful country with a lot of derogatory inhabitants.
The man next to him puts his trash on his desk as he sits on the aisle side, this is an example of collaboration. (faster shipment of garbage)
Very nice post! Never been there tho, but just like I expected and as some people told me.
I’m sorry to hear baout your experience Bren. It is a surprise and very out of character I think.
I have been to Turkey but only to Istanbul and the people couldn’t do enough for me. They were very helpful when I lost my way in the souk (don’t we all) and were respectful enough not to hassle me too much. My taxi driver even came with me as the taxi couldn’t go down the very narrow road, and made sure that I got in safely. Perhaps those people had an off-day or were just not thinking.
It has happened to me but only once in 15 years of travelling when I found some people to be extremely rude for no reason at all! I found that to be the case in Singapore. All the expats were excited to see a new face in town but the locals were cold and pretty unfriendly, but what can you do? Dust it off and move on. It’s their loss. 🙂
Thanks. Yeah, I wasn’t there long enough to make a strong verdict. But this was my experience nonetheless. If there is a next time, let’s hope it’s different.
After reading this article and many of the comments all I can say is I’m pretty surprised at all of the negative experiences people have had! I’m an Australian and I’m actually in Turkey right now (this is my third trip!) and I always have a good time. I will say, I don’t enjoy the people much in the busy parts of Istanbul – life is busy and the people living and working in these areas are always stressful. Plus they’re full of tourists anyway, and I find other tourists to be jerks sometimes. As for the bus ticket situation, as I understand they stopped selling bus tickets nearly a decade ago (you need a metro card now) so perhaps that’s what was up. As for getting glared at by men in the street and treated with suspicion, it’s a cultural thing – as a male, you don’t make direct eye contact with other males on the street as it is often interpreted as a sign of open aggression. As a female making direct eye contact with men, it’s a sign of flirtation. I’m not defending that aspect of their culture, just explaining it. When you walk down the street, don’t look at people.
Personally, I’ve experienced limited here rudeness, and instead some of the best hospitality and kindness I could have ever imagined here. One thing I will say against this post though is that I feel like it’s kind of arrogant to go to a foreign country and be annoyed that the locals can’t speak our language. It’s this kind of attitude that has given is a certain reputation aboard as being entitled. Turkey has roughly 60 million tourists a year from all over the world. And actually, many Turks do speak second languages… mostly German, Arabic and Russian. To give Turkey another go, maybe spend some more time in places like Antalya, Fetihye/Gokova, Izmir, etc. and you’ll see a different side of the country.
I never expect anyone to speak English. I do expect people to be polite, though.
aaaaaaay,No, Most Turks do not speak a second language take it form someone who has been around the entire coungry. a small faction speak English and only German i ft hey lived abroad. You are confused, Aussie. Shocker! 😀
Tatiana I read all your comments. You attack everyone on here who has a comment about THEIR experience. You talk about the Turks being rude when in fact you are beyond rude, racist and completely out of line. You really do hate the Turks we get it. A country of 84 million people and they're all the same right? I used to have an Armenian friend whose grandma would call anyone she didn't like a Turk including her Polish neighbors. One would think you have been gang raped by a group of Turkish men or beaten on your trip to Turkey. Did they steal your money and kill your friend or something? Never seen so much hatred from anyone which leads me to believe that you have other intentions behind these nasty comments. Whenever someone says they had a good experience which is possible you know there you are attacking them. You sound like such a miserable person that there's no way in hell anyone will be polite to you anywhere in the world. Maybe you should check your attitude first before blaming everything on others. Bren your post has brought out the ugliest side of people. The generalizations on here are ridiculous and like anywhere in the world there are people just like Turks.
As soon as I get off the plane I went to Tourist Information and as always I was happy to be there and I approached to the information desk and the guy say…what are you laughing to! which very surprise me… I just wanted to know how much does a taxi to my hotel should cost to know the average of cash to withdraw from the ATM .. and the guy again said.. here taxi drivers are kind and they are not going to chat you… well… the price should be 25TL and the fist taxi driver wanted to charge me 50… so I did not accept.. the second taxi driver were kind and accept to put the meter. He couldn’t speak any English but I show the map on where to go and there were no problem. Once at the hotel I ask for some money change (small banknotes) to pay the taxi and the gut at the hotel give me but he did not have enough so he said he will give me the rest back… forget it… I lost that money.. the guy was not there the next day and nobody knew about it.
The rest of my time in turkey was great. Food, architecture and people
in istanbul only txai No plate rent is 10 k turkish LR for one month. It is expansive even travel 1 km. try public
transport. this is cheap
Hi, Bren! I am so sorry you had this experience there… I am not Turkish, but I know quite a lot about them, and as far as the modern Turks aer concerned – mostly good stuff… There is, however, this other side of the national character, which has its roots deep in its history, and which I strongly dislike… Well, maybe you will want to consider it yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Turkey#See_also
It is really confusing for me to read how you consider your experiences in Istanbul. Your thoughts are quite useful for me personally, partly because I have been visiting this country for more than forty times, mainly coastal areas, and I have never been relying on a contact or and kind of assistance of a local person, so I am quite inexperienced in this kind of relations with the locals. That is why I am truly amazed on the reactions you are mentioning. Part of the explanation might be the fact the country is developing too fast during the last decade and most probably could not cope with some minor side problems such as lack of smile, hospitality or just kind approach. The city of Istanbul itself is overcrowded and people are obviously and mostly stressed which causes reactions you are mentioning. However if you visit another regions, the countryside you would probably see another part of the national character of these people, and I hope it would be a real one with proper kindness and respect. At the same time your impressions are not quite uncommon for visitors coming from a more organized parts of the world. Truly hope you could find a reason to come back to Turkey and have a chance to see its better part.
I may return one day, I’ll even give Istanbul another chance. Just my observations from a short visit, that’s all.
No. He’s wrong. I’ve also been all around turkey the rural areas are worse and parts of Turkey are dangerous.
Im a foreign student there but these guys are extremely mean. They dont help at all, they dislike discussions because they dont like sharing knowledge and they have a a culture of personal study.
The competition is so stiff even amongest themselves. However most lecturers are much helpful
I’ve lived and worked here for one year – south of Istanbul (Asian side) – rural. I cannot wait to get out. I haven’t experienced everything written in this post but in this village people are horrid. They refuse service – from the bank to the internet service providers. People stare and laugh at you in the street – and I mean proper stare. They are the least welcoming people that I have ever met – bar none!
The thing about the garbage made me laugh because just yesterday I had two incidences of being seeming invisible. In the queue at the supermarket and guy walked right past me and stood in front of me. I tapped him on the shoulder and indicated that he should go behind me. Then waiting on the taxi, the people who arrived after me went for the arriving taxi. The guy managing it stopped them. I think they dislike foreigners and unless you speak up they will ride roughshod over you. And don’t get me started on the con artists – from the taxi drivers to the real estate agents!! I’m excitedly packing my bags – it’s been a long year.
On security – I haven’t felt unsafe. I don’t feel like they care enough to do anything to me. So that;s one good point for them.
He’s been to turkey “40 times.” He’s Turkish. And his comment isn’t valid because Turks don’t treat Turks this way everyone else is saying. Also the areas he is recommending are dangerous and less friendly than Istanbul. I’ve been in Turkey a year I’ve been all around Turkey.
“I found the Turkish often fell between two extremes – while some showed extreme friendliness and kindness, the others were so dismissive it was as if they were offended I was even talking to them.”
Your problem here, you can’t distinguish Kurds from Turks.
Kurds are uneducated, ignorant, disrespectful cavemen.
I’m tempted to suggest from your uneducated, ignorant and disrespectful comment that you must be Kurdish but as most Kurds I have met are decent people I guess you must just be racist filth.
Every nation has an uneducated ignorant society, but this is a choice. But stupidity is not a crime, so you’re free. There are many Kurds who are educated and adapted to modern day Modernity. for this you must see, you do not need to meet. not every human is a. Most Turks are racist. it’s hard to do business with them . In addition, Turkey is a small mind Country (Slovak proverb)
fatih, you caveman, go grow your mustache to show how macho man you are and leave kurds alone. They6have suffered enough from fascist turks like yourself
Yes, I am a Turkish but I hate people like Fatih. Fatih just because of you, we as the left wing and liberal people in Turkey have to deal with racism all around for Turkish people which is created by people like you. You are definitely a caveman. I bet you support Erdoğan!
Funny, I would say the population of cavemen has skyrocketed in Istanbul over the last 40 years and it is not the Kurdish population to blame for the situation.
It is a nationwide issue over Anatolia with a lack of proper infrastructure and proper deliberate decisions to let people rot and struggle in the countryside. Empty promises, political brainwashing mixed with despair are the best ingredients to manipulate the uneducated masses.
I have heard of very pleasant, warm, people in the Eastern part of Turkey from foreign tourists who visited Mardin for example.
You’re right about the cold people in metropol Istanbul.As you can see abow , they’re also a big amount of people don’t like “other” people …We did’nt like the generally of the people there and moved with my husband 9 years ago to a smaller city in the south cost of Turkey.Here it’s more better with people:) I can reccon you small places in Mugla totally in nature not to much far to eachother and without a big mass-tourism : If you stay in any boutique hotel in Dalyan, maby you wanna stay there for your life,like lot’s of tourist did in the end(my friend “Kaptan June” as an example) You can travel around a lot from there and it will not end.There is so much to see.Pls just google the area:)…About Yuvarlakcay river,Koycegiz lake,Sarıgerme or Iztuzu beaches,Dalyan Channal with ancient rock tombs, Kleopatra beach island ect ect…XXX
Love Dalyan! I second this.
hey bran! dont bother!
youre so right turkish being extreme with their attitude, even locals, we all live by it! i am living in europe since 6 years and i can tell that over here there is a particular way to behave. however in turkey, it is not the case, even i am most of the time, getting confused and finding myself thinking about what have i done wrong, that this person treated me that way, when im back every 4-6 months or sth. so in general i think, turks are quite moody and persons of different values on a hugeee wide scale, be it culturally, religiously or personality-wise. next time try it out, with like-minded locals on couchsurfing or so! 😉 indeed cant tell you were wrong with your assumptions though, as being a insider-outsider local for a time. cheers!
I know this post is pretty old now but my experience closely resembled yours. I am at the airport now ready to leave but not without one more rude waiter who seems to hate his job of actually waiting on people. I’ve been here four days and I can’t tell you how many eye rolls I’ve gotten from service. Some people were ok, no one would get the title of friendly except one uber driver. It is a beautiful city, not sure if I would com back to Istanbul however.
It’s a shame because the city is so beautiful, if the people were warmer I’d even consider moving there.
Bren, I just loved yoir article !!
I am in Istanbul now, and I totaly agree with every and each word you said!
Turks are rude in general
Thank you and keep it up
Perhaps thats the reason Bren. Turks are unfriendly because they are afraid you would move there……hahaha
Please, wear a niqaab. The hijab is not enough to save our delicate eyes.
Yes, Turkey is a backwards place.
Examine their history. Those who are patriotic and proud are, unfortunately, dangerous. I feel sad for the few who are not effectively brainwashed
That’s so bizarre that you had such a negative experience in Turkey. My very first stop on the beginning of my around the world trip was in this country. I spent a whole month there, fell in love with it pretty quickly and returned three more times. Yeah, I got involved with some shady Turkish dudes, but my overall experience with the Turks was that they are some of the most hospitable humans I’ve ever met. 30+ countries later, I still feel that way. I think you need to see some of the smaller tourist towns on the coast and your opinion on their hospitality will change. Istanbul, like any large city can be unfriendly. If you do decide to go back one day, hit me up and I’ll give you tons of suggestions (There’s waaaaaaaay more to the country than IST and Cappadocia!).
Weell alex, perhpos if you cared about women's rights you might feel differently.;). Evolve. have a nice day.
Turkey? NEVER AGAIN! Bren, I cannot agree more with you. By far, Turkish people are the most insular and inward people I have seen in the whole world. They hardly know anything about anything out of Turkey, especially men are nasty and unkind, almost all people I talked to are brainwashed, that Ataturk guy is a perfect example of a personality cult and you can see fascism in every aspect of Turkish people’s lives. Extremely rude and intolerant people.
I am American and visited Turkey last summer. I hated it all the way, from day one. Unbelievably rude people. Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya all unkind rude people. I completely agree with Maurice and Bren about exaggeratedly insular and hard-headed folks in Turkey…and yes, that Ataturk or whoever that guy is, is a major source of brainwash. Take to any Turkish people about anything out of Turkey, they just don’t know, they don’t care either. Foreign languages are unheard of in this damned country. Food is too bland and kebobs are too fatty, unlike Persian kabobs and pilafs. Women are both ugly and rude. Visit Beyoglu street, the 24/7 stampede by cavemen! Abnormally unintellectual city packed with crappy low quality restaurants they call lokanta. Turkish people cannot even read their ancestors writings on the museums walls. They don’t even care to learn. Gosh, I can go on and on. I will never ever get back to Turkey. Interestingly I never hated any other country so much, from Africa to Pakistan to Vietnam. Turkey, despite its fairly attractive Mediterranean ambiance, is exceptionally disgusting thanks to its unkind rude brainwashed ignorant insular people. I don’t wanna see one more Ataturk statue anymore in my life. I hated Turkey but anyway, try it for yourself.
hi ronald, the reason the nowdays turks csnt read theirs “ancestor” writings is because they all were ancient greeks. Otoman turkish occupied those greek lands and consider them as theirs. Cappadokia, canal kale, antalya, bodrum etc some of the places where you w8ll find all these ancient Greek monuments, theaters etc with Greek writings. And they don’t have the decency to say that are ancient Greek and not Turkish.
Turks cannot speak English. How did they communicate with you in a language they don’t know?
It’s all about face expressions. If the expressions were nice (e.g.: smiling, showing respect, happiness, helpfulness, etc..) I would never think about any negative attitude.
If the language is a barrier between people, the face expressions would never be.
As an Arabian tourist for the first time there, I also faced multiple types of bad experiences there (which are almost mentioned in the post and the replies), and ended up in the airport in the way back with the girl who issues boarding passes.
Although, it is still an excellent choice for tourism, especially if you make a good study to the places where you want to visit before you go, so you don’t need much help from others. Put a detailed plan, and just follow it, you will feel more comfortable.
NO, I prefer the ones who do not speak English because at least then I did not know how ignorant and rude they are and the low mentality level they have. five years ago the Black Sea coast was bliss because i had no idea the deviant mind of the Turk . Now i know what they are thinking and I want to throw up. Also they need to buy toilet paper and are really proud that they "ewash their ass' after but that is MORE diosgusting than using toilet paper because you get crap on your hand-that you eat with. No wonder i saw pink eye all over Turkey-Ew gross. Also they call Americans and other Westerners pigs behind our backs. Yeah. But they are projectors. Everything they say they are saying about themselves because they despise themsel ves. It is an inverted inferiority complex, nothing more. Simple psychology they feel inferior therefore they have to puff themselves up.
Where have you been in Turkey? Have you been in ghettos or what? Millions of people are visiting Turkey every year and they all say that Turkish people are friendly and polite. Have you been to resorts of Antalya? It’s all great staff, healthy food, clean and polite! Go back to Pakistan next time! Ataturk is the founder of Secular Turkish Republic and Turkey is the first country in Europe to apply women rights thanks to Ataturk (Turkish women were already voting many years before the countries like Switzerland) Ataturk means tolerance and democracy, and he was ahead of his time.. You should read and learn about his principles. If you would visit places like Bebek,Caddebostan areas etc. which are more “Ataturkish” you would see how amazing, tolerant, visionary people living there. The people who do not adopt Ataturk’s principles are all rude, intolerant and more religious. Turkey left Ataturk’s principles since 2002, that’s why it’s going downhill..
You can shove attaturk up your ass. Clearly nobody here enjoyed your stupid country.
Our resort has been wonderful in Antalya. However, once we leave the resort it has been a whole other experience unfortunately like you’re entering another world. I was really excited and looking forward coming here. I have met very few kind people on my trip that I am grateful for.
Ignorance and racism are everywhere in America! You cannot even walk on the streets at night even in New York because someone can come and easily disturb you! Turkish people are friendly and you are just a typical hater who love to write negative comments for no reason..
That’s not true. I’m a black and American Indian woman who has always experienced kindness in NYC. However, as a professor, I can tell you that without fail, whenever I’ve taught a class of Turkish businessmen, they would inevitably be the rudest and crudest (and sometimes odoriferous) students I’ve ever taught. And they would try to get out of doing assignments. Turkish women, however, always tended to be great business students.
Thanks for made real comment here most of them has little brain and Racist Turkey has 85 million population and they talking about personal Garage and bus ticket seller stupid
Excuse me? You are nothing but just a typical hater. Haters gonna hate.. Turkish people are known as friendly, tolerant and easygoing. It’s one of the rarest countries where people dont even give a damn about your nation or religion. Whoever you are, you are always welcomed. No boundries.. Before criticizing Turkey you should look at yourself, you are very disrespectful. Ataturk is the founder of Secular Turkish Republic and Turkey is the first country in Europe to apply women rights thanks to Ataturk (Turkish women were already voting many years before the countries like Switzerland) Ataturk means tolerance and democracy, and he was ahead of his time.. You should read and learn about his principles. If you would visit places like Bebek,Caddebostan areas etc. which are more “Ataturkish” you would see how amazing, tolerant, visionary people living there. You seem like a rude person, sorry.. Millions of people can’t be wrong if they are visiting Turkey more than once..
Yep. Horrible pushy people who hate foreigners. Not recommended.
People like you are horrible. Look at your stinking attitude. I experience all that you're saying in Berlin in only very short visits. Yes Turks can be rude, just like some people in the other nations.
I have thought Turkey is a nice place to live since you are a western creature and have some money in your pocket. Actually you could still taste the real rudeness and pure bastard attitudes if you were in an hospital, a crowded bus/ bus stop, driving your car in traffic or anywere people are close to each other. Dont think that they are not hospitalizing btw. If you were a turkish, you would be insulted and hate 10 folds to be there
Actually i feel with you. I didnt feel like i was in any threat, but i felt like they where extremly rude and uneducated in how they should interact with other people. They definitively need to learn especially how to threat the guests to their country. I do speak and understand Turkish wich can be annoying sometimes, because the way they are “Nice” in english and talks about you in turkish without any reason is shocking. I really used to love turkey, but after many visits with some new hopes every times i lost hope now. Maybe they just feel the right to be ignorant towards other.
Interesting. It’s sad because it’s really such a beautiful country. I’d love to spend more time there.
Turkey is beautiful so I have tried to choose the nature over the people but it’s hard to get sneered at several times a day! I thought it was because I am a Muslim American and my husband is Arab but I see that others are having this issue also.
So true beautiful country , but I’ve experienced too much rudeness was just cursed at for not buying a travel book from a street vendor ☹️
Hi, I just stumbled across your blog and I actually found it interesting to read, as I felt like I could relate. My two sisters and I went to Turkey last year July. We went to marmaris. Absolutely beautiful landscape and loads of things to do and loads of things to see. However, we got this vibe that there were two types of people (like you had mentioned), some of them were over friendly and some of them were just downright rude and found everything hilarious (even the coop that had happened was funny according to them). We got along with many Turkish people, but we did feel uncomfortable the entire time, and I felt as if though they were very dismissive of us and weren’t being very welcoming. I am a British born woman of south Asian descent, and I have never experienced racism in my own home country of England, let alone in another country. However, on our second last day, all our fears came true. We travelled out to a little village in marmaris and we were in a shop looking at us some souvenirs with the intention of buying. The shop keeper came out and told us to “get lost, dirty P**i’s”. We were absolutely gobsmacked. We just could not believe what we had just heard. Such a rasict and derogatory term. Felt like a slap in the face. This had never happened to us before, and for it to happen while we were on holiday was so upsetting and so humiliating. We just wanted to go home that day. It was such a horrible thing to have happened. We were in so much shock, we couldn’t even speak back to the guy. It just dampened my mood, and I just couldn’t help but think that this is how some Turks think of tourists who are of coloured skin. I just felt so sad, and embarrassed of what had happened and of the country itself. Thankfully we were nearing the holiday when this has had happened. I dont think I’d ever go back to Turkey after what happened, I felt as if though why should I spend money in a country where it’s unappreciated. I’ve told my friends and family what had happened, and everyone was just as shocked. What a nightmare of a holiday!
Really sorry that happened to you. Honestly that can happen to you anywhere, but I know what you mean about there being an uncomfortable energy there. I felt the same way. Hope you’ve had better experiences since then!
I’m black and it is June 2017 and nothing has improved in terms of rude turks. I’m quite used to rude immigration officials around the world, but rude shopkeepers or ticket office clerks, is a first here in turkey. Of all the positive interractions and kindness shown me came from kurds, and rural turks.
I recall my travels in germany in the 80s where it was rare to meet english speakers and yet people were always courteous. I’m not surprised that the tourists are staying away from turkey.
Jasmine, as a person from a neighboring country I think the behavior towards you was probably based more on religion than race. If you were dressed as a ‘good’ muslim woman chances are the treatment would have been different. It’s something that I’ve noticed visiting other muslim countries or even neighborhoods in otherwise modern European cities. The level of disrespect (leering, cat-calls, hostile behavior from large groups of men going so far as trying to grab my arm, clothes and hair) is beyond disgusting. Turkey, for me at least, is a good destination for an affordable 5-star resort that offers all-inclusive deals and you have no interaction from the outside world. And that’s if you live close-by, otherwise countries like Greece and Bulgaria are much better options. Especially for a woman.
As far as the history of places like Istanbul is concerned – it’s all ‘stolen’ and ‘reformed’ (Hagia Sophia for example) and the amount of revisionist bullshit you can hear on some of those tours makes them worthless. Unless something drastic changes in Turkey and it’s people I’m not going back and, like you said, spending my money in a place like this.
I am American Muslim wearing modest clothing and many Turkish women looked at me with disgust so sorry to ruin your theory, turks themselves don’t always dress modestly since it’s secukar
As a female I did get lots of unfriendly stares and checks on me from the women in Istanbul who wore loads of make up and were not dressed modestly at all. I felt like because I was not like them they looked at me with disgust too. I have lived in England for over 7 years and never received so many unfriendly looks from females as I did in 6 days in Istanbul
Turkey is a lovely country with an amazing history and cuisine i have been there many times and it is so idiotic to generalise people in Turkey there are good and bad people in everywhere also i had experienced extreme racist and rude people in the western countries also super ignorant people especially in the USA but i do not generalise people because i am not an idiot
I disagree. You seem to be an idiot because you do not comprehend the meaning of the word "generalize." Buy a dictionary.
Well, WITH ALL THE RESPECT TO THE PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT IN EACH COUNTRY THERE ARE GOOD AND BAD PEOPLE. TURKISH ARE DIFFERENT, HAVENT BEEN IN TURKEY BUT I HAVE KNOW TURKS FOR 10 years. WELL THIS ARE THE CONCLUSION, THEY ARE IGNORANTS ARROGANTS SELFISH RUDE HORNY NO ETHICS READY TO DO ANYTHING TO GET WHAT THEY WANT, NO PRINCIPLES, LIERs, NO GOOD INTENSION IF SOME OF TURKS IS NICE TO YOU THEN 100% WANTS SOMETHING BEHIND IT, THEY THINK THEY ARE SMART AND USE THE SIMPLE HUMAN INSTINCTS OF REWARD TO GET YOU IN TRAP.I HAVE INTERACTED WITH MOST OF THE OTHER NATIONALITIES, BUT THIS PEOPLE ARR COMPLETE FILTH I WILL NEVER EVER VISIT THIS COUNTRY ENOUGH WHAT I HAVE GONE THROUGH.
Racism and faschism are really kind of physchologic problems and i wish you well and recommend you to see a doctor.
A typical Latino in America. First, Turks are WHITE. Second, racism is not defined by someone's bad experiences in another country. Third, racists come in all colors check oput the BLM woman who beat her white adopted daughter to death a week ago. She happened to also be the wnner of "America;s Worst Cooks or Chefs" something like that. Millidiots generally do not understand the word racism and fail to own dictionaries therefore they rely in political propaganda from CNN to furnish them with erroneous definitions of "racist." You happen to be a victim of political propaganda and apparently devoid of an English dictionary. Please look the word racist up in Webster's dictionary not BLM's perverse version of the definition. When the French admit there is a Problem-there is a HUGE problem. They have had problems with Turks and other radical muslims since 1995. The french are notorious for staying in denial as long as possible but when heads are flying like the french Revolution and the guillotines they sit up and take notice. So yeah. it is NOT racism to be against a virulent, insidious religion that produces abusive and narcissistic people.
I don’t know where to start….
After spending few days in Turkey,
I just feel angry, bitter, mentally and emotionally drained.
I travelled extensively, Europe, east and west, Asia and south Asia, many middle eastern countries, central and south America……
I can comfortably say that Turks are the most horrendous people on the planet… and I’m so convinced that this country has no soul just like its own people… it was a frightening travel experience. I hated every bit of it, and simply because of its own primitive people… what a shame that such barbaric people are ruling over this beautiful land.
TURKEY IS DOOMED !!!
Haha what? Shameful hater comment!
Nobody even disturbs you while you are walking on the street at night in Turkey
I cannot even walk alone in New York, even in Barcelona 2 boys came and disturbed me on the street.
Turkey is a secular and democratic country, what a pathetic comment if you are exalting Middle Eastern countries while you are dissing Turkey..
I am from USA and same shits happen to me and that turk or arab girl “selina” just keep responding to negative comments.Go fck ur self “selina”
Hi, Bren. Very interesting article. I’m British of Saudi Arabian origin and I have a flat in Istanbul, so very familiar with your impressions. Yes, i find people in Istanbul incredibly rude in one’s superficial encounters. Rude and also aggressive. They will, for example, not hesitate to push you out of the way in a queue. My special world rudeness championship goes to Turkish Airlines staff, without doubt the rudest in the universe. But you also encounter incredibly kind people all over Turkey. So it’s a bit of a puzzle. Why are they so rude? (I actually came across your blog after typing “Why are Turks so rude?” in Google after taking a Turkish Airlines flight this morning, where the ground staff’s rudeness was breathtaking).
Turkey is a very odd country. The reports of people in the countryside being really kind and helpful ring true. But in Istanbul — well, they are not nice at all, even if you speak a little Turkish, as I do. And of all foreigners, they really don’t like Arabs. It’s as simple as that. It’s a complicated story, but I can totally understand foreigners feeling unwelcome in Turkey. I’ve experienced it and seen it myself many times. I think Turkish culture is partly the reason. Turks are very nationalistic and consequently have an implicit dislike or distrust of foreigners, which can come out at times. Your neighbour in the bus throwing his rubbish at you is one example. Next time you fly Turkish Airlines, sit back and watch as people just shove you out of the way on disembarking. Nobody waits. No one shows you any courtesy. It’s the way it is. I still can’t quite get used to it after all these years, but it’s something you just learn to accept. And it really makes you appreciate everyday politeness that you take for granted when you get back to England. I’m not a great believer in generalisations, but sometimes they contain a grain of truth. My advice to Turks is that people will love your country if you show them just a little kindness. It’s the smart thing to do.
Interesting. Thanks for the insight.
It is true that most Turkish people do not like Arabs. This is because of the things happened in the past and the things that are happening today. Past is not a problem anymore because Ataturk saved the nation and founded the republic with the motto, "Peace at home, peace in the world." However, things have changed since then. We have at least 4 million Arab refugees. We have been living with them for almost a decade now. This is a big problem in every way! That is why EU is bribing Erdogan to keep them in Turkey. This is reason number one.
Second reason is the way Arab tourists behave. They think they can do anything since they have money. Just today, a video became viral in Turkey in which Arabs wipe their noses with Turkish Lira before they pay the bill in a Turkish restaurant. Here is the YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrvILsh3BqU
Third reasons is Erdogan. You can blame Erdogan for almost every negative thing in Turkey. He values Arabs more than his own people as if he is their president not Turks. He has close relationship with Qatar. He is making deals with them in every area, selling Turkish lands to Arabs. While Arabs prosper on Turkish lands, Turkish people suffer economically because of his policies.
Fourth reason is my favorite. It is not like Arabs like Turks but Turks do not like them. ARABS HATE TURKS!!! Just recently Saudi Arabia banned Turkish products in their markets. We can add so many things from the past and present as an example of hate towards Turks from Arabs but not really necessary. Because we really don't care about what Arabs think or feel about us.
Since you openly said that you don't like Turkey and know that Turks don't like you, maybe it is time to f*ck off. That seems like the logical thing to do in this case. Please don't do business with Turkey, don't live in turkey and don't visit Turkey. Just f*ck of to Britain or Arabia or wherever the hell you want but not Turkey. Perhaps you already did f*ck off. It has been 4 years since you wrote this. I hope that is the case.
This is quite interesting. My experiences were both awful and great in the same trip. I would not return.
I found the people *generally* friendly. Some of the body language can be confusing: raising the eyes and eyebrows means “no.” A shaking of the head means “I don’t know.”
The Turks seem to all hear the same propaganda. So, if the IMF/World Bank has just done something that the newspapers don’t like, a surprising number of people will actually know and complain about that to you.
I went there over 15 years ago. The weirdly friendly/hostile attitude was pronounced. I expect though it has gotten worse since Erdogan, who has gutted Attaturk’s secular Turkey, allowing the natural hostility of Islam to dominate there. Bren, that fellow who put his trash on your place was communicating his disdain for you as a kuffar.
I did not come across a rude person when I went to turkey. Everybody was respectful to me, everyone was friendly and everyone was happy. I did not attend any of the lectures.
I’m Turkish and I’m agree with your opinion. You said you felt yourself between two extreme feeling. You were so friendly to you in Turkey. They are probably want something from you. Like friendly waiter wait for tip, friendly women looking for guy who take them out of the country. Sad but truth ?
Do not think everybody as fake.then you must suspect from your suspect.Some people have high character but some people are fake
This American couple has visited Turkey on several occasions because they are in love with the people. As a matter of fact, they post daily videos of their trips all over Turkey (not just Istanbul) and they’ve been travelling for months and here’s just one of their videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fskFVpgjTUw — feel free to check any other vids of theirs to see how much they love Turkey and Turkish people.
"There's a sucker born every minute. P.T. Barnum… and a million idiot Americans who will follow him on youtube." Tatiana
I found people in Turkey to be generally more helpful than people in my country and also somewhat more friendly. Im American, but many people there seemed to think I was turkish or from Iraq or Bulgaria. For example I left my phone on the bus and my sweatshirt in Trabzon and the bus company tried really hard to get it back for me. They seemed genuinely worried. I got my phone, but My sweatshirt never made it back to me. Also there was a man in Ankara who walked me to the bus station, which was probably 20 min away. This would be very rare in America but would be appreciated if someone were to do it. Also I was trying to go to Göreme to see the fairy chimney but I got on the wrong bus because I told them Karaman and when the girl at the ticket booth announced this to the people in the bus station everyone laughed and I felt very embarrassed. Some people did try to rip me off which pissed me off because i was a visitor in their country, but People generally seemed to be helpful and more willing to talk to strangers. It seemed like there was more taboo relationship between men an women and it would be hard to find a girlfriend unless you spoke the language and wanted to marry her. Considering this, it seemed like a lot of Turkish men I met were what you would call “grimy” just like guys who would maybe spend 90% of their time with other guys telling crude jokes and working some construction job maybe they would also go to hookers. Also there was a creepy man in Konya who propositioned me for sex. He said he would pay me 10lira to fuck him??? Otherwise, I didn’t really make any friends there though maybe because people don’t speak english very well and the culture is totally different from my country. It seemed like a lot of people in Turkey were interested in you as a tourist as a way to start a mutually beneficial relationship. Not just to get your money like in some countries so Nothing wrong with that, but that was a priority and if any friendship happened from that then so be it. I noticed that in Istanbul the people seemed cold and not smiling a lot and not friendly almost like New York or another big city. A real difference I noticed was in Iraq and southern Turkey people are very friendly and more traditional. The cities look middle eastern and the people dress in headscarves for both men and women some women cover their face and men wear traditional baggy pants and 75% or 90% of guys are carrying rosary with them. In Iraq one Kurdish soldier I stayed with for a few days was crying when I left because we might not see each other again. They were very kind people and really went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. I was really surprised and it made me feel like I will always have some kind of bond with this country. So, in general I would say that Turkish are very friendly and they say funny stuff to you just to be funny even if you are a foreigner and they are interested in making a relationship with you and try to do the right thing for the sake of being a good person because they value honor. I found that Iraqi kurd was the most hospitable and friendly people from my experience even more than Turk or Turkish kurd.
Same here. I just returned from a short Istanbul trip and as much as I love the antiquity and historic elements of the land, the people of the second extreme really turn me off from enjoying the country at its best.
I’ve been to Turkey about 5 times (not my choice, had to go for my father’s job) and from my experience Turkish people were generally very rude and unnecessarily hostile with a specific indifference to other people’s problems and that was not only in Turkey. Most Turkish people in Germany were also very vile and disrespectful (even being bullies) to both Germans and other foreigners. I know there are good ones as well but I’m also generalizing here.
And two things that you also mentioned: 1.Most Turks, especially if they’re younger know enough English to lead simple conversations (since they’re trying to be part of the EU and all) but they just choose not to use it! I don’t know why at all but a couple of times when abroad or online people got mad and told them we’re an international community and to respect one another we need to speak English when most of us don’t understand Turkish and they started swearing at those protesting in English or in Turkish!!! 2.This is the case in most countries where a gender is degraded that the ones discriminated against (women here) are usually more helpful and nicer to talk to. Like how some stated online, I also unfortunately witnessed many Turks being cheats to tourists.
In terms of that chilling indifference (that almost seems like sadism) once when in Antalya, we were in an aqua park and since I was 10 at the time, I started drowning among the waves of the deep part of the wave-generating pool and the life guard was standing right above me and he just stared at me! In the end my father seeing that my head was under water for a long time jumped in and carried me out of the pool AGAIN with the life guard just staring at us from where he was standing before!
In all 5 times I ended up either cutting my trips short and leaving or nagging 24/7 to my family that I wanted to leave cause honestly coming from a country beyond rich in history and architecture (Persia) I couldn’t find anything unique or worthwhile to entertain myself with there other than playing with the occasional random street dogs or cats I spotted which is frankly the only thing that I generally admire in Turkish people, that they’re caring and responsible towards intelligent homeless animals. I’m NEVER going there again though if it’s up to my choice.
Can’t imagine I’ll be going there again either.
I see this is a couple years old but what the hey. Ive been to Istanbul, Turkey before and I too experienced the same rudeness from alot of the main locals. For me, it became hostile on one occasion when I spoke up to a mans rudeness. He yelled and screamed and threw his almost full drink on me. Of course I let it go but he kept up his tirade long after. His wife was trying to calm him down. All this because he thought I was being rude for speaking up. But it wasn’t all bad there, I saw alot of great sites and like you said, the food was great.
I can see that happening. People seemed quite tightly strung.
I spoke up too because it was CHRISTMAS, and the person i was speaking with KNEW i CELEBRATE AND i WAS AT MY LIMIT. i HAD BEEN BOmbarded for a month with harassment by Turkish men while on the beach in Alanya and I did NOT want to "hear about Islam." I do not FORCE my religion on anyone and I expect NO one to force theirs on me. I told him "No." :I don't care." I do not want to hear about Islam I do not CARE about islam." I had it and was my most direct and I FELT AWESOME> He had a fit and I screamed at him. I have that viking Irish blood and can be VERY scary when angry. SO the short ass Turk calmed the F down and sat down since i am taller than him. You cannot have an honest conversation with them. It is Grooming for conversion. What bothers me the most is they actually say to Christians "we accept your "prophet" dio you KNOW how insulting that is to people who are Christian calling the Mesiah a prophet? then if you draw a cartoon of their PROPHET they behead you. I praise France for banning the Hijab because i feel unsafe on planes when someone is wearing a getup like a ninja who knows what she is hiding under there. Miullidioys have never travelled and label people islam and other "phobic" when we are informed and educated nit brainwashed by CNN.
In Turkey i have never ever heard that nobody-modern or conservative Turks claims that they are ‘European’ only %3 of the Turkey is in Europe other 97% is in Asia.Eurasian country technically and mostly muslim.I have lived there around 9 years and most of the people are friendly and hospitable.I rode some comments here and most of them are racist and shallow.First you look at your country then judge the other humans/countries.EU is a collapsed union after the Brexit and if i were Turkey i will return my way to Asia where the future is bright.Europe is old and weak like a sick man of the world.Regards.
Oh Please, they are all dying their hair blonde on the Aegean and Mediterranean it is one thing if you have pretty small features like the Irish and quite another with horsey features and leather skin . The women who bleach their hair blonde look ridiculous. It looks so fake against the leathery skin and big noses.
I had a one day stopover in Istanbul and it was terrible! they are the rudest people ive ever come across! I guess theyre not used to foreigners since they kept staring at me and whispering and stuff.. i dont think I’ll visit istanbul again! lol its a weird place! People just stare at you like you dont belong there or something.. and nobody not even the immigration officer speaks english! Also, the airport is such a mess.. worst airport of the world!
They are not used to foreigners?? LOL. Istanbul was the fifth most visited city in the world in 2015 and Turkey was the sixth most visited country in the world (before the coup attempt and terror attacks) and by people from all over the world. And it is still in top 10 despite everything and moving back up again. About the airport, Istanbul has two major airports, one of them the third busiest in Europe and Sabiha Airport on the Asian side was selected as the best budget flights airport in the world a few years ago. Now they are building the third largest airport that will be the largest in the world. all of this because Turkey is a f*cked up country filled with filthy rude people?
EDITED: They are not used to foreigners?? LOL. Istanbul was the fifth most visited city in the world in 2015 and Turkey was the sixth most visited country (before the coup attempt and terror attacks) and by people from all over the world. And it is still in top 10 despite everything and moving back up again. About the airport, Istanbul has two major airports, one of them the third busiest in Europe and Sabiha Airport on the Asian side was selected the best budget flights airport in the world a few years ago. Now they are building the third airport that will be the largest in the world soon. All of this, because Turkey is a f*cked up country filled with filthy rude people?
Omg same experience.. immigration office seemed upset we arrived.. and the constant staring .. so creepy
And one more thing! They are so obsessed with their language its so fucking annoying! They wont bother learning basic English too!!
What about France? They don’t speak English neither, even if they know!
You can’t compare French with Turkish! 70% Turkish is a mixed of Azeri, Persian and Arabic. You changed your alphabet from Arabic alphabet to Latin. Your language is not “original” and historical.
AMIR don’t open your mouth about thing you know nothing about,
Turkish language belongs to the URAL ALTAY family, completely different from Arabic or Persian or anything you can wrap your little head around.
As far as languages go, you can’t go more original or historical than Turkish, take a few college course before embarrassing yourself with your ignorant commentary…
Wow, you’re ignorant, and you don’t need college courses to fix your stupidity, YOU need a mental reprogramming to know what is obvious !! You people, Turks, are mongoloid, and you don’t belong to the Middle East nor Europe. Your language and culture is stolen and you represent the monstrosity of stolen heritage. you all try so hard to be superior, WHILE IN reality you suffer from a deep inferiority . YOU DON’T OPEN YOUR MOUTH !
I think the majority are too stupid to be bilingual, actually.
I’m in Turkey now, I was just texting with a friend back home about my experience… Thought well maybe it’s just me? But after reading your article and people’s comments I see it’s not me and seems a common thread. Yeah beautiful country, loads of history, but interactions with it’s people leave lots to be desired. Not mean… Just indifferent and unwelcoming. Definitely come with a friend or travel companion it will definitely help if you like conversation… Because you probably won’t get a chance to interact with the locals here. Yeah 7 days is enough for me… I’m out and headed to friendlier parts of Europe.
I thought it was just me as well 😀
Overall, I had a great time whilst travelling through Turkey with a mate. As for negative experiences there were a few but they were overshadowed by some really good experiences. For example, we were offered food randomly as we were walking by some dudes eating and another time when we walked into a barber’s shop. It was really nice – like, we’re eating do you want to join us? We stayed in a cheap hostel and the owner gave us a brand new guide book for free. People wanted to hang out with use like in the train or at a bar just for a chat. The negative situations were – a guy tried to befriend us and led us into a ‘cool’ bar he knew. An obvious scam as a Russian girl immediately came to our table. Also, the bar looked ordinary, was empty but the bar men were clocking us etc so we got out of there straightaway. Another time, we met some nice Turkish girls and were just chatting with them but some random Turkish guys took offence and tried to stop the interaction, not that menacing though. Basically, I’d love to go back and found the country fairly friendly but one in which you need to have your wits about you a bit more than in other countries in Europe.
Thanks for sharing – I can imagine all those scenarios happening. A guy also approached me asking me for a lighter and chatted me up a bit and tried to get me to go to his “friend’s bar” with him to “practice English”. Forgot about that!
My Experience was as bad as your experience, and it was mostly about the people !!!
Worse yet, I didn’t even like the city or find it that beautiful. Total loss.
Turkey is an amazing country with great holiday resorts, history, fun, joy, food and friendly people! That’s why it’s the 6th most visited country in the world! Kisses
Selina: Are you some type paid, state sponsored shill for the Turkish tourist industry. You have posted here more that the original poster has and your messages are quite redundant and monotonous. Please, STOP the trolling!
Turkey handles all the responsibility of Europe.
It has 5 millions immigrants because of the NATO / EU policies
All that rude people are NON -TURKS
Stop criticizing Turkey since it’s the oldest member of Nato and working hard on behalf of EUROPE!
Delusional! Brainwashed by Erdogan, I see.
Got impregnated and dumped by a Turk I reckon? What's with the extreme hate Tatiana?
Ive been here two weeks, and find Bren’s post – it is Bren right lol – to be giving them so much leniency. They are the rudest people on the planet. Probably ugliest too. Dont come back, and dont even bother see the history. Nothing special. Food is not bad, tasted better in the UK. My first and hopefully last visit. I was really hopeful coming to Istanbul, i did some research but wasn’t prepared for the most insular, egotistical, brute, pug-faced, bird brain idiots. When i landed in Attaturk airport, i got real stuck getting to my apartment from the metro, luckily some students helped me. So I thought wow, love this peeps- i was so wrong. 2 weeks of nothing but grim faces, like someone tripped their grandma over. I went to burger king tonight, just today, the guy blanked my order and was chuckling i was speaking English. Mofo, if this was UK, id knock your lights out and put your hairy ass on a one way trip to the barbers. Air bnb was a waste of time. Another traveller we bumped in had far worse experiences. Both of us had been teachers, and couldnt believe how cold the tourism was. They are very arrogant people, dont smile, rarely, and have jarred my visit. Only rare exceptions i have had smiles and hellos, mostly from the Turks who have travelled. Oh yes, the police are dogs. Harass anyone anytime.
Didn't dare punching his lights out though? Stood there and take it like a snivelly little bitch I see.
I spent one year of my retirement in Turkey living in Tekirdag, Istanbul, Eskisehir and Samsun I found out that THE main reason for their sh**ty behaviors is that they hate each other and thus how they can love foreigners. Just Gaziantep people were nice.
In Australia, almost every person from any nation likes/loves to meet their country mates but Turks are THE only race in Australia don’t want to see Turks. I have lived in 17 countries one year each, Turkey is the worst country in the world and Samsun is BY FAR the worst city in Turkey. People were not bad they were (literally) insane. If you love Istanbul then you will get crazy and depressed in Samsun let alone Istanbul is not a city to like. For example it’s a habit of them they look at you from head to toe to insult you when you’re kind with them because they have suffered a lifetime from each other so they find a stranger’s kindness as an opportunity to opportunity to outburst of their anger.
Shame on You! What kind of racist and silly and arrogant comments here! I think “some” Greek Armenian and Kurdish and Western people have an inferiority complex against the Turks that Ottoman Turkish Empire ruled them for 500years.We Koreans like the Turkish people especially Turkish soldiers who gave their lives in the Korean War for the independence of Korea! I have been to Turkey many times and these people are one of the most hospitable and friendly people i have ever seen! I have never seen a westerner treated me a cup of water except in the USA ! European history is full of genocides massacres and hate and who loves Westerners in this world? honestly reply? who? without your money nobody loves majority of you! Exceptions may apply.
The United States keeps South Korea free from the north. The “westerners” you’re spewing about. So you should definitely move to turkey and join your Asian friends and see how nice they are to you.
It is so accurate that you are just a racist troll and you are just generalising 85 million people and it is so absurd and nonsense. Turkish people are just 'humans' like you and if you hate them so you hate yourself too then. Your anger and hate will finally harm you like a poison. There are only good and bad people in the world and these nations are just 'imaginary concepts' created by politicians.
Have you ignored the kidnapping of Southern European boys and their castration by the Otooman? What about the Armenian genocide-ring a bell? The Turks have massacred all of their neighbors so wake up and take a history lesson. What an ignorant South Korean unless you are just a typical stupid lying Turk which is more likely.
This "Tatiana" is clearly a troll or he/she has a big pain in his/her a**. I see his/her comments all over the page under every comment saying all kinds of things about Turkey.
You planned a vacation in Turkey for a month and you didn't know about Armenian thing or Southeastern European boys in Ottoman before? If these were such sensitive topics for you then why did you spend 1 whole month in there for vacation? To contribute to Turkish economy? Get the f*ck out of here! You are full of sh*t. Nothing but an internet troll.
Dear Rain: Your unprovoked explosive anger is very familiar to me as a Western female living alone in Turkey, in an all Turkish community. I have witnessed thin skinned ultranationalist eruption too frequently. Take a chill pill please and/or take an anger control class.
I have to say, I can totally relate to your experience in Turkey. I spent a few day in Istanbul as a tourist and I had some bad experiences. On a street in a popular area, near the Blue Mosque, I was constantly, being in my opinion, being hustled and harassed by store and restaurant staff aggressively trying to get me into their shops or restaurants to sell me something at an inflated price. My hotel was on this street, so I experienced this several times per day. When I walked in the square area by the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, all kinds of vendors tried to hustle me and scam me. I had a Turkish man walk up to me and speak to me in Turkish. He then apologized to me saying he thought I was Turkish (which is ridicules – I don’t look Turkish) using that as an excuse to break the ice and talk to me. After chatting with me for about 10 minutes, he tried to persuade me to get into his car so he could show me a good night club. I knew it was a scam at that point and walked away as I’m 100% sure he had some kind of plans to get big money out of me. On the other hand, I ran into some very nice people including my hotel manager who was the nicest guy I met in Istanbul. I rented an audio guide to use on a boat ride on the Bosphorus and it did not work properly. I complained when I returned from the boat ride and the ticket venders refused to refund my money – which was only about 8 US dollars. They were stand-offish and did not seem to care. When I got away from the city center, I met some nice people who spoke limited English but smiled and acted friendly towards me. I really can’t figure it out. There seems to be a part of their culture that accepts doing dishonest and sleazy business but there are other people who are down to earth decent humble people. It wasn’t a good feeling and I really don’t feel much interest in every returning to Turkey. Perhaps people are nicer when you get out of the big city tourist areas?
Despite a few peeps saying that Kurds are the ones to be impolite or rude, I find it another way around.
And, based on my 24 days travel to Turkey, its the eastern part of the country that is far more kind, hospitable to foreigners. I went to Van, Diyarbakir and Sanliurfa – the people’s hospitality was one of the trip highlights. Its a different story in Istanbul or Ankara; people are colder, doesnt seem to care etc..
Overall I’ll visit again but spend more on the eastern part. The sites, culture and architecture is just a joy to experience!
No, it is BOTH Turks, and Kurds and Arab men . They are horrific towards women. I wish they did not exist and Thank GOD my country does not let so many in.
Hey man, I have just found out about this article of yours. I am a 22 year old Turkish living in Istanbul my whole life. I’m an undergraduate I also study politics and I am a traveler as well. Let me start by saying this: I know what you mean. What you used to hear about Turkey was mostly about how hostile and warm people were, that has changed! During the current governmental era, (it’s 16 years now), people have become extremely segregated and polarized, it’s not only the tourists, Turkish people hate each other as well! There are basically two type of groups: Islamists and the seculars. I am a muslim but I am also a secular (thats’s about 40% of the country), we mostly speak English well, warm to tourists, travel abroad, get higher education and control the cultural production (oddly). The other part are the Islamists, they don’t speak English because they go to religious schools (which are everywhere since the current governments took over), they only care about conservative Muslims, they want to get away from Europe and get closer to the Arab region, they are not open about issues like sex, drinking etc. and all of the bus drivers, taxi drivers and people in public service consists of them mostly (because the government employs mostly islamists). So there is this huge division in Turkey. If you go to areas like Etiler, Beşiktaş, Cihangir, Kadıköy in Istanbul, you’ll find a young, educated and open-minded people and you’ll get warm welcomes. Secular people are concentrated in only a few ares. Other than that, it’s Islamists. The segregation is very obvious and vivid, for example in 2018, Uber is becoming popular among seculars and all the government supporters and taxi drivers are attacking Uber drivers physically and the government is trying to kick Uber out. Also, in Ramadan, islamists attack people who consume alcohol, they attack people in public transportation if they are wearing a mini skirt. The one thing that muslim people care about is radical islam and the government. As long as you are against the government, or you are a tourists (excluding arabs) you are not welcome here. For the last couple of years, Turkey has a record number of college graduates fleeing the country (number one reason is security and freedom). So, it’s not you, it’s not the tourists. It’s the mass ignorance, segregation. I hope it explains. I hope Turkey will care about tourism, freedom and hospitality more in the future.
Interesting, thanks a lot for sharing.
My mum wears a hijab visible Muslim,we are a Pakistani family from London! We experienced alot of rudeness- don’t think it has anything to do with people being non Muslim! Maybe just English speaking foreigners ?
Its more complicated than that. Of my 30 years experience in Turkey, Muslim men have never cheated me. It was the seculars who would cheat or steal from me. But on the other hand, I've seen mostly conservative muslim men harrass and rape women. They also love the transexual prostitutes at night. That was frowned upon by my secular acquaintances. As a man, I would rather deal with a Muslim Turk, but if I were a woman I would rather deal with secularists. Yes, they do hate each other. But neither are of any benefit to society. The old polite effendi Turks aren't around anymore, which is sad. I've had more meaningful deep conversations with hotel clerks in Bulgaria than anyone in Turkey.
– The dude on the bus, putting his garbage on your table was a bit rude, but not too much. In Turkey, there are people on the busses who collect garbage. So he thought it’s gonna stay there for 5-10 minutes until the service picks it up. But of course he should asked you for it.
– Men in touristy areas are very rude and just look for opportunity to rip off. Especially taxi-drivers, bus drivers. They are very uncivilized and Turks don’t like them.
– Don’t be too polite in Turkey. It’s a “man-culture” in Turkey. It’s even ok to say “I don”t wanna, leave me alone” if somebody tries to sell you something. Be self-confident when asking. Then they will respect you.
– Turks are having a bad time with their authoritarian president who just abolished democracy in Turkey. There is a lot of tension among the population. Economically it goes down the river.
– Turks are cold-shouldered because they don’t know how to interact with foreigners. Turks can be a very closed society with a closed mind. It’s a good thing that you made the first steps with a few words in Turkish.
– Don’t forget, Istanbul has a population of 20 million. It’s a big city. Big cities are full of rude people.
My advice: Go to Aegean coast, especially Izmir. It’s a city with modern-thinking people, open-minded, secular, proud and polite. Go around the villages. They will be curious in you and offer you a lot of presents. Istanbulians can be haughty and one part of the city is full of backwarded people.
Thanks for the tips!
Everything’s true ): I’m Turkish btw
Turks are a sick nation. Especially due to their current government, they became a monstrous, rude, and a psychopathic people. You cannot even imagine how atrocious these people are; whenever I get on bus or tramway, I always see people quarreling for no reason. They are looking at each other as if they are going to kill one another.
Men generally smirk for nothing all the time, are rude, arrogant, mean, retard, anxious, and ready for a fight all the time. Turkish women are paranoiac as if they are going to be raped by those middle eastern men (reminder: Turks are definitely a middle eastern nation, not a European one) wherever they go, naive and mostly imbecile. Their kids are mostly disabled because their parents are incest.
When I visited Turkey 20 years ago, and they were really fine, lovely, and hospitable. But now, taking acount of that I have been living in Turkey for over three months, believe me, I am gonna lose my mind if I keep living here; therefore I am planning to leave this country ASAP. I can assure you that a great civil war is going to break out here soon. I suggest you not come here; otherwise, you’ll go back to your country with traumas only.
Hey I live here and you are really over blowing the situation. Yeah sure some of them can be offish and cold but a lot of Turkish people are nice deep down but just don’t show it. I would suspect you are Greek or Armenian because they normally talk a lot like you do.
“…deep down but just don’t show it” you mean their private parts of body?!
Local here commenting.
Have you ever wondered why tourists had so many complaints here? Have you wondered why so many young Turks are leaving their own nation and are changing their passport for another as soon as they can?
The Greeks and Armenians are nothing to do with these types of comments. People from all around the globe are commenting in this section.
Do not take things personally, this is the world we live in.
Turkey is really a complicated cross road, with all kinds of religion, and actually many races, it’s not
A harmonious place, so I think that’s why people are ego centric, they care only for them self.
I been to turkey 4 times, and the experience is getting worst every time, encounter too many stubborn scammers , even at 5 star hotels and airline counters. If you go to you must stay at the 5+star Conrad
Hotel, to feel a little better. Even our Turkish tour guy opens says he hates the country, that is really too bad. That means no one is willing to make the country better. My experience with Turkish people even in Canada and USA is that they only care about their own interest, and do not care about others.they can be very nice to you one minute but become a different person the next time you see them? I am not sure if they care for their own image ? After all Turks was only a group of loosely associated nomadic people,
They were only tie together by the religion, but in the new world they want shake off the past and to be part of the west, and that is a big dilemma .
I have spent quite a lot of time in Turkey, mainly because I had a Turkish girlfriend for two years. Obviously, everyone is an individual and its not a good idea to generalize, but I found Turkish people to be fairly unpleasant and aggressive. There were exceptions of course and I met a few people who seemed glad to speak to a native English speakers. But generally, it was bad. The level of aggression from other males towards me was off the charts. They actually look at you like they want to kill you. Anyway, the relationship died and I will not be returning to Turkey again, and I cannot say I am sad about that.
I find your article spot on. I have spent 3 weeks with my boyfriend in Istanbul and my experience wasn’t good at all. People in general are so rude and so unfriendly that it was unbelievable. I personally didn’t like the kebobs and Turkish cuisine in general, and find that everything was just meat meat meat, very little vegetables. Everything was overcooked and it was very hard to find a healthy meal. We came from US to Istanbul where we spent almost 3 weeks and went to the smaller place for the friends wedding and people were little different , but they thought we were aliens or something since we both have blonde hair and blue eyes and they thought it was kinda weird. The girl poked me in the eye during this wedding to see if I was wearing colour contacts, I mean how come I have such a blue eyes lolThe culture is very very different, their mentality is so different than any other European country. And the last thing, I found them less European and more Middle Eastern in terms of food and culture etc…. Definitely not going back…didn’t get the positive vibe at all.
Glad to hear that you won’t come back again. Goodbye.
Your name is Turgay… try pronouncing it in English ? how does that make you feel?
No one visits your shitty country twice. What ugly first names too. Sounds like gulag. Hahaha!
As a Turkish, I have to accept that most of the comments that were written in both article and comments are true. Even us, living in turkey, are criticising behaviour of our people. Turkish people are strictly separated as uneducated majority and, moderately or well educated minority. Since the majority of the people are uneducated, it’s highly likely to confront them. Most of the educated people are working at offices instead of being taxi driver, clerk, waiter etc. And they do not prefer to use public transportation. That’s is why you rarely encounter educated polite people.
Buying all inclusive hotels and hotel transfers in advance will always protect you. But if you want to travel by yourself I have few recommendations. Before you go anywhere in Turkey, do your research about places, read reviews. Plan in advance. Even for the restaurant you eat. Do not step inside a restaurant, shop, hotel etc. without doing research. It’s easy to do it via Tripadvisor, Yelp and Foursquare. Always choose chain stores and chain grocery markets for shopping. They have fixed prices and won’t try to cheat. Almost all the souvenirs that are in sale are made in China. They are not locally produced, and they do not represent anything local. Do not accept any overly friendly help from others. The main trick of the frauds is to talk excessively more (to make your mind busy to prevent you from thinking logically) and try to get close. Don’t listen and answer overly speaking locals. Gently walk away without speaking.
I just found your article and it’s right on point, the people are so unbelievably in your face rude! There are few nice locals but the majority are plain rude.
One guy was so horrible I couldn’t let it pass. My dad got sick on the cruise ship and got some on the floor, the guy at the cashier next to us refused to give us any bag (thats why the floor got dirty, then he brought me a cleaning tool and told me to clean, i asked if there is someone who cleans on the ship and he said no, you clean. My mother started wiping the mess and suddenly the cleaning service guy comes in and he is like nooo madam I will clean! I just couldn’t control myself I was so shocked at the cashier guy, I started shouting seriously!! This can never happen in Dubai, and I have never seen such behaviour in my life.
Turkey is so beautiful, its a shame the people are mean. I am going to Trabzon next week and hopefully the people will be better. But in all cases, I am definitely not coming back.
I visited Turkey from my hometown Los Angeles, California. I will never go back to Turkey again. I could not tolerate Istanbul a week. As an American I would say Istanbul would possibly relate to some European palates which find that pile of ugly concrete with horrible urbanization beautiful! I was amazed how especially British visitors found those super ugly and dysfunctional Istanbul neighborhoods with hardly any parks or green areas, like Cihangir, charming. Even Guardian wrote about it!
Talking about the people: no hi or bye or even a smile when exchanging glances, or while getting on elevators. No Good Morning with a big smile when passing by on streets. All my fellow American visitors were annoyed by lack of social manner in Turkey. But this is valid for most of European cities we visited anyway.
In Istanbul, for instance, sit at your table in Divan Pastanesi pastry and try to communicate with table next to you. They will look at you like a weirdo from Mars! There is no concept of interaction with strangers in Turkish culture. People don’t know how to behave in a civilized way to people they don’t know. Turkish women think they are being hit on, and therefore act guarded, and Turkish men are awkwardly cold, distant and communication handicapped!
What is this lingual barrier Turks have? Most of Turks are too insular and do not even know basic English or any foreign language, and hardly have any idea about world issues out of Tukey. Oddly enough, except for Italy, I have hardly seen such a huge language barrier in anyone of the countries I travelled.
Finally, what is this hysterical obsession with Ataturk, the archetype of cult personality, whose statues are ubiquitously installed around the country. There is a neurotic sense of insecurity in this.
Your comment made me laugh so much! Especially the neurotic sense part, which is in itself a thorough field of study!
Yes, the brainwashing is excellent here, well served, and brewed for a very long time since an early age whatever the official political or religious official affiliations.
There is more I would like to comment on maybe only when the Penguins will fully accept my membership to their community, will I start bashing about the whole world of humans 🙂
I am a New Yorker and Los Angeles is the most hideous place on Earth with the most idiotic people-i had to get out of that cess pool I did not last a year.. Europe is absolutely gorgeous apparently you haven't travelled. Americans learned the concept of green spaces form Europeans. This is why New Yorkers do not call ourselves "American" We are embarrassed by uncultured idiot Californians. After all we have the best green space in the country and the finest architecture and culture. Los angeles has the finest smog-lol! Nice city you got there-absolutely filthy and concrete and the WORST architecture i have ever seen and that is saying alot since i have been to 46 states. You feel inferior to New Yorkers because we are dual citizens of Europe and New York-. jealous much? You have no aesthetic. Turks are horrible people the majority however Turkey's architecture is beyond compare as is its natural beauty.
And 70 countries, Ryan. LOs Angeles is THE UGLIEST city I have ever seen. COngrats!<3
And Americans have a linguistic-not a"lingual" barrier stronger than even the British. You sound like a fellow narcissist exactly like a Turk. What do YOU Have to be proud of coming form the biggest cess pool in the World, Ryan? Typical California name too. lol! last name-Irish in Origin NOT a first name.
I dont know if your opinion has changed since its been 3 years but I think turkish men are the problematic ones. Even with these men, women continue to stay warm and very kind. It is the problem of man dominant countries. I am pretty sure Turkey would be in European Union already if there were no Turkish men exist there.
I’m in Turkey (Kusadasi) right now and I feel very unwelcome. Not to mention the weird, creepy looks my friend and I are getting. She’s a woman and I’m a (gay) man. Also they don’t speak any English! Not even basic sentences. And honestly I can overlook that if they were more friendly and welcoming.
I’m glad I found your post. Now I know it’s not just me. I can’t wait to go back to the Netherlands.
as a turk I can say that you do not try to solve them, you can not solve their problems. I recommend it to come to Turkey twice to be more careful, especially in human relations. Turks are mostly two-faced and unreliable people. In last 20 30 years, the trust of each other people in society has been extremely damaged. maybe it is the coldness of the Turks and the fact that they are uncouth originate from here. You might choose the city in the western part of the turkey would be wise. In short, the Turks love people who look like themselves. Be careful yet.. Bren , you are right my friend, as a person living here I complain about the same things.
As a Turkish people İ can say that you are definitely right, Brien. İ can suggest who are think to visit to Turkey that they must more careful especially in human relations. İn last 20 30 years, people trust to each other in turkish society damaged. i think that rudeness and incivility originated from this. maybe religions stuff. i dont know. i can say that you can not solve their attitude . you can not understand their problems as a foreigner even me as a local people. they are mostly two faced and unreliable people. their gender doesnt matter men or women.they are dont keep their promises.be careful twice. Western cities of Turkey is pretty good and peoples a little more polite and helpful.Turkish people like people who look like themselves and really doesnt care others.
A country almost full of assholes.
Never ever again come back here .
Customer service is so bad here, at least in Istanbul, Trabzon and Adana where we’ve been to. They are so reluctant to help that you don’t even want to buy or ask anything. There are exceptions of course, but they are pretty much rare. Another thing, because I look like an East Asian (but neither I am Chinese nor Japanese) sometimes I get “Nihao” or “Konnichiwa” said sarcastically from passersby and that’s kind of annoying. Not to mention people breaking queues, not greeting back, etc. Also I expected a more diverse tourist community in Istanbul, but middle eastern make up like 99% of all tourists.
I went to Turkey and I will never go back. I hated it. Maybe I will go back to Kurdistan, the eastern part of Turkey, but never to the west. In Istanbul, a guy selling melons was listening on the radio to a sermon on how honest (dürüst) the Prophet was. I asked him to chose a melon for me (Benim için güzel bir tane seçebilir misiniz?). He weighed and palpated various melons, and they chose to give me… the one with a big rotten spot. Sizin dininiz bu mu? (Is that your religion?) And I walked away. The whole Turkish part of the country is foul like that. I only met honest people in Kurdistan (the east).
There is no kurdistan on Eastern Turkey. There is Eastern Turkey in Eastern Turkey. Learn some geography.
I have been many countries but Turkey is the worst country i have ever seen from west to east!(btw I never been in India) I have been lived for many years in Turkey.What makes Turkey worst country? Of course the people..They have a bad temper.Always, at every corner you can find a psycho who wants to annoy you when you have a walk on the road or at cafe store.Small vendors are really dangerous especially in Istanbul and also Taxi drivers.They are scammer.I would like to share my one of the worst experiences about Turks.One day, i was really shocked because suddenly the owner of store started to yelling me and saying to me angrily “ I’m a doctor, who are you, you are sick go away from my store” blah blah FOR NO REASON.And then I said you can’t shout at me and I don’t care who you are and then a few customers and other worker started to say he is bigger than you, be respectful.OMG. What a answer! Someone will attack you unfairly and then you will be thankful for their behavior?That was really bad shocking experience for me because think about that you just go to store for looking some stuff and the owner attack you for no reason and you don’t have any idea Why?My mistake was to defend myself as I just a young girl because then I realized He was a schizophrenic man for sure.Don’t be shocked if a turkish woman/man attack you in verbal or phsycial for no reason because many psycho, pervert people over there. Istanbul is a dangerous zone!Foreigners must be careful during their trip.I must say Traffic is terrible.Many of them don’t obey traffic rules and other rules! I never understand why Turks are so arrogant people?They don’t have any important invention for humanity,sciene,art,fashion etc..Who do they think they are?There is no chance being part of EU for Turkey.I think don’t waste your time in Turkey if it is not necessary.They always need attention.Don’t pay attention to them during your visit!..I hope it is helpful!
I have never met such rude people in my life. My husband and I when booking our honeymoon to England and Greece decided to fly back to Boston with Turkish airlines which had a 15 hour layover in Turkey. My husband and I were so excited to end our honeymoon in Turkey and see some Fabulous sites right before our 11 hour flight back to Boston. But once we got to Istanbul we opted to stay in the hotel room until our next flight. We had booked a hotel in advance and mapped out what we were going to achieve in 5 hours.
After our initial interactions in Turkey, we were actually scared to leave the hotel. Our interactions with people in the airport and slightly outside the airport were not to our liking. We assumed a cultural barrier. Cultural barrier or not, I got pushed out of the way by a large 6 foot something Turkish male to cut 5’ me in the passport control line. It was as though he thought he could walk all over me. A Turkish women in the airport laughed at me when I said I didn’t have an E-Visa. (You have to pay $30 to leave the airport even when just laying over. Something I was very unaware of) Any male we asked for help couldn’t bother to help us. Yes, I completely understand that my interactions with Turk people were mostly in a stressful airport and I shouldn’t base my opinion on Turkey from an airport. But what I do know, and what I did realize that after the multiple interactions I had with turkish people and everything I read about most of the Turks after my interaction is I would rather not spend my time in this country. I am a tourist, I am a female and I am a human being, and myself and every human should be treated with some manner of respect. I chose not to spend the 5 hours to tour Istanbul as planned because I would rather not be treated with such disrespect, when coming to spend money in your country. I am a super nice person, and treated even all the airport staff with respect even when I wasnt.
It’s so unfortunate, and I am so saddened that my first impression was not a good one. I agree with your post and that the interactions with people are really what’s makes a country a fun trip. I don’t plan on coming back.
So much hatred on this thread. The simple fact is that it is the attitude and perception you have which will define your experience of any country. I am English and have lived in Beşiktaş over 4 years. Not once have I experienced racism. People are generally kind and helpful, but you need to make an effort to speak the language. Sad to see so much negativity here. I’ve travelled to over 30 countries and it is all about your own perception and attitude that defines your travelling experience in my humble opinion. I love Turkey and Turks. BJK 1903
You’re English and your English is not perfect! Hahaha
Ah, NO, Jim. WRONG. Only narcissists live in a bubble where rudeness does not effect them because they are too self-involved to notice or care. Being conscious and compassionate is the goal. You missed it. Enjoy the place you have put yourself. Sounds lik e you richly deserve it.
I just came back from my recent visit at Istanbul, which I always wanted to go and was so excited about this trip. But from the first day I noticed I was not welcomed. People would ignore me or give me attitudes. Once we took a Taxi and he drove for 5 minutes and then decided to turn back and drop us out and said it’s traffic I’m not going to take you… that was the worst feeling. I could not believe someone could do that to a tourist whom do not know where they are and where to go after that. As you said, the city was beautiful but the whole time we had some kind of bad feeling about how Turkish people are treating us and it was sad that it stayed in my mind as people ask me how was my vacation, I can’t say it was awesome… . I feel like people in cities like Istanbul that has tourism attraction should at least be kind and smile to foreigners so they leave their country with positive experience.
Really hated Turkey from the smell to the rude airport staff to the lack of common respect.
If you are a foreign woman the Turkish women just give you such bad looks. Glad I escaped and will never go back. Horrible people horrible experience.
I just got back from a 4 day trip to Istanbul and though I enjoyed the sights by and large most people were very rude which was disappointing. Never a smile, a hello, or any indication of them welcoming me into their country. I realize every country has rude people but for a country which touts itself as a destination it was not very welcoming.
I stumled upon ur blog while searching the reason of my terrible experience in turkey. Me and my husband went their for four days recently. We were flying frm madrid and istanbul was our last stop before heading back. I am a pakistani but my husband is british. Right from the airport people were extremly rude and impatient and wr trying to take advantage of us being tourists so much so that by the time i reached my hotel room i was in tears.next day i told my husband to deal with people whenever we had to.as i had a feeling they might treat him differently because of his ethnicity. He ended up arguing with shop keeper waiters wr rude too.asked a bus driver about the stop he decided to ignore and started to look out of the window. While another driver started shouting at my husband in turkish telling him to scan ticket again and we ended up paying twice for two people. we decided to leave the country and left the same night. It was a terrible end to our orherwise great holidays in spain and italy. Never ever i am going back to this country. And now trying to forget this traumatic experience.
We just got back from Turkey and my wife and I were treated very rude and like we were un welcome. I am a very outgoing person. We have traveled to a lot of places in the world the nicest of these were the maleivians and the columbians and the worst was in Turkey
I visited Istanbul and went to Ephesus (2006). I very much disliked people in Istanbul. We found them very hostile towards us. We did not enjoy it bc of the hostility towards us.
If there’s any British people here who have moved to Istanbul I’d love to hear from you. We’ve just moved here (only because my husband had enough of the uk) and chose Istanbul because he said the weather is better, the people are nicer, food is tastier and everything is cheaper.
I haven’t found any of this to be true ! So far…..?!
Oh my….I’d move over to Bulgaria 🙂 Or maybe Lebanon!
Lebanon was amazing when I moved there in 2013 and only started going downhill on 2018. Amazing people and food. Weather is also very warm but humid in the summer.
As a turkish woman, has been living in the uk for the past few years, even my whole family is back in turkey, I have no plan whatsoever to move back there. My boyfriend (english), and me visited turkey last year in october, I absolutely disgusted with people and what the country have become over the years.
Turkey is a beautiful pleace, but people in Tukey are idiots. All educated and good people have left or leaving the country, because they can’t take the government pressure, they simply feel like strangers in their home.
So, I dont know if you can move back to the uk, but turkey may not be the best place to live at the moment.
Özge bir gün Atatürk’ün kurduğu ülkeyi bizler tekrar ayağı kaldıracağız ama sizler gibi vatanından kaçanları ülkelerine almıyacağız. Ne AKP’lisi nede sizleri. Ailenide biran önce yanına al. Sizin gibilere bu ülkede ihtiyaç yok. Ayrıca kendine TÜRK demeyi bırakmalısın.
Keep doing 31 over your fake nation, have a nice wet dreams durki$ boi!
Istanbul is extremely dangerous and I don’t recommend traveling here. There is violence and as these commentators suggest you can have problems. I’ve had many. Including having my wallet stolen from a taxi driver. I went into Starbucks and asked them to call the police they all laughed they thought it was funny I was mugged. This is their attitude towards “westerners.” As one Turk commenting here shows. dangerous don’t recommend. And the men or women will hit you if you argue with them. For small things like wanting your change from a taxi driver.
What a stupid person you are .. Sen nasil turksun gerci bazi turkler boyledir sizi gibi 5 kurus etmez irkcilar
I second everything you mentioned.
I visited Turkey 3 times over the last 10 years and everytime I keep saying I am not coming back to this country but I return for different obligations.
The only change over these 10 years is their English got better but the people are still rude so it was never the language barrier.
I am at the airport now waiting to board and hopefully not coming back for real this time.
Please don’t tell me that you all live in safe places. I lived in New York for 10 years. People there are rude, they hate each other, they don’t communicate; they fight. I had never felt safe!!
I have recently moved to Houston; found a nice apartment in a safe location. And guess what? There happened a school shooting right next to my apartment; one kid was killed. For god sake it wasn’t even on the news.
I have been in Turkey, China, India, and many other countries! Big cities are always unsafe! Why do you interact with locals anyways?
You didn't live in New York. I am a New Yorker and we are so nice. ONly yokels form elsewhere in the country like the Pacific Northwest or California who are jealous of our cultured city say that. Stop lying. I smell a Turk.
You are a liar. New Yorkers are the kindest , funniest most helpful people in the USA. They are direct and not fake. My is the only place I live in the states.
Turkish here!, you look kazakh or any other central asian so they didn’t see you as other or foreigner who always have more privilege than locals. As a Turk , I have always been treated as shit whenever I was in Istanbul :). we are extremely close to people in our circle; friends, family and westerners (inc. Japanese ) :).
Thanks for your post (and others!). I keep wondering what the heck I’m doing wrong, lol! I’m currently on holiday in Turkey with a friend and have to agree that most professional people I’ve interacted with act like your disturbing them, but it’s usually men. I live in Japan where the level of customer service, even in a convenience store, is very polite. My friend just went to the airport pharmacy here in Izmir and he asked the man if he had anything for a sore foot. The chemist just looked at him and said “No. Nothing.” He eventually bought some cream and when I asked for a bag, the girl just tossed it over the counter at him. I told her that it was her job to put the cream in the bag and said to her boss that I’d never been to a country where staff were so rude and unhelpful. We went to a village in the mountains and people were so kind and helpful. I really regret wasting my time and money coming here and certainly won’t be back! Can’t wait to get actually! If they’re going to have a tourist industry, they really need to sort out the attitude problem!
Turkish boy go to another place where you scratch your ass because it still hurts. You Are uneducated and ignorant.
I strongly agree with all you said, as a person who likes change, I decided to come to Turkey as a teacher, I assure you that everything you said is right, I was extremely surprised that even at the airport nobody speaks any foreign language, how people raise their shoulders and walk away as if you never said anything. I hate it, I regret the decision I made to come discover another culture but I did not want to leave the school without a teacher without mentioning how rude the school staff are. I will never ever come back to this country. I reached the highest level of being rude and without manners.
Hi Bren. Many thanks for starting this post. I had deliberately search for an answer online about the experiences that I have encountered in Istanbul and stumbled upon your post along with the countless others as well. Surprisingly I can see not much has changed in the attitude of the people in Istanbul over the years from when you started this post. I am an Asian American and have been to over 15+ countries and enjoy meeting the people and trying the local food wherever I visit. In all my years of traveling, I agree with the experiences that others have encountered and really wanted to find the answer about the rude culture that exists among the vast majority even though I did encounter some kind people who I have met. There was one taxi driver who even offered to accompany me into an establishment to help translate for me. While there was another taxi driver who didn’t even have a meter and charged me 50 lire when I knew from other rides were half the price. Sadly, every other interactions with the local people have been quite rude as others have mentioned. Even when I attempt to approach someone with a smile and greeting in Turkish, I get the dirty stare and eye roll to get away. I wish I can understand where the attitude has been derived but for now am not looking to come back again to visit the city nor encourage others to visit unless they like dealing with rude attitudes.
I will give you a recommendation.if you think turkish people are rude. please don’t come here there are good and bad people everywhere If you are generalizing, you are one of them(When I went to China I was looking for a place to stay I went to the hotel and asked if I have a room. they said yes and I gave my passport then they said no I can’t give you the room)but I don’t think like you. good and bad people everywhere
I have returned to Turkey five times for extended stays, three times leading student groups. My experiences there have been stellar, both in the cities and in the small towns and villages. I cannot imagine judging a place and its people after just a few days.
You sound delusional. Perhaps you do not have good social skills and cannot pick up on the unsubtle aggression of the Turks. No one is judging , people are describing their experiences. Buy a dictionary.
Second time in Istanbul. First time I was treated like a king, (back in autumn/2016), now I am finding difficult to leave the hotel. Grumpy faces and pushy people everywhere. Can’t complain about scams because hardly anyone approaches me to talk (unlike last time). But I think I know what to blame for this situstion: the weather. It is unberably hot here today. Istanbul has no green space and the air is heavy – it lacks oxygen. Turks, like most people, get easily annoyed when its too hot. If not annoyed, agressive. Unfortunately, summer is the time when the city gets packed with tourists. Both sides get impatient very easily. I think this can cause things to boil very fast – or maybe I justify my current situation, because I prefer not to hate Turkey and it’s people.
Be aware that your actions can also trigger unpleasant reactions. You should overwhelme the with kindness everytime they are rude. Besides, the political situation here is indeed VERY TENSE. But if you don’t want to interact with locals, best to find a cafe and spend your time reading/writing. They won’t be bother by this, and some kind soul may approach. Regards.
Sorru to hear about your experience but seriously no green space in Istanbul??? They have some of the most beautiful parks and forests. Have you seen Belgrade Forest or some of their parks (Ataturk Arboretum) Istanbul is one of the greenest cities I have been to, both sides.
Let me tell you who are Turks?
Worthless,loudly,disrespectful,cheater,yokel,greedy people in too many levels,,,,,,,,,,,
Never suggest to visit you there.
Hey, thank you for sharing your experience as kind as possible. I am Turkish so I will try to explain where this attitude came from as much as I can.
Our people have been struggling with learning english and they are really insecure about even trying to talk. So if you came across to older people they may refuse to talk to you because they only learned English in elementary school and probably forgot what they learned through the years. They are mad to themselves not you. And only words they learn in any language are swear words because if somebody swear them they’d know.
Maybe the stares could be about you look like a tourist and they always figure out what the people are from. Even if I get in a taxi or sth. They ask where am I from it’s the whole thing. There are rude people in our country like all countries have I am not gonna lie. Maybe you didn’t came across the right ones, who knows.
I am grateful for you taking the time to visit, try all the food and see our historical gems that a lot of cultures bring together. And I am sorry for what you had to deal with as a tourist. But never forget you are welcomed here to eat baklava and borek again.
Don't bother apologizing for people having a bad trip. I've been to Turkey many times and will go again. Everytime i had a good experience. No country is going to be perfect and some people are bound to have bad experiences. But the overwhelming majority of people have a very good time in Turkey. And they don't have a reputation as being hospitable for nothing.
Honestly im convinced half of these comments are from people with political motives. They are spending far too much energy hating on a country.
Agreed. I am okay with people commenting and talking about their negative experiences or even venting but some of these comments are immature, disrespectful to anyone not just Turks and yes politically driven. I have an Armenian friend who told me, we're taught to hate a Turk from the day we come out of our mother's V.
Hey,I don’t know why did i read this but i want to say something about your opinions.Firstly I’m Turkish and sorry cause of your bad vibes.Turkish’re really friendly people.Yes,you know it but we can be rude.There’re many reasons for we’re rude.I think nobody doesn’t live
under the same conditions.That’s it and i’m so sorry cause if my bad English lol.We learn only hi/goodbye at shools here.
It’s a pretty shit country, I came to visit a friend of mine. Food there is great, but turkish people aren’t friendly and there are conservative, they dont smile and I didn’t find them helpful, most of the time when I ask something, I get different answer or wrong answer. Besides, 90% of people are smoking alot so I could not handle that.
Bottom line, I dont recommend, unless you are a foodie so it can be tolerable for a few days.
I agree with everything you said I have been in Turkey for 16 days now I’ll be leaving tomorrow and by far Turkish people are the worst people I’ve ever met in my entire life I went to Istanbul and uzungol and ayder and artvin and alot of other towns and Cities…… I traveled to a lot of countries but I’ve never seen people who can be so rude like Turks they are racist they don’t tourists and they don’t like non Turkish speakers they also are very ignorant they don’t even speak English almost everyone can’t…. I will never come to this country again….. HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE
hello Bren, I came across your article because I have lived in Istanbul for 6 months (in winter 2018) and was baffled at why people were so rude to me, and I thought maybe it was me, but now I see that it wasn’t just me. Moreover something that’s different in my case, is that I am not white or American, I am a Pakistani male and I thought I faced that because I was a Pakistani, apparently not. Istanbul is a beautiful city, but it’s not a good experience when 9/10 people either are rude or couldn’t care less about you. Like you said there are 2 extremes, but just like you, I came across rude people much more than polite ones. Sometimes I felt as if I offended them just by talking to them, even though I always smile when talking, like every normal person. And no it’s not the older population, most of the rudeness came from young and middle aged men, even though I did learn some Turkish to communicate that way, and even then they were rude to me, perhaps now because of my broken Turkish, I had many bad experiences in Istanbul, but some goods ones too, although they were few and far between, I am sorry if It seems like I am ranting, but that’s just my experience, even the people of Saudi Arabia are more hospitable than turks. Visit to Turkey was nothing short of a disappointment for me, only and only because of people. And 6 months is enough time to get lay of the land.
I should add that most of the females were very nice and polite. Even some female locals who didn’t speak English, translated from their phones or my phone to help me.
My experience with Turkey unfortunately has been similar. They hate foreigners and treat them all as if they are invaders. They make not distinction between a tourist and a refugee. If you look at Turkish google reviews of tourist sites like amusement parks you will find them all complaining about how many foreigners were there. They seem to forget they are a touristic destination. It is much better on the southern beaches. All the resorts we visited were welcoming and the staff always spoke perfect English. You shoudl have just cut your stay in instanbul shoet and moved on to the other cities.
I have spent in Istanbul 6 days so far and have had a very similar feelings. I am glad it is not just me who has got such an impression as I have wondered why I feel much unwelcomed compared to lots of other countries I have been too. I also wondered about the lack of very basic English in such a tourist place as Istanbul. I could not even get milk for my coffee from a young girl at the airport. At some places I had a slight feel of unfriendliness towards me beacuse of trying to use English in order to get something as a customer. It never happened to me in any Asian country yet. I experienced kindness from older and humble restaurant keepers other than them no one else seemed to try. As a female I felt especially unwelcomed by other local or Russian women who would stare at me in a contemptuous or unfriendly manner. I would get occassioanal rude stares from men too but not to the same extent as eg in India. Istanbul is a beautiful city with breathtaking views but, unfortunately, I would not come back because of the way ppl made me feel. I live in London which is a busy city with many ppl too but have never felt this way there …
Im currently in Istanbul googling why Turkish people have zero manners and hate westerners. My experience has been reiterated quite a few times on this thread and now I know it isn’t me. The minute I stepped off of the plane a rude man purposely shoved me so hard, his watch hit me in the arm and I was bleeding. The cabs all took longer routes and got upset when I asked them to take the recommended route on google maps. They also let me, in drove me a few blocks, and then decided they weren’t in the mood to take me to the final destination. In NYC your medallion will get taken away for this. Night clubs, bars, and restaurants wouldn’t seat me bc “there is no room” but then would allow a Turkish person in behind me. Mind you, I’m from NYC I know doormen can be mean and that it’s their job, but when it’s only toward Americans it’s complete discrimination. People trying to sell me stuff at the bazaar got aggressive when I haggled. I’ve been to Morocco and Israel, never have I encountered such animosity at a souk. I will never return to Istanbul again. Bodrum and cappadocia didn’t have this same attitude towards foreigners but Istanbul was such a disappointment.
Well this is interesting. I was wondering why whenever I get a rude comment on my YouTube channel out of nowhere that made me think “wow, what is this guy’s problem?” about 50% of the time it’s a Turkish sounding name – quite an achievement for a relatively small fraction of the world population. I wasn’t really thinking about the tourism perspective, but it sounds like a place to never visit – I mean there are so many other places in the world to see, why bother?
For those of you who had bad experiences, might I suggest you try the other end of the politeness scale and visit Japan. Many commenters here have blamed the Turkish personality on Istanbul being crowded, busy, stressful or even hot (lol), but Tokyo is all these things and the people still manage to be exceedingly nice.
Incidentally, the biggest street brawl to occur in Japan in recent history was Turks and Kurds fighting each other outside the Turkish embassy. Poor Japanese police didn’t know what to make of it, I doubt they ever experienced anything like this…
“Hot” – it was me. See my latest reply. I really tried to like Istanbul and the Turks. Now it is unlikely that I will ever return.
I say visit Istanbul, have a drink, enjoy it and ignore the rude nasty people. Why let them ruin what could be a nice experience. Beautiful country with so much to see.
I have been working with Turkish people for business for a couple of years and found Turkish people can be arrogant and selfish. But again, business is business, that's how you earn. Although compared with other countries, it is rather an unpleasant experience.
Nothing to do with education. I live in North America and personally know a few immigrants from Turkey, all highly educated professionals. However, these people have no social manners, no moral, are extremely loud,nasty, barefaced, selfish lazy bullies, this includes women too. If they say hi, it means they need something from you. Uncivilized and barbaric, no education or big city can change it.
Read some of the comments above .
To be fair i ve been there a few times . I know what its like , there are some things that are well annoying and sometimes i couldnt be bothered . You might come across some people or experience some things and think “ fuck me “ or like “ fuckin hell “ you probably would ever imagine it happen in your own country , like its just not how you d think things would go .
Turkish people seem to think differently their attitude towards people seem to vary a lot depending on certain criterias i recon . I can picture it now and i find it funny/absurd but yeah what can you do lol
Anyway there are times when things are way too complicated or they might just think you re a mug , who knows what people went through when they were in turkey . People in turkey are different id say they behave a certain way and that s it really , you come across people that are welcoming and some that couldnt careless . Some people are well out of order some would go out there way to help you . Some of you above might have gone through hell during your stay/stays , if you hated it then unlucky , like it is what it is , if you hated it etc dont bother like fuck em the world is a big place full of welcoming beautiful countries , but chances are some people think the opposite and would return its just one of those things . I probably would i recon , not like soon but eventually i will . I wanted to go on the hot air ballons over capadocia .
But anyway , i ll just list some positive thoughts , i recon most people will agree .
Foods great there is plenty to see and do , culture history etc its all spot on , if you live in europe you get so much more for your pound or euro , holidays in turkey are good value , when ever i booked an all inclusive holiday like hotel food drinks etc its always been all good some people arent too keen on buffet style food that hotels serve so getting food in town is an alternative
Boat trips / day tours / water sports are easy to book and well amazing .
The beaches and resorts are nice its hot most of the time and its not humid . Clubs and bars are great .
Fair enough if most people are muslim but i dont think its strict , you might enjoy a drink with locals , i have . Raki aint all that but it goes well when cold with little nibbles etc
Travelling by bus aint all that , to be fair anyone and everyone travels in them you get a mixture of different types a people , ideally a normal person would fligh from a to b , i feel like those buses are the cheap way of doing it so i would highly recommend flying although sometimes you still need to get on a bus but the journey is shorter .
Hiring a car is great but people dont really follow the rules so drive to your heart content ignore/fck the rules lol , just be safe tho .
I interact with people , i do wherever i go and people are usually good to me , i must say id look at someone s body Language or attitude before i engage i do realise some people arent talkative , and when i see that i cant be asked .
But id say try .
Overall transport is good .
And to a certain extent its safe obviously some places are dodgy and at night anything can happen and that could be anywhere really , just dont find yourself At the wrong place and at the wrong time .
Anyway i keep banging on about all this , if you hated then fair enough , its kind of confusing lol everyone has mixed feeling about all this and there seems to be some kind of explanation for everything like you might talk to someone that you know thats turkish, he pr she ll be like yeah if you experienced this the its probably because of this reason etc , i must say tho some people go and love it . I kind of like . but each to their own ey. Not really trying to change anyones mind i recon whichever side you re on you must have your reasons .
Id say its a great place to go . Not a 10 but a solid 8 . Thats just my view tho .
I live in North America and met many of them .Turks, based on my personal experience, those who are considered educated and professionals, they still carry these barbaric bad behaviors ( such as racism, bullying, lying). Their bad behaviors aren’t strictly with westerners, they are rude to everyone! This was confirmed by my visit there. Turkish airline is the worst! from the time I met people in the airport, I realized how bad it will be. The employees are very rude and they seemed like they want to get in a fight with you !!!! I don’t understand why a turk will be racist or arrogant, they are poor uneducated and smelly. Well, I don’t care if they are that way. The only thing I don’t understand why tourism is there, or even why it exists there . There are many countries in the middle east & the world deserve the big number of visits turky has. I think good marketing made lots of people visit turkey or the cheapness. In turkey case, cheap country equals cheap people … it isn’t worth the visit , nor the money to spend there.
I had visited Turkey every year for the past ten years, I loved and impressed with everything in Turkey. So…, I decided to move to Turkey because of my husband is Turkish.
I’ve been living in Turkey for almost two years now and I could say I have several negative experiences just like you all.
First of all, I had been living and working in different countries, and Turkey is very safe, nonetheless it is the only country that I have a very bad experience with. I encountered some local or villagers and they were super nice and friendly. BUT, most educated Turkish are arrogant and have such a narrow perspective, and lack of discipline, especially Turkish women, many of them that I knew, were so drama, jealousy, and very bad behavior.
There are small numbers of people are nice, but the majority specifically the new educated and new generation are very arrogant and very passive aggressive and that definitely ruin Turk’s reputation.
In each city in the world, there are bad and good people. I am a local. And you are right that many Turkish people are prejudiced. It is not related with your being Turkish or not. Geneally Turkish people are not warn or friendly to each other too, if they don’t know each other. They need first to get to know you and trust you before getting friendly. It should not be generalized with such ethnocentric comments. I had the same impression in London, where people were cold and distanced to foreigners. By the way, are you sure all those people were Turks who behaved rude? Istanbul has been a multi-ethnic city. It is now ever growing as a global city which bring greater cosmopolitanism. On top of that, added is government’s policy to welcome the greatest number of Syrian refugees to Istanbul, plus Iranians, Afghans etc. Again, as a result of government policies, in recent years, Arab tourists, or Middle Eastern visitors outnumbered the tourists of other countries. Some Syrian refugees bought apartments, opened shops, restaurants etc. and they were employed both in private and government sector. Some learned to speak Turkish. As a local of Istanbul, whenever I go to places in Istanbul like Beyoglu etc. I rather see non-Turkish people, and I see mainly Middle Easterners in such places. As a local, I can say that people of every ethnicity is actually welcomed,either as a refugee or tourist. But in recent years, some of the refugees and especially middle eastern tourists wondering around and shopping while behaving rude and barbarious around the city especially in tourist attractions like Taksim, beyoğlu.. That’s why decent and well mannered locals of Istanbul do not prefer to go there and tourist attractions in recent years. It is not only you, but also locals are not happy from this situation arisen in recent years. You would have a better experience if you had travelled there about 15 years ago maybe. In addition, some of the comments here look like scams, especially those attacking the founder of the country. I hope you get a better experience next time. This time try visiting Beşiktas, Kadıköy, Bebek etc. All the best.
Wow, you are such a liar. Now you put your barbaric behaviors and bad things Turks do on the refugees and other tourists. Your country is a shitty country, admit it and don’t act like Turks are not the reason!. You look like the scam, not the other way around! Well, I won’t be surprised if Turks and Turkey blamed the refugees for the Armenian genocide !! Oh wait, Turkey is doing a genocide now in NE Syria. Well , blame the refugees and other tourists for that too !
You probably do not have a fucking clue about Turkey. Never been there, never had a Turkish friend. I think you just want to disguise an anti Turk propaganda. That is it. Miserable.. Keep on crying
you sound retarded dude lol
I wish I’d known more about Turkey before I came. I’ve been everywhere, Australia, Japan, China, all of Europe, Oman, Kathmandu, India, All over the US, and Latin America. The only place I ever got scammed successfully was in Turkey (A guy hanging out with me then wanting to go see belly dancing. Eyeroll.) Also, an ATM ate my debit card.. Then inexplicably within 5 hours there were 4 fraudulent charges on it. I liked Antalya, but Istanbul.. F Instanbul. I hate it with a passion. It seemed like at every opportunity I was getting fucked over. If there was a way to get more money out of me or just be a dick, it happened. I’m here now. Never again. F Istanbul.
We came from the US and we are MISERABLE!! Oh my god I can go on forever. Nobody speaks freakin English not even at the airport. Not even at touristic areas. They have no Uber and you have to order taxis to move around and they don’t speak English either so go figure. We tried shipping hard drives because they barely have any technology stores and we couldn’t get the mail in either. The culture is so irritating to the point where our Airbnb host thought it was okay for her to go through our stuff in the house while we were away and rearrange my closet and accessories!! There are no cinemas barely any then you go to one and everyone is disrespectful taking phone calls and chatting. Then guess what? They abruptly and with no warning stop the movie halfway for intermission!! Their amazon is in Turkish too and you can’t find anything anyway. Nobody smiles back. And excuse me for saying this but the hygiene overall too is awful. Everyone smells like they’ve run miles with no deodorants. There are barely any products as a foreigner you are used to and it’s too all in Turkish. You have to use google translate for everything! I can safely confirm I definitely hate Turkey, our of all countries I’ve been to.
I lived in the U.S. for 15 years and lived all over the world. They do have HUGE technology stores that sell everything. For example Mediamart which is in most malls. Most of their malls sell everything or you could use Trendyol online no need for Amazon. Language is an issue for foreigners but I think they have a lot of things that I used to use in the U.S. I have to agree with you on the personal hygiene which doesn't make sense since on every corner there is a Gratis or Watsons which sells every personal care product under the sun. Yes they don't smile much but that's because of their political and economical climate which sucks at the moment and most are exhausted, miserable and quite poor. If you go to the nicer areas and hang out with educated Turks you would be in for a surprise. Many of the things that frustrate you frustrate them as well.
I wrote a comment on June2019 about my dreadful summer in Istanbul. I blamed the tourists, the hot weather and the lack of oxygen to explain why people were so rude to me. I ended up with an advice: try to overwhelm them with your kindness. Now, after my third attempt, this time trying to settle in this country (that I love), I reached a completely different conclusion: the problem about Turkish society is a systematic LACK OF TRUST, which is a direct symptom of extreme VANITY AND PRIDE (Two un-Islamic values).
They don’t trust each other. They don’t trust foreigners. They don’t trust their own citizens if they don’t share the same background (which brings the many ethnic tensions we hear about on the media). They are not racists – just better than others. They believe they are especial and unique. As a result, everyone else is evil and unworthy. There are always some conspiracy, black propaganda against their lifestyle. The problem, when arises, is always yours… “Got scammed? You shouldn’t have gone there….” Respect is hard-earned and involves more than good manners. Solidarity exists, but it comes with a price. They believe themselves to be the kindest people in the world, but when you need their help you become invisible (except if you pay for VIP treatment, usually restricted to rich foreigners). To criticize something is to create problem. To propose change is to disregard tradition. Every possible agreement reach a dead-end. Logic fails and irrationally takes over. As a result, confrontation is the answer.
As an experienced “émigré” (hate the word “expat”) Turkey turned out to be impossible to settle in. From indifference to hostility, my attempt to find a place to live only showed me the worse face of Turkish “hospitality”. The rental market here is corrupt to the core. The good side? I haven’t got into any contract, so I can leave without remorse.
At some point I believed to have made friends. I don’t know how many times I heard someone saying “I will help”. But help never came, and after a month my phone stopped ringing. My trust was shaken. I started to feel myself a bit Turkish. But no, that’s not what I want. That’s not who I want to be. I like to trust people. I suits me better than the usual fakeness and false-promises I have come across here. And the backstabbings.
Even so, there were bright moments, usually involving random strangers that somehow took pity on my struggle. They are rare. Also felt solidarity from refugees, who have been accused to make their streets unsafe, and migrants, working like dogs to sustain this fragile economy – clearly affected by the dictatorial tendencies of the current government.
I don’t hate Turkey, or the Turkish, but I don’t think this place is very healthy. Especially when it comes to mental health. My experience is not limited to (beautiful, but polluted) Istanbul. From swastikas on the walls to hate speech against minorities, Turkey is walking a dangerous, anti-social path towards collapse. Time to stop taking Pride on Atatürk’s legacy and stop blaming others for your own failures, Turkey. It takes more than tradition and Secularism to call itself a modern nation, fit to participate on the global game. Huge improvement is necessary, and this has nothing to do with politics or scapegoating the vulnerable. It takes courage to change bad habits…
Welcome to 2020. And good luck!
This is exactly it. I have had every Turkish "friend" turn on my when it was to their advantage, no matter how long itd been. I was well aware it would happen, because I had heard the same story from every single person I talked to. Success here is measured by how many people you can fool. I've seen honest businessmen go bankrupt for trusting a friend. Another friend was raped by her 20 yr long school friend. I knew three honest Turks, and they kept getting taken advantage of over and over until they married and withdrew from all social life.
Its a great place to visit but a terrible place to live. I had more friends in a year in Poland than all my time in Turkey.
I'm in Turkey now and I don't even bother talking to the locals. They don't want to associate with me and they will get nothing from it.
People create, the Turks destroy – Serbian saying
The devil has many guises, the most important of which is the Turk- Assyrian saying
Chicken is not a bird and a Turk is not a human – Ukrainian saying
The uninvited guest is like a Turk (or worse than a Tatar) – Russian saying
Turkey, a country of small minds – Slovak saying
The chicken is more likely to fly than the Turks are to love – Arabian saying
When dealing with a Turk, do not let go of the stick – Armenian saying
If you want a Turk to listen to you, hit him with a stick – Armenian saying
Where the foot of a Turk has reached, the grass does not grow – Bulgarian saying
If the Turk speaks of peace, there will be war – Greek saying
Bad life is sharing neighborhood with a Turk – Kurdish saying
The rooster will not lay eggs and the Turks will not become human – Romanian saying
Spanish :"Fumas como un Turco." You smoke like a Turk. There is no more disgusting habit than smoking aside form narcissism and the Turks smoke more than any other ethnicity even in your face and they are as narcissistic or more than Americans.
Thank you so much for this. I choose the Armenian approach. I wish I had a big stick when I was in Turkey. It is a good thing i did not have a knife because i wanted to castrate all the men. HAHAHAH! Where there is a Turk there is no joy. Their narcissism is SO irritating. The men are not even good looking I am guessing there mothers tell them they are? I mean Spanish men are gorgeous and they do not think anyone goes to Spain FOR THEM WTF is up with Turkish men and their delusional opinion of themselves. It has to be mother issues.
It is such a relief to read these comments and your post( however old, still getting a passionate response). I got back from Turkey yesterday and was thrilled to get out. My experience left an extremely bad taste in the mouth and I’m afraid my opinion of Turkish people as a whole has been terribly affected , though I’ve travelled extensively and speak 3 languages and am always respectful to the country I am in. I was in Konya and Cappadoccia- the people we interacted with were so noble, generous and kind. No pressure at all. Then Istanbul- the taxi driver exploited us openly despite us calling him out, the shady bad energy as a woman alone on the streets – THEN THE PALACE EXPERIENCE.
In short I lost my boyfriend, had his phone on 1pc battery, mine was in the bnb and he had the key. I was very unwell anyway at that point and by now stressed and panicking. I waited by the entrance after searching for him, and decided to quickly check if he was outside the entrance. Looked and tried to reenter with my ticket. The girl was so UTTERLY rude at the gate even though I tried to explain in gestures and slow English and was obviously very distressed. Her behaviour was beyond anything I have ever witnessed. Firstly I don’t expect that level of sheer, unnecessary bitchiness from other women. I’m an ex dancer and ballet and yoga teacher and teach in one of the most renown schools in Europe and have worked with women all my life. We are supportive to each other. This young woman was pulling faces, yelling at me to go ( it was the attitude and expression behind the words that were most horrendous and unjustifiably so) , rolling her eyes, akin to high – school cattiness and clearly enjoying the power play. I was pushed- no one has ever treated me in such a way. So I said “ Why are you such a BITCH!!!?” ( she absolutely was). She starts clapping and thinks her trump card has come and pulls me to monosyllabic security guard and other ticket barrier girl clearly throwing me under the bus and enjoying it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and experiencing. They absolutely bullied me like a gang and the guard yelled at me to go. Well I was so stressed, outraged by the injustice and angry I burst into tears. Another guard got involved ( he was decent) they tried to make me go with one of the bullying women who suddenly changed her tune and I refused and started screaming ( now this had become a drama they didn’t expect and I was beside myself ) screaming and pointing at them “ Your behaviour is disgusting!!! Your behaviour is disgusting! Shame on you! How dare you trey tourists that way! Disrespectful!! Shame on you!” And was weeping and shrieking and a whole lot of tourists were gathered watching the scene. I refused to go with any of the disgusting bullies so the nice guard led me to the ‘office’ where the main guy was extremely kind and I thanked him in Turkish, still distraught. Then a whole lot of other people came, the female manager who was rude, and a sort of manager who spoke English a bit. They got a Russian on the phone but I explained I am from London, not Russian ( their attitude changed to me a bit it seemed for the better). I was so outraged and upset by the treatment and also stressed I kind of had a panic attack and couldn’t stop crying. So the tourist police got involved. I told them what happened and basically everyone tried to blame me because I swore at the woman . Well I wasn’t going to have that as I would never abuse staff anywhere and am very empathetic. I said” You don’t believe me” and eventually she said she did. I said I wanted to make an official complaint about the staff. They tried to dissuade me but I persisted. Well to cut a long story short that complaint was not within the business as I presumed but with the cops, so there was a police investigation into the whole thing. I was in the tourist police office for another hour. The next day my partner went back to speak again to them and follow it up and it had become a police matter. The manager guy and a different woman were very concerned and respectful and kind, but the female manager was still rude. My boyfriend explained to her with a translator how would she like it to be in a vulnerable position at the Taj Mahal in India, alone and the staff bullied her there. All in all it was a huge drama but I’m glad It finally was taken seriously. I would not want anyone to be treated the way I was subjected to- especially if they were vulnerable and more marginalised than me. That type of behaviour is not acceptable anywhere in the world and absolutely shocking. I’ve visited and lived in many countries like India, not just western countries and brought up in multicultural Australia and teach in London with students from all over the world and this was beyond rude. I repeatedly told the manager- “there were such kind people in Turkey I met, you have all of Istanbul to find good people- why do you hire people like that? A world centre for tourism at a major site- you cannot treat your guests like this.”. The police must’ve thought the whole issue was crazy, they were kind to me eventually but I rammed the point home to them as well. The whole thing was farcical but I sincerely hope repeated incidents of calling out the quite abusive behaviour I experienced in Istanbul means that it will be reconsidered and an understanding that behaviour and attitudes like that are not acceptable. The police said there are good and bad people everywhere. True, but why so in your- face- bad in Istanbul more than anywhere else in the world? The whole thing was very unpleasant but there are some true sheer acts of kindness and respect there too. Thankyou for your post and comments, I’ve been really trying to understand it and this has shed some light on what was really extraordinary behaviour and disrespect and the strange process that had to be followed to make a complaint about it.
it is interesting to read so many negative comments here. some of them are from the racists and haters but most of them are probably real. but ı wonder why almost 50 million turists visit turkey in one year if we are so rude and barbarics. ı agree that few people speak english here. and turkish men are aggresive ı agree. we are also not so open to outside world. but the country is beautiful and you can spend good times in many differant places. we are not monsters , not more than other people ı think. also we believe in islam the most sufi way in the world. not so good culture but not so bad either. ı would give 85 out of 100 to turkey. and ı give 70 out of hundred to greece. 45 out of 100 to bulgaria, 10 out of 100 to armenia. and 100 out of 100 to azarbaycan. hahaha…
Just because people have negative comments doesn’t mean they are haters. The problem with people like you and today’s society is that whenever someone gives a negative comment about experiences in your country you jump on the judgemental band wagon and say HATERS. Yes Turkey is a nice place. I’ve met some good Turkish people. Especially in bursa I had a great time. But in Istanbul I’ve had a mixed time. Remember travelling is about interacting with people and if locals don’t do that then it offends tourists. Remember where most your country’s revenue comes from. Instead of justifying your arrogance I suggest you work on self improvement.
Get OVER yourself. I stand the test of time-a feminist prophet, who advocated for peace. And promised only peace in the afterlife. Which holds up 75 virgins or peace, dude?
SEE that is your problem. You do not understand that it is NOT ABOUT YOU. People visit Turkey for the beaches and architecture and most of all the climate. Turkish men are so narcissistic to think that people come for the Turks themselves. People travel for Nature, architecture and some weird people-food NOT Turkish men. Get over yourself! Millions of tourists come for the gorgeous beaches and architecture-period. No one is interested in Turks.
I know why armenian women Come to turkey. I know what they do here. And you are an armanın woman.i know. I love Azerbaycan.i dont like armenia.
And herein lies the problem everyone. Read this guy's ignorant overestimation of his country. I give Europe a 100. We along with Japan and New Zealand are the most peaceful countries on the planet. Why do millions of Turks leave for Europe if it is so great in Turkey? Even Turks told me they hate each other. They hate everyone. No joy, no love. That is why Turks leave in DROVES for Europe and elsewhere.
What you're talking about this it's true and I believe that because I was married to a Turk! I hope they have to learn how to respect each other and please don't act drama or jealousy too much it's so pitiful and they should learn to grateful for what they have and don't make many complain it just makes the condition getting worse. I read several comments from them who came to my country in their Youtuber, they also complained about my country which dirty, unhealthy food, etc but they did not learn that my country has more than 700 ethnics, Yep, I don't blame them and I accept my country like this but we are one of the friendliest countries in the world and I don't recognize that they are haters I just accept it and think that it's like opinion. I am feeling safer walking or riding in my country at 10-12 PM than in Turkey even though my country is dirty like they said yep, we are still alive and get achievement in international even though our food is not healthy like they said yep. It might sarcasm word but it's true. In Turkey, everyone is afraid of doing anything and insecure and I don't know why.
People in Turkey are mostly poor. They work a lot but they earn less. Having access to good education, going abroad, reading about global news, going to festivals or any art-related activities are seen as a luxury. Since many people do not know English, they only watch local news which is only a type of tabloid journalism. Moreover, they do not have access to good quality magazines or newspapers. Even if there exist some magazines that produce high-quality content, they are very expensive for many people. People also do not read too much, they lack digital literacy. Although they do not afford an Apple computer, they can afford computers in other brands. However, many people are not aware of what kind of capabilities that their computers have. They only use their computers to pass the time by surfing on the internet, playing games, watching videos, and using social media. They do not use their computers to educate themselves because they do not know about these mediums and another reason is Turkish content is limited. It is like some kind of a chicken and egg problem.
Nobody, especially people from developed countries, come to Turkey to help them, to increase living conditions, to teach English and other languages. Many Turkish children do not see a foreigner until they grew up so many local people feel intimated by foreigners when they become adults. Even if they know a little English, they do not practice it because they do not want to embarrass themselves in front of you and their friends. Their pride is their Achilles’ heel. This is also caused by that many people are only survivors. Although parents work too much, they can only afford basic living expenses. People of all ages do not have any hobby because they cannot afford it or they do not have time for it or simply they do not have access to it. Many Turkish people, especially middle-aged people, do not know how to entertain themselves, they try to find happiness in small things. There are some other reasons why Turkish people are so upset, moody, and “narrow-minded”, the world has been changing too fast, and advertising has become very prevalent. People do not have access to good resources but almost everybody has access to advertising, fake information. Turkish people have witnessed how their neighbor countries (Iraq and Syria) were destroyed and how Turkey has become the second home for people who escaped from the war in their own countries. This also exacerbates Turkish people’s poverty and other problems that they are facing in their daily life. The world they live in is not the same as the world they lived in when they were children. They trying to adapt to the new world but today’s world is so mean, cruel and competitive. Therefore, many people are not social and they do not know how to express their feelings or interact with other people. If you are a foreigner, most of the time, only outgoing or uncanny people will try to talk to you or try to sell something to you, because your money is a lot for them. Most of the tourist who came to Turkey also does not come to help Turkish people or understand the culture and value their hospitality. They only come here to consume.
Turks came to this geography in the 11th century (around 1055) from central Asia, they have lived in this geography together with Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, Bulgarians, and all other nations. Turkey is not the only part of the Ottoman Empire. Turks are the citizen of Turkey and they love their country because it is the only thing that their parents taught them. In their soul, Turkish value only three things: (1) their family (who raise them), (2) their neighbors and (3) their country (the land that feeds them).
Hi I had to comment we visited turkey once & before that we had a long transit in the airport which was absolutely horrible lack of manners & just normal social etiquette was shocking to start the story aside from being shout at by the airport staff in their own language which I dont understand I mean wow what a welcome to the country my husband had received work related email which he had to respond to so he had to use one of the launch services which he had access too, I didn’t. I just asked how much is it to enter found it not worth it so I left decided to go to the food court area to get water i was really thirsty i stood in the long queue when it was my turn i was shout at again! So harshly was asked to move away of the queue by shouting at me & the shop keeper hand waving at me to go away because I had 20 euro he didnt have change as far as i understood ! I was so shocked almost in tears I was never treated like by any shop keeper any where else so I had to go wait in another q just to get water finally I only found a place to sit with 3 stranger men 2 Africans one Japanese who was the only one who smiled at me at the airport. The awful experience did not end here my husband needed a medicine from the pharmacy so I got it for him & went back to the launch to give it to him to be shout at again by the receptionists of the launch with their broken ununderstandable English to my shock I shouted back at her if it was up to me I would have slapped her by that point laaaaaack of manners is unbelievable it’s as if they have not dealt with people before but with sheeps .. I ended up crying asking my husband to leave as fast as possible as I was hit by very very bad odour that just made me cry at that point. It was my honey moon I was so happy to reach Greece after this horrible experience. However my second experience in turkey was to my surprise much better I found people much much nicer all together everywhere I have to say the nicest people we have ever met in a trip!
We over packed our luggage but everyone we met at the airports were more than helpful & friendly we had our daughter with us who was 1 year & half almost evey one we met was playing with her trying to play with her in front of the hotel there was a guy who randomly just played with her kissed her on the cheek & walked away ( No he was not a pervert) another o e who asked us to take a picture of her n our daughter in a restaurant. Another guy with his son in topkapi who asked us again to take a photo with her! On another ancident I was carrying her in a bus where I was offered a seat by an elderly woman who could be my grandmother I was truly shocked surprised in a good way people were very sweet nice & kind we still encountered some bad experiences but we were overwhelmed by the kindness of people we met be it in restaurants or randomly on the streets . I’m not sure what is it with turkey but people seem to be polar opposite in Turkey & they definitely love kids that’s for sure maybe thats why people were overly sweet towards us so my tip would be travel with your kids if you going to turkey ! We went to istanbul & bodrum. I still didn’t fall in love with the country it’s not my cup of tea i still prefer Greece but people there were very very kind & sweet surprisingly the sweetest we have ever met. Cheers!
I lived in Greece for 10 years and I am half Turkish. It really depends on who you encountered on either of your trips and where you went. I LOVE Greece but I have met some crazy rude people there and find it less advanced compared to Istanbul but love the relaxed atmosphere there. People here don't realize that Turkey is 84 million people and they all come from extremely different backgrounds.
I have not been to Turkey, but I have been to Azerbaijan and I’ve had mixed experiences too, but I think people ANYWHERE will treat you differently depending on YOUR AGE and GENDER in the first place. If you are just a random man in his 40s you may as well be treated with indifference, but young men and young females are treated differently. And then old people are also shown respect usually. It also depends on how you are dressed and etc. etc. etc. I never pay attention on how I am treated. I just know I have to do this and this and that and usually have friends in the country and after I have achieved my traveling goals I can sit back and think whether I was welcomed or not. For example in Barcelona you are not welcome, although foreigners will help foreigners. In some countries you can get beat up walking on a sidewalk, but if you tell them you are from an N country and they like it, then you are going to be “welcomed”. I know what to expect from Turkey, so I would travel there knowing what may happen.
Don’t travel here. Full of psychopaths and narcissists and they even don’t know their psychological situation because of their arrogance and ignorance. İf you visit Turkey, most likely you gonna see those attitudes that mentioned before on this topic. İt’s not because of you are foreigner, it’s because of them.
I actually visited Turkey 3 times. I felt Turks on the,street are rather friendly people even the men. Perhaps they tend to be aggressive when answering you so I hv to agree with you that they can be rude too. For an Asian, I do find Turkish men a bit standoffish. But I think Turkish men are proud people because of their Ottoman history. They nearly conquered the wholeof Europe at one time. I travel blog too.
Conquering people is NOTHING to be proud of and therin lies your problem. Muslims think abusing other non-Muslims is OK. Newsflash:It isn't. I personally will NEVER read your blog. You come across as a sociopath like your friends, the Psycho Turks.
convert to islam. be one of my 40 wifes and ı will make you very happy. ok?
Sure, Lorena Bobbit is my aunt you want to be my next victim? It would be my pleasure to castrate you, dirty Turk. Your prophet is a pedophile who married a six 0"oh no, she was NINE" year- old LITTLE GIRL. That is fine with you demented Muslims?!
If you dress like a nun or a ninja they are VERY friendly. They LOVE oppressing women., I KNOW I spent a month in Alanya getting harassed because i am beautiful. I am not going to wear a hijab just because they want me to. I am proud NOT to be Muslim. And They try to FORCE their religion on you. I told one guy "I don't care." "No, IO do NOT want to Know about Islam I think your prophet ois a fraud. I told him that because he was so narcissistic to ASSume I would want to be talking about Islam at CHRISTMAS!!!
Tatiana, I am sorry that you experienced such horrible things. I am a middle eastern man of Iranian origin living in Istanbul but I don't get it why some Turkish men think by being rude and irritating they can attract beautiful women! You said you are a beautiful blonde so this situation is more likely to happen to you from the men who come from more conservative and religious families. You know in Turkey there are men that never do these things. Don't forget that half of the population of women in Turkey do not wear hijab and among them are many beautiful blonde girls that experience what you have experienced everyday. In Iran usually men do not behave like that when they see foreigners but some men behave that way only when they see pretty Iranian girls. Because we think foreigners are out guests and as a visitor they should have fun. Each year millions of tourists visit Istanbul, hundred of times more than Iran and its cities but some Turkish people still behave like sexist and ignorant people of old generations and that's strange to me. Turkey is a unique and strange country from many aspects. It would be so much better for you to ignore those men and just interact with more modern people and enjoy your trip. Most of the girls even the Turkish ones do that.
I am currently in Istanbul, Turkey (2020) and I’ve had a similar experience like you. I’ve visited Bosnia and Herzegovina and Jordan prior to Istanbul. People in those two countries were warm and very nice. But Turkey has another story… Whilst visiting Bosnia last year (2019) I was in transit at Istanbul and a security guy told me cheerfully to visit Istanbul. He said it’s a great city. But I feel a bit different after visiting.
Comment deleted because commenter has no manners.
Your comment only proved my point….
I loved reading your post about your experience in Turkey.
I currently live and reside in Istanbul as a foreigner (I have to point out my gender too: female) and I would highly recommend to any traveller to explore this part of the world while one is able to despite some headsups shared aboveundefinedbelow.
I got somehow accustomed to the local Istanbul lifestyle after spending 3 years living in Istanbul. I have tried learning some Turkish and showing signs of efforts to understand and respect the people I have met through my daily social and professional interactions.
The main issue is, I feel, even Turks in Istanbul do not even display basic respect towards each other (it might have been true but it is no longer the case I must observe) and disregards of personal boundaries such as privacy invasion whether we are talking about work conditions to one´s relationship with one´s landlord (I have mostly experienced disrespect in specific locations and contexts which taught me how to behave and interact mostly).
I dislike generalisations and stigmas but they do exist about the Middle East in other parts of the world although some may argue Turkey is not part of the Middle Eastern region, culturally it has become closer to that part of the world in the recent years for a wide range of reasons. Therefore, researching the culture is a must if one has no local contact and learning the language (even attempting) is necessary for better stress management.
Pride and nationalism are very present across the Mediterranean region as a few former posts did point out earlier on therefore a traveller should be aware of the cultural cues and dos versus dos and don ts. Naturally, research is never enough, so one is never fully ready to jump into the culture. I just would like to tell potential new traveller to not let the fears and observations prevent you from visiting the country. There will always be people who will give you a hand even in ¨desperate situations´´ which is, sadly, no longer the case in many European Capital cities.
Not all interactions were terrible (thankfully!) but I would suggest to any traveller to remain cautious and observant of social clues. One may need to adjust his behaviour according to the situation.
Special note to the foreign ladies: there are several stereotypes about foreign female nationalities I have heard from several Turkish male voices (E.g. Nationalities such as RussianundefinedBrasilianundefinedAmericanundefinedBritishundefinedFrenchundefinedGerman etc..) which you should be aware of. However, I must have really learnt from observing the local Turkish ladies because I have never experienced upsetting situations or I knew how to identify unwanted situations by understanding people s intentions, therefore, acting street smart is a must. I have to point out I have never felt physically threatened and I have always felt safe locally compared to other countries I have previously lived in.
To wrap up, I encountered a bunch of lovely people who tried to balance out the negative side of living in such a chaotic city as Istanbul as I am completing my final year in this country and ready to move out.
İ allready dont understand why turists visit turkey…..if ı were them İ would prefer another places ti vacation. For an example Balkan states or cyprus or greece.turkey is not enough good .there arw much violence rude and bad people.usually there , people try to take your money ..bad service -much money!!! men distrubed me often (İ am blonde woman) when you be foreign so you will turn a whore on their Brain! No I never visit again turkey
Your so right about that, I been living in turkey alanya for few years, and can't wait to get the hell out of here,most turks are racist,they only see euro or dollar when they look at a forigner, lazy, and the men are all married with kids and they have girl friends, they treat dogs bad, they throw garbage and plastic everywhere, outside of their houses are so dirty, I can list 100 more.
If I new turkey was like this I would of never step a foot here and once I leave, I will never never come back. P. S turks come to the western countries and we give them so much
respect but when you go to their the only thing the want from you is your money. This is
P. S sorry to some of the turks that are actual decent human beings, but I personally have encounter 90 bad over good in Alanya. They way foreigners are treated is horrible
. Don't travel to Alanya
I wish I read this before i went. I was there in December, same as you.
I have never travelled anywhere before and felt scared for my life like I have in Antalya. I am a women from Canada and I was scammed and I politely called the guy out on it and he lunged at my like he was going to hit me. I have him on video doing this. Swearing at me that I am disrespectful and to get the fuck out of his country and never come back. I didn’t even know this behaviour existed. The women in the shop was cowering with fear, she was a local.
Wow it is 2020 and I was trying to find out if anyone felt how I felt. I'm a black young lady who came for a hair transplant and its everything you described. These people are mean! Cold and mean!
It is not just Turkey were you will find rudeness to westerners. It is the whole Islamic world all the Arab countries and Iran and Indonesia.
The problem being that they believe there propaganda they are told by there Dictators and there religions leaders.
As a tourist on a short trip there to relax and have a nice time you have no way and no time to argue with them and in fact if you were to try to explain how they are wrong and being mislead it would end up with you in court in jail maybe even dead, so don't try.
My advice is don't travel to a Muslim country for your holidays and when at home in the west avoid areas where there are a lot of Muslims.
This might sound racist it isn't Islam is a bad idea not a bad race.
I am a nuanced traveler and I agree with your assessment of Turkey. I do not feel you are being harsh; in fact, as a woman travelling sola, I experienced even worse treatment. The men are pigs, pure and simple. They have absolutely no regard for women I learned through myriad conversations inquiring into the mentality level of the Turk. I had a genuine interest in Turkey because i find it naturally beautiful and architecturally inspiring. Unfortunately, I will NEVER go back there. I was never left in peace on the beach in Alanya because men feel that women are actually in Turkey FOR THEM. I do not know which I found more disturbing their stupidity of their narcissism. I guess it was a combination of both. I felt vengeance because i had paid to stay an entire month so I told them directly that Newsflash European women come here on holiday for the CLIMATE and the beaches. NO European women come here for YOU. They caused narcisssitic wounds and I am glad because i was objectified, minimized and harassed. If they ever become part of the EU I will move to New Zealand.
P.S. If they become a part of the EU marry me and I can get NZ citizenship. lol!!! I'll keep in touch.
Hi. Just checking in to let you know how my post Turkey trauma is doing. So it has been 1 month and 14 days 1.5 months exactly since I left that horrible country and I am still fuming when I think of Turkish men. I have ptsd from my turkish experience apparently. I fucking HATE Turkey and I will never even stop for a layover there-THAT Is how much Turkey SUCKS. I was just on the phone with a friend who was thinking of going there and had to receount my horrific story and my stomach is still in knots. Fuck Turkey and all the Turks in it and out of it. I HATE narcissists and that country breeds them. I can breathe now. It is leaving me. The repellant thought of it that brought a little vomit up into my throat is gone. I am OK… deep breaths. I am in a friendly country with normal men. No one thinks I am HERE FOR THEM. I can relax…. Fuck YOU Turkey!
lol seems like your turkish bf cucked you and you are just mad over it. plausible tho
LOL! I would Never touch a dirty Turk. Do you actually believe a Christian European woman would let a filthy Muslim Turk touch her? HAHAHA this is why everyone knows you are delusional and you prove my point.Nice try but you are delusional like the rest of your Fugly fellow Turks. I was sexually harassed. You are a misogynist.
Chill girl. You are hysterical.
I live in Turkey and I never had a boyfriend here . So I didnt experience things like you did. Maybe you shouldnt trust and f..k with every men in Turkey. Btw Turkish men think like that all Russian women are wh..e. Thats why when they see Russian Ukranian etc they try to f…k with them. I'm not saying you are like that. But their mind is full of this thoughts. So be careful and dont come to Turkey. And good luck with your PTSD
Whats so special about being " christian european"? You dont even know washing your ass. You guys stink
Just so you know, Turkey is on the list of banned countries for a lot of dating and social sites. As in Turks are not allowed to become users.
Slow down lady! While accusing others you only prove that you're the man-hating, racist, and psychopath pig being here. In all of your comments you're obsessively swearing at not only Turks but all of the Muslims and other middle easterners. I come to believe that you're just projecting yourself.
Hiii a Turkish girl here!
I think attitude of people started to change slightly because (before corona) lots of tourists visit Turkey and sometimes we see bad news about them like they are coming to our country and being disrespectful ,stealing,fighting etc. Also we started to think that they are only coming Turkey because it is very cheap.
And majority of people dont know English. So I am sure their mind like "is he swearing me?"
Usually tourists are trying to speak with me but I dont because I dont want to represent my country.
Hope you all will have fun wherever you travel.
This is spot on. I have spent over a month in Antalya and have rarely seen more rude, passive aggressive, lazy, unprofessional, and often racist employees throughout the tourist industry than I have here. What happened to Turkish hospitality?
"Turkish hospitality?" Never heard of it. Was that a thing?
This post is quite a few years old now, but just wanted to chime in that my experience with Turks has been very similar. I have traveled to many countries around the world and have seldom had as many encounters with rude, arrogant, and disrespectful people. I could list the numerous experiences I had, some that left me almost in a state of disbelief, but I think that has been covered here sufficiently already.
Rude and unpleasant people exist in all four corners of the world, obviously, but with Turks that element just somehow feels dialed up another notch or two. It really doesn't surprise me that they are known to be disliked in Europe, such as in Germany where there are a lot of them. You make the bed you lie in, as they say. I know I won't be back for a visit in a hurry.
Again sad to read this but I think it all comes down to who you interacted with. The uneducated ones from the rural part of Turkey but live in Istanbul are pretty uncivilized and uncultured. I am half Turkish and half Lebanese. I am always annoyed by their rudeness but I learned to not let them get away with it. Luckily I speak Turkish albeit broken but can still tell them that what they're doing is unacceptable. Beautiful gorgeous country not going to let them ruin it for me and you shouldn't either.
Felt the exact same way. Women are so kind and gentle, waitresses staff friends random ppl they're all great. Some of the men are awesome too really loved showingme Turkish culture and just enjoying spending time together.
However, wow there are some of the most rude ppl I've ever encountered here in all my travels. Leaving now, this guy's dog is pooping all over the airport and everyone is stepping in it, he doesn't care. People will cut right in front of you in line not even when you're hesitating, they just do it. People run into each other knocking someone's stuff out of their hands because they were texting, they don't care they don't even look up. After 2 weeks I felt like I've had enough lol.
The positive is if you are not the aggressive type, it gives you practice on how to deal with them so it's actually a good lesson. Learn to ignore aggressive behavior, always be ready, and don't let a few bad apples ruin your experience (having enough is different than ruining the experience:))
Not easy to ignore aggressive behavior if it is used as a threat. I have felt threatened by men a few times in this country and it doesn't feel nice.
Very sad to read this and please do report it to the Police. Which neighborhood do you live in? I have never had an issue with them but I live in a very nice area and my father is Turkish. I only had one woman on a bus once hissss at me for wearing revealing clothes (she wore a headscarf). The man behind told her off and said be respectful! I see foreigners on buses all the time and no one says anything to them except when the Arab ones ride on the bus and their large number of children start screaming.
Actually, you know what this is? The perception of modernity that you Europeans taught them. It is entering our country in a ridiculous way because of racist reasons and because you impose it in an obligatory conditional way. Then everyone sees each other and acts like it's normal.
For example, someone prefers to travel standing up so that the bus doesn't get dirty, while someone else doesn't care about picking up the poop of their dog when he goes to the toilet. Because what he was taught is that he considers himself superior to others because he is an animal lover. The "left and libertarian ideologies", which are actually bad, that you present as good to us, are getting even more crappy in us. Moreover, the governments you voted for in your own country support them in our country. But you always talk about Erdogan.
Just came across this. Like a anywhere in the world you will meet nice friendly people and a-holes. I am Turkish Lebanese and traveled and lived all over the world including the U.S. for years. I have lived in Istanbul on and off for years. I ride buses, metros and other forms of transportation. The Municipality does a lot to make sure that foreigners feel safe and don't get scammed. As a woman I feel very safe walking around but I am also mindful of what I wear. The majority of Turks are conservative Muslim Turks not as modern and open as the ones portrayed in the series. Each neighborhood is different. For example if you hang out by the Bosphorus where the wealthy educated Turks live you will have a very different experience. That said, a lot of Turks don't speak English and this makes it difficult for them to express themselves well. I personally find the Lebanese to be much more friendly and warm. It takes time for Turks to warm up to someone but once they do you will be surprised. Another thing to keep in mind is the political climate has had a lot of impact on the culture. Turkey is hosting millions of refugees mostly Syrian, Afghani, Pakistanin and Iranian which has made Turks even less friendly towards any foreigners. Again it all goes back to who you interacted with and where. Educated, cultured Turks would be very interested in helping you and learning more about you. The ultra rich upper socialites are arrogant pricks but that's like anywhere. I hope you do come back and visit. Recently so many foreigners are moving to Istanbul and living in areas like Cihangir and Bebek. Again very disappointing to read the comments and unfortunately can't change 84 million Turks.
"The majority of Turks are conservative Muslim Turks not as modern" is an absurdly stupid statement. Let's talk facts, shall we? If you are harassed for being a woman, there is a 90% chance that it will be from "modern" non-Muslims who are fond of alcohol and sex. 10% chance he's a horny conservative stuck in a dilemma.
As a matter of fact, the reason for this is very clear. It is the imposition of "secularism" and "Europeanization" on the Turks as if it were the right thing. It's actually the worst thing. *Distorted* understandings emerged because a modern ideology adapted to them was not developed.
A modern conservative ideology suitable for Turks should have been preferred in the early 1900s.
Untill to 40 years ago if his father noticed that he was looking at another woman, he would be beaten by his father with a bat for 1-2 hours. But now, distorted liberal conceptions such as "everyone gets what they want, everyone offers what they want" are accepted.
But foreigners and secularists portray "conservatives as perverted and uncivilized".
Moreover, they are transcending secularization themselves. And they themselves behave perversely towards women.
Again sad to read this but I think it all comes down to who you interacted with. The uneducated ones from the rural part of Turkey but live in Istanbul are pretty uncivilized and uncultured. I am half Turkish and half Lebanese. I am always annoyed by their rudeness but I learned to not let them get away with it. Luckily I speak Turkish albeit broken but can still tell them that what they're doing is unacceptable. Beautiful gorgeous country not going to let them ruin it for me and you shouldn't either.
Oh boy, 2015. Honestly I can tell it's worse now in 2021.
As a Turkish girl living in Istanbul, I admit that women are more likely to have a horrible experience than men when they come here as a tourist. People have become more stressed and aggressive due to political polarization and economy. Women are paranoid about everyone and they try to protect each other as strangers in public places when they sense a danger.
Although, it's so common to see tourists complain about people not smiling and being friendly all the time in the Balkans. You shouldn't expect a huge positive vibe around because it's becoming harder to live here every month and Turkish youth, including me, are looking their way out of this country. Turks aren't friendly and happy anymore, they are aggressive, shameless, paranoid and we can thank the government for that. It's honestly a blessing if you come across someone friendly. If I were you I wouldn't visit Turkey ever again. If you have to, I would watch out about the places I go. Even though nowhere is safe there are places that are safer than others.
"Turks aren't friendly and happy anymore"??? How can you say that! Turks are quite friendly.
I wish you would be the next Turk to be punched when they find out that you are a Turk in another country.
It happens in every country. Cause there are good and bad people in the world.
I was in Poland 5 years ago for my education. Most of the people were so cold and racist. Some people attacked me because I'm muslim and nobody helped me. Some of them insulted me. And many bad things happened. But there were good people too. Once I was in a hospital and there was an old lady, She helped me a lot she offered me food hugged me because I was alone. And there was a man outside he bowed me because he respected me. It was amazing btw. I'll never forget them. God bless them. So I cant say I didnt like Poland because of some idiot people. I loved the nature the food and the culture. Think positively and stay healthy…
I agree with you. I share your attitude.:) I met many rude Turks in the big cities but some wonderful humble lively people in smaller cities of 209,090 people. Take care lots of love,
> Did they not speak English because they didn’t care to learn about the outside world, or did they only seem that way because they couldn’t speak English?
You are the rude one for expecting people to learn the language you speak instead of trying to learn the language of the place you are visiting. It's not so common that people can speak English, and most aren't confident to speak it even if they know a little. English is very hard to learn for Turks, as it is quite different and has terrible pronunciation, ie. one wouldn't know to write a speak they hear properly.
> the most interesting interaction in Turkey was down in Antalya where it was the first real time I noticed some of the men didn’t talk to me directly, or even look at me whilst speaking
They just don't want unnecessary misunderstandings and being courteous, and don't want to be considered perverts by being too friendly with a woman or looking them over.
> I do know some upper class decent Turks
Upper class Westerner wannabees who look down on all the other people and consider people who aren't like them as insects?
And some people just want to be left alone, not to be a chatter-slave to every foreigner they come across just because they know some English.
If you want to interact with locals, it's better to find some local people via the internet beforehand.
I also don't understand why someone would consider, "I'm visiting your country and thus you should be interested in me." as if making some favour. I think it's the opposite, you were allowed to come here and make use of various services. If you cannot enjoy it because you didn't encounter extra nice people, it's on you.
I also cannot understand why people expect so much more from a country they are visiting. Like in many countries, people have to be on the lookout to stay safe and constantly encounter various rude behaviours and nasty situations, and then seek elsewhere to be so much better, or it is worse. Where people are, it's messy. If you don't encounter the messiness and it is "just" dull, then you are lucky.
I've been in Turkey for 7 years to study university. You're right about the extremes. At first I was thinking it was too good to be true because some people were extremely nice. But here after all those years the unfriendly population has made me to hate this country and I'm trying to leave here asap. There is a serious level of xenophobia in this country especially towards people of other middle eastern countries. People have no regard and respect to others. Having a Turkish neighbor in your apartment or dormitory means you have to put up with their loud noises. If you make a slight noise however you are the uncivilized * put your nationality here *. Even their normal speaking and behavior feels aggressive to me. I couldn't get used to it. It still seems aggressive after all these years. Turkish women can be more mercilessly racist than men and they have a really bad attitude, probably because of insisting s*xual approaches from men. Overall now I'm counting days to escape from this hellhole.
You are right. Turks try hard to show themselves as Europeans but they are indeed arrogant, aggressive Muslims that always shout and have no respect for other middle eastern people. How can you be a modern European while 50 percent of women in your country cover their hair by Hijab and men have no basic intelligence and behavior and they easily get into fight with each other. Most of their good looking women come from religious families but they dress like a European and act like a European but in fact they are rude, arrogant and jealous. They hate to be viewed as a middle eastern country but they are. The difference is other middle eastern countries show hospitality toward foreigners and Turks not.
To be fair Iranians are not so better either and I'm an Iranian saying this (had to reveal my nationality). While Turks are in the delusional hype of being Europeans, Iranians (Persians in particular) think they are still the Aryan master race (on a par with Germans!) living in the Achaemenid empire thousands of years ago under Cyrus the great. Iranians think they are superior to Afghans and Arabs and are also culturally heavily corrupted. I don't know about other places but Middle Eastern countries in general have a long way to go to become "culturally educated" before becoming prosperous (because if you give a thug a million dollars, he is still a low class thug). To be honest, before coming to Turkey for studying I was pretty ignorant about racism, until I experienced it first hand. This is why I now hate nationalism and tribalism and no longer want to be associated with my race and nationality and rather be an Earth citizen. I hope the one world government conspiracy becomes a reality.
I didn't say that there aren't any flaws in our Iranian culture. I also criticize Iranian culture but our people respect foreigners and unlike Turks they never try to make foreigners feel that they don't belong to their country and they should leave. If you read other comments in this website or other sites you''ll see how Americans and Europeans think about Iranian hospitality. Iranians don't like Arabs too much but they don't show disrespect towards Arab tourists and immigrants. They don't beat them or curse them. Yes, several years ago we Iranians were racists toward Afghans to some degree but those Afghan immigrants were uneducated workers with no manner. They were raping Iranian girls but nowadays you see sometimes educated Tajik, Afghan or Turkmen people working in Iranian companies and there is no discrimination and they feel home. Armenians feel home in Iran and we consider them as Iranians. But Turks are ignorant. This is obvious. They are opportunist, They imitate European racists but ignore the fact that in Western European countries there are many educated and well behaved people that have no racist approach towards foreigners and date foreigners and marry them. But Turks can't see this. I lived in western Europe and Turkey and the difference is obvious. By the way what's wrong with nationalism? We had an empire that ruled all the region for hundreds of years before anyone could speak Turkish or any Turkic language in Anatolia or Central Asia. Even small countries came out of nowhere feel nationalistic towards their country.
Somehow, the Iranians suddenly became better than the Turks according to your sayings. Sectarian massacres, imposing one's own language on foreign nations, racial assimilation is what Iranians have been doing for centuries. The wrongly told Turks, on the other hand, did not assimilate any nation and they all stand with their large populations. And no foreign nation speaks Turkish. They even have a limited number of Turkish word transfer. Even when promoting your own history, you use the phrase "anyone could speak Turkish or any Turkic language". You are racist in all your parts.
Hello Bren, Thank you for your co