I Don’t Like Turkey…Yet

published by Bren

Last updated: May 16, 2023

In all my years travelling I’ve never really come across a place I didn’t like.

I think that’s changed.

Turkey.

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).

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  1. 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!

      1. 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 F@#$%^&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

        1. 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. :))

          1. Turks really are the lowest of the low, the crap of the crap, the filth at the bottom of the shit barrel.
            They are racist, dumb, nationalist, overly religious and it's clear anyone defending them is either one of them to begin with or never met one and is stuck with their head up their bum after being forced fed propaganda.

            Those are facts, doesn't matter if you like it or not.

          2. I kindly would like to say sorry for your experience in Turkey. I have been living in this country for 26 years as a turkish citizen so i can really understand what you have been through. From my experience, turkish people are not hospitable as people generalised. They naturally can't grasp the idea of differences in the human beings. They are usually super conservative and not open to new experiences. Because of their religion or culture ? I have no idea but that's what it is( there can be exceptions but i say generally). Since you had your visit like a year ago, you haven't seen the old turkey which the people were actually welcoming and happy. I saw how people changed morally and ethically in turkey due to economic inflation. It hit that hard to make people choose either you are going to be literally slave or you are going to be part of the group of people that they want you to be. Most of my sincere friends left the country and the remaining try to do it so. I feel bad for your experiences but can't say i am surprised. I would love to type it more about this topic but it won't not change anything.

        2. Look dude, your points are probably true, but you come across as really hateful and aggressive yourself in the post and that's very detracting from what you're saying.

          I'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, "directness" (read: rudeness) etc.

          But you're really not doing yourself any favours or making yourself look any better than them when you write stuff like "WORK IN HOSPITALITY BUT CANT SPEAK ANY ENGLISH IT'S YOUR F@#$%^&G JOB MORON!!!!!"

          Also, you have to remember – London is one of the greatest, most diverse, advanced metropolises on the planet (if not the most). You can't compare it to London. I'm from the North of England and there's huge differences between here and London.

          Sometimes it's good to let off steam. The Turks may be unkind, but honestly, you don't come across as kind yourself here and it ruins your point.

          1. 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?

        3. 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

        4. Merhaba

          I just needed to start off like that. 🙂 I've definitely met more abrasive Turks than kind ones for sure. I can see how living here for 6 months would get to you. However, your post comes off as equally xenophobic and petty. I think perhaps some Turkish people might erroneously assume all other nations hate them, and perhaps it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. However, let us not forget that English is the commo language, because very much like the Ottoman empire, England successfully dominated the world at one point. I do not think that speaking English makes one more cultured. No country owes me their English speaking ability, however, I'm not going get angry if someone visits my country and only says hello in my language. So, for every Turk that angrily shouts in Turkish, I shout back in English. Still, I don't hate the country. I think it's unfortunate that a lot of people have been brainwashed by their politicians.

          1. (◕ㅅ◕) im sure they think you can understand them if they scream loud enough in turkish, i saw a lot of people do it… in fact they do it to animals too like i dont get the point of yelling at a dog to scare from far away, and gradually increasing your voice and getting angry at the poor animal because its not going away and just laying there… lmao…

        5. "I think they have national insecurities because thr EU rejected them, thankfully."

          Bold of you to think that can keep us out, Byron.

          I am a Turk, born and raised in Turkey, and now a naturalized citizen of the United Kingdom.

          I've already filed petitions for my relatives.

          We will replace you. Culturally, linguistically, genetically.

          Go gentle into that good night. Your people will be remembered in the history books.

          1. I'm a Muslim british born Pakistani. As a single mum I worked hard and saved money to travel to Turkey. It cost me nearly £3000. I went to Dalyan, really nice city and a warm and peaceful feeling there. Lots of helpful people and a real sense of community there.
            Loved it!!!

            Then I went to Istanbul, heard a lot about the ottomans and history etc. Beautiful country with lovely history no doubt. But then I get rude people, 99% of people I met in instabul were very rude. No respect towards their fellow Muslims. One man being so rude whilst I was just standing looking at the gift stall, he say what do you want, this isn't free. I was gobsmacked. He started swearing out of the blue. Then another man, shouting saying to me I should buy a Turkish sim card and learn Turkish, and another turk being so rude.

            Im really disappointed with my visit to Turkey tbh. Women who are turks barely wear any clothing, after I spoke to them they said yes we are still muslim, how can this be possible when they smoke, drink alcohol, and wear next to nothing. The towns and cities are full of alcoholic bars and clubs and prostitutes and they do this opposite to mosques. The call for azaan can't be heard but loud music can. Where has islam gone in Turkey? The ottomans worked so hard to spread the message of Islam but today's turks have erased all this.

            Safe to say I won't be setting a foot into turkey ever again. I left with a heavy heart

          1. Absolutely. I came online to see wth is this crap. Do they not realise that having tourist helps they're economy. I'm British born pakistani too. Absolutely disgraceful nation these people are. I Absolutely hate my stay right now. Unfortunately I booked for 2 weeks. Dying to get out of here. Turkish people have lost they're value because of attaturk I call him fu##turk. People are so so so rude. They tell you to fuck off right to your face. These same people who are dying to be part of eu. So glad they haven't. Because eu is a tolerant union. So many turks are in other countries, how would they feel if they get treated like this.

            I'm really shocked. They are soooooo uneducated that even common sense doesn't exist. There are more tattoo places than a decent food place. They love jumping on trends and are basically a slaves society to they're insecurities .. they need to somehow bring common sense back. To be honest I'm pretty sure no country in the world would ever treat its tourists like that.

        6. Hello dear Byron. I was actually searching about the Turkish influence on modern Azerbaijani language but somehow ended up here, and coincidentally read your comment from 2021. Hope you are doing well, and maybe softened your opinions about a few things.

          First of all, you are a male from London, lived a year and a half in Turkey and speak "some" Middle Eastern language, as I see.

          You start with the hyper-nationalism of the people. That comes from a country that still has a king as a memento of its blood-stained imperial history. Just like there are a lot of British hating the monarchs, there are a lot of Turks overwhelmed from everything being so overly-nationalistic. Unlike your beliefs, most Turks do not really worship them being Turks. They worship their mark in the history of the world, and their intense culture and past. And that is something to be proud of as I will explain further.

          Most people think that Turkey was the second version of Ottoman Empire, but this is simply wrong. By most historians, and most being Turkish, the Ottoman Empire is acknowledged as a "Balkan Empire" because they simply did not invest in anything in the east of Constantinople. They just took everything and gave nothing. Anatolia, was simply a colony. The Turkish folk literature, which is entirely different from Ottoman royal literature, is full of bards challenging sultans/rulers. "The government has sentenced our names / The sentence is sultan's, the mountains are ours." says one. And the republic (Ankara) coexisted with the empire (Constantinople) for a brief while, just a while before it entirely overshadowed it. And Ataturk was the leader of this revolution after which peasants became the lords of themselves, and not slaves of other. Respecting Ataturk is not respecting a monarch or a regular dictator. As a human being, he surely did a bunch of things wrong. But net weight is absolutely world bending over for.

          Turks do not think that they are the leader of other Turkic nations. They treat them as equals and see them as brothers, even when the "stans" such as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan recognise them as more a European nation instead of Turkic.

          About the poll where Turks thought most their neighbours are trying to invade their territory… I suggest you to read about Greece and their illegal armies in internationally unarmed Aegean Islands, which are just a bit miles from mainland Turkey but very far from mainland Greece. As an islander most British people do not really know about land defence neither. Turkey has 7 (actually 8) neighbours and those use a total of 5-6 different alphabets. You can understand how the place where your country and ours stand differentiate.

          Xenophobia in Turkey is mainly towards more recent third world immigrants such as Syrians and Afghans. I know no one being negative about receiving Europeans (including Ukrainians and Russians). And I know no one being positive about Syrians and Afghans.

          Education: The education level is low you said. It is beyond being low, it is very much inferior by quality too. But hey, you are well-educated! So instead of using Google Translate, try to speak them in fluent Turkish, instead of just "evet" or "yok". You can use Duolingo unlike them after all!

          Language: I never witnessed a person getting angry seeing someone speaking them in English. Oh actually, I witnessed once, in Vienna. Some tobacco store lady simply yelled at me in German because I wanted to ask them about a street. Austrians can be just so cruel… English is lingua franca of the world. And I wish you could write the word "world" correctly in your native language, for which you accused people who did not speak it well. Also, if you travel quite a bit, you may saw that most countries where they speak it fluently are either where the common languages are Germanic (very close to English) or former colonies (such as India or Africa). I don't think they ever welcomed you and your entourage in Oxford English in Peru nor Mongolia.

          And about linguae francae of the world(s). As you may be unaware, the world has more than a single language. People speak different languages at home, on the street, in metropolitans, on national level and even regionally. And there are billions of people using these multi languages everyday. And as you, again, be unaware, Turkish is still a persisting lingua franca of the region, from Balkans to upper Iran and Caucasia. Unlike their negative manners towards you, I was welcomed in my own native language, Turkish, in a lot of countries, one being as far as Argentina, due to dense Armenian immigrants from modern Turkey. And the warmest reactions I got was, always surprisingly, from Greeks, again, in my native language. Greece and Turkey may be legendary adversaries, but people know very well that the problem is only politics. So reconsider your own attitude.

          Plus, Turkey has over 30 ethnicities within and it is not like England where most immigrant came with modern life for work. Those people sometimes are bilingual but even monolingual in their own languages. Those languages are sometimes very particular such as Kurmanji Kurdish, Mesopotamian Arabic, Western Armenian, Pontic Greek, Laz, Circassian, Judeo-Spanish, Roma Language and of course a lot of others spoken in other countries too. Ever heard of Polonezkoy in Istanbul? It is simply a village of Polish people established in 1842. People of Turkey are a straight results of famines, poverty, despair, hope, exclusion and genocides. And unlike your monarchy, the Republic of Turkey is founded by all these people. I really hope you do not even consider the diversity of people of Turkey and England. And I rather ignore you calling Turkish culture "totally lacking in variety".

          The same ugly buildings are made by rich people, not qualified architects. That's a visual disturbance the locals find quite irritating too. It goes politic when you consider them being prone to earthquakes. But did you know that the mosques as you know today, are in actually the stereotypical Turkish style? The traditional Arabic mosques are simply some sandstone cubes because this is common in their land and they believe in simplicity. But with the conquest of Constantinople, Turkish people took the design of cathedral domes and united it with their delicate perception of minarets resembling "pencils". One of the most breathtaking design being the Blue Mosque, you can find this style anywhere today, as the first image comes to people's mind when someone mentions a mosque. Not even explaining those structures stood against terrible natural disasters that you probably do not have in England. That is quite an architecture. Also you probably did not visit a local handcrafts store if you think Turks make everything in inferior quality. Turks before arriving in modern land were indeed nomads. But they were not "scavengers". Before they arrive in today's land, they ruled Persia, India and even China. They are the ones that brought the rug culture to Western Asia. They used them as tents and carpets under their covers as in their homeland the weather was very harsh. These rugs had geometric shaman symbols (still have today) which are adorned by the purpose of giving. A chest figure on the rug showed that it is meant to be given to a new-wed couple. A vase-like shape showed that it is made for a woman, or by a woman. Scavenger animals do not display such complex artistic behaviour as we know.

          Man from Britain says Turkish food is disgusting. You literally said a cuisine, in which there are nearly 300 kinds of meatballs (even so-called Swedish ones were brought from Ottoman Empire by the King of Sweden) has only 5 same meals. And they are all greasy and unhealthy. I am sorry if they could not serve you anything as healthy as a slice of shepherd's pie or fish & chips or muffin. That gross tea, you say, is the only tea in the world that grows under snow. It is very particular and I know foreigners specifically searching that tea and importing. And hey, if you do not like it, you do not have to have it. But your queen was stroke by Turkish coffee centuries ago, just a reminder. Oh and yes, you enjoy your espresso thanks to Venetians who had trade with Turks that controlled Yemen then.

          They eat raw bread like prisoners? And have no mind of putting filling, cream cheese, salmon, prawn salad and coleslaw (the cheapest of salads that housewives put on the table just to increase variety for guests) on it? Modern Turkey is the birthplace of agriculture and the cradle of bread. Wheat has always been the symbol of Anatolia just as olive was the symbol of Greece. Hittites (Anatolian Indo-European people and rivals of Egyptians) had 180 types of breads documented (from circa 1650 B.C.). If you never accusing rice-eating Chinese with being mindless, never do the same to Turks. Bread is holy in tradition, and they kiss it three times and put on their forehead if it ever falls down. Plus, there are a lot of breads you could taste that are made from ancient ancestral cereals. If in Turkey you took the white toast loaf you are used to buy from your sassy London store, of course you will eat rubbish. If you think eating plain bread is disgusting, you clearly have not eaten any "real" fresh bread in your life. Because it is heavenly.

          I actually feel genuinely sad for you. You have such unnecessary harsh feelings for over 85 millions of people who are simply unaware of your existence. I think the culture is just too alien for you. I never met a single Spaniard, Italian, Greek, Arab, Jew, Georgian, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Russian, Chinese person that visited Turkey and had so many complaints. Of course you do not have to LOVE it, but your accuses are just inaccurate. They were very well aware that this is not a fault of a nation but individual experiences. And some of them even got stung by venomous animals or had their passport stolen. Your worst experience is that people did not smile at you. I feel like you did not give them any reason now.

        7. Sorry, but London is a very dirty city. Cannot even compare to Istanbul and people are extremely racist especially against foreigners. Now you are coming from UK and criticizing Turkish people is pure hypocrisy.. English guys are the most racist people I have ever seen..
          Turkish people love for aataturk is their businessand not your concern as a tourist. You shouldn’t even think and care about their nationalism. This is how this country getting stronger that’s why Great Britain is falling apart. That’s why I immigrated back to my country from dirty London.

    1. 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.

    2. The country of Türkiye is somewhat without history.
      All ancient works and architectural style of Ata belong to Europe, Iran (Persian) and Caucasus.
      Turkish music style is a combination of Mesopotamian, Iranian, Mediterranean (Greek) and Caucasian styles.
      The current people of Türkiye have less than 15% true Turkic (Seljuk) blood.
      Their history starts from the 11th century AD, that is, only 1000 years. While countries like Iran are about 7000 years old. Greece was truly an amazing civilization.
      What are the ancient monuments of Türkiye??! The skull tower in which they put the skeleton of ten people of Serbian descent?!

      Türkiye has no strong identity…
      We must prosecute the cultural thefts that happened by the Turkish governments:
      1- Nowruz, which is a completely Iranian (Parsi-Kurdish) festival, is considered to be related to the Turks!
      2- Babak Khorramdin, an Iranian general, is considered a Turk!
      3- The game of polo, which has Iranian roots, is considered Turkish
      4- Zoroaster, the first Indo-Iranian prophet

  2. Hi Bren,

    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!

      1. 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.

      1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

          1. Hi Elza,
            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.

  3. 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!

    1. 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)

    2. 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 🙂 🙂

      1. 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.

  4. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

        1. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Dear Bren,
    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.

        1. 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.

        1. 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)

          1. That's odd because ı was ın turkey durıng the electıons are you lıberal antı Erdogan sectıon of socıety are just as bad. anyways ı advıse all foreıgners to leave and don't vısıt. let the Turks have theır kebabs and faılıng economy go to Thailand ınstead. move to a functıonal socıety.

            Thıs place wıll never and should never get EU status. The crazy thıng ıs wıth out the foreıgn money (TOURISTS/FOREIGN STUDENTS) and ınvestment the place would be ın a more dısmal state.

            ı couldn't even get a DHL delıvery ın turkey. they made ıt so dıffıcult.

      1. 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.

      2. Actually the Kurds are the friendly ones. The religious people as well. Its the turks that have a more fair complexion and the brown haired ones that are extremely rude and disgusting. They are literally the worst people I've ever encountered and I've lived in many countries. The lady's with the headscarf actually smile at you and are pleasant. The rest forget it. Like a previous comment they will literally try to make you feel uncomfortable and will give you dirty look, maybe they believe they are superior to other people's not really sure. I've never hated anyone or any nation until I moved to turkey. I fight myself everyday not to be hateful but they make it really hard and it's exhausting. I pray to God everyday that I do not become like these people and to keep my heart clean.

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!).

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

    2. 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..

      1. 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.

    3. 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..

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

      1. Hi Bren,
        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.

    1. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. Turks are not white. They are not Europeans. They are a diverse bunch that does include some European descent. They are varioud Anatolian peoples with Turkic, Greek, Arab, Jewish, Balkanic, Armenian, northern Caucasian and Kurdush ancestry. Even some East African descent. If you observe all Turks from all over the country you see this.. Greeks are Mainly of Anatolian heritage as well a d Anatolians are related to Iranic and southern Caucasian people. Only Eastern Europeans will call them white because they also are mixed but want to be considered white. If they don't consider t
          Turks white, then their own whiteness is questioned. I am married to a Turk and visit Turkey quite a bit.

  19. 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 !!!

  20. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. I think you need to tell your property developers only to sell to Turks and stop calling foreigners about investing in Turkish property markers. That may help. Also just a reminder the Ottamans were conquers like Arabs. Actually they took over lands Arabs had once taken. Also you may want to associate yourself with Europe and pretend you are not near Eastern but the west who came up with the bs idea of race and defined themselves as white will not allow you into that group. So trying to constantly distinguish yourself from Arabs who are similar to most Turks is delusional thinking. One thing I gave learned from being stared at with disgust is that humans are horrible and hateful and prejudice of each other and it is a sad state of affairs for this world. It really is a justification to support the extinction of humanity. All what you said is disgusting.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. Bren,
    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.

    1. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

    1. 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?

      1. 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?

        1. 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…

          1. 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 !

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

      1. 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.

      1. 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.

  33. Hi Bren,

    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?

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

    1. 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.

  36. Hey Bren!
    – 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.

  37. 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.

      1. 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.

  38. 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 .

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. Hi,
    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.

  43. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

    2. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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).

  49. 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!

  50. 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.

  51. 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

  52. Hi,
    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.

  53. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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?

  56. 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!

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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