Female Traveller Guide To Turkey | Female Traveller Safety Tips Included
There is no other way to put it, Turkey is a beautiful country. The people are among the most generous in the world, the food is delicious, and the scenery is unparalleled. It is considered one of the most liberal Muslim countries. However, there are still special considerations travellers have to make when deciding to venture there. This is especially true for women. Fortunately, we have your back. We asked other travellers to offer their advice to those who are thinking of visiting. The GoWonder community presents the comprehensive female traveller guide to Turkey.
Female Safety Tips in Turkey
As many savvy female travellers know, there are general safety tips that are important follow. Whenever you are in a new place, it is important to be alert and pay attention to your surroundings. If you are travelling solo, make friends at hostels or restaurants so that you have people you can see the sights with and watch out for you in case you run into any trouble. Although Turkey is quite liberal and, overall, safe, women still need to careful when travelling at night and interacting with the opposite sex. Here is what others say:
“When I went to Istanbul I realised that man can take any little hint of politeness as a invitation to pester you! So my advice is to be modest, try to blend in, and to stand your ground when men approach you. Same thing when you hit the markets. Everyone will try to grab your attention, careful of pickpocketing, and just look confident. I had an amazing time too, I loved petting the street cats (which were everywhere), seeing the beautiful mosques, eating Turkish delights in one of the oldest shops, going to a rug shop that offered us tea. Istanbul was magical ” – Maria Vittoria Compagnoni
Cultural Etiquette in Turkey
As stated earlier, Turkey is liberal, but not THAT liberal. A majority of the country identifies as Muslim. Remember that you are a visitor and need to be respectful of their customs. If you are in touristic cities, like Istanbul and Bodrum, people are used to women dressing in a more “Western” style. However, if you plan to visit religious sites or more rural areas, modesty is key.
“Long pants/skirt and a shawl/wrap for ladies. Although Turkey is relatively modern and liberal, one must still dress modestly and respectfully when visiting religious sites like mosques.” – roamscapes.com
“Covered clothes for visiting mosques and a BIG appetite for the amazing food!” – Shaguna Dhall
Contraception in Turkey
Turkey has birth control pills available, but you will need a prescription from a doctor to get them. Luckily, if you are able to get a prescription, the pills are relatively cheap. Our advice would be to bring pills with you if that is your preferred method of contraception. It is better to be prepared in case you are unable to buy them once you are in the country.
There are condoms available as well, but as sex is a controversial topic in this Muslim country, they are not as accessible as in other countries. Most can be found at a pharmacy, behind the counter. Therefore, if you are not comfortable asking for condoms, you should bring your own.
Overall, availability of contraception is very dependent upon where you are. Like many other more “liberal” items, if you are in major tourist cities, they will be more widely accessible. As you head east to the more conservative areas or into rural Turkey, you will struggle to find contraception and other “Western” products.
Female Necessities in Turkey
If you bring nothing else to Turkey, you should bring tampons. Not only are they SO difficult to find, they are also exceptionally expensive once you got your hands on a pack. Turkish women tend to use pads instead of tampons, which is why they are not a highly accessible item. As an alternative, you could also invest (and practice using) a Diva Cup. They are both more portable and eco-friendly than your average feminine hygiene product.
Moreover, use technology to your advantage. A traveller suggests:
“A translator app, with Turkish downloaded ready to go. English is common, but the translator will be helpful for things like menus.” – josiewanders.com
When you visit a new country, there will always be comforts of home that you will miss. It is important to do your research to make sure you are prepared for the adjustments you need to make and what you need to bring. It is also important to keep an open mind. Travelling will challenge you, but it is worth it. This comprehensive female traveller guide to Turkey will help you begin your planning for your adventure to this fabulous country.
That’s all from us, do you have any tips? Anything else you want to add to the Female Traveller Guide to Turkey? Leave it in the comments below!