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WOMEN TRAVELERS IN TURKEY – TO SMILE OR NOT TO SMILE?
(62 Messages in 7 pages - View all)
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1.       slavica
814 posts
 12 Jul 2005 Tue 01:56 am

THERE ARE A FEW ANSWERS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT WOMEN TRAVELER IN TURKEY, TAKEN FROM THE SITE “TURKEY TRAVEL PLANNER”
(IF ANYBODY WANTS TO READ WHOLE TEXT, THE ADDRESS IS:
http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/TravelDetails/WomenTravelers/index.html )


“What can I do to avoid occasional unpleasantness?

As in other Mediterranean countries with similar cultures, you should observe local customs.
………

In Turkey, as in many other countries, social encounters between men and women who are not relatives or close friends are conducted much more formally than they might be in Europe or--especially--Australia, Canada, or the USA. Also, this formality is maintained for a much longer time.

How can I be 'more formal'?

Dress neatly and act reserved. Be pleasant, but don't smile readily at men you don't know, even when conducting business (registering at a hotel, taking a taxi ride, etc). Be correct and formal, even on the third and fourth encounter. If a man responds by being overly friendly, you should be overly formal. Keep control of the situation, keep it on your terms.

Why can't I just be the way I normally am? Why do I have to do things differently?

Unfortunately, European and American movies, TV programs, magazines, books--and especially fantasy pornography--often portray 'Western' women as 'loose,' if not downright promiscuous: they go out to clubs and bars on their own, they talk to men to whom they have not been introduced, they even sleep with men they've known for only a short time and have no intention of marrying.

It's true of some Western women, so a Turkish man may assume that it's true of any particular woman--you, for example. Like any Western man, if he's attracted to you he may give it a try and see what happens.

Many Western women smile readily, at anyone. It's looked upon as good manners to smile and be cheerful. Turkish women, who act more formal, don't usually smile at an unfamiliar man until they feel assured that the smile won't be misinterpreted as a come-on. Thus, when a Turkish woman smiles at a man, it means she is willing to be more friendly. It's a calculated escalation of interest, not just part of a cheerful attitude.

So if you smile at a Turkish man just to be pleasant, he might interpret it to mean that you're interested in being even more friendly……”

I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR COMMENTS ON THIS TEXT, ESPECIALLY FROM TURKISH MEN. IS IT THE TRUTH? I WOULDN’T SAY!

I SPENT TEN DAYS IN TURKEY LAST SUMMER, I WAS SMILING ALL THE TIME AND I DIDN’T HAVE ANY UNPLEASANTNESS. BUT IF I READ THIS TEXT BEFOR MY TRAVELLING, I MAYBE WOULDN’T GO. WHY SHOULD I GO TO THE COUNTRY WHERE I CAN’T SMILE!?

WELL, WHAT THE OTHERS THINK?
IS A BIG, FRIENDLY SMILE SO DANGEROUS FOR WOMAN IN TURKEY?

Nixy liked this message
2.       admin
753 posts
 14 Jul 2005 Thu 04:51 am

Nobody replied to this message, so I guess I should say something. In Turkey, women are usually more reserved compared to women in some western countries. It is not dangerous to smile, of course, but it might sometimes give the impression that you are interested in the person you are smiling at. So, you should try to be more serious when you feel like your smile and good manners are misunderstood. But there is no reason to think that it is dangerous to smile

3.       slavica
814 posts
 14 Jul 2005 Thu 06:48 pm

Thanks, your explanation is much better and more realistic then text taken from “TURKEY TRAVEL PLANNER”
Actually, I personally find that text insulting, equally for western women and turkish men, that's the reason I posted it.
I'm also from traditional society, and I have understanding for manners like that, but I can imagine how can react classic western woman reading advice like "don't smile readily at men you don't know, even when conducting business (registering at a hotel, taking a taxi ride, etc)".
O.k. Next time I will think twice before I smile!
It was a joke, of course – I already said that I didn't have any unpleasantness being in Turkey, although I smiled a lot, so it means that I probably found balance between my natural manners and local customs.
Anyway, thanks again for your explanation, not only because of me, but because western-western women, planing to travel to Turkey

4.       Lyndie
968 posts
 08 Sep 2005 Thu 02:39 am

I found this topic fascinating.

In my experience, it depends on where you go as to how you behave.

For example in the tourist resorts, smiles and even kissing (on both cheeks when you greet someone you know) are not necessarily misunderstood. The men who work in these areas are familiar with the informalities of European women and are pretty good at 'reading' the body language of the tourists. You can pretty much wear whatever you like, go topless on the beach, dance provocatively anything, and you will be ok.(although I have seen some outrageous behaviour and language frowned upon - not my own behaviour i hasten to add)

But, in areas which are not tourist areas then I think it is respectful to be more formal, wear more modest clothes and generally behave with dignity, this is especially true if you are the guest of a Turkish family.

For example, i have friends in a small town, Ayvalik, which does not have many tourists and those tourists that are there are generally Turkish people. I would behave very differently there to say Icmeler. I would not wear clothes that showed the tatoo on my back. I would not smile at men or boys in shops or restaurants and I would not wear clothes with low cut plunging fronts. Partly because in places like that lack of formality would be misunderstood and also because it would embarrass my friends. Small towns in Turkey are very 'gossipy' places. If you behave well, try to speak turkish, conform to the social behaviours, your friends would be proud of you.

I cooked an English meal for my friend and his family when I stayed and his mother taught me the order in which to serve the guests. The elderly uncle first, because of his gender and age, then my own husband because of his gender and he was a special guest. After that the aunt because she was the next guest, then my friends mother because she was the next oldest person, then my friend because he was the next eldest and a man, the young female cousin was last. Normally if I hadn't cooked and been serving I would have been served after my husband because I was the next most important guest. This way might seem a little old fashioned if you are european, it is basically the way we would do things in England 30 or 40 years ago, but I found it quite pleasant. Everyone know their place somehow, and serving the oldest person first is just plain respectful in my opinion.

I particularly like the way that young men when introduced to you, will kiss the back of your hand and then press it to their forehead. This is a great sign of respect and if young people do this to you in a tourist resort it is a sign that they respect you very much, because although this is a normal behaviour amongst turkish people it is unusual for a tourist to be treated this way.

Turkish people are also in my experience very formal in their speech. When you greet a person they will always ask you how your are and expect you to respond in a similar way, you can never hurry a Turk if you go into a shop and intend to make a purchase or do business of some kind, you will generally sit down, be offered tea, talk about various small subjects before you get down to the real point of your business. This can seem a little funny, but I find this enchanting. It took me over 45 minutes to arrange a small jewellery repair in the summer this year and a similar time when I went back to collect my bracelet. I also bought a small gold chain, but I only spent a very small amount of money, nevertheless my entire 'business took over one hour, 4 cups of tea, a long conversation about respective families and the weather. Very pleasant indeed.


Another point to remember is the Turkish people I know and have met regard eating as being very very personal and it is very very rude to interrupt someone who is eating their meal. Turkish people will never impose themselves on you when you are eating and they also don't expect you to do this to them either. It is different if you are joining the person for the meal. But I would never approach someone who was eating, however well I knew them unless they invited me. If you go into a shop and the shopkeeper is eating you should always apologise for interrupting him, even if you are going into his shop to buy something from him. This is also something that europeans might find a little strange and unfamiliar. If when you apologise you also say 'Gecmis Olsun' (enjoy your meal) he will like you even more.

I am of course speaking from an English perspective, it may be that some of you come from countries that are equally formal and courteous in some respects and I would love to hear about this.

Generally, English people in Turkey embarrass me by their lack of good manners and respectful behaviour
Oooh didn't I talk for a long time.

ümitli and Laila65 liked this message
5.       catwoman
8933 posts
 08 Sep 2005 Thu 04:05 am

It is interesting indeed how you perceive these cultural customs and restrictions Lyndie. I am not Turkish, I am Polish, and although there are many differences between Polish and Turkish cultures, there are also some fundamental similarities, like the ones you described. However, I never felt good about them or found them exciting at all. I remember how I used to feel treated unfairly, how older people were given credit just for their age, although they were wrong and unjust in their judgment almost all the time. I remember having felt that young people are not given enough respect, no wonder that they rebel as soon as they can! I could go on and on, but the point is that I suppose some 'insiders' don't feel as good about these cultural customs and conservative communities in which 'everybody has his pre-arranged place'.

6.       bliss
900 posts
 08 Sep 2005 Thu 04:08 am

It was very interesting to "listen" to you.Thank you for sharing.

7.       Lyndie
968 posts
 08 Sep 2005 Thu 08:49 pm

I think you are absolutely right Catwoman. There is always a downside to these things. I have lots of thoughts and experiences to share about these things too. Maybe I feel another essay coming on......

8.       bliss
900 posts
 09 Sep 2005 Fri 01:47 am

Thank you , Lyndie for your post. It is good to learn about cultural customs.
I used to live in Cechnya, it was part of Russia. I was a kid and did not understand many things at that time but never could accept all the things I saw there. Lynde's post brought all the memories back.
My dad was a dentist and had many friends among native people. They were working together and I could see them very often in our house. One thing was common for all of them. The respect for elders. It was good thing of course. But like Catwoman said the older people were given credit just for their age not for the knowledge of life or good judgment. I remember my classmates jealousy of my relations with my parents, especially with my dad.
There was unwritten law in their families. When the father was home it looked like nobody else was home. They did not have right to disturb him. I've noticed that the married son never called his wife by her name in front of his father. He never could play or talk to his own children. Kids were closer to their mother. If they had to discuss something with their father, their mother had to do it for them.
Women never could eat with men. They could only serve them and eat in separate room.
My classmates liked to come to our house because there were less restrictions. They liked how my parents were interacted to each other and us. My dad could spend hours explaining biology and chemistry to them. Could talk and discuss many things with us, which they did not do with their own fathers.
It was very sad to see all those things.
I can't say anything about Turkey because I've never been there but my experience in Checheno-Ingushetia was not very good one. The young people had to live their lives by prearranged plans of their elders. I don't understand this. For me family means love and respect to each other. Everyone has the right to live his own life as he wishes. Do respect elders but not be a prisoner. We all respect older people and I wish they can respect us too.
I think they don't have to forget that they were in same shoe, when they were young, and felt same way, as we do now. It is only my opinion.(Sorry if something is wrong.)
I wish you luck , Lyndie. I will read your essay with great interest.
Regards Bliss

9.       catwoman
8933 posts
 09 Sep 2005 Fri 04:09 pm

Wow, the last two posts were really good and intense. It looks like so many distant from each other and culturally completely different places on Earth have quite a lot in common! That is very amazing I think.

10.       Deli_kizin
6376 posts
 04 Apr 2006 Tue 12:18 am

I'm really tired now, so im gonna hop onto bed, but i'll definitely bookmark this thread and read it when my illness is over!

I remember Kadir telling me not to smile around me too much, as it might give people a weird idea, especially if I'm smiling at other people while holding his hand But i couldn't stop it, as the sun was shining, i was holding my love's hand and i was in a gorgeous city! What else was there to do but smile

11.       Pamela_USA
11 posts
 04 Apr 2006 Tue 12:55 am

Nana:

I'm agree with you!

My father from Puerto Rico, my mother from Mexico, i'm latin woman living in USA, like me there are a lot of millions of latin woman living in USA and not all are like "gringas" woman! They are really very crazy! But latin people we aren't!
I think the usa-womans are slaves of capitalism and the fashion that degrades the image of the woman.

My respect and admiration to turkish womans!!

Pam.

12.       ramayan
2633 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 02:48 am

no no u shouldnt care anybody when it comes smile...dont care..just smile ya whenever u find chance

13.       bliss
900 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 03:52 am

Quoting ramayan:

no no u shouldnt care anybody when it comes smile...dont care..just smile ya whenever u find chance



You know Ramayan, that someone told me that I smile a lot and it was just on MSN even not in real life. It was long time ago but at the time I thought same, maybe there is some rules in Türkiye regarding smiling women.
But you are right the smile is the best thing on the face of the human. We have that and not any other living creature. It means God gave this privilege and we have to use it whenever it is possible.
Let's be happy and smile all the time.
Just remember this:

"When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying."

14.       ramayan
2633 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 04:54 am

Quoting bliss
"When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying."

[/QUOTE:


if i dont agree with u dostum,i will be a big donkey

15.       mltm
3690 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 11:28 am

When I read this, I started to think of myself. I questioned myself whether I smile at men on my daily encounters. And I found out that I usually put a quite serious attitude on my face and voice towards strangers of men when asking and answering something whilst it's usually the reverse towards women. I mean on occasions like asking an addresse, buying something, travelling in a public transport etc. On the contrary, I try to smile and be very kind towards men I'm introduced by a friend, towards neighbours and guests. If I'm not introduced but met somehow a man, I am again a bit formal. I'm neither traditional nor conversative person. Deli-kızın you're right, it's usually not welcomed very well for a girl to look and smile around (mavi boncuk dağıtmak especially when she's with her bf. maybe it's something to be changed, but for now it's just the way it's.

16.       sophie
2712 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 11:43 am

I always smile, talk, joke... It's so easy for me to start a chat with a shop owner or with a passenger when asking for directions, etc. Never had a problem and never received a suspicious reaction about my ... ethics from the people i talked or smiled to. Just the opposite.

17.       mltm
3690 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 11:45 am

Quoting sophie:

I always smile, talk, joke... It's so easy for me to start a chat with a shop owner or with a passenger when asking for directions, etc. Never had a problem and never received a suspicious reaction about my ... ethics from the people i talked or smiled to. Just the opposite.


Yes, beyond culture, it's also something about personality and character.

18.       sophie
2712 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 11:54 am

Quoting mltm:


Yes, beyond culture, it's also something about personality and character.



Yes, it's more about personality than it is about culture. And so is the reaction that you will get. If the person you smile to is narrow minded of course s/he ll never understand that you are just being friendly and polite. Not immoral.

19.       hanan
197 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 12:41 pm

Quoting sophie:

I always smile, talk, joke... It's so easy for me to start a chat with a shop owner or with a passenger when asking for directions, etc. Never had a problem and never received a suspicious reaction about my ... ethics from the people i talked or smiled to. Just the opposite.


i think i am just the same and even with those people who will understand me wrong because at end the will find out that my reactions are coming of my heart with no bad manners or thoughts just that simple and as result they will find me a a funny and simple person as i am .

20.       ramayan
2633 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 12:50 pm

Quoting sophie:

Quoting mltm:


Yes, beyond culture, it's also something about personality and character.



Yes, it's more about personality than it is about culture. And so is the reaction that you will get. If the person you smile to is narrow minded of course s/he ll never understand that you are just being friendly and polite. Not immoral.



totally agree with u...if they are fool and misunderstand u..its their problem..behave how u r

21.       mltm
3690 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 02:48 pm

Altough I agreed that it's also about personality, somehow you have to adapt yourself to the people around and consider their thoughts and manners as well. If I feel that I'm gonna receive something I wouldn't want, I try to avoid that condition normally, I can't just say that it's their problem. Adapting myself to them doesn't mean that I value their thoughts, it's just for feeling better and not getting disturbed.
Just for same reasons I don't wear very attractive clothes while wandering around in some parts of İstanbul where I know that I'll get a reaction which will disturb me and even I'll get harasses, but there're places where I can dress like that without really being disturbed. Holiday resort places are very different than the real social life. it's not just about ourselves, it depends to the people around us as well.
Yes, unfortunately being especially a modern girl in Türkiye is not so easy. Usually you have to consider your sexual identity or they make you consider it.

22.       Deli_kizin
6376 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 04:52 pm

Quoting mltm:

Altough I agreed that it's also about personality, somehow you have to adapt yourself to the people around and consider their thoughts and manners as well. If I feel that I'm gonna receive something I wouldn't want, I try to avoid that condition normally, I can't just say that it's their problem. Adapting myself to them doesn't mean that I value their thoughts, it's just for feeling better and not getting disturbed.
Just for same reasons I don't wear very attractive clothes while wandering around in some parts of İstanbul where I know that I'll get a reaction which will disturb me and even I'll get harasses, but there're places where I can dress like that without really being disturbed. Holiday resort places are very different than the real social life. it's not just about ourselves, it depends to the people around us as well.
Yes, unfortunately being especially a modern girl in Türkiye is not so easy. Usually you have to consider your sexual identity or they make you consider it.



I totally agree with Meltem.
It's not only their sick minds that are guilty, also the thing that feeds them is guilty. So if you don't want to get (negative sexual) attention, then dress like that.

I'm not talking about smiling around, because i'm not sure what i think of that. In Holland we say:
"Wie goed doet, goed ontmoet". It means "who acts well towards others, will receive that same goodness" (this is not literally translated as it doesn't really translate that well). But apparantly in Türkiye it doesn't work like that for smiling yet.

23.       deli
5904 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 05:18 pm




sorry peeps couldnt resist doing this and i for one will continue to smile, i cant help but smile when in turkey its my heaven on earth, but maybe i will try not to smile at everybody ,but its so natural for me, even in my own country when i walk by people in the street i usually wish them good day and smile ,we english are told some many times that we are very reserved, but this dosent apply to me , only problem with smiling is it brings on the wrinkles quicker

Laila65 liked this message
24.       sophie
2712 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 07:08 pm

Quoting Deli_kizin:

"who acts well towards others, will receive that same goodness".



This is exactly what I am saying. I have wandered in many turkish cities so many times, always finding a reason to chat for and people to smile to, and never (and I mean NEVER) got a negative response. Only once, last month, I visited Kapalı Çarsı in a really bad mood, asking about what i wanted to buy in a very serious way and it was the first time i saw numb people and straight faces around me.

So, I don't agree with you, where you say that this doesn't work for Turkey yet. A warm smile works everywhere and softens even the most moody faces.

Meltem has mixed a little bit this warm smile I am talking about, with the stupid laugh of some women. I don't mean that you have to humiliate yourself by laughing like an idiot to anybody. I m talking about that kind of smile that is polite and warm. It doesn't say "flirt me I m easy". It says "hello, it's a beautiful day, isn't it?"

25.       mltm
3690 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 07:40 pm

Quoting sophie:


Meltem has mixed a little bit this warm smile I am talking about, with the stupid laugh of some women. I don't mean that you have to humiliate yourself by laughing like an idiot to anybody. I m talking about that kind of smile that is polite and warm. It doesn't say "flirt me I m easy". It says "hello, it's a beautiful day, isn't it?"


Hehe no, no, I'm not talking about that stupid smile either . And by being serious, I wasn't talking about being rude and sulky. I was just saying that there're some occasions where I find it more useful not to be equally friendly with some other occasions. But I agree that smiling at a degree always leaves a much positive impression.

26.       Deli_kizin
6376 posts
 06 Apr 2006 Thu 10:09 pm

Quoting sophie:

Quoting Deli_kizin:

I m talking about that kind of smile that is polite and warm. It doesn't say "flirt me I m easy". It says "hello, it's a beautiful day, isn't it?"



How i'd like to see you smile

Yeah you're right. I dunnow, i will give a proper meaning once i live there Becuase i think that will be different from being on holiday i suppose.
I don't want people to look at us, thinking I'm an easy european girl and that he's nothing but a horny man. To be honest that's the only thing I'm kinda afraid of. On the other hand, maybe that's me being shortsighted thinking they will think that..

So I think I'll go for the Izmir-look: sunglasses, handbag, walking straight forward. And i'll smile when i order delicious baklava and fresh grapefruit juice

27.       Boop
785 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 11:14 am

My advice would be just be natural - and if you are naturally a warm and smiley person - behave as normal.
If this is misinterpreted maybe adjust accordingly - every person is different - every culture is different.....go with the flow

28.       ramayan
2633 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 11:40 am

as a man i have few words..i never behave a woman as a bitch if she smiles me...its same everywer...between kind smile and meaningful ones der r great differencies...everybody can seperate it..a smiling face is better than a face with sun glasses and sullen face..a smile better than a laughter..u should never chance urself...just be kind and careful..if other misunderstands u ,u can change ur manner...and i think nobody is fool..no need to tell wad kind of smiles and laughters they are...

it is a kind of mirror..u will find urself on others face..if u see urself worse or so better there must be a problem with that mirror...(very philosophical words ummmm i cant believe myself heheheh )

im fond of smiling...i love smiling...i love smiling ones...lets smile

29.       damla
129 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 01:15 pm

Quoting ramayan:

as a man i have few words..i never behave a woman as a bitch if she smiles me...its same everywer...between kind smile and meaningful ones der r great differencies...everybody can seperate it..a smiling face is better than a face with sun glasses and sullen face..a smile better than a laughter..u should never chance urself...just be kind and careful..if other misunderstands u ,u can change ur manner...and i think nobody is fool..no need to tell wad kind of smiles and laughters they are...

it is a kind of mirror..u will find urself on others face..if u see urself worse or so better there must be a problem with that mirror...(very philosophical words ummmm i cant believe myself heheheh )

im fond of smiling...i love smiling...i love smiling ones...lets smile



Yeah absolutely like this.I love smiling and nobody understands me wrong.It is so stupid to think like that.

30.       mltm
3690 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 05:12 pm

Nobody is telling that smiling is a bad thing. I try to smile and be kind as much as possible during my interactions with people, but was just trying to tell that sometimes there're some social conditions in Turkey different than in Europe which no one can deny I'm sure. And it counts for the behaviours of females and how they are welcomed as well.
It was just some information for foreigners (especially female ones who travel alone) to make them aware of somethings, and as the article also points out, there should be some truth in it.
Anyway turkish people are very very friendly as you know

31.       Deli_kizin
6376 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 05:33 pm

Quoting mltm:

Nobody is telling that smiling is a bad thing. I try to smile and be kind as much as possible during my interactions with people, but was just trying to tell that sometimes there're some social conditions in Turkey different than in Europe which no one can deny I'm sure. And it counts for the behaviours of females and how they are welcomed as well.
It was just some information for foreigners (especially female ones who travel alone) to make them aware of somethings, and as the article also points out, there should be some truthness in it.
Anyway turkish people are very very friendly as you know



Once again i agree with Meltem.
Especially about that last sentence

32.       mltm
3690 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 06:03 pm

Quote:

Quoting Deli_kizin:



Once again i agree with Meltem.
Especially about that last sentence



I know that you agree with me You have already adapted yourself a lot to Turkey, but listen to Kadir more sometimes

33.       Deli_kizin
6376 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 06:15 pm

Quoting mltm:

I know that you agree with me You have already adapted yourself a lot to Turkey, but listen to Kadir more sometimes



Even more?

34.       libralady
5152 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 06:16 pm

My view on the original post is this. If you are on holiday the natives of that country know you are a tourist and to some extent understand that you do not know their culture. Therefore you might do things that would not normally be accepted, but unwittingly so. Having said that I do believe it is wise to read about the country you are going to and know something of it's culture and religion, especially if you are going to travel alone.

If you go to a country on business then it is your duty to understand what the business culture is in that country. You may not like it but you should observe it.

I travel to China a lot on business and over the years our Suppliers have accepted that they do business with Women and it has become much easier for me to travel without being "gorped" at because I am a woman. The customs have become second nature to me now and I even find my self observing them when I go to a Chinese restaurant in the UK. My friends wonder what the hell I am doing, washing my cup and my chopsticks with green tea before I start to eat with them lol

35.       tyreece
1 posts
 07 Apr 2006 Fri 08:49 pm

Unlike Ramayan who 'as a man I have few words' I unfortunately am a woman who has many words but I will try to be brief. I read all of the comments with a varying degree of emotions. I strongly agree with Ramayan's perceptions and as someone who has experienced a number of cultures I have found that traditions and expectations are similar across all cultures even in England. I have found that if you respect others you get respect back. That all everyone wants to be respected for who they are and perhaps to be really listened to. I come from a background that has been influenced by a strict loving Nigerian father and not so strict but loving English mother. Growing up was wonderful because I watched and listened to my parents debate what was the right way and what was the wrong forway for bring up their daughter's and theirs son's. I like to think that I have inherited the best from both of them. That is that you welcome and feed people who are hungry with a good heart that shows in your face (the genuine smile is therefore essential). You don't agree with someone old or young if it is not genuine but you politely and diplomatically put your point across. In my experience (and I have friends from a range of cultures) is that people would rather see a bright open smile than a frowning scowling face as it can sometimes brighten up their day and lift their spirits. I smile all the time whatever country I am in and most certainly when I am in Turkey. No bad experiences to date and no undue advances. I put this down to human instincts. After a few minutes of conversation you know what impression you have made by their body language of others. (back to Ramayan's mirror. I would just like to add that woman and men across the world can misinterpret the purest of motives, a smile from the opposite gender can often be seen as 'he/she fancies me' when the opposite is the case. As I said at the begining I am a woman of many words so I apologise for the ongoing saga. I just could not resist putting my 'peneth word'. My motto is keep smiling and the world will smile back.

36.       CANLI
5084 posts
 19 Apr 2008 Sat 04:00 am

That was lovely really
Thank you all for the informations

We really miss much by arguing and fighting and forget the beauty of that site !

37.       teaschip
3870 posts
 19 Apr 2008 Sat 04:16 am

Pulling old threads, wow I even remember some of these. What's the saying the oldies but goodies..or something like that.

38.       CANLI
5084 posts
 19 Apr 2008 Sat 04:24 am

İ think ..its something like that..
They are very informative
İ have been throw that forum for more than a while,and it contain very rich and right from people's experience informations
Were just forgotten

39.       catwoman
8933 posts
 19 Apr 2008 Sat 04:31 am

I think this was Slavica's first ever post on TC

It's a strange feeling sometimes to read my old posts as well... :-S lol

40.       CANLI
5084 posts
 19 Apr 2008 Sat 04:33 am

Ohhhh ,that is true cat,i havent noticed its her first
thats cool

41.       Capoeira
575 posts
 20 Apr 2008 Sun 02:37 pm

Yep...smiling here is a way of showing interest! I have learned that through trial and error. I tend to smile all the time...so my students tell me. But I have learned that eye-contact and a smile is a sign of interest. So...if your interested in meeting a man...it's relatively easy to show interest! No funny games. Just a moment of direct eye contact and a smile and away you go.....

Happy hunting ladies!!!!!!!!

42.       yilgun-7
1326 posts
 20 Apr 2008 Sun 04:00 pm

In my opinion=
Women should not go to travel alone.
It is not good idea.
They can go to travel if the travel organizes systematic.
Why?
Because the world is full of dangerous for women and men.
Travel plan must be made according to the country conditions.
There are good persons and bad persons.
Ignorance is a big potential dangerous for people everywhere every time.
Everyone must know this reality.

43.       soulshine
37 posts
 20 Apr 2008 Sun 04:55 pm

Quoting yilgun-7:

In my opinion=
Women should not go to travel alone.
It is not good idea.
They can go to travel if the travel organizes systematic.
Wky?
Because the world is full of dangerous for women and men.
Travel plan must be made according to the country conditions.
There is good persons and bad persons.
Ignorance is a big potential dangerous for people everywhere every time.
Everyone must know this reality.



I travelled to turkey last year on my own and at no time did I feel threatened or in any danger. I actually found Turkish gentlemen(staff) in the resturants and bars to be very protective of me. If I was approached by a tukish man they were quickly questioned about their intentions. On the occasions when I was asked if I would like to go for a drink and I declined turkish men were very polite, thanked me for my time and offered their phone numbers incase I changed my mind. I had a wonderful holiday

44.       KeithL
1455 posts
 20 Apr 2008 Sun 05:17 pm

The biggest rule of safety for foreigners traveling alone (not only women)is be aware and avoid areas where there are not other people.
This is not only for women. I know several men who have been victimized by street crime in Ist. and its always late at night in empty streets.

45.       Roswitha
4132 posts
 20 Apr 2008 Sun 06:28 pm

Keith, what about safety near the Ramparts, i.e. along the Theodosian walls near Edirne Kapi, Egri Kapi, Belgrad Kapi, Mevlana Kapi and Blachernae area??

46.       gokan
8 posts
 09 Feb 2010 Tue 01:09 pm

 

Quoting tyreece

Unlike Ramayan who ´as a man I have few words´ I unfortunately am a woman who has many words but I will try to be brief. I read all of the comments with a varying degree of emotions. I strongly agree with Ramayan´s perceptions and as someone who has experienced a number of cultures I have found that traditions and expectations are similar across all cultures even in England. I have found that if you respect others you get respect back. That all everyone wants to be respected for who they are and perhaps to be really listened to. I come from a background that has been influenced by a strict loving Nigerian father and not so strict but loving English mother. Growing up was wonderful because I watched and listened to my parents debate what was the right way and what was the wrong forway for bring up their daughter´s and theirs son´s. I like to think that I have inherited the best from both of them. That is that you welcome and feed people who are hungry with a good heart that shows in your face (the genuine smile is therefore essential). You don´t agree with someone old or young if it is not genuine but you politely and diplomatically put your point across. In my experience (and I have friends from a range of cultures) is that people would rather see a bright open smile than a frowning scowling face as it can sometimes brighten up their day and lift their spirits. I smile all the time whatever country I am in and most certainly when I am in Turkey. No bad experiences to date and no undue advances. I put this down to human instincts. After a few minutes of conversation you know what impression you have made by their body language of others. (back to Ramayan´s mirror. I would just like to add that woman and men across the world can misinterpret the purest of motives, a smile from the opposite gender can often be seen as ´he/she fancies me´ when the opposite is the case. As I said at the begining I am a woman of many words so I apologise for the ongoing saga. I just could not resist putting my ´peneth word´. My motto is keep smiling and the world will smile back.

              hi Gemma. how are you in recently days? this is my new profile in TC. I cant use the other profile. what do you mean in this forum writing? I couldnt understand it exactly. I must look at dictionary for many words.     

       next time I will try to understand your writing. with best wishes.

 

47.       foka
597 posts
 12 Feb 2010 Fri 10:40 pm

 

Quoting tyreece

My motto is keep smiling and the world will smile back.

 

 i totally agree with this note...mostly in my life i try to smile, its not going im in poland, in turkey or in france...nowhere i hadnt any problems beacuse im smilling.

Of course i cant say i didnt hear stupid comments about it, but always in my minds i repeat to myself..." if ppl dont like when you smilling so its not your problem "

lets stay on it

and sending to all of you BIG SMILE

48.       Sabina11
16 posts
 12 Feb 2010 Fri 10:59 pm

So if I decide to travel to Istanbul on my own (having decent knowledge of Turkish), I better change my mind???{#emotions_dlg.unsure}

Quote:

Add quoted text here

49.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 12 Feb 2010 Fri 11:32 pm

Sabina - by no means should you be put off travelling to Istanbul on your own. It´s a pretty safe place and used to tourists. If you are reasonable and don´t hang around dangerous places late at night, you´ll be as fine as you would be anywhere in the world. It´s about having common sense

50.       raindrops
267 posts
 13 Feb 2010 Sat 12:25 am

 

Quoting Sabina11

So if I decide to travel to Istanbul on my own (having decent knowledge of Turkish), I better change my mind???{#emotions_dlg.unsure}

 

not at all - you will have marvelous trip if plan it in advance: where to go, what to see etc

it is safe due to my own experience. just having friend next to you is always more fun

though, from other hand, you behave more careful when on your own )

but it is safe anyway

51.       Yersu
241 posts
 13 Feb 2010 Sat 02:38 am

 

Quoting foka

 

 

 i totally agree with this note...mostly in my life i try to smile, its not going im in poland, in turkey or in france...nowhere i hadnt any problems beacuse im smilling.

Of course i cant say i didnt hear stupid comments about it, but always in my minds i repeat to myself..." if ppl dont like when you smilling so its not your problem "

lets stay on it

and sending to all of you BIG SMILE

 

Dear foka; smiling is a gesture, a form of communication. When communicating; it isn´t about what you are trying to tell, lt´s about what the other party understands. When you say "Ana", a girls name, A Turkish person will hear "mother", and a Japanese person will hear "hole". Russians used to kiss on the lips for greeting, do you think that would be appropriate behaviour in, say USA?

 

Yeah I am somewhat exaggarating, I too think there is nothing wrong with smiling. However when surrounded by people who may think that is an "inviting" behaviour, I would rather be on the safe side.

 

52.       turkaturk
143 posts
 13 Feb 2010 Sat 09:14 am

.



Edited (2/13/2010) by turkaturk
Edited (2/13/2010) by turkaturk
Edited (9/2/2010) by turkaturk

53.       Trudy
7887 posts
 13 Feb 2010 Sat 09:56 am

 

Quoting Yersu

 

 

Dear foka; smiling is a gesture, a form of communication. When communicating; it isn´t about what you are trying to tell, lt´s about what the other party understands. When you say "Ana", a girls name, A Turkish person will hear "mother", and a Japanese person will hear "hole". Russians used to kiss on the lips for greeting, do you think that would be appropriate behaviour in, say USA?

 

Yeah I am somewhat exaggarating, I too think there is nothing wrong with smiling. However when surrounded by people who may think that is an "inviting" behaviour, I would rather be on the safe side.

 

 

I cannot stop myself smiling when walking around and seeing people, smiling is indeed one of my cultural based behaviours. Still, having read as well the link Slavica gave in the opening post and after having a few less pleasant experiences I have to say that in some places I´m more careful. At places as bazaars or markets or other crowded areas I don´t smile instantly but I try to ´check´ other people´s intentions first. BTW, not only in Turkey but in some places in Turkey as well. 

54.       turkaturk
143 posts
 13 Feb 2010 Sat 11:45 am

.

 

 



Edited (9/2/2010) by turkaturk

55.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 13 Feb 2010 Sat 12:21 pm

I already notice a difference when I speak to the American workers in my office (an office in Holland) There eye-contact is much more direct, and sometimes makes me feel uncomfortable. In my cold-cloggy land direct eye contact seems to last a bit shorter then it does in the U.S.

 

Anyway, in Turkey I give a shy smile sometimes when I need something. Just like I do in Holland I can get more done in Holland with my smile then in Turkey... stupid Turkish men don´t even stop for me when I want to cross the road... and in Holland I just have to flash a sad look, and then a shining smile to cross the street.

 

In Turkey I do watch what I say more. In Holland it is easier for me to be "just friends" with a guy. There´s nothing weird in going to the cinema with only your male friend. In Turkey this seems a bit harder. So, for example, I wouldn´t invite a guy to something alone.

 

But smiling... I don´t limit my smiles. I have more comments in Turkey that I don´t smile enough, then guys thinking I "want them" when I do smile. Especially when my language was even more limited then it is now, a smile could do wonders. How else do you say "thank you" without being able to say the words?

56.       ptaszek
440 posts
 15 Feb 2010 Mon 01:24 am

i do smile and giggle and burst into laughing out of control.And I haven´t noticed so far that my smiling attitude put me ever in trouble of misunderstanding.Ppl who know me think I am happy with life not implying much in underlayer of such attitude,and believe me even smiling to strangers,i mean men in Turkey,never brought anything evil in return..opposite...smiling combined with speaking Turkish as my friend says "You have incredible gift to soften Turks with your smile and Turkish"is worth recommending))

57.       barkindo
22 posts
 16 Feb 2010 Tue 11:07 am

Not to smile too much, dress conservatively and not be too familiar is probably the best, though rather crude advice that one can give to a female traveller in any muslim country.It does make travelling rather dire, though.

 The reality is slightly different.  I used to wear full islamic dress and for reasons of my own i am now wearing western clothes, including mini skirts, also being blonde and European, i do not look any different now than any holiday maker.  I was worried at first how i would be treated by men, and i was pleasantly surprised that their behaviour towards me has hardly changed.

 However , when travelling with other, non-muslim women they kept getting into awkward sitations, while i would stand at the back  and watch in quiet amusement. When this happened again and again we tried to analyse the reasons.  It was not a matter of attraction,from a distance  men would look at or after me as much as my friends, but in my dealings with them there would be a subtle shift in demeanor.

 My friends who watched me said, i would talk to a man, smile and immediately look down, and gently back away if he tried to step closer.  i would never make eye contact after the initial encounter and of course, avoid any touching including shaking hands.

  i never had problems smiling, or being friendly, even for hours in a taxi. But i would not initate a conversation that could in any way be misinterpreted as having anything than a polite interest.  And of course, in the company of a man, i would conduct all business through him and keep my eyes from wandering the room.

 I have always found Turkish men very formal and polite, though very romantic if given half a chance. After a year of marriage my husband will still ask politely: "May i please go to sleep now?´  I have always wondered what he would do if i said no to any of his reqests. 

  i believe we are so sexually charged in the west, that we are sending subtle signals all the time, whether we are aware of it or not.. Sensitive men will react to them more strongly than men who are so desensitised by the daily barrage of sex.  Stop sending these signals, and you will have fun, and be fine!

 

 

58.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 16 Feb 2010 Tue 11:03 pm

Well, there´s Turkey and there´s Turkey. I more ´traditional´ areas it can already be called provocative to walk past a bunch of men, instead of putting your husband on the side of the men so that you yourself have a "buffer" protection yourself.

A smile is fine in any case, I think. But staring deep into somebody´s eyes, winking, fliring, flashing your eye-lashes and such is not the same as smiling.

59.       raindrops
267 posts
 16 Feb 2010 Tue 11:45 pm

 

Quoting barba_mama

Well, there´s Turkey and there´s Turkey. I more ´traditional´ areas it can already be called provocative to walk past a bunch of men, instead of putting your husband on the side of the men so that you yourself have a "buffer" protection yourself.

A smile is fine in any case, I think. But staring deep into somebody´s eyes, winking, fliring, flashing your eye-lashes and such is not the same as smiling.

 

it is more about what is behind the smile. smiles differ. there women who always find troubles. there are some who are just friendly. both smile, but get different result.

60.       Tom_Brosnahan
1 posts
 19 Feb 2010 Fri 06:58 pm

I´m the guy who wrote the text (quoted from my website, TurkeyTravelPlanner.com, back in 2005) that kicked off this discussion:

 

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/details/WomenTravelers/index.html

 

The text was written on the basis of 42+ years´ personal experience in Turkey, from conversations with foreign women in Turkey, and from reports from readers of my Frommer´s and Lonely Planet guidebooks. It was written to bridge cross-cultural differences, and to help women to enjoy their time in Turkey.

 

This forum discussion has been fascinating, and has covered a lot of ground. I re-read my text, and I stand by it: it is highly positive about the experiences of foreign women traveling in Turkey, yet it provides useful guidance for how to avoid misunderstanding and unpleasantness.

 

Turkey today is far, far different from the rather isolated country I first visited in 1967, a time when it was very difficult for Turks to travel outside of Turkey. Many Turks whom foreign visitors may meet have now studied, lived and/or worked in other countries, speak other languages, and are used to other cultures. This reduces the chance for cross-cultural misunderstanding.

 

But Turkey is a big country of 72 million people. Out of tourism areas (as several form participants have indicated), the possibility of misunderstanding may be more common, so it´s good to be prepared with knowledge of local and traditional culture.

 

From my long career of writing about Turkey, I´ve found that first-time foreign visitors comment most on three topics:

 

1. The friendliness of the Turkish people—this is always No. 1!

 

2. The beauty and interest of the country: "I had no idea..."

 

3. The delicious food. (I told them that!)

 

Tom Brosnahan

61.       raindrops
267 posts
 19 Feb 2010 Fri 07:11 pm

really nice idea to update info

age of generation is only 25 years ....

Quoting Tom_Brosnahan

I´m the guy who wrote the text (quoted from my website, TurkeyTravelPlanner.com, back in 2005) that kicked off this discussion:

 

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/details/WomenTravelers/index.html

 

The text was written on the basis of 42+ years´ personal experience in Turkey, from conversations with foreign women in Turkey, and from reports from readers of my Frommer´s and Lonely Planet guidebooks. It was written to bridge cross-cultural differences, and to help women to enjoy their time in Turkey.

62.       slavica
814 posts
 20 Feb 2010 Sat 06:33 pm

 

Quoting Tom_Brosnahan

I´m the guy who wrote the text (quoted from my website, TurkeyTravelPlanner.com, back in 2005) that kicked off this discussion:

 

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/details/WomenTravelers/index.html

 

 

 

Dear Mr Brosnahan,

 

It is very, very kind of you to become a TC member for only taking part in this discussion and give explanation of your text which started it. Opinions, of course, can be different, but I´m sure your text was written with best intentions, as well as everything you wrote about Turkey for all those years.

 

Thank you very much {#emotions_dlg.flowers}

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