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water and food in Istanbul

Since I will be spending 8 days in Istanbul in oct I have been reading the RS Istanbul book written by Lale and Tankut Aran. In the book they say not to drink tap water and buy bottled or can water. No problem here however when taking a shower they recommend not having any water enter your nose or mouth. Question is the water that bad in Istanbul. Thus far all my travels in europe I have never had to worry about the water. Same question about the food cleaned with tap water. Any problems with the salads,lettuce,ect.

Posted by
417 posts

I did not worry about letting water get in my mouth quite so much. Yes, I drank bottled water, brushed my teeth with it, etc, I did not eat any salads or uncooked food, so no problems there. Tea is boiled so should be fine. Basic precautions should be fine. Chances are you will have no problem, and if it is as easy as using bottled water and avoiding uncooked and unpeeled food, then why risk it? That's my two cents anyways!

Posted by
9110 posts

Huh? I've been drinking Istanbul tap water off and on for years. Not that I'd mix it with sourmash.

Posted by
803 posts

i didn't have problem with water even in small towns, swimming pool, brush teeth, shower, rinse fruits from market... never a problem.

Posted by
119 posts

I was there in the spring and used tap water and was perfectly fine. I took showers and I'm sure I got water in my mouth and nose, I brushed my teeth with the water and even drank some straight from the tap.

Posted by
338 posts

I've never had a problem with tap water in Istanbul for any uses. I did have a problem back in 2004 with food I ate in during the a summer trip to Adana. To this day I'm not sure whether it was a result of a salad washed in contaminated water or a contaminated raw lamb meatball appetizer. It was not pleasant, but it did not change my dining and water use habits on subsequent visits. I have not had a problem since. If you're concerned, then bottled water for drinking and toothbrushing is a reasonable and easy precaution. It is readily available in large and small bottles at small convenience stores in the tourist areas. However, as with dining out anywhere, you won't be able to control what happens in a restaurant kitchen. Good luck.

Posted by
5766 posts

Was there last May. Drank the tap water, showered in it, brushed my teeth with it, no problems whatsoever. Ate food off street carts, slices of watermelon and cucumbers. Fabulous! In fact Istanbul had the best food!!! Fell in love with an eggplant, garlic and tomato dish and I don't even like eggplant!!! Fantastic city!!! Don't miss the Chora Church!

Posted by
106 posts

Byron
My husband and I just returned yesterday from 2 weeks in Turkey followed by one in Italy. We had problems with the water.......definitely don't drink it!!! We used bottled water for everything (including brushing our teeth) and we still had what we fondly (sarcasm) refer to as "the Turkey trots". We assume that our stomach issues resulted from the cucumbers/tomatoes/salad served at pretty much every meal (but there was no way to avoid it unless we essentially gave up vegetables.) As soon as we got into Italy (the last leg of our journey), our upset stomach stopped. Unless you have an iron gut, I would use bottled water for absolutely everything. I would also take some kind of power bars or trail mix bars with you.......after two weeks we were so utterly sick of of eating the exact same food!!! at every restaurant, at every meal.....trust me, I would have killed for a Nature Valley granola bar....... good luck on your journey

Posted by
354 posts

Didn't read the RS Istanbul book before I went to Istanbul so happily showered & brushed teeth with tap water - no problems. Drank bottled water though, and lots of tea. We were fine with the salads, tomatoes, cucumbers etc. We had an enjoyable meal in a local restaurant which only served one dish: lamb or beef kebabs with side servings of vegetables - didn't have any problems either. Had some pretty good meals in Istanbul, but found that we had to inspect the check at the end of the meal as some restaurants had the 'habit' of adding on a drink or other small item that you didn't order!

Posted by
9110 posts

'We had problems with the water....... As soon as we got into Italy . . . our upset stomach stopped.' Water-caused bellyaches don't go away when crossing a border or with one digestive cycle.

Posted by
106 posts

Well they did with us. We did not suffer ANY stomaches in Italy and drank water straight from the tap. THis is not a slam at Turkey or any part o f it, merely a commentary that the flora and fauna in the stomach of this American and her American husband clearly did not deal well with the water in Turkey, but found the water in Italy ok.

Posted by
1878 posts

Digestive problems are not nearly as scary as hepatitis A- usually immunization is recommended for Turkey. Don't drink or brush teeth with the water, and contact your local travel health clinic before you go. Googling CDC Turkey yields this advice: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/turkey.htm Some of this may be situational, for example rabies (!) might not be an issue in a big city like Istanbul. Also for many water and food born illnesses I think small villages are much higher risk that big cities, generally. But, check with your travel health office. My local provider is often somewhat less extreme that the presumably very conservative CDC recommendations.