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Clothing for Turkey

We are doing the Best of Turkey tour in September. I just read an article that said both men and women should avoid wearing shorts in Turkey - although my husband recall wearing shorts the last time we were there (2014?).
Any insights?
Thanks!
Sharon

Posted by
729 posts

It depends on where you are. In Istanbul you can wear pretty much what you would wear in any big city. I wouldn't wear shorts any big city, but that's just me. In Antalya and on the coast, shorts are totally fine. In central Turkey -- Konya and Cappadocia -- people are more conservative, and it would be more culturally considerate to avoid shorts.

Overall, I find the dress code these days slightly more conservative now than when I was there in 2015. For the most part, nobody is going to hassle you about how you dress, but I have noticed that Turkish people -- women, in particular -- are leaning just a bit more conservative in their attire these days.

I am not sure when in September you are going. In late September it might be a bit too chilly for shorts anyhow.

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks, Marie.
What you say jibes with what I was feeling.( I don't ever wear shorts but my husband does. )
I also recall seeing EVERYTHING in Istanbul when we were there before - including women in burkas and even black gloves covering their hands in the June heat. Blew me away. But different strokes for different folks, right? The important thing is to be respectful.
Sharon

Posted by
729 posts

@Sharon - I think that the women one sees wearing burkas in Istanbul are generally visiting from Saudi Arabia or similar countries. The burka doesn't seem to be a Turkish thing, even in the most conservative areas. That hasn't changed much since 2015. I do see more women wearing headscarves in Istanbul now than I did in 2015 -- sometimes it seems religious and other times it just seems to be a fashion statement.

By the way, I did see a few Turkish men wearing shorts --- not many, but a few -- in Antalya in May of this year. Many Russians, Brits, and Germans -- both men and women -- wore shorts.

Posted by
4914 posts

We had some 90+ degree days during my Best of Turkey tour last month. I was happiest in lightweight clothing, especially my modest-length sundress.

For our Day 9 (optional) boat ride in Antalya, and a swim off the side, I was glad I had capri pants, sandals, sunscreen, a sunhat and my swimsuit. For Day 10, my sturdy sandals were both easy to take off to wade in the pools of Pamukkale and then immediately hike up to the theater of Hierapolis.

In Kuşadası, I was happy in seaside resort clothes with short sleeves during the day, a swimsuit for the rooftop pool, and a light layer for breezy evenings.

Posted by
4914 posts

The tour has Mosque visits periodically - Days 1, 2 and 7, perhaps others - during which it was convenient to have suitable clothes, and a headscarf for ladies, of course. Some of our tour members had zip-off pants/shorts, which seemed inconvenient, but comfortable for the temperatures.

Posted by
82 posts

Yes, that had occurred to me, that for mosque visits it would be important to have the right clothes. I recall that in the Blue Mosque, they routinely handed out "skirts" and shawls...better to have your own proper clothes. Thanks!

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks for the heads-up,, especially about the bathing suit! I am sure that in mid-September it will still be swimming weather with the average highs in the high 70s. Also the sturdy sandals - I was unsure about footwear for the hiking bit.

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks, Marie.
Yes, I recall hearing that the women in the burkas were likely not Turkish - I was just struck by the amazing array of attire, from totally western to super-conservative Moslem. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Your and CWSocial have been very helpful. I am getting very excited about this trip and seeing (and learning more about) this historic country.

Posted by
4914 posts

That article reflects well what I saw and what was practical for the Best of Turkey tour.

There were complications with days that included both casual sightseeing and Mosque visits; or boat rides with swims immediately followed by a museum visit.... both optional in Antalya.

There is a place on the Antalya boat to change out of your swimsuit, but most of us just enjoyed the views and dried off on the sunny deck while we returned to the dock. They provided towels and I had packed a tiny tiny one plus a plastic sack. My hair and swimsuit were still damp on the long walk to the Antalya museum, but with the warm weather that may have been a good thing.

Posted by
4914 posts

Shoes!!!

Day 2, Best of Turkey while in Istanbul, I logged over 23,200 steps for nearly 11.3 miles. That included a few hours on the Bosphorus cruise and electing to walk back from the New District rather than taking the Tram 4 stops.

My phone says during the tour I walked:
Minimum: 4.58 miles (does not include last day of tour, which ends after breakfast)
Maximum: 9.77 miles

In Istanbul, that included my own pre- breakfast walks from the Acra Hotel to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia for the peaceful morning views.

Even on our long bus days we walked 5+ miles as a group. On cobblestones. Dusty uphill roads of Hierapolis. Uneven downhill paths at Ephesus. Scrambling across the uneven steps of rocky theaters at all the ancient sites. We even went off roading in Mustafa Paşa during one optional morning walk in search of some cave ruins and a path that used to drop down into town.

I recommend you bring your very best walking shoes, confirmed for miles of comfort. Most people on my tour wore tennis shoes or sandals.

During the optional balloon ride I was glad to have my closed shoes for the short offroad trek from the balloon to the pickup van. My sturdy Aetrex sandals were my default.

Posted by
82 posts

Oh wow!! OK, SHOES definitely will get consideration!
Thanks again CWSocial!

Posted by
1194 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
Dress modestly.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
82 posts

Yes, thanks, Wisconsin.
I have always erred on the side of caution when it comes to my clothing. ;-)
Sharon

Posted by
59 posts

I was turned away from an exhibit at Topkapi of sacred objects because my dress was sleeveless. Why I did not have my scarf with me - I can't remember. Keep that scarf with you!

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks! In fact, I have a scarf I always keep with me when travelling. Thanks for the reminder!
Sharon