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Question about head scarves for women visiting a mosque

Is there a correct way to wear the scarf, or do I just cover my head, cross the ends under my chin and tie in back? Also, should it be in muted colors/solid color or is a flowered pattern in bright colors OK?

Posted by
11153 posts

When I was there with my mother in 2011, any color or style of scarf, and any manner of tying it, were fine. Unlike in the linked TripAdviser thread, at no mosque was she told it was not necessary to cover her head. The locals seemed very appreciative that she had brought her own (the more touristy ones have loaner scarves) and that she put it on as she approached the entrance, without having to be told or reminded (you'll see local women doing the same; just put yours on when they put theirs on).

The trickier part is the shoes; both men and women must remove them, and they either give you a plastic bag to carry them while you're inside, or there are cubbyholes at the entrance. The trick is putting them back on without setting your shoe on the part of the mosque where you are supposed to be unshod. Again, watch locals and imitate.

Posted by
2762 posts

Thanks, MarieB and Harold. Interesting that some women were told NOT to put on a scarf at the Blue Mosque. I guess I will bring one and prepare to wear it but look for cues from the guards. And I will be careful about the shoes! ( Pretty used to that after visiting Japan).

Posted by
60 posts

I agree with Harold. When we were there a year ago, I had brought my own scarf as I really didn't want to wear a loaner...any which way you wear it will be fine, it is the gesture that counts. And do be ready to ditch your shoes (you may want to bring socks for that purpose). We loved Turkey and hope to return someday,

Posted by
13930 posts

You will see many colorful scarves, worn in several ways. You don't have to tie it, either. I usually just wrapped it loosely around my neck to keep it from slipping. Don't worry if it does slip, just adjust it. I carried a plastic bag with me, just in case there were none provided for shoes. The only problems you may have with putting your shoes back on: if you need to sit, lean or put things down, it may be crowded, if the floor is in the sun, it may be hot to step on barefoot. It's easiest to have shoes/sandals that you can easily slip in and out of. It may also suit you to have a pair of socks with you, if you don't want to walk barefoot inside the mosques.

Posted by
2762 posts

But is it OK to go in barefoot? Is that what the Muslim women do? I usually wear sandals ( without socks!!!!) so would rather just go into the mosque barefoot if that is the custom. Or I could carry little "ped" socks made for Mary Jane shoes I guess.

Posted by
13930 posts

Of course you can go in barefoot. You would only put on socks if that was your own personal preference.

Posted by
139 posts

I just returned from Turkey. Any kind of scarf as long as it covers your head and hair is fine. I preferred to bring my own scarf and wear socks. I was wearing sleeves but my shirt was v-necked so I was required to wear an additional covering that they provided. So in the end if you are not properly dressed they will kindly help you. No worries.