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Toilets in Istanbul

Contemplating the Best of Istanbul tour and wondering about the toilets. Can anyone who has taken it recently tell me, did you mostly encounter squatties or western or some of both? Thanks!

Posted by
1956 posts

I didn't do a RS tour of Turkey, I was with another company but we were all over the place in both Istanbul and the other major tour cities...and out on the road covering well over a thousand miles. I never came upon a bathroom that didn't have both kinds of toilets.

Posted by
1132 posts

We always take plenty of sanitary wipes, both 18 count packets and the individual packets. Supplies of paper products in many toilets you'll encounter are often lacking.

Posted by
1163 posts

Hi Kim,

We did this tour a few years ago. We never encountered squat toilets. Have a great time in Turkey!

Mary

Posted by
1068 posts

I have taken the Best of Turkey Tour and not the Best of Istanbul tour (although we started in Istanbul on the "best" tour and I arrived 4 days early to look around.) I think the RS tour guides were sensitive to western style toilets. The vast majority of places had western style toilets and a few had both. We never encountered a squat only rest stop.

Posted by
4898 posts

The majority of the toilets we saw in Instanbul had an attentive matron who kept everything spotless, cleaner than anywhere else in Europe. Naturally, that calls for a tip. Like many countries, they want all paper goods deposited in a basket, not the toilet bown, which was invariably "Western." You might be either comforted or bothered by the slight bleach odor, rather than a masking scent added to Western cleaning products!

Posted by
448 posts

Hi Kim:

I support George's recommendation that you carry your own supply of toilet paper or similar product. I was in Istanbul for five days in 2014. During that time I got an unexpected introduction to squat style toilets. I was visiting one of the most popular tourist sites - the Galata Bridge which was built around the 1960s - when I needed to go. Hey, no problem; there is a "WC" at the bridge. I paid the attendant one or two Turkish liras and went into the toilet. Much to my surprise it was a squat toilet and there was no toilet paper dispenser in the booth - just some type of brush. I went back to the attendant and asked for toilet paper, and he gave me something like three sheets of Kleenex. This was hardly sufficient to deal with the situation; fortunately I was carrying a pile of tourist brochures which took care of my requirements.

The other place where I encountered squat toilets was the large ferry boat that was used to bring tourists up to the Black Sea. When it berthed in the fishing village for a few hours I went to a restaurant, ordered food, and stuffed my pocket with toilet paper taken from its western style toilet. This was very handy on the way back to Istanbul. I visited the military museum near Taksim Square, and that place had side by side toilet booths - one with squat and one with western. I call that progressive thinking.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for all of the great info. everyone! I was surprised last year to encounter a squatty in northern Italy, and while once makes for an interesting cultural adventure, I wasn't sure I was up for that much adventure on a daily basis :) Now to decide if I am brave enough for the Turkish bath....

Posted by
6718 posts

Now to decide if I am brave enough for the Turkish bath....

Be brave - it's will be worth it afterward, I promise. It's one of the highlights of going there in the first place.

Posted by
38 posts

Did both Best of Istanbul and Best of Turkey in March-April. I too was hesitant about the Turkish bath, but after screwing up my courage in Istanbul had such a good time that I took advantage of a second opportunity in Antalya. Don't miss it!

Posted by
38 posts

P.S. Turkey is a wonderful country. You are going to have a great time!

Posted by
489 posts

Squatty toilets are great.. you don't touch anything! Do not be shy of these. Bring your own TP (Kleenex packets) but absolutely don't put your wipes in the toilet but put it in the small garbage can next to the toilet... even in hotels. If you see a small garbage can use that. Their plumbing is ancient (I'm not kidding!) and if you want your toilet clogged in your hotel ... which you don't.

Posted by
1293 posts

Well, when you have to go you will use one if nothing else is not available! It was interesting!

Posted by
309 posts

In Istanbul and along the west coast, I encountered only western style toilets. In central Turkey --- Konya and Cappadocia -- most bathrooms had both types available.

Posted by
24 posts

I just spent almost a week in Istanbul and encountered mostly western style toilets. There were a few sqatty-potties, however, most notably on the Bosporus Ferry Cruise. Take TP just in case and if you encounter a squatty, remember to be mindful of the radius around it. Nuff said!

Posted by
12386 posts

most bathrooms had both types available.

Cause, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't!