Tips to Blend In, in Turkey
*As a foreigner living here for a short amount of time, I have apparently already stumbled across quite a few Turkish cultural faux pas... learn from my seriously embarrassing moments.
1. Do not chat consistently (even quietly) on public transportation! (We literally had an old women turn around and give us a 15 second stank eye)
2. Do not yawn without covering your mouth.
3. Do not attempt to take off a sweater in public, even if you have a t-shirt under it. Heaven forbid.
4. When the azzan (call to prayer) sounds, always make sure your feet are uncrossed and on the floor, it is a sign of respect.
5. Don't show off your assets like you would in the states. Attempt to blend in. Classy is sexy.
6. Never say NO! (God willing works best...)
7. Replying "huh?" or "what?" is very rude. Desist please.
8. Take off your shoes when entering someones house.
9. Don't refuse tea if you want to make friends. Prepare your belly for gallons of tea!
10. Claiming that you are "sick" is the equivalent of our f-word. You are forevermore, ill.
11. Um is also a very crude curse-word in Turkish. Don't make that mistake... (Uh works fine)
12. Don't wear shorts or flip-flops. They are uncommon unless you're here in the very hot summer months.
13. When toasting, always make eye contact with everyone you clink glasses with.
I'm sure the list will continue to grow... unfortunately.
The students I teach at University correct me daily.
It's both endearing and embarrassing.