Etiquette in Turkey

Turkey is located coast of the eastern Mediterranean and on the Black Sea and has a population of 79.5 million people.

The nation is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic.

The official language of Turkey is Turkish.

The vast majority of citizens follow Islam.

The currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira.

Greetings Etiquette

Men shake hands and sustain direct eye contact. Hugs and pats are common among family and close friends. Men may kiss one another on the cheek in greeting and parting. This is not usual among co-workers.

Women shake hands as well and may kiss on the cheek if they are close.

Take your cue from the other person during mixed gender greetings.

Shake hands with everyone you meet, starting with the eldest.

Dining & Visiting Homes Etiquette

You are being bestowed an honor to be invited to a Turkish person’s home for a meal.

You should feel free to decline the first offer for a meal. If it’s a sincere invitation, you’ll be invited a second time. You really must accept the third time.

Remove your shoes at the door.

Use your right hand when scooping food with bread from communal bowls.

Don’t add milk to tea; water is fine.

You won’t pour your own drink as a guest. If it is even half full, it will likely be be refilled.

If you are offered tea or coffee, you must take it to avoid causing offense. Just touch the cup to your lips.

Smoking is very common, including between courses at a meal.