Hidden Gems

Sailing Turkey’s Coast: Key Cultural Tips

By Jenny Wilson
on  November 17, 2014

Turkey is a wonderful destination with a lot to offer. In particular, if you want to experience some exotic Mediterranean sailing Turkey is a destination that is hard to beat. The culture in Turkey is fascinating, but there are a few points you should be aware of to ensure that you get on well with the friendly locals and fit in perfectly during your stay.

You will probably spend a lot of your sailing holiday in beachwear. While on the boat or enjoying the wonderful beaches, this will definitely be your outfit of choice. However, Turkey is a fairly conservative country when it comes to dress, and if you venture onto land beyond the beach it is best to wear a little bit more. While it’s not uncommon to see tourists going against this principle, the locals will appreciate it if you respect this aspect of their culture. If you visit any mosques or religious sites, you should definitely dress conservatively, and women are expected to cover their hair with a scarf.
Communication and Gestures
The Turkish use a lot of body language and non-verbal communication, and much of it is quite subtle. Unfortunately, much of this is specific to their culture so is hard for the unfamiliar to interpret, but try to keep an eye out for any non-verbal communication you can discern the meaning of. When there’s a language barrier, many Westerners resort to nodding for “yes” and shaking their heads for “no.” While yes is indeed signified in Turkey by a single nod, avoid shaking your head when you mean no. To the Turkish people, shaking the head resembles the Turkish gesture for “I don’t understand” so instead of getting the right idea across you might just invite further explanation.

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