Invitation to a Turkish home

Turkish people love inviting guests to their homes for dinner. As a foreign guest you will be treated especially well. Take your shoes off on the mat as you enter the house: in most households shoes are not allowed inside, and a pair of comfortable house slippers will be available for guests to wear. Depending on the household, dinner will either be served at a table as in the west or on a tablecloth in the middle of the floor with cushions to sit on. If the latter, sit with your lap under the tablecloth.

Bathrooms in Turkish homes

If you are in a private home or while visiting places, you will probably want to visit the bathroom. There are two types of toilet in Turkey: the sit-on alafranga that you may be used to from home, and the hole in the ground alaturka type. There will usually be toilet paper and a small bin to fold and place it in once used. In case there isn’t, the sit-on toilets have a bidet function built in that is usually operated using a valve on the right hand side, while the hole in the ground toilets will usually have a small bucket and tap for you to scoop up fresh water and clean yourself.

Leaving your host

It is considered impolite for your hosts to ask you to leave, so make sure you’re aware of the time and excuse yourself early enough that you and your hosts can get a good night’s sleep – especially if the next day is a work day!