When all else fails, the best way to neutralize harassment is to make a public scene. In general, Turkish men back down when confronted, and cases of violent sexual harassment are very rare.
Prostitution is thriving in Turkey, both in legal, state-controlled brothels and, illegally, on the streets and in certain bars and dubious hotels.
Many Turks, even in remote areas, have lived and worked abroad (mainly in Germany) or at tourist resorts in Turkey, and are used to foreign ways.But traditional customs matter, and although you’re unlikely to cause offence through a social gaffe, it’s best to be aware of prevailing customs.The key to avoiding trouble is to be aware of your surroundings, dress and behaviour and how it might be interpreted.If travelling alone, it’s best to stick to mid-range hotels (particularly in the interior) and schedule transport to arrive during daylight hours.Add a predominantly Muslim population to the mix, and you’re all set to experience a variety of cultural differences.
So, to make most of your stay — and to prevent being rude or a fool — familiarize yourself with these common Turkish customs and etiquette rules that apply in Istanbul.Away from the main resorts, unaccompanied women are a rare sight at night; when heading out for an evening, try to go as part of a group, preferably mixed-sex, otherwise as an all-female group, which may, however, get some unwelcome attention.In restaurants, unaccompanied women may be directed to the (family parlour), usually upstairs, rather than be served with other diners.If you venture much off the tourist track, accept that being stared at is part of the experience and not considered rude.In some parts of the southeast, you may be mobbed by small children wishing to guide you around the local ruins and/or begging for pens, sweets or money.Many prostitutes who work illegally come from Russia and former Soviet-bloc countries such as Moldova or Ukraine, and are known locally as “Natashas”.