Unraveling the Taboos: Things You Need to Know that are Prohibited in Turkey

Turkey, a country with a rich history and vibrant culture, attracts millions of tourists every year. But before you pack your bags and embark on a journey to this mesmerizing land, it’s essential to know about the things you need to know that are prohibited in Turkey. This article will guide you through the dos and don’ts while visiting Turkey, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. So, let’s dive in!

Things You Need to Know that are Prohibited in Turkey

Illegal Substances


Possession, sale, and use of drugs are strictly forbidden in Turkey. Authorities have a zero-tolerance policy, and the penalties can be severe, including imprisonment.


Although alcohol is not completely banned, there are some restrictions in place. Drinking in public places like parks and streets is not allowed.

Cultural Sensitivities

Insulting the Nation

Disrespecting the Turkish flag, national anthem, or Atatürk is a criminal offense. Be careful about your words and actions to avoid any legal trouble.

Dress Code

While there is no strict dress code, it’s essential to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Cover your shoulders and knees to show respect for the local culture.

Electronic Devices


Flying drones without a permit is illegal in Turkey. Apply for a permit before bringing a drone into the country to avoid confiscation and fines.

Environmental Concerns


Turkey is strict about maintaining cleanliness, so littering is heavily fined. Always use designated trash bins and avoid littering in public places.

Public Behavior

Public Displays of Affection (PDA)

Though not illegal, excessive PDA is frowned upon, especially in conservative areas. Be respectful and keep your affection private.

Noise Pollution

Loud music, honking, and excessive noise are prohibited in residential areas, especially during late-night hours.

Legal Restrictions


Gambling is strictly prohibited in Turkey, with very few exceptions. Avoid engaging in any form of gambling to stay out of trouble.


Turkey has strict smoking laws. Smoking indoors, in public places like restaurants, bars, and shopping malls, is prohibited. Obey these rules to avoid fines.

Wildlife Protection

Endangered Species

It’s illegal to purchase or possess products made from endangered species. Be cautious while shopping for souvenirs and avoid contributing to wildlife trafficking.

Restricted Areas

Military Zones

Entering military zones without authorization is forbidden. Always check before visiting a new area and adhere to the regulations.

Archaeological Sites

Damaging archaeological sites or removing artifacts is a criminal offense. Be mindful of your actions and respect the country’s cultural heritage.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are there any restrictions on photography in Turkey? Yes, taking photos of military installations, government buildings, and some historical sites is prohibited. Always ask for permission before clicking pictures in sensitive areas.
  2. Can I drink tap water in Turkey? Although tap water is chlorinated, it’s better to drink bottled water or use a water purifier to avoid health issues.
  3. Is it safe to use public Wi-Fi in Turkey? Public Wi-Fi is generally safe, but using a VPN is recommended to ensure privacy and security.
  4. Are there any food restrictions in Turkey? Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, so pork products are not widely available. However, there are no strict food restrictions for tourists, and you can enjoy a wide variety of cuisines.
  5. Do I need to tip in Turkey? Tipping is not mandatory, but it is a common practice. A 10-15% tip is usually appreciated in restaurants, while rounding up the fare for taxi drivers is customary.
  6. Is it safe for solo female travelers in Turkey? Turkey is generally safe for solo female travelers, but it’s essential to take precautions like dressing modestly, avoiding deserted areas at night, and being aware of your surroundings.


Turkey is an enchanting destination with a wealth of cultural experiences waiting to be explored. By familiarizing yourself with the things you need to know that are prohibited in Turkey, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Remember to respect the local culture, adhere to the laws, and embrace the warm hospitality of the Turkish people. Happy travels!

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