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Does anyone have this issue? I am taller female (5'10), even taller in heels Posted Image. I am a very shy person by nature. I have been finding people stare at me, which makes me very uncomfortable. Growing up I was taught not to stare at people. I don't know if it is a cultural thing, or people are just being rude. I would love to hear people's views.

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Hello canadian, and welcome to the forum. :)

 

I am also quite tall, I am a bit shy, and  I experience the same thing. Turkish people are generally polite and friendly, and they are curious about foreigners. Someone whose clothing is unique, who is quite tall, or who has a distinctive hairstyle draws attention quickly. 

 

I would not consider staring as a negative thing unless someone speaks or acts inappropriately toward you.

 

I hope you enjoy your time in Turkey.

 

Ellen

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Where are you are in Turkey? 5'10" wouldn't be considered exceptionally tall in a lot of places in Turkey. Turks do tend to stare, not because they are being rude, but because it is not considered rude in Turkey. In fact, it is us westerners who are hung up about it. Next time somebody stares at you, say hello to them. They will probably respond with a big smile and pleasant conversation.

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You should look at this topic, by a black American woman who was being stared at:

 

Being Black in Turkey

 

I also think that the stares you are receiving are not hostile or intended to make you uncomfortable.

 

Oh! And please report back the results of this advice! Posted Image

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Hello Jennifer,

 

I am male, old nothing exceptional - except that I smoke a pipe and the 'stares' I get are unbelievable.

 

What I do is smile and offer them the pipe - the reaction is 'look sheepish' and walk away.

 

A person once took me up on the offer but tried to smoke it like a cigarrette and ended up coughing and spluttering.

 

In germany 'staring' is quite common especially by the older generations and particularly on public transport - I just smile and say 'Hello'

 

Don't let it worry you - its fun to see the reactions when you respond positively.

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A lot of it is men staring. I have got the Turkish cat calls. I had my bum rubbed getting of the Izmir metro. I don't show skin or make eye contact. It may because I am blond, and I have the Canadian tan. Canadian tan-skin that hasn't seen the sun for six months. But it makes me very uncomfortable, I am happy married. I don't like it. I don't do things things to draw people's attention. Thanks.

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I'm afraid I don't agree with you males. If men stare at you the best thing to do is ignore them completely. Don't make eye contact and definitely do not smile at them, they would see it as an invitation.If someone touches you inappropriately, say 'Ayip' loudly. It means shameful and will probably get you support from others nearby.

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Generally Turkish people are curious. If they see a foreigner, they stare at you curiously. As I am living in Adana, a city where foreigners are not so common (not to mention any Asian faces), I often find myself being stared at, and MOST of the time, the stares mean no harm.

 

However, I do agree with Sunny. Being a female is a different story in Turkey (don't misinterpret my meaning, I am a supporter of feminism ). I am told by many locals, and I also have the same experience with one of my female Chinese colleagues, that many Turkish men regard foreign females as easy targets. And if you stare back or smile back, some of them might take further actions. 

 

I also had some experience of getting myself into trouble by responding to curious stares. My local friend says that I am "too polite to strangers and smile to almost anyone", and that I "might get in trouble someday". Therefore, it is advisable that you just ignore most of the stares on the streets.

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Guys, it's never a good idea for a foreign girl to look a Turkish guy in the eyes or smile at him! I know, they take it as an invitation. No harm done but it has gotten me in trouble before. I was on a packed tram in Antalya & I made the mistake to smile at a guy so he tried to chat with me, then held my hand the entire ride. It was so packed I had no where to run lol Posted Image

 

CanadianinTurkey, try wearing a ring where your wedding ring should be. I have a friend that does this & it works if you don't want the attention. You will never escape the staring they seem to know that we're foreign even though some of us think we can blend in. As time goes by you'll be more street smart on the do's & don't's. 

 

It's all a big adventure so don't miss the good parts Posted Image

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Thanks ladies,I always wear my ring on my left hand when going out, but many morning when it has been cold or damp I wear gloves. My Candian friend who is Mexican, had more issue than I did. She was in Kuşadası, and got harassed. But she always has a smile on her face, I think that's why. I am good for not making eye contact. I think it is a culture adjustment, I lived in Toronto, for three or four years. It is a very large city, so people don't stop or make eye contact. So I am not used to being stared at.YabanciGirl: Lol. I love Turkey, and her people. Such a warm culture, I am always getting hugs, from my sister-in-laws. My mother-in-law told me one day in Turkish, I am her 6th daughter. I almost cried.

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A lot of it is men staring. I have got the Turkish cat calls. I had my bum rubbed getting of the Izmir metro. I don't show skin or make eye contact. It may because I am blond, and I have the Canadian tan. Canadian tan-skin that hasn't seen the sun for six months. 

Sorry, I didn't realize that the ones staring were men leering at you, I thought you were talking about the usual staring one gets whenever they look different.

What I said was definitely the wrong advice, those who have posted after my comment are correct.

Have a look at this article:

Sexual Harassment in Turkey

It includes some tips about how to handle some of these situations.

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I think foreign women get a bad reputation from the tourist girls who are notorious for having holiday hookups.

 

One way to avoid seeing stares is to bring something to read.  That's not to say that you shouldn't have your wits about you, though.

 

As for female stares, I remember reading up on European etiquette when I first went to Paris.  It said that if one woman stares at another, take it as a complement because she may be trying to analyze your outfit, makeup, etc. to copy it on her own.

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Hi TaterTot,My sister-in-law has a beach house in Kuşadası, I would go bar and club hopping with my husband. You could see the difference between tourist women from the local women, and how some of the local men would "chase" after the tourist women. Sometimes I would get embarrassed because of the drunk and loutish behaviour of some of the tourists. I saw two cops half carrying, dragging a guy by his armpits down the bar street one night. This bad behaviour may give other tourists a bad reputation. I was reading a story in an English newspaper and they were discussing the fights, glassing, and drunk behaviour of tourists in a town in Turkey, and they talked about a drunk "fellow" peeing on the local mosque during Ramadan. Often I wonder what the locals think of tourists and foreigners. I was sitting in a cafe with my sister-in-laws and my mother-in-law, tourists were walking by. Once of them said "Jennifer, turistler bak"(look tourists). My husband use to work in a hotel here in Turkey when he was a preteen and teen. Many of the guys that work at resorts: are young, the live in staff housing on site, come from small towns, and they often don't have experience relating to foreigners. He would tell me some interesting stories. Sorry for the essay, just wanted to put some thoughts down. Have great night!

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We lived in a non-touristy part of Istanbul.

I got stared at all the time. Mainly by women.

I actually felt less stared at in the traditional touristy places in Istanbul.

 

Turks can tell if you're a foreigner from a mile away.

It happened in the street/shopping centre, everywhere.

I personally felt that it was the less educated who stared the most.

Also a lot of scarf wearing women would stare.

It's just my experience.

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Hi staring is very common in turkey at first wen i use to go visit husbands family in birecik which is very inland bout 200 miles or so from syrian border i was very intimidated bout the attention i gt but now it doesnt bother me...my husband explains that alot of people dnt see english people because they dnt leave there area n go to holiday areas were there are all different kinds of people...plus blue green eyes are a fave with kurds n at visit to local hamam think i spelt wrong lol..the women were very complementary about my eye colour..so there is no malice in there staring but of course u always get the odd perv..lol

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