What to bring and what to wear on your trip to Turkey:
Turkish Dress Code
You can pretty much wear what you want in Turkey, but what you wear determines first impressions of how you are received. I recommend that you bring comfortable, tidy informal clothing and well-broken-in shoes.
In the City
In Turkish cities, shorts and T-shirts in summer are the Mark of the Tourist. Well, you are a tourist, right? No problem wearing shorts for comfort, except when you visit mosques. As for Turks, most of them will be wearing “smart casual” clothes: sleeved summer dresses or sleeved top and skirt for women, short-sleeved shirt and long trousers for men. Footwear can be shoes or sandals.
For visiting mosques, dress neatly as you would to visit a church (no shorts or sleeveless tops, and wear socks to walk on the carpets). For more on this, see Mosque Etiquette and What Women Should Wear in Turkey.
Dress at dinner is generally “smart casual,” (tidy informal clothes) though you may want a dress or jacket in the fancier hotels and restaurants.
At the Beach
At the beach, anything goes. At Turkish beaches, some foreign female visitors remove their bikini tops while lying in the sun, but put them on again to walk around or enter the water. Shorts, T-shirts and flipflops or bare feet are normal wear for both Turks and foreigners.
As at the beach, anything goes on yacht cruises. Shorts, T-shirts, sleeveless tops, bikinis, Speedos…. Bring sunblock, a hat, soft-soled shoes or flipflops for deck wear, and your own beach towels for swimming and sunbathing. Note that storage aboard most Turquoise Coastyachts is limited, so bring soft luggage that can be folded and stowed after you’ve unpacked. More…
Packing for Weather
In spring (April–May) and autumn (October–November) you may encounter rain, and the air may be cool or even chilly at night, but comfortable during the day; bring a warm jacket or a sweater and windbreaker. In Northeastern and Eastern Turkey, prepare for near-winter conditions. In Southeastern Turkey there will be little rain, and warm weather, so pack as for a mild summer.
In summer (June–September) wear cool cotton clothing, a hat, and sunblock lotion, but have a light sweater for cool evenings. Rain won’t be a big problem, although you may encounter it along the Black Sea coast and in the East. In the Southeast, be prepare for hot, hot weather.
In winter (December–March) you’ll need warm woolen clothing and rain gear, even though many days will be sunny. In general, weather is warmer along the seacoasts and in the Mediterranean coast and Southeast, cooler at higher elevations.
For current Turkish weather, look at the Turkish Meterological Service 5-day Forecast (in English).
—by Tom Brosnahan
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