Turkish men are known for their devilishly handsome good looks, their exotic olive skin tones, and their smooth-talking charms. Dating Turkish men is an appealing concept.
However, dating someone from another country or culture is not without its challenges. This is true of meeting anyone from any gender or sexuality, that grew up in a different environment to you.
- 1 Dating Turkish Men
- 2 Turkish Dating & Meeting Turkish Men
- 3 Hilarious & Ridiculous Encounters with Turkish Men
Dating Turkish Men
Dating Turkish men can be a different experience depending on whether you are dating a Turkish guy that you have met in his home country, or whether he is living as an expat in your country. A person’s heritage and culture has some influence on their dating attitudes and views of women.
However, so too does the environment they grew up in, how much they have travelled and interacted with people from other cultures, and how educated they are. That being said, there are certain common traits that a lot of Turkish men share.
This article offers a light-hearted perspective on Turkish dating. It also shares some comical stories about interactions with Turkish men in beautiful Turkey.
Turkish Dating & Meeting Turkish Men
It would be impossible to generalise an entire demographic of people, and the same is true of Turkish men. Stereotypes can be offensive and dangerous, and everyone is different.
Tinder in Turkey
Tinder and other dating apps such as Bumble and OKCupid are increasing in popularity in Turkey. Much of the stigma around using them here is disappearing.
People on these apps may be looking for a hookup, or they may be looking for something with more substance. Use the same common sense when meeting people online here as you would anywhere else in the world.
Not all Turkish men think the same. However, there are those who consider western women as being more promiscuous than their Turkish counterparts.
This is another unfortunate stereotype. Yet it is important to be aware of this when heading into dating situations.
Turkish Men are more forward
Turkish men are typically much more forward than men from other cultures. They are seemingly enamored by foreign women and are certainly not shy about approaching them.
Sometimes when you travel, the local men may look at you inquisitively, check you out, and then go about their business. Turkish men are not like this at all.
They don’t really have any qualms about strolling up to a stranger and striking up a conversation. It’s great if someone takes the initiative when you are interested.
However, if you are not, you will need to be firm and direct about it. It’s likely that if you tell Turkish men that you can’t grab coffee with them or go for a walk because you will have to do X, they will offer solutions and alternatives.
The answer? Be firm and tell them no, you’re not interested or you have a boyfriend.
This is not rude. It is just a cultural difference. Unless you are direct, Turkish men may not pick up that you are not interested and will think that you just want to rearrange for another day.
Turkish men read the signs differently
You will likely encounter some cultural differences when speaking to Turkish men as compared to speaking to men in your own country. At the most basic level, you have probably been exposed to different pop cultures, a different sense of humour, etc.
What’s more, what is deemed as a friendly social interaction in the western world is considered flirting in Turkey. Chatting and joking with someone even politely may be perceived as a huge indicator that you are interested. Be mindful of how you come across when communicating with Turkish men.
Location, location, location!
Turkish men may have different dating outlooks depending on where they are from. This is true of any country.
Istanbul is like any big city, and the younger generation here are accustomed to western people and influence. The same can be said of people growing up around Cappadocia or the Turkish Riviera that see a lot of international tourists.
People in these areas have experienced a lot of exposure to people from other countries. They may be more open-minded and understanding of different views.
Meanwhile, Eastern Turkey, conservative Konya, and off-the-beaten-path parts of Turkey are much more religious and conservative. Here, it is not uncommon to see women wearing headscarves and views are more traditional.
Religious and cultural differences
It is estimated that between 97 and 99% of Turkish people are Muslim. The prevalent school of thought in Turkey is Sunni Islam.
Of course, someone’s religion should never be a reason not to date them. But if you are looking for a serious relationship with a Turkish man, it is worth keeping their religious views in mind.
For instance, would your partner expect you to convert to Islam if you were to become serious or marry? What are your religious views? Some traditional families may be unhappy if their relative has vastly different religious views and values.
Not all Turkish men are the same
Both skeezy and nice guys can be found everywhere. Not all Turkish men are the same just like not all Italian men are the same.
Manage your expectations
There seem to be a lot of women out there that are heartbroken after their Turkish summer romances ended. Consider the fact that the person knew you were only going to be in town for a while and hadn’t considered a serious relationship when you met.
This isn’t necessarily being skeezy. It’s being realistic. Try and be open about your hopes and intentions from the onset.
Hilarious & Ridiculous Encounters with Turkish Men
If you’re ever feeling ugly or you need a confidence boost, then I suggest that you travel to Turkey. Men were chasing me down the street and professing their love for me after a two-minute conversation exchange.
They were or staring at me lovingly in restaurants while I chomped on kebabs like a wildebeest with ketchup around my mouth. Wow.
Dealing with the constant advances of Turkish men was one thing that irked me about solo female travel in Turkey. However, it was more of a minor irritation than something that caused any feelings of danger or discomfort.
This post takes a look at some of the funniest and most ludicrous encounters I had with Turkish men. It was written from a place of love and humour, and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The Ankara Entourage
Navigating your way through Ankara’s Central bus terminal is a little perplexing, particularly if you are new to bus travel in Turkey. The station is split across three floors.
There is not just one central ticket office where you can buy your bus tickets from, there are numerous. Each one is operated by a different brand.
This is confusing because you have to go back and forth between the different operators to check their various timetables. The hustle and bustle and the people yelling out ticket prices trying to get you to take their bus is reminiscent of being on a wall street stock market!
Confused, I turned to a portly man who was working at the station and asked him where I could buy a ticket to Cappadocia.
“Ooooh!!!” He exclaimed excitedly.
“England!! Manchester United!! Yes yes, come come!”
He led me towards one of the ticket operators and started an exchange with the salesman, helping me to buy my ticket. I thanked him and turned to leave.
“Oh no no!”
“Come come! Follow follow!” He gestured, waving his hands wildly.
Meeting the Family
I followed, assuming that he was leading me to the boarding point for the bus. We descended down the stairs, across the bus station, and out into a convenience store.
“This my brother, my son, my second son, my third son, my friend…”
“Oh! Well er hello there!” I said as a circle of people gathered around me, staring inquisitively as if I were an alien species. A guy appeared from behind the store counter to hand me a cup of coffee and a packet of biscuits.
A little overwhelmed, I stayed awhile answering their questions about England. But I hadn’t eaten yet and had a 5-hour journey to Göreme ahead.
“Thank you,” I said, standing up from the little plastic stool on which I’d been sat and brushing away biscuit crumbs.
“It was nice to meet you all but I’m going to find some food.”
The Entourage Assembles
“Eat alone?” The portly man gasped with horror.
“Oh no no no no no, come come, we show you.”
I tried to insist that it was fine. However, my little entourage of newfound Turkish friends insisted that they help me to the restaurant nearby.
I wandered over to a table inside and ordered my lunch: lentil soup, an Arabic side salad, a lamb dish, and an apple tea.
“I’m fine now” I said
“Thank you for everything”
However, it seemingly didn’t translate and they were apprehensive to leave me there alone. Nobody else ate Turkish food, but sat around me watching me eat.
They were seemingly transfixed as I slurped lentil soup, scoffed lamb like a Barbarian and dropped crumbs everywhere. You would have thought that I was Halle Berry the way they went on, not some British woman with lamb marinade all around her mouth.
One guy squeezed lemon on my salad, and another fussed running back and forth to ensure that I had a sufficient and steady stream of napkins. A third man assumed the responsibility of touching the edges of my teacup every 30 seconds to make sure that it was hot enough for me.
I looked around for the bathroom and noticed the illuminated “WC” light in the distance. I stood up.
Seemingly startled, my Ankaran entourage all stood up around me too.
“It’s okay!” I say, as I point towards the WC sign.
“I’m just going for a wee!”
“Wee??” They repeat in perfect unison.
“Yes, I’m just going to use the bathroom.”
I shuffle out from my chair to go to the bathroom. Two of the men stand up to escort me to the door in a bodyguard-style fashion.
When I return, the tea checker is yelling at the Waiter to replace my apple tea. I hadn’t drank it fast enough and it has gone from mouth burning hot to lukewarm.
Parting in Such Sweet Sorrow
It was almost time to pay the bill. I thank them for their company and tell them that I must leave.
As you may expect, they all escort me to the bus stop. People are starting to board and put their luggage on the bus.
For my Ankaran entourage, this is the perfect time to stop, take selfies, and ask the stressed-out bus driver to take photos of us all. This caused some very disgruntled fellow passengers who were eager to leave.
It doesn’t stop there. All of the men come on board the bus with me to help me find my seat.
Once it’s located, they’re fussing to make sure that everything is perfect for me. They check that the window curtains are drawn enough that the sun isn’t in my eyes, that my bag is secure in the overhead compartment, and so on.
They depart and stand in the parking lot of the bus station waving as the bus prepares to leave. When it starts to pull away, they run alongside it for a few moments.
It was almost as though we were lifelong friends involved in a heart-wrenching separation where we will never see each other again, not people who met 45 minutes ago. Parting in such sweet sorrow.
The Kismet Guy
It’s a bitter minus eight degrees in the central Turkish city of Konya. It’s snowing heavily and I’d forgotten my gloves and so my hands are that horrible kind of stiff that they turn when you feel like you’re on the verge of losing them to frostbite and are unable to even bend them.
I hurry inside the first restaurant I see seeking refuge. I am determined not to lose a hand to frostbite and live out the rest of my life like Captain Hook.
A Helpful Stranger
Nobody speaks English here and I’ve forgotten my Turkish phrasebook. I’m trying to point and mime and gesture to the waiters about what food I would like to eat when a Turkish man appears beside me.
He’s a local carpet seller and he explains to me that the Waiters haven’t the foggiest idea what I want. Thankfully he translates for me and I thank him then go to sit down at my table.
At this point, he seems to assume that we have reached the level of friendliness where it’s acceptable for him to join me for dinner. So, he plonks himself down at my table and shifts his own plate across to join me – sans invitation.
Meet the Parents
He asks what I’m doing in Turkey and I tell him that I’m a Travel Writer which fascinates him. He starts telling me about all the things that I should see and do in Konya.
Excitedly, he tells me that if I want to experience the best of the local culture I can stay with him and his Mother. This guy must be in his late 40s and still lives at home alone with his mother which tells you everything you need to know…
I respectfully decline and tell him that I’m only in Konya for a short while. I already have a place to stay thank you very much.
He looks pained, heartbroken even. He ponders a moment and then we have the following conversation:
“Miss Travel Writer, I don’t know your background or your religion but I think it was meant to be that we met like this today. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“No, not really. I was just really cold and hungry and this was the first restaurant I saw so…”
“But it’s so magic that we meet like this” He says with a twinkle in his eye.
“No, it was just hunger…”
A Sweet Serenade
But he isn’t listening. He starts telling me about how he wants to introduce me to his mother and reciting rules and things to remember in the event of meeting.
He even makes suggestions as to what I ought to wear! Then he interrupts himself and says in an excited childlike manner:
“It’s sooo cool that you’re a Travel Writer” and then sings, in a highly feminine tone:
“She’s just a big big girl in a big big world”
Hallmark Greetings Card Guy
Hallmark Greetings Card guy was a guy whom, I can only assume, read an article one day labeled “the world’s corniest English chat up lines.” He misunderstood “corniest” as meaning “guaranteed to get women into bed”.
I have never in my 27 years of life heard somebody recite so many terrors in one fell swoop. I would love to know what his success rate is with meeting women with this pickup technique.
I was wandering through the Sultanahmet district in Istanbul trying to remember where exactly my hotel was when Hallmark Greetings Card guy approached me. He said something in Turkish before telling me he was lost, needed directions and assumed I was local.
Nice try bro. As if my vampiric white pasty self could ever be anything other than British!
He continues. “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t let you just walk on by and walk out of my life forever.”
I fake an awkward laugh put my headphones in, continuing on my quest to find my hotel.
He stops me with a sense of urgency.
“Wait! Didn’t it hurt when you fell from heaven? I am going to be totally crazy now and say “we just met but let’s go get a coffee!”
Wow! Totally crazy! The most outrageous thing I ever heard perhaps!
I tell him that I’m sorry, but I’m kind of in a hurry I was!
I had just bought some Rose flavored Turkish delight and I wanted to get back to my hotel to eat it! He protests one last time.
“Wait! Do you know what my shirt is made of?”
(I’m sure that you can guess the material…)
The Arabic Tea Pusher
Like most British people, I have something of a fetish for tea. All types of tea.
Black tea, green tea, herbal tea. Apple tea, oolong tea, camomile tea. You name it.
Turkey is the one of the largest consumers of tea in the world. Fellow tea lovers will be in their elements here!
I was traveling in Istanbul and it started pouring it down with rain. So, I ducked into a local cafe in Ortakoy.
A little cafe in Ortakoy
I ordered a cup of Küçük Çay at first and exclaimed to the chatty waiter just how much I loved Turkish tea. My intention was to wait there for a while until the rain subsided.
As the torrential downpour continued, I decided that I would have my lunch there also. The waiter bought me a cup of “free” apple tea to try alongside my dinner.
After I finished everything, he bought me another free cup of tea. “Oh, thanks!” I exclaimed. I was a little full but I didn’t want to be rude so I accepted and drank it anyway.
When I finished, I paid the bill and was shuffling around getting my things ready to leave when he just appeared with another cup of tea. “Thanks,” I said, “but I really cant drink more tea”.
He looked really sad and forlorn. He was like some little kid that doesn’t want to be left behind at the nursery without his mum.
I realised that he was just trying to get me to stay in the restaurant. I thanked him, left, and then went into the supermarket opposite the restaurant to buy some things to take back to my hotel.
After I left the supermarket, who was standing there waiting for me in the rain? Him, the Turkish Tea Pusher.
He offered to walk me back to the metro station and told me he wanted to practise his English (of course you do!). I told him I’d rather walk there by myself.
Naturally, he just continued walking alongside me anyway.”How about you take me to your hotel room and show me photos of England?” he suggested hopefully.
How gullible do you think I am, lad? I declined and he laughed, leaned forward, and tried to kiss my forehead. I leaped backward with such speed I am sure I almost gave myself whiplash.
In one last-ditch attempt, he said “how about we play a game? If I win, I kiss you! If you win, you get a kiss!”
I laughed and walked off. I suppose at least it was original?
Have you traveled to Turkey as a female (alone or otherwise?) Did you receive any noteworthy advances from Turkish men?
Feel free to share in the comments below! Alternatively, don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything.
I will get back to you ASAP. Safe travels! Melissa xo