Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Help With Head Covering in Mosques in Istanbul?

Help With Head Covering in Mosques in Istanbul?

Old May 10th, 2006, 06:50 AM
  #1  
te
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Help With Head Covering in Mosques in Istanbul?

Could anyone tell me if a small head scarf is sufficient head covering for entering mosques in Istanbul? Does it need to be a certain color as not to offend? Any help would be appreciated. I am starting to pack for my trip and want to be prepared.
te is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:11 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,705
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are scarfs that you can borrow before entering. They hang usually somewhere near the doors. That is, at least in the main mosques.

If by small you mean bandanna size, I would say that that is too small.
elina is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:25 AM
  #3  
te
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you so much for replying; I didn't realize that there were scarves hanging by the entrance. That makes it easy! Is that true for all sites?

Should we make sure we bring socks for places where we remove our shoes?
te is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:38 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,705
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Scarfs are in all the main mosques, like the Blue Mosque and Süleymaniye Mosque and the rest. I suppose they are not in the mosques that tourists donīt visit. But if you take your own the color does not matter.

Take socks if you feel more comfortable walking in them than your bare feet. You must not enter the praying area anyway if you are not a muslim, you just sort of wander in the background and gape at the walls and tiles and ceilings.
elina is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:45 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would personally not want to wear a communal scarf, no matter where in the world I was visiting.
missypie is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:23 AM
  #6  
te
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 15
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the input. I have a very thin one; not too bulky, so I'll be okay in either case. I'll only be going to the ones tourists go to anyway, I'm sure.
te is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 03:00 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,080
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Question: We visited Istanbul in '94 and I recall taking off my shoes.... but I don't recall having to wear a head scarf. Is this something new in the last 12 years?
Grandma is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 03:08 PM
  #8  
P_M
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,417
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My thoughts exactly, Grandma. We did take off our shoes, but we never covered our heads when visiting in 2000. Once my friend was wearing a somehwat low-cut top, so they did ask her to put on a robe.
P_M is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 03:51 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,886
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Last year we had no need for head covering in the main mosques in Istanbul.
Marko is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 06:57 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I didn't enter a mosque in Istanbul, but have in Egypt which is supposedly not as secular as Istanbul, and I wasn't required to wear a scarf. That is for people of that religion, if they follow that custom (and many more modern Muslim women to not). This is a religious custom, why would you do it if you don't believe in that.
Christina is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:06 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was in Istanbul about 3 years ago and I was asked to wear a head scarf.

Sometimes fitting in pays off. My mother and I wandered into a very old Mosque near the spice market. We took off our shoes and put on our scarfs.... We stayed well back as we had been trained. The next thing I know an Iman (I think I spelled that wrong) was taking me by the hand and taking me up into the front of the mosque to show it off to me... I was amazed and awed. Personally I think it was the fact that there were just two of us and we showed respect for the culture by doing the "right" things without being told...

I packed a black cheap nylon scarf in my bag. It was large enough to drap over my head and kind of wrap around my neck so I didn't have to worry about it falling off while gazing around. (I was not too keen on the "communal" scarfs they had at the main tourist mosques....it looked like it had been a while since they were washed...)
CarolA is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 11:35 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 82
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were in Istanbul for Easter this year. We visited the Blue Mosque and the Süleymaniye Mosque. We were required to remove our shoes at both, but only at the Süleymaniye mosque were head coverings required (and the only place I saw communal scarves on offer). I used a pashmina to cover my head.
victoria_sw3 is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 11:58 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I live in Istanbul and i am a tourist guide.

You do not have to wear a head scarf in the Blue Mosque if only for visiting. However you wear at all the others.
odoz is offline  
Old May 11th, 2006, 02:15 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,823
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were there in March and visited the Blue Mosque. A headscarf was not required, but we had to take our shoes off and put them in plastic bags and carry them with us. I agree with the idea of a communal scarf.....YUCK!

In Egypt, however, I always wore a headscarf in the mosques. Plus, I made sure I was either in pants or a long-ish skirt and sleeves below my elbows. Just a respect thing.........
Grcxx3 is offline  
Old May 11th, 2006, 02:26 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,705
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wearing a scarf is not a "have to" question. It is a question of respect.
elina is offline  
Old May 11th, 2006, 03:59 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,626
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I travel with one or two silk/cashmere pashminas, which I find useful for a variety of purposes - e.g. staying warm on the plane, as throws to nap under in my hotel, to warm up a lightweight jacket - and, in conservative countries, to cover my shoulders or head as a sign of respect where appropriate. So, skip the communal scarf in the mosque and use your own pashmina.
Kate_W is offline  
Old May 11th, 2006, 05:16 AM
  #17  
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
How much does a silk scarf weigh. Just toss one into your bag and use it where required. There were few mosques in IST where we had to wear scarves, only at the Sulemein did we have to. At all we had to remove shoes - at Blue Mosques we could carry these in plastic bags provided; others, we left them outside. Good to have socks, whether tennis socks or those w/rubber grippers (from hospitals). In outlying areas, we always wore a scarf and removed shoes. Never saw communal scarves to borrow, besides, I'd never use these.
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
peggionthego
Europe
6
Feb 11th, 2015 08:39 AM
tom42
Europe
35
Oct 27th, 2013 05:38 PM
susncrg
Europe
6
Aug 15th, 2012 08:08 PM
patsy120
Europe
4
Mar 30th, 2008 07:00 AM
marktynernyc
Europe
19
May 12th, 2003 05:23 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:20 AM.