Subscribe to Blog via Email
How well can you get by visiting Turkey without speaking Turkish?
Well, I guess it was just us then.
Spent three or four days over our honeymoon in Istanbul, pretty much Sultanahmet, with a couple of excursions to Üsküdar. Sultanahmet, certainly, is Grand Tourist Central.
I was astonished how few English speakers we found. Which proved particularly devastating when we got a taxi to Üsküdar, and when we got lost in Üsküdar, trying to find my wife’s cousin’s house.
Granted, I’m comparing Istanbul to Greece, where everyone has to know English if they know what’s good for them. In fact, I found it heartening for Turkey that people don’t have to know English. But I only found command of English in staff in really obviously touristy places. Not among the ordinary Istambullus, and not in normal shops.