Mosque Attire

For women, are short sleeve shirts and capris ok when visiting the mosques on this tour? My shoulders and knees would definitely be covered, but I wasn't sure if the coverage needs to extend to wrist and ankles.

Comments

  • Hi Leigh,

    Points for thinking of this ahead of time! I know that customs vary from country to country and I'm sure your TD will give you valuable guidelines, but I just googled your question and checked specifically for Turkish customs. I found this useful site:
    http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/Religion/mosque_etiquette.html

    As you'll see from the helpful illustrations for men and women, I think you might like try to cover yourself as much as you can ... a little more than capris and short sleeves. It's always useful to have a scarf or wrap of some kind when you travel and in this circumstance you can get some extra use from it! I'd roll down the sleeves of a shirt and wear long trousers with that wrap, too. If the mosque authorities judge you haven't met their requirements they will loan you appropriate garments.

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • I was fine on this trip with a short sleeve shirt and capris. More worrisome, however, are your feet. You will need to remove your shoes, so if you are a bit squeamish about bare feet, throw a pair of socks or peds in your bag. By the way, this attire is not suitable for the Friday Mosque in India where long sleeves and long pants still required a cape thing to cover up.
  • I agree with you, Joyce. When I visited the Blue Mosque I wore the same style of clothing as you. However, I think local customs have changed a little over time. This is where the TD on the day will come into her/his own! And yes, mosque customs do vary quite a lot depending on where in the world you are.

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • Within the past month, I have been to both the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman. In both places, I wore long sleeves (to my wrist) and long pants (to my ankles) as well as a headscarf that covered all of my hair. It's not a hardship, and it shows respect. And yes, you do remove shoes before entering the mosques. I walked around in bare feet on gorgeous carpets.
  • MCD wrote:
    Within the past month, I have been to both the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman. In both places, I wore long sleeves (to my wrist) and long pants (to my ankles) as well as a headscarf that covered all of my hair. It's not a hardship, and it shows respect. And yes, you do remove shoes before entering the mosques. I walked around in bare feet on gorgeous carpets.
    Absolutely, MCD. It's all about respect. I feel a song coming on …. ;)) Oh, to own some of those carpets! I doubt I could ever afford such wonderful things.
  • edited March 2016
    Thanks for the replies, everyone, and for the website, Jan. I did quite a bit of googling, but the suggestions varied so much I figured I'd be better off asking people who had actually been there. I know the TD will help, too, but I need to know what to pack before I go. Thanks for the tips on bringing socks!

    My capris come to mid-calf, but I don't mind wearing longer pants if I have to. My only long sleeve shirts are kind of heavy and may get hot, though, so I'm trying to avoid having to buy something new or carry around an extra jacket and/or wrap. I have a couple 3/4 sleeve tops, but they may be cut a little low for their standards. I guess I could wear that and bring a wrap to cover my head and chest.

    Is the Blue Mosque the only concern, or do I need to watch my attire the other days in Istanbul as well?
  • I thought I'd follow up, in case anybody else has the same question. For women, pants need to be ankle length and not too tight. Our tour director said in the past capris would be fine, but they've gotten more strict. You might slip through, but probably not. They do have skirts they provide if your pants aren't acceptable. A short sleeve shirt was fine for most people, but I seem to remember there may have been one person in our group who was told theirs wasn't ok. I wore a 3/4 sleeve cardigan to be safe. Headscarfs need to be the length of a regular scarf. One person in our group had a bandana-type she tied around her head (covered her whole head), but she was told it wasn't acceptable. They can provide them as well. You visit mosques on two days in Istanbul.
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