Toilets in Turkey

In different countries, different types of toilets are common than others, and the types of toilets in Turkey might seem strange to you if it is your first time visiting. Using the toilet in a different country might be a new experience to you, but once you get used to it you will see it is not bad.

Types of Toilets in Turkey

There are two types of toilets in Turkey, one of them being alaturka toilets (squat toilets) and the other one is alafranga toilets (sit-down toilets). You can see both of them while you are in Turkey, even though alafranga toilets are a little bit more common nowadays, alaturka toilets are still common, especially in rural areas. Some places include both types of toilets and you can choose one according to your preference.

Alaturka Toilets (Squat Toilets)

Squat toilet

Alaturka toilets are the type of toilets that you need to squat to use them. In alaturka toilets, a special kind of ceramic is used. In addition to Turkey, this type of toilet is used in Middle Eastern countries, Italy, France, Japan, Iran, Pakistan, India, and most of the SSCB countries.

Alaturka toilets have pros and cons when it comes to using them. They are relatively cheaper to build, you do not need to touch any surface that could possibly have bacteria, squatting position helps your excretion, and it is especially beneficial for pregnant women since squatting decreases pressure in the uterus. It is also known that using alaturka toilets has health benefits such as decreasing the risk of hemorrhoids, colon cancer, and appendicitis.

Still, using alaturka toilets might be uncomfortable for you especially if you are not used to it. Standing still in a squat position for a long time makes your feet and legs hurt, and there is always a risk of your clothes being dirty as a result of a splash. Alaturka toilets have a siphon system in some areas, whereas in some places you need to pour water manually.

Using bidet in the same way with alafranga toilet is impossible in alaturka toilets. So, people tend to do the bidet’s job manually as well with a help of a small cup. There is typically a small tap right next to an alaturka toilet that you can reach while you are squatting to make this easier.

Alafranga Toilets (Sit-down Toilets)

Sit-down toilet

Alafranga toilets are the second type of toilet that you can see in Turkey, and it is a toilet that you can sit-down, same as you see in western countries. Except for rural areas that are not developed, nearly all households have alafranga toilets. It is accepted as the most hygienic type of toilet since the sewage system works best in alafranga toilets. Alafranga toilets differ from alaturka toilets by having a water tank.

Alafranga toilets have different kinds of siphon systems, such as you might need to pull a chain that is sagging from up instead of pushing a button, or you might need to pull up the button. There are also siphon systems where you push a button. Additionally, you might encounter two buttons instead of one, one of them being bigger than the other. This is a system to prevent water waste, if you do not need much water to flush, you can use the small button and save water.

Typically, alafranga toilets include a bidet nozzle. A bidet nozzle is a system where helps you to clean yourself after you defecate or urinate. It is widely used in most Islam countries and Western countries in which Muslims are the majority.

Public Toilets in Turkey

Directions for a public toilet in an airport in Turkey

If you are traveling in Turkey, there is a high chance that you will need to use the public toilets. You can see both an alafranga toilet and an alaturka toilet in public places. Some places include instructions in English as well as Turkish, but just in case the following are the vocabulary that you need to know:

Toilet – Tuvalet

Woman – Kadın 

Man – Erkek

Lady – Bayan

Gentleman – Bay

Sometimes instead of writing the names, some symbols are used to define whether if it is a women’s restroom or a men’s restroom. Gender-neutral toilets are not that common in Turkey, yet you still can see some.

People with hygiene concerns typically prefer alaturka toilets since they do not need to touch anywhere. In addition, some toilets have a system in which the surface of the toilet is covered with some sort of thin plastic and as you push the button the plastic will change, which is a system for maximizing hygiene in public toilets.

Famous ancient public toilet in Ephesus Ruins

Can You Flush Toilet Paper in Turkey?

Flushing toilet paper could result in blocking the pipes of the toilet, so this behavior is not reinforced in Turkey. If you are seeing a table with Turkish words on them, there is a high chance that it is saying that please do not flush toilet paper or any kind of matter in the toilet. Instead, you can use the small trash cans that are present in almost every toilet in Turkey. But if there is no trash can somewhere that you can reach while you are on the toilet, there will be no choice but to flush them. If you have the opportunity to throw them in a bin, not flushing the toilet paper is strongly recommended.

How do You Use a Turkish Bidet?

As I mentioned earlier, the Turkish bidet is a system that helps you to clean after you use the toilet. It is typically a small pipe in the backside of the toilet which is connected to a system where you can open it with a valve that is next to the toilet. As you turn the valve to the right, (left in some toilets) water will start to pour from that small pipe to clean you. You still need to wipe before and after you wash with water. Keep in mind to be careful while opening the valve since some of them could pour an excessive amount of water while you are opening it, so opening it slowly would be better for you.

Frequently asked questions about the toilets in Turkey

Switching the system might seem difficult to you in terms of toilets while you are traveling or moved out to another country. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the toilets in Turkey that will help you to adapt to them easily.

Is the Turkish bidet hygienic?

Yes, it is since it helps you to improve your cleaning after using the toilet.

Is using the Turkish bidet painful?

No, you will not feel any kind of pain while using the Turkish bidet if you do not have any problems in those areas.

Can I poop in the alaturka toilet?

Yes, even though it seems kind of difficult. Just be careful to aim at the hole in the alaturka toilet, and it will be fine.

Can I find pads and tampons in public toilets of Turkey?

Some of the public toilets include a system that is similar to a vending machine, where you put money and the machine gives you pads. If there are no machines, you can kindly ask someone and if they have, they will most probably help you out.

Are the public toilets in Turkey include a toilet for disabled people?

Most of the public toilets in Turkey include a toilet for disabled people yet there can be some exceptions.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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