Mosques of Istanbul, Turkey
Visiting a Mosque in Istanbul
Istanbul’s splendid mosques are open to all the visitors. No matter if you are Muslim or non-Muslim, Turkish or foreigner. The great imperial mosques of Istanbul, are usually open continuously every day for long hours.
Off the beaten tourist track, there may not be an attendant to supervise you, you can follow these simple rules of etiquette to avoid causing an offence.
Istanbul Blue Mosque
Closed During Praying Time
The call to prayer from the minaret comes five times a day between dawn and nightfall. The times change daily as the days grow longer or shorter.
If you are not a Muslim coming to pray, you are not allowed to enter a mosque at prayer-time. But in between two sessions you are more than welcome to visit.
Mosques are closed until 14:30 on Fridays. The weekly group prayers and sermons take place on Friday.
Most Beautiful Mosques of Istanbul
You Need To Take Off Your Shoes
All visitors to mosques, without exception, remove their shoes before stepping onto the mosque’s carpets.
This is a practical, not a religious, requirement. Muslim worshippers kneel and touch their foreheads to the ground as they pray, so they would like to keep the carpets as clean as possible. This ritual is called Namaz (Salah) in Turkish.
You Need To Be Quiet As Possible
Speak quietly, move slowly, and if you take photos, avoid taking photos of people at prayer.
Worshippers who miss the designated prayer time may come to complete their prayers later. For that reason, they may be in the mosque when you visit.
Be sure that you are not walking in front of worshippers performing their ritual prayers, as this is considered impolite. Walk around or behind them.
Visiting a Mosque in Istanbul – Dress Code
When visiting a mosque, it is better to wear modest, conservative clothing which exposes a minimum of flesh.
Men Dressing Code
- CODE: Upper body and knees should be covered.
- WEAR: T-shirt or shirt and trousers. No shorts.
Women Dressing Code
- CODE: The hair, shoulders and knees should be covered.
- WEAR: Slacks or dress or long-sleeved blouse and longish skirt.
A Mosque At Istanbul Bosphorus Asian Side
Much Easier Than You Think
At the Istanbul’s touristic mosques, attendants are provided robes and attires free of charge.
Thus even if you will wear summer clothes, you can easily enter a mosque.
Mosque Rules And Etiquette In Istanbul by Serhat Engul