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TOILETS

There was a time when having to  use a public toilet in Turkey was a potentially scary business, especially as almost all of them were of the squat variety. Nowadays, though, the situation is much improved and it's only in very remote, usually eastern locations that you really need to worry about calls of nature. In the parts of İstanbul most frequented by visitors one might even say that these days businesses, especially restaurants and private museums, compete to offer the flashiest, most hi-tech bathroom facilities.

The worst problems come when travelling since the bathrooms in bus stations can still be somewhat depressing places. Not all will have toilet paper in the cubicles although you can usually pick some up on the way in from the custodian. Nor are there always pedestal toilets to supplement the squatters - walk to the far end of the cubicles before despairing since they often put these, the least desirable toilets, furthest away from the entrance.

Increasingly, at least at western rest facilities, there will be one toilet adapted for disabled access. There may also be facilities for changing babys' nappies, especially in shopping malls. 

Some visitors object to being charged to use the toilets but this is standard in Turkey, sometimes even in restaurants and cinemas. The current charge is usually TL1; anything more is pretty extortionate. 

In emergencies remember that all mosques come with toilets for men and women. Usually these will be of the squat variety and the women's may not always be open. Standards of cleanliness are often disappointing in these facilities.

Many modern private homes come with two separate bathrooms, one with a squat toilet for older, more sonservative guests, the other a pedestal for younger ones.

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