Istanbul's Municipal Water
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 1, 2013 1:00 AM Last Post By: go_2
Feb 26, 2013 10:30 AM
Feb 26, 2013 10:40 AM
1Pretty much everywhere in Turkey,Istanbul included the water is actually clean enough for drinking,but...it tastes rather unpleasant due to the high mineral content.This can cause mild discomfort in those with senstive tummies hence it is better to buy bottled water for drinking.Tap water is fine for cleaning your teeth or,if there's a kettle in your hotel room,for boiling to make a cup of tea or coffee though.
Feb 26, 2013 12:55 PM
Feb 26, 2013 1:02 PM
Feb 26, 2013 2:15 PM
4I've traveled all over Turkey and cannot think of a single restaurant that served tap water. All serve bottled water.
As mentioned, the tap water nearly everywhere in Turkey can be considered safe to drink, but in many places it does not taste very good. Tap water in the European part of Istanbul is especially bad tasting.
A quite accurate rule-of-thumb for tap water in Turkey is that if you do NOT see a big mountain close by, it will NOT taste very good.
Feb 27, 2013 12:03 PM
Feb 28, 2013 1:30 AM
6I drink tap water all over the place in Turkey - including Istanbul - and it tastes less-than-great at times but is always fine.
Actually, mike, lots of restaurants do serve tap water - if people generally drink it, they'll put a jug of it on the table. They don't usually do it in tourist areas because it's too clearly a way to not-make-money.
I spoke to a guy at Istanbul Technical University who said that there are trace amounts of minerals in Istanbul water (plus all the junk they use to sterilize it) and if you drank it your whole life, you'd get cancer or something from it. However, a few years of it will do you no harm.
Outside of the towns, and even in the towns in places, there are "cesme" - public taps. Locals will tell you whether or not it's nice to drink (almost always yes) but a cesme is always OK.
Feb 28, 2013 1:36 AM
7'No such thing in Turkey.It's bottled or...bottled.'
Have you never seen either Perrier or soda water in cans throughout Istanbul?
Feb 28, 2013 1:44 AM
Feb 28, 2013 2:29 AM
9Maenad,I think you have now lived in Istanbul for quite some time so like any expat you've now acquired a 'local' digestive system :) I too have frequently drunk from the tap in many area's of the country as I too have long since had a 'local system'.Visitors however won't have had time to build up their familiarity/immunity and so really it is better for them to stick with bottled water for drinking in quantity.It isn't expensive and not worth the risk of discomfort.
I only came unstuck once,years ago,and that was water from a(supposedly clean!) artesian well in a village near Ceylanpınar....I got Hepatitus A...clever of me :( This would be far less likely in the western regions of course but still....
Mar 1, 2013 1:00 AM
10I drink local water everywhere I go in Turkey and have had no problems. Although, as Sarikanarya says, it doesn't always taste great.
However - in Cappadokia there's a small town called Hacibektas, which has a shrine to a muslim saint of the 13th century. In that shrine is a fountain, and. from that fountain is the purest water you've ever tasted. It's filtered through multiple layers of volcanic rock and is so sweet-tasting that my own family back here in London, after being offered a glass, decided not to drink the champagne they'd brought 'so as not to spoil the taste' of it.
If you're passing, do stop by and fill up. :>))
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