Tap Water Safety in Turkey

Can you drink the tap water in Turkey?

In general, no.

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Turkey (source).

Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

Traveller's Notes

It’s not wise to drink tap water if you’re only in Turkey on a short visit. Stick to bottled water, boil tap water for 10 minutes or use purification tablets or a filter. Do not drink river or lake water, which may lead to diarrhoea or vomiting.

Wikitravel

There are many private estates dotting the whole coastline of Turkey, which the owner rents its property for campers. These campsites, which are called kamping in Turkish, have basic facilities such as tap water, toilets, tree shade (this is especially important in dry and hot summers of the western and southern coasts) and some provide electricity to every tent via individual wires. Pitching a tent inside the cities and towns apart from campsites is not always approved, so you should always ask the local administrator (village chief muhtar and/or gendarme jandarma in villages, municipalities belediye and/or the local police polis in towns) if there is a suitable place near the location for you to pitch your tent. Pitching a tent in the forest without permission is OK, unless the area is under protection as a national park, a bioreserve, a wildlife refuge, a natural heritage or because of some other environmental concern. Whether it is an area under protection or not, setting fire in forests apart from the designated fireplaces in recreational (read “picnic”) areas is forbidden anyway.
Water safety - However tempting it may be on a hot day, try to avoid water from public water tanks and fountains (şadırvan), frequently found in the vicinity of mosques. Also, though tap water is always chlorinated, it is better to drink only bottled water. Bottled water is readily available everywhere except the most remote, uninhabited spots.
Ordinary toothbrushes and pastes (both local and international brands) can be obtained from supermarkets. If you want something special, you may check out pharmacies. It is okay to brush teeth with tap water.
Public restrooms - Though many main squares and streets in the cities have a public restroom, if you cannot manage to find one, look for the nearest mosque, where you will see a public restroom in a corner of, or below its courtyard. Despite the fact that there is no shortage of cheap toilet papers anywhere in the country, however, you are unlikely to find toilet paper in almost any of the public restrooms (except lavatories of restaurants –including the road restaurants, hotels and most of the cafés and bars, of course). Instead, you are likely to find a bidét or a tap (Don't be puzzled. That's because devout Muslims use water instead of paper to clean up and paper usually used as a dryer after cleaning.). So it is a good idea to have a roll of toilet paper in your backpack during your walkings for sightseeing. It is best to take your single roll of toilet paper from home or bathroom of the hotel you’re staying at, because the smallest size available in Turkey market is 4-rolls per package (8-rolls per package being the commonest) which would last very long (actually longer than your trip, unless you will do all the road down to India overland). It isn’t expensive but it takes unnecessary backpack space, or unnecessary landfill space if you won’t use it liberally and won’t take the unused rolls back to home as an unusual souvenir from Turkey. In the better places on the road in the country there are rest rooms that are maintained and an attendent ready to collect YTL.50 to YTL 1. from the tourist for the privilege of using one. Restroom is tuvalet in colloquial Turkish, though you’ll more likely to see WC signs, complete with diagrams and doors signed Bay or Bayan (with their rather crude translations: ‘Men’, ‘Women’).

The most commonly searched cities in Turkey are:

For a full list of cities in Turkey, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization Turkey Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 99 percent of Turkey have access to tap water.

In 2000, undefined % of the population had access to drinkable, tap water on site, and 95% within an accessible distance, including both rural and urban areas.

In Turkey, like in most countries, clean tap water availability is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with urban area availability averages at undefined % and rural availability figures at undefined %.

World Health Organization's 2017 Turkey Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout Turkey includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

DataDescription
Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited
National
200063240-95%1%
201780745-99%1%
Rural
200022134-89%1%
201720186-99%1%
Urban
200041106-99%1%
201760559-99%1%

How Do People In Turkey Rate The Water?

Travelers and residents of Turkey have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.

A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

DescriptionScoreRating
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility48%Moderate
Water Pollution53%Moderate
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility52%Moderate
Water Quality47%Moderate

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View our tap water report on all cities in Turkey

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