No, it’s not recommended just to be on the safe side. In the big cities like Istanbul it is safe to drink and that has come from official sources, however it really doesn’t taste nice and virtually everybody drinks bottled water – it’s cheap enough. It won’t kill you but you could end up not feeling very well after drinking it. The tap water in Turkey has a very high mineral content and that’s why it has an unpleasant taste and anyone with a sensitive tummy could feel a tad uncomfortable after drinking it – so better not to and play safe with the bottled stuff.
You can cook with tap water food like pasta, vegetables or rice any water that you will throw away and you can brush your teeth with tap water just remember not to swallow any of it, rinse only. Some people will use tap water for the kettle and boil it for tea or coffee but it doesn’t taste nice and the tea has a funny taste to it. You can use a water filtration system fitted in the kitchen (if there is one) which works out really economically in the long run and people who install these systems quickly get their money back. These systems vary so much in price from basic to luxury systems and the prices vary accordingly and so do the refills.
You can easily buy literally everywhere bottles of water from small drinking bottles costing as little as 50 kuruş which is around 6p to litre bottles or more. If you are staying in Turkey for any length of time maybe on holiday there are companies who deliver 19L bottles of water (the same as you would see on a cold drink dispenser) from 9TL which is £1.15.
You don’t need to worry abut ice in cold drinks as all of the bars, restaurants etc usually have ice making machines as you can imagine they go through rather a lot of ice during the summer months especially. You can also buy large bags of ice all ready just to put into your freezer from the larger supermarkets – again it’s not expensive.
If you are renting a private apartment or villa maybe for a holiday in Turkey the chances are there will be a fridge magnet with a water companies name on it. Ask the security on the main gate to call it for you to arrange a water delivery. If the site that you are staying on doesn’t have security ask any café owner or bar person they will happily call it for you. Just remember to take the address or complex name of where you are staying at and the apartment or villa number.
If you have children with you
If you have a baby and are feeding it formula milk always use bottled water and boil it before making up the baby’s bottle. If you have little ones and they want a drink of fruit juice, again make sure you use bottled water to dilute it. If your child is old enough to brush its own teeth give them a beaker with bottled water in it for rinsing, they may not understand to spit the water out and swallow it. Wash all fruit and vegetables with tap water just as you would in the UK and pat dry before eating it.
If your child falls over and has cuts or grazes it is absolutely fine to use tap water to clean them up before adding an antiseptic cream or a plaster.
If your little one has something in their eye and you want to rinse it out, I would use bottled water.
If at anytime your child or an adult has a fever, stomach cramps, vomiting or going to the toilet a lot you need to take them to see a doctor. In all honesty we have all heard about Delhi Belly, but we don’t see this in Turkey now. Turkish locals are very keen on hygiene and kitchens in restaurants use the same colour coded cutting boards that are used in the UK. The restaurant kitchens are inspected too and have to conform to hygiene rules and regulations. Most cafes, bars and eateries also have industrial dish washers and we all know how hot the temperature of the water is in these machines so don’t worry about bugs etc.
Don’t be worried about visiting Turkey; once you have been you probably won’t ever want to holiday anywhere else again!