With April 1st right around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to change things up a bit.

As I travel around Turkey (actually this occurs everywhere), I sometimes run across misguided attempts to communicate in English. I find the English mistakes funny because there are so many native English speakers in Turkey that it would be easy to find someone to proofread any texts. However, for some reason that I have not been able to deduce, the people in charge of these projects (menus, signs, advertisements…) do not go the extra mile and instead post what they apparently assume is correct English.

I also spot other signs that make me laugh that may contain correct English, but for different reasons are ironic or out of place.

I hope I am not offending anyone in this. My goal is not to ridicule but just to provide some laughter. I freely offer my services to any Cappadocian business that needs someone to proofread their materials. If I were forced to write informational signs in Turkish, they would be full of errors. Thus, I would seek help.

I am interested to see if the mistakes show a laziness, an arrogance, a result of a shame/honor worldview, or something else? If anyone has insight on this, please leave a comment.

And with that said, here are 10 funny (at least in my opinion) examples I have found…

Romeo and juliet cologne

At a local grocery store I noticed this box of cologne (probably not made in Turkey). I thought it may give me the edge I need as a modern man. See the red circled text below.


Romeo  juliet cologne description

“ATTENTION! Romeo & Juliet gives the nature’s freshness with its lively and delightful odor to your skin. By retaining its effectiveness the whole day, it provides the confidence of the modern Men.”

OPet gas station bathroom instructions

These signs are placed in every bathroom at a certain gas station. I have to wonder what they expect people will do that they feel the need to give them these kinds of instructions. Clockwise in a circle from left to right: “We must not smoke on the toilet. We must wash our hands with soap after going to the bathroom. We must not leave the water running. We must flush the toilet while entering and leaving the bathroom. We must not stand on the toilet, we must sit on it. We must throw trash into the trash can.” Something works as these are usually some of the cleanest normal gas station bathrooms on the road in Turkey.

Hotel key instructions

This was posted at a 5-Star hotel.

Hotel towel instructions

This was posted at another 5-Star hotel.

Hotel bathroom

See the close-up of the sign below. This was at another 5-Star hotel in Antalya. Do not drink that tab water. I hope this does not seem too picky, but we are talking about expensive, top of the line hotels.

Hotel bathroom instructions
Hotel parking lot instructions

Another 5-Star hotel. No mistake here, I just thought it was funny that a luxury hotel would not guard their parking lot. If I stay there, what am I supposed to do with my car while I sleep at night?

Piggy banks

I found these in a local toy store. Turks are around 99% Muslim. How many Muslims are buying “piggy” banks for their kids?

Pizza pizza restaurant

We eat here sometimes. No mistake here. I still have not figured out the point of writing “Proudly Turk” in English. Doesn’t that seem to be self-contradictory?

Hotel elevator instructions

I am still trying to figure out how to enter an elevator before looking inside?

Cigarette warning labelsLastly, I love the cigarette packages in Turkey. The warning labels do not seem to work as I have yet to meet a man that does not smoke. Which pack would you choose? Some guy dying in the hospital or the couple unable to get aroused in bed or the sick baby?