Us yabancıs often find Turkish warning signs amusing, in large part because there are so few of them -- Want to fall off our ancient castle? Feel free! It's not like we're going to put up a railing or anything -- and because those that you do see are largely ignored. Case in point: The admonitions to wait for the gangplanks to be laid down before leaping off the ferry. As if.
But two signs I saw this week on a trip to the Princes' Islands particularly jumped out at me. The first, inside the St. George's Monastery on Büyükada (roughly translated from Turkish):
Do not write your petitions on the walls or the icons.Who knew there was such a problem with monastic graffiti?
We have a box for petitions.
Write them on a piece of paper and put them in the box.
And the other, along the island's shoreline:
Yüzme bilmeyenleri denize girmek tehlikeli ve yasaktır.Why, that's practically right up there with "Caution - contents may be hot" on a cup of coffee. Who says Turkey isn't getting more Western by the day?
It is dangerous and prohibited for those who do not know how to swim to enter into the ocean.