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Brisbane, Australia
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2 posts
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Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

We're visiting Istanbul in January and are concerned to learn that you have to leave your shoes outside when visiting a mosque. Are there secure lockers provided or do your shoes have to be left in the open and therefore easy for someone to steal ?

NZ
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1,234 posts
36 reviews
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1. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

No lockers. Some of the mosques provide large bags that they will give you to put your shoes in, others don't.

Friends took a plastic bag with them and put their shoes into it before placing them on the shelf so that they were hidden from view and easy to pick out on return.

So far I've never lost mine.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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2. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

I have never heard anything about shoes being stolen from outside mosques. There are shelves that usually contain many shoes, so the issue may be locating your shoes.

There are always people hanging around near mosques who would ask questions if anyone came along and started taking shoes.

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

Thanks for the advice. We will be wearing expensive winter boots, hence our concern. Do you think it is permissible to carry them in a backpack within the mosque instead of putting them on a shelf ? I'm more thinking about other tourists who would take our shoes and leave theirs on the shelf than locals.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

Shoes are safe to be left outside but most touristic mosques provide plastic bags so place the shoe in that and leave it on one of the shoe racks inside the mosque. Just remember where you left it as it can sometimes be hard to tell amongst the sea of other bagged shoes.

Shoe theft doesn't occur often but if your shoes are not bagged and are the latest flashy looking adidas trainers then they may be a target. Even when stolen it won't be one of the worshippers but one of the people hanging around the place for whatever reason.

Are you planning to visit many mosques other than Sultanahmet, Suleymaniye etc? If so let me know & I may be able to provide further information about whether the mosque provides bags and whether there are secure lockers.

Canberra...
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5. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

No one is going to steal your shoes.

Leeds, United...
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6. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

I prefer to wear sandals which I take off, put in a plastic bag which I then place inside my shoulder-bag.

7. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

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Istanbul, Turkey
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4,017 posts
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8. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

It is not very appropriate to be bare-footed in a mosque. Especially sandals are a very bad idea because your feet are open to dust and sweat in them.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

BorustheTaurus - are you saying one should wear socks in the mosque? My only experience is in Cairo in very hot summer (+40C). I wore sandals with bare feet and not one recommended socks after I had removed my sandals - even my tour guide. I would hate to offend; and I am sure it would be a good note for the TA readers. Given that the OP is visiting in the winter, I doubt sandals would be an option, but the socks might be a useful clarification.

Can one carry their footwear in the mosque; say in a backpack?

Istanbul, Turkey
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10. Re: Are you shoes safe to leave outside a mosque ?

Hi QM,

Of course you can carry your shoes in a bag inside the mosque. I would strongly suggest wearing socks though while visiting a mosque (the worshippers need to put their forehead on a clean carpet)