Eating and Finding Pork Products in Turkey


Let’s start from the beginning. Do Turkish People Eat Pork? Is Pork banned in Turkey? While it is perfectly legal to sell and eat pork products in Turkey. However, due to Turkish culture, Turkish people rarely consume, and there is a very low demand for pork products. For these reasons, it is very tough to find pork products and restaurants that serve pork products in Turkey.

Most outsiders think Turkish people do not eat because they are Muslims. However, even Turkish people not practicing Islam do not consume pork meat as well.

On the other side, even though it is forbidden in Islam, Turkish people drink alcohol and love to eat oysters.

Maybe because Turkish cuisine is excellent as it is, we are conservative about new tastes. Apart from religious reasons, Turkish locals believe pork is harmful to their health and stay away from pork products as if it is a source of illness.

You can buy pork meat and products from a few grocery stores and chain supermarkets in Turkey. There are also online websites that you can buy directly from the producer. It is easier to find pork meat near the south coast, where a sizeable Russian, English population lives.

I will tell you where you can buy pork products, eat pork products, and a non-commercial way to access Turkish wild boar meat. Additionally, I will tell you a little about the Turkish food tradition.

Pork meat can be hard to find in Turkey. Photo by Unsplash

Table of Contents

What we, the Turkish people, eat?

Due to different climates in our country, vegetable types are abundant, and Turkish people love to mix these vegetables with meat.

I am not a chef, but our cuisine seems more simple than other world cuisines. We do not use sauces like French or put too much spice like Indians. We are more likely to use fewer ingredients than other world cuisines, and the freshness of the food is more important. 

What meat is eaten in Turkey?

Mutton, beef, lamb, fish, and poultry are typically consumed in Turkey. 

Turkish people rarely consume horse, rabbit, or camel meat products because these meats are not in our food culture. Pork meats produced in very low quantities in Turkey and it is mainly consumed by tourists.

SUGGESTED READING: My guide on Turkish Food and Turkish Cuisine.

Can you eat Pork in Turkey?

Some people think that pork meat is banned in Turkey. It is perfectly legal to eat pork in Turkey, however, due to low demand, it can be hard to find a place selling and serving pork products.

Additionally, because of the rarity of pork products, they are more expensive than in Europe.

If you ask a butcher or a regular store for pork, they may seem offended, but do not worry; I will tell you where to buy pork products in Turkey.

Where to find and eat Pork in Turkey?

There is a big community of English, German, Russian citizens living in Turkey on the South and Aegean coast in Turkey. For this reason, it can be easier to find pork products in this region.

As well as this is the most touristic part of Turkey, you find many restaurants and a few groceries in these towns selling and serving pork meat. Cesme, Marmaris, Fethiye, Didim, Antalya, and Bodrum are a few of these places.

You can also find pork products in some national supermarket chains. Remember that not all supermarkets of these chains sell pork products. Supermarkets sell pork meat products mostly in metropolitan areas or tourist towns where there is a demand for these products.

Migros has very few pork products, which they also sell online. As a national supermarket chain, Macro store has the most variety of pork products.

You can also buy pork products online in Turkey.

Gourmet Pork has different kinds of locally produced bacon, sausages, smoked pork meat, and other cooked pork products. They deliver with dry ice to prevent heating of the raw meat.

Isthambul has various products, including bacon, pulled pork, ham, sausages, pork belly, and pork chops. They also have unique offerings for Christmas. Isthambul delivers online orders to Istanbul Ankara, Bursa, Canakkale, Edirne, Eskisehir, Kocaeli, Tekirdag, Yalova.

Eataly, also a restaurant chain, sells some pork products online and offers Italian food with pork products.

Ithalgurme has different kinds of frozen and unfrozen pork products online.

This list is not finished before I tell you about the last pork butcher in Istanbul.

SUGGESTED READING: ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING IN TURKEY

Is there a pork butcher in Istanbul? Can you buy pork from a butcher in Istanbul?

Kozmaoglu is the last pork butcher in Istanbul for decades. Two brothers of Greek ancestry, Kozma and Lazari, operate the butchery. 

You can click this link to see their location on google maps. If you wish to learn more about their history, you can also check this article.

Kozmaoglu Pork Butchery

Now there is one thing to cover, Turkish wild boars and how to access wild boar feast.

Are there wild boars or pigs in Turkey?

Due to the lack of predators and interest in pork meat, wild boars are happily roaming the countryside in all of Turkey. However, when their numbers increase, villagers hunt them for population control and prevent them from damaging their fields and crops.

How can you feast with Turkish Wild Boars in Turkey?

Few of the hunters have a belief that what is hunted, should be eaten. However, most of the hunted boars are left where they are shot down.

If you can contact local villagers, they will gladly supply or gift you the hunted boars. Even if they sell you wild boar carcass, it will be a lot cheaper than the retail price.

One of my friends was head of operations in a factory of an international brand. He always organized feasts for his European colleagues with locally hunted wild boars.

If you are skilled with pig butchering and have some local ties, acquiring hunted wild boars can be the most inexpensive and delicious option.

As a Turkish Local, what do I think about the taste of pork meat?

As a Turkish who tasted pork products, I can say that I did not like the taste. Bacon is okay for me, but it is hard to find a piece of crispy bacon.

Pork meat is too oily and watery for my taste. Like most Turkish, I can easily live my life without eating pork products.

Do Turkish hotels serve bacon?

They may serve bacon and pork sausage at the breakfast table and some pork dishes in international hotels, Chinese restaurants, or tourist spots. Yet, your options will be limited because pork meat is not very popular with locals.

The food prepared with pork meat also may be tastier in your home country, because there is no pork cooking expertise, pork dishes in Turkey do not usually taste very good. For these reasons, I would suggest you focus on Turkish food alternatives and enjoy the diversity of Turkish cuisine.

SUGGESTED READING: Do Turkish People Drink Alcohol?

Online Shopping Guides for Turkish Websites

Here is my General Guide for Online Shopping in Turkey

Where to buy Turkish things?

ShoesAccessoriesWatchesElectronics
Fashion/ClothesSupermarket and GroceryBooksPork products
Fast Food Delivery

Efe Genit

I am a father, a passionate traveler, and a Turkish lawyer. You can enjoy my guides and tips about Turkey that only Turkish locals would know.

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