As a Turkish Local, I will answer everything about pork meat in Turkey.
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.
Let’s start with the short answers.
1. Do Turkish People Eat Pork? Is Pork banned in Turkey?
Some people think that pork meat is banned in Turkey. In contrast, it is perfectly legal to sell and eat pork products in Turkey.
Yet, due to Turkish culture, Turkish people rarely consume, and there is a very low demand for pork products.
Due to low demand, it is very tough to find a place selling pork products and restaurants that serve pork products in Turkey.
Additionally, pork products are more expensive than in Europe because of the rarity of pork products.
If you ask a butcher or a regular store for pork meat, they may seem offended, but do not worry; I will tell you where to buy pork products in Turkey.
2. Why Turkish People Do Not Eat Pork Meat?
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.
Just to clarify, Turkish food and cuisine do not contain pork meat.
Besides religious reasons, Turkish locals believe pork is harmful to their health and stay away from pork products as if they are a source of illness.
3. Where to find and eat Pork in Turkey?
There is a large community of English, German, and Russian citizens living in Turkey on the South and Aegean coasts in Turkey.
For this reason, finding places with pork meat dishes in this region can be easier.
This is the most touristy part of Turkey.
4. Where Can You Find Pork Meat Products in Turkey?
You can buy pork meat and products from a few grocery stores and some chain supermarkets in Turkey.
There are also online websites that you can buy directly from the producer.
Remember that not all supermarkets in 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.
5. 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. The company delivers 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, and Yalova.
Eataly, also a restaurant chain, sells some pork products online and offers Italian food with pork products.
Tropical Domuz Eti 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: 11 Best Online Supermarket and Grocery Shopping Websites in Turkey
6. Is there a pork butcher in Istanbul? Can you buy pork from a butcher in Istanbul?
7. Do Turkish hotels serve bacon?
Turkish hotels 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.
English breakfast is very common on international hotels’ menus.
Lastly, the food prepared with pork meat also may be tastier in your home country because there is no pork cooking expertise, and in my experience, 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.
Now there is one thing to cover, Turkish wild boars and how to access wild boar feasts.
8. 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 to prevent them from damaging their fields and crops.
9. How can you feast with Turkish Wild Boars in Turkey?
Few Turkish hunters believe what is hunted should be eaten. Yet, most of the hunted boars are left where they are shot down.
If you can contact local villagers, they will gladly supply or give you the hunted boars as a gift. Even if they sell you a 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.
10. 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 in Turkey.
Pork meat is too oily and watery for my taste. Like most Turkish people, I can easily live my life without eating pork products.
11. What do we, the Turkish people, eat?
Due to the different climates in our country, vegetable types are abundant in Turkish cuisine, 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 Turkish cuisine relies on the quality and freshness of the food.
SUGGESTED READING: My guide on Turkish Food and Turkish Cuisine.
12. What meat is eaten in Turkey?
Mutton, beef, lamb, fish, and poultry are typically consumed in Turkey.
Pork meats are produced in very low quantities in Turkey, and it is mainly consumed by tourists.
Turkish people also rarely consume horse, rabbit, or camel meat products because these meats are not in our food culture.
My Shopping Guides For Turkey
If you are not looking for a specific guide, you can also check “Online Shopping in Turkey (Everything from Homes to Food)” containing a summary of all.