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French or Turkish?


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I was talking to my German friend today, and she thought it was funny when I said that there was a Turkish loo on a campsite, because she says that in Germany they call them French Toilets. I think I probably did too before I read "A Year in Provence". She says she's never come across them except in France, but more places must surely have them. I certainly remember the loos at Belgrade railway station being Turkish, and possibly at a few other places on an Eastern European rail tour.

I know there are a few of you from countries other than France and Britain and also many of you are well travelled, so are these really French, Turkish or something else?

Jill (99)
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I think it depends where you are and where else you've been, Jill. Many Western Europeans may describe them as "French" loos as they've only ever encountered them in France. But you mentioning Beograd Railway Station (I've been there too) started me thinking of a stop earlier down the line at Trieste, Italy where I remember coming across Turkish style too. And Venice. And they're still found in parts of Greece (wonder what they call them?). And although they're generally the norm in Middle East and SE Asia you wouldn't describe them as being specifically "Turkish" as - outside of upper class or expat homes - they're local standard issue so are just loos. M
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LAST EDITED ON 19-Aug-04 AT 10:10 PM (BST)

I believe the standard French is Toilet Asiatique. I have met them in most of the Middle East. Richard Burton (explorer not ex Elizabeth Taylor) described rather casually killing a Moslem who observed him urinating standing up (which marked him as an unbeliever) during his journey towards Mecca.

They atleast gets round the problem of covers for loo seats (see recent posting).
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I had to use the loo in Venice once, just a round hole about 8" diameter inthe middle of the floor, needless to say I didn't fancy it and went into a better caf. We avoid these "foot washers" like the plague and go behind the bushes instead where poss.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Have encountered them in Belgium years ago.

 

I avoid them too, in fact the loos at the Lille peage heading towards Paris should be avoided at all costs. Could smell them across the car park and I was retching as I got closer to them.....so much for them being cleaner than ordinary loos.

 

No idea as to whether they are french or turkish, and am appauled when I see that one can buy new ones in Castorama.........

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Somewhere - I think at Le Chateau d'Oleron - there are 'asiatic' loos which are flushed by the incoming sea - it just sloshes up through the castle walls (conveniently situated in the Atlantic) and shoots up the tube. Must have been a very nasty shock if a particularly violent (and cold) wave came through whilst one was squatting...
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I have always known and called them "Asian Toilets" which is in line with the french translation.  In someways they are more hygenic than your classic upright Western toilet - being a woman you dont have to struggle and perch over them thus avoiding touching them - at least with the Asian toilets you dont have this problem unless you are completley plastered!

To be honest Asian people tell me that if you have to do your business you are far better doing it in a squatting position as this helps the process along - obvioulsy most of us are brought up within a Western culture so the idea of Asian toilets is just a matter of us Westerners getting used too

Deby

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Hygenic? I'm sorry, but I am incapable of squatting that low that I could actually hit the hole with any sort of precision and I rather hate the feel (and in summer the smell) of that which has managed to splash my legs during a pipi. The number of times I have entered such stalls and someone has had rather more to do than a pipi with a very bad aim.

And I never usually sit on a 'proper' public loo anyway, but at least what I pass goes where it should and not all over the place or on me. If it were down to me, I'd ban these turkish loos.

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Whilst on our holiday over the last fortnight, we were at the beach and I needed to use the facilities.  Approached to find the 'turkish style' loo and thought better of it, preferring the 'disabled' loo.  Serves me right I suppose.....somehow I got locked in!  There weren't many people about as it was not really beach weather and I couldn't attract the attention of the few passers by I could hear.

Finally struck on the idea of my mobile phone.  One international 'mobile to mobile' phone call later brought hubby who was 150 yards away in the car park (rececption was so poor he couldn't hear me and I couldn't hear him, but he guessed I was in some kind of distress).  However, as he arrived the door miraculously opened.

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