We look funny. We talk funny. We just don't understand your wonderful culture and we don't think Turkish food is the best on earth. But you have to deal with us sometimes, so here are some helpful tips to make those crazy interactions with foreigners go a little more smoothly.
1) First and foremost, foreigners are not all alike. There are 193 other countries besides Turkey and they're all different from each other. I'm not talking about avoiding stereotypes, like claiming English people are cold or German people are loud. I'm talking about starting a sentence with 'Foreign people are X,' or 'Foreign people do X,' or 'Foreign people eat X' or 'Foreign people think X.' Just avoid doing this at all times. It just makes you look stupid. Remember, my friends, that's 193 other countries outside of Turkey. It's not one big country that isn't Turkey where all the foreigners live and get up to their wacky shenanigans.
2) This is a little like tip #1: If you met a foreigner one time, or if your friend or relative once met one, or even if you're lucky enough to know a foreigner yourself, do not get surprised when other foreigners you meet are not exactly the same as the one you know.
3) When a foreigner comes into your shop, do not get 6 inches behind him or her and follow him or her around pulling random things off racks and smiling hopefully. When he or she tells you nicely to go away, just go away. If the foreigner needs help, he or she will ask for it.
4) I know Turkish is a beautiful and complicated and amazing language that only Turkish people could ever manage properly, but when a foreigner speaks Turkish, do not squeal with delight and say how nice or sweet it is. Do not say in amazement, 'Oh, you speak Turkish! Say something in Turkish! It's so cute!' We are not trained monkeys.
5) Allow me to offer a more general piece of advice that doesn't apply to just foreigners. You know in your car, on the right-hand side of the steering wheel there's that stick? And when you push it up or down some lights flash, and there may even be a delightful clicking or pinging noise? That stick is there for a reason. It's to let people know you're going to turn. It's there because pedestrians and other drivers can't read your mind (not even foreigners!), and since you all always have the right of way and can't be bothered to slow down before you make turns, we would like to know ahead of time so we can avoid going in front of your car.
6) Please, please, please, just stop jumping out of your place of business when a foreigner walks by and shouting 'Yes, please!' It makes no sense. It's disconcerting. It's the best way to insure that the foreigner will run away from your restaurant and buy nothing in your shop.
7) You know how you don't like it when virtual strangers ask you really personal questions like how much your rent is, or how much money you make, or why you don't have children? Well, foreigners don't like that either.
8) Sitting and giggling with your friends and saying things like 'How are you I'm fine thanks' or 'I love you' in English or any other foreign language is not a good way to attract foreigners of the opposite sex.
9) I can't generalize this to all foreigners, but I know it's true of many: Stop touching our babies! Get your fingers out of their mouths! Refrain from grabbing their hands and kissing them! I don't know where your hands have been. For all I know, you could have been cleaning gas station toilets or inseminating racing camels before you came and stuck your hands all over my baby's lips. I don't know if you have some nasty, contagious weeping sores in your mouth. Babies are cute, I get it, but they're not public property. If you really must do something to our babies, the polite thing is to at least interact with the mother first. Seriously, doesn't it freak you out to turn around and see your baby's hand in some stranger's mouth?
10) Last, most foreigners do not hate Turkey or Turkish people, and way fewer of them than you think hate Muslims. To be honest, most foreigners probably haven't even thought about Turkey or Turkish people enough to even form an opinion about them. Many foreigners have not thought about Turkey or Turkish people at all. Really. Before I came to Turkey, I'd discussed Turkey and Turkish people with my friends and family approximately... never. So when something baffling happens in the world, it is rarely related to Turkey and foreigners' negative feelings about Turkey or Turkish people.
I do hope I haven't upset anyone with these ten helpful tips. For the most part, you Turks are a good bunch to hang out with, and you do a bang-up job of making people feel welcome. If you could just overcome these last little hurdles, we can learn to understand each other a little better, and things might just get a little nicer here for everyone.