Don’t pick up the brush just keep on walking…
Droping their brush in front of you hoping you would pick it up and hand it to him. The result is to apologize and as a token of gratitude, they start shining your shoes. While you think it’s for free, he’ll demand you to pay much more than the price of a regular shoe shine. If you start arguing, more of his colleagues’ might show up to back him up.
This is a very common trick pulled on tourist by taxi drivers all over the world, and Istanbul is no exception to the rule. As a tourist you don’t know the shortest way to your destination, so the taxi driver can easily make an extra tour around the block and spice up the bill.
In case the tourist does know the way, he’ll come up with the excuse that there is a massive traffic jam on the usual route, or simply pretend to be lost.
When you get into a taxi, ask the driver how much you can expect your journey to cost. He’s probably going to tell you that it’s a metered rate, but by asking him what you can expect to pay, he knows that you already have a price in mind.
Again, let’s assume the fare is 16 TL and you hand him a 20 TL bill. The driver seemingly looks a bit around in his cab. After a minute he comes up with only 1 TL in change, claiming he ran out of coins. This way he tries to ‘earn’ another 3 TL.