I will start studying my Master at Ankara, Turkey soon. I don't know the language and I receive strange behaviors when asking help in English:
I start with "Merhaba" ("Hello" in Turkish) to warm up the conversation then I ask in English, but then they titter;
I start by asking "Do you speak English?" and the response is normally "no", sometimes with a little anger.
And when I directly ask my question in English, some of them try to help e.g. showing directions with hands and speaking Turkish with slow rate, but I can't get most of the conversation as I don't know the language, and a majority of people answer the question in Turkish in a wired manner that they suppose as if I am a native-Turkish-speaker. (why??!)
None of the mentioned problems happen when I am inside the university.
I am supposed to live in here for at least two years. So, getting a taste of the culture and understanding the people is very important to me and I would be very much happy if I can avoid any unintentional disrespect. How can I handle this situation, especially the language problem?
P.S. With all honestly, I am confused: On one hand, a few times I met very friendly people in Turkey I can't imagine they possibly have unkind intentions. On the other hand, the problem shouldn't be from my side because I didn't see similar behaviors traveling in neighboring countries (supposedly be similar cultures) e.g. Iran or Georgia and none of the mentioned problems happen within the Turkish university that I want to study in.
Edit. In the last two days I learnt some Turkish and I used it. But sadly I received much worse reactions. Reasons can be more than I know, but the two reasons I believe are that the people don't like to hear different accents (for being a very homogeneous society) and the other is they think I am an asylum seeker that I have to learn their language. Please correct me if I am wrong but I heard from a few other foreign students felt very unwelcome unless they speak English. The comments and answers are general may not be useful for some countries like Turkey but I do appreciate any guidance written. Last word: I love Turkey even I am not feeling unwelcome. And, my BEST regards and wishes for those (even few) Turks who helped me a lot recently. Thank you. :-)