The Ottoman empire was the longest dynasties in history, and the Turkish culture stands to be one of the most interesting cultures and traditions.
The unique but diverse Turkish culture was influenced by other cultures and civilizations from across the world. It is a blend of western and central Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and Caucasian and East European traditions. However, its main roots of culture still belong to the Middle East and Balkan.
There is a lot to discover about the food, preferences, customs, beliefs, and why Turks behave in a specific type of way.
This article will uncover the interesting facts of the Turkish Culture that you are unfamiliar with. So, when you plan on paying a visit to Turkey, you won’t be clueless.
Interesting Facts of Turkish Culture
Get to know the interesting facts of Turkish culture before you go journeying to Turkey.
1. Turkish Desserts Often Come with A Chicken
Turkey, famous for kebabs and other delicious chicken cuisines, surprises you with a chicken blend dessert. The chicken breast pudding, tavuk gögsü, is an extraordinary dessert on the menu of Turks, and it was the favorite confectionery of the Ottoman Sultans. It is a delightful fusion of milk, sugar, boiled shredded chicken, and cinnamon toppings.
This strange dessert is served throughout the country, and its delectable taste makes you relish the flavor of Turkish culture.
2. Smiling at Random People Is Deemed Weird
Before you pay a visit to Turkey, bear in mind that Turkish people don’t go around smiling at strangers, unlike you. Smiling at a familiar face is normal but not random passersby.
Although this expression might seem a bit unusual to you, it should not be misunderstood for rudeness because it reflects their culture. Befriending a Turk would display the hospitable and friendly Turkish culture and their amiable nature, giving you a life-long friend.
Now when you travel to Turkey, remember not to smile at strangers, or else you’d be a goofy smiling weirdo for them.
3. Turkish People Are Quite Superstitious – Evil Eye Is Their Protector
The Turkish culture concerning belief runs deep, and therefore, superstitions are something they believe exist.
The blue eye souvenirs, well-known for Nazar Boncugu, are believed to ward off negative energy. The traditional Turkish society deemed that the evil eye exudes negative vibes and energy send your way by the envious people around you and the glass quashes it away.
These evil eyes are hung out on houses, offices, businesses, and transport vehicles for a bit of good luck. The clothes of newborn babies are often too pegged with these souvenirs.
4. Emotions Are Overloaded In the Turks
Turkish people are overloaded with emotions. Their emotions speak volumes, whether it be in a marketplace shouting or showing care and affection towards a child.
The children there get many treats, patting, waving, and constant love from the people surrounding them. The expressive and emotional self depicts the intriguing Turkish culture.
These passionate people always celebrate their wins with great enthusiasm, whereas they bawl out their eyes together in times of loss. Before being judgemental, let’s not forget that their culture, ideologies, and beliefs make them this expressive.
Tourists might often find the heightened emotions of the natives a bit unusual, and therefore, their courageous expressive self should not be misperceived.
5. Turkish Language Is an Easy Language
The longest Turkish words with a glance give you a scare, but it is not difficult than it seems to be. The dialect of Turkish is spoken across Asia, giving them a familiarity over the language, unlike the Europeans who seem clueless.
The conversion of the Turkish script took place around 1920, and it was converted to Latin alphabets from the Arabic script. It resulted in the simplification of the vocabulary.
Turkish is an easy language to learn if it interests you.
Your obliviousness towards the language won’t be an issue on your trip to Turkey because the expressive Turks guide you in their mother tongue through various gestures and signs. It helps even if you don’t know the language!
6. Tea – The National Drink of Turks
No matter what time it is, tea is a custom drink of Turkish culture.
The elegant glass brimming with tea is served as a welcome greeting at houses, shops, and other places in Turkey. On a stroll around the city or near a beach, people with a thermos are seen selling this special drink in paper cups.
The most exceptional custom is that tea is consumed and meals too like a drink or a soda. It is impolite to decline when someone offers you a cup of tea.
When in Turkey, a sip of tea is something you can’t miss.
7. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – Founder of Turkish Nation
The founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey was Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who took the initiative to galvanize Turkey after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. Within 15 years, during his rule, he developed a strong and modern country.
His devotion and contribution towards the country impacted the hearts of his people, and therefore he received a high recognition after Allah, their God.
Portraits of Atatürk have been hung and pasted all over the country. He has won the hearts of Turks and continues to do so.
8. Turkish People prefer to keep their shoes outside
The usual accustomed habits of western culture and other cultures of walking indoors with shoes are not seen around Turkey.
The Turkish culture is acclimated to keeping their footwears outside the entrance of the door. That is why you see dozens of shoes piled up near the threshold of the house or an apartment when you visit one.
Turks are cleanliness friendly, and they believe that the dirt and dust carried by the sandals or shoes are better kept outdoors than dirtying the indoors.
Well, an interesting fact is, no passerby is keen on stealing the shoes!
9. Turks Do Not Follow Strict Driving Rules
Turks don’t follow driving rules strictly. Surprising? Well, that’s another facet of the country, just like some countries around the world.
The fast driving with no heed paid to red signals and crosswalks is another feature of Turks. Before crossing a road, pedestrians have to check left and right twice, even with a lit green signal.
While crossing the roads, it is suggested to walk quickly. If you wait for the vehicles to pause so that you can cross, you’ll never get to be on the other side of the road.
Side-walkers, as well as drivers, always have to be super careful while driving.
10. Turkish People Are Clean Freaks
Cleanliness is next to Godliness is the salient feature of Turkish culture. Whether it be food, clothing, personal items, houses, or public places, cleanliness is the country’s main priority.
No matter how old or new the houses are, but neatness and tidiness are what you’ll find around. Public places like beaches, parks, streets, food stalls, or eatery are not littered with waste. Hence, eating and enjoying the street food at the smallest of the smallest stalls is not unhygienic.
To sum it up, an inquisitive fact of Turkish culture is that Turkish men and women are obsessed with cleaning, and they work towards maintaining the shine and sanitation around them.
11. Circumcision Is a Practice in Turkey
The most common practice of Turkish culture is circumcision. This ritual is an important part of a boy’s life as it marks the process when he starts transforming into a man.
The day is celebrated with the boy wearing beautiful flashy clothes, and it is like another birthday party for him.
12. Turkey Bridges Two Continents
Fascinating, isn’t it? You can travel from Asia to Europe or the other way round by a walk or a drive!
The Bosphorus Strait that divides two continents, Asia and Europe, is united by a suspension bridge, the Bosphorus Bridge of Istanbul. The idea of the bridge was laid by an Ottoman sultan, and its construction began in the year 1970.
This famous bridge of Turkey is approximately 1.5 kilometers wide and is renamed the ’15 July Martyrs Bridge.
13. Smoking Has Become a Turkish Culture
Almost all the people in Turkey smoke a lot, whether it be men or women. It is habitual for Turks to smoke at least one cigarette every day.
The harmful effects of tobacco were not disclosed to the locals for a long time, and also, the supply of cigarettes is quite cheap. Smoking is considered macho in Turkish culture, and people above the age of 12 are not prohibited from smoking. It is believed to work as a stress reliever.
So, don’t be surprised if you see a Turk smoking in public places because they consider it part of their culture.
Turks hold the most interesting traditions that are rare around the world. If you are visiting Turkey, it better to keep these facts of Turkish Culture in mind.
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