Turkish Cultural Habits
The world is rich in habits and culture. You can fell
it when you visit another country and you get shocked with something
that is not "normal" for you. We will talk here about some Turkish
Turks have the habit of removing their shoes before
entering home. Do not be embaraced if you visit a Turkish family
and see in the entrance of the house or even outside the main door
a lot of shoes ! The reason is good and simple: cleanliness ! When
you walk in the streets, shoes will be in contact with a lot of
dirt and the Turks don't want to bring it home.
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- the marriage in a notary lasts about 5 to 10 minutes. The
bride usually wear bride western clothes and everybody will
clap their hands after the YES!
- after the couple marries, the bride will receive a lot of
gold gifts and money!! Good isn't it ? Relatives and friends
hang in the bride gold coins with a red bow, gold necklaces,
gold bracelets, money shines, etc... If there is a party the
bride will wear the gifts. The bride also carries a small bag,
where she keeps some of the gold gifts if they are so many.
Depending on the wealth of the family and friends, the gifts
pays the party and more ...
- official marriage in Turkey is done at the
notary and the religious one with a religious party. Turkey
is a secular country, a man can marry only a woman in the
notary, but a man can marry at most 4 women in the Islamic
religion. The percentage of poligamic men is very small in
Turkey and usually the population do not approve such marriages.
- when a child is born or is circumcisized, relatives and friends
give them a gold coin with a red bow.
- in villages there is usually a coffee bar. In this coffee bar you
will see only men drinking tea
or coffee, smoking and
talking. The women's permanence in such places is not prohibited.
They also meet at their own houses to have tea and talk gossips!
- a typical Turk drinks approximately around 10 glasses of black
tea pro day. Tea is the most popular drink in Turkey.
- if you are in Turkey on November 10th at 9:05 you will see something
very interesting. Almost all the population make one minute of silence.
It is interesting to see a metropole like Istanbul, in a crowd place
where millions of people, cars and buses stop for one minute. It is
like to stop a film. This minute of silence is in memory of the death
of the founder of the Turkish republic, Mustafa
Kemal Ataturk. Some museum clocks are also stopped at 9:05, this
is also in honor of Ataturk.
- Turks are very superstitious !!
- when a child is born, relatives and friends give her/him
an evil eye. Usually the family hangs in the child an object
that the Turks calls "nazar boncuk" (see picture at this page)
which is a blue evil eye. The evil eye can be made of gold depending
on the wealth of the family.
- the "nazar boncuk" can also be put in the entrance of the
house (the person already enters and sees that the house is
protected), outside of the house, in the office, in the car,
it can also be used as a jewelery. The "nazar boncuk" in its
original form is a blue eye but it can also be represented in
a bracelet or in an earring with a blue stone.
- Turkish men greet by kissing each other in their faces. This is
a normal thing to see in Turkey. Man kisses man, woman kisses woman
and woman kisses man in both cheeks. Religious women don't kiss men.
- there is a ritual when a younger person greets an eldery person
of the same family or a closed friend. The eldery person gives his/her
hand and the youngest person kisses the hand and take the hand towards
his/her forehead. This is a sign of respect.
- Turkish families love to offer something to their guests. It can
be lunch, dinner or a tea. If you have an invitation to visit a Turkish
family, go with an empty stomach! Usually the woman of the family
cook delicious dishes during the whole day and offer a banquet. Taste
a little bit of everything because if you reject something they will
As Turkey is rich with cultural habits, we will give continuation to
that subject in another opportunity!
Date: July 23rd, 2002
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