One of the interesting facts about Turkey is that it lies both in Europe and Asia.. It has a very rich civilization that is influenced by many empires as well as different religions and ethnicities. Moreover, you will witness the marks of both European and Asian cultures in Turkey.
Turkey has changed from a religious Ottoman Empire into a modern state after separating religion and state with the assistance of artistic expression. The enriched history of Turkey played an important role in identifying modern Turkey.
Turkish culture has changed rapidly, the population has switched from being pagan to Christian, and then to Islam. Countless wars have been fought on Turkish soil, so many historic and religious monuments. With its scenic beauty, the lion-hearted people, and an array of cuisines, Turkey is by no doubt a tourist favorite destination.
Turkish culture is the product of efforts that are made to make it modernized while maintaining traditional and historical values. This is one reason why you can find such religious and cultural diversity in the same living quarters. People come from all around the world to experience spiritual journeys or simply a lust for fun and desire. There is something for everyone.
Are you curious to know fun Turkish culture facts? Let’s find out.
Table of Content
- Time Perception in Turkey
- Turkish People Take Care of Cleanliness
- Tea is a National Drink
- Yogurt is a Part of Meal
- Facts to Know about Barber Shops and Hairdressers
- Smoking is Common
- Turkish People Leave Shoes Outside the Apartment
- Alcohol is Allowed in Turkey
- Turkish Evil Eye
- Not Understanding the Turkish Language is not a Problem
- No Lockers in Stores
- Wrapping Up
1. Time Perception in Turkey
If you are used to the stir of Asian and European metropolitan cities, then you will find Turkey culture more laid back, except for Istanbul, where the hustle and bustle of life are like big cities of the world. Turks do their chores slowly.
They drink tea for hours while doing discussions on any topic. If you have a habit of doing everything quickly then you have to take time to adjust to the Turkish laid-back environment. The same goes for Turkish businesses.
If someone tells you in Turkey that he is on his way then don’t expect that he will be on time. It means that the person is on their way but he can stop for lunch or tea and might complete other chores on his way.
Don’t assume that people are avoiding you and they are doing this with purpose. It is a part of their culture. Therefore, you should not be offended and respect their Turkish cultural norms.
2. Turkish People Take Care of Cleanliness
Turkish people give great importance to cleanliness as it is also a part of their religion Islam. They keep their homes clean and tidy. Moreover, cleanliness is shown in everything, from bathrooms to clothing and food. Turkey Culture revolves around Islam which preaches cleanliness as holy and divine.
In Turkey, you will find hotel and Airbnb rooms clean. In addition to it, parks, beaches, streets, playgrounds, and even the schools where admissions are free are also clean. If you want to taste street food in Turkey then you can taste it without any fear of hygiene.
Moreover, you will find the poorest food hawker clean. In the days of the Pandemic, Turkish people abided by all the rules and regulations and kept themselves at a distance to mitigate the spread of the lethal pandemic.
3. Tea is a National Drink
You will be surprised to know that the national drink of Turkey is not any beverage but tea. Turkish people cannot spend an entire day without a glass of tea. Therefore, if anyone is serving you tea, then don’t say no to him.
Even a person that doesn’t like tea so much can drink three or four cups of tea. Tea is served anytime and anywhere in Turkey. In parks or around beaches, you will find people selling tea in paper cups.
Preparing tea is also a ritual in Turkey. Preparing tea is not about putting a teabag in the hot water. Turkish people follow certain recipes for making delicious tea. If you are unaware of the recipe for Turkish tea then you can also buy a recipe book. Turkey culture has a rich history with tea blends, similar to coffee but that is more modern.
The important thing to note is that tea which is used in Turkey is grown in the Karadeniz region which is located in the East of the country. Offering Tea to someone in Turkey is considered a treat. Thus, if you say No to tea, you can offend the Turkish people.
4. Yogurt is a Part of the Meal
Turks are of the view that they are the pioneer of yogurt that was brought in the region 1500 years ago. Yogurt in Turkey is not a part of snacks and desserts, but it is an important part of the food.
People eat yogurt in all three meals which are breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They use yogurt to cool down themselves in scorching heat and to quench their thirst.
Yogurt in Turkey is different from the yogurt that we use in our daily lives. It is yogurt mixed with salt and water and is known as Aryan. The other type of yogurt is extra rich and creamy yogurt.
This kind of yogurt is very tasty and helps in digesting food. Sweet fruit yogurt is also available in Turkey, but it is not much liked by the people.
Moreover, it is also expensive because it is imported from other countries. If you get a chance to visit Turkey, then don’t forget to order yogurt with the meal.
5. Facts to Know about Barber Shops and Hairdressers
The interesting thing about Barbershops in Turkey is that only men work in Barbershops, and they deal with only men. Whereas female hairdressers work in female saloons only. Moreover, you will find more barbershops than salons.
This is because Turkish men are very conscious of their looks. Thus, if you are a female then you should go to the salon for a haircut and if you are a man then you should visit a barbershop.
As a traveler, you must know about this tradition, otherwise, you can come across an embarrassing situation.
6. Smoking is Common
The other fact that everyone wants to understand about Turkish culture is their smoking habits. Turk people are habitual smokers. Men and women both smoke. They smoke one cigarette at least a day. They don’t advertise the harmful effects of tobacco in public.
Cigarettes are cheap in-country, so children start smoking from the age of 12, and smoking at an early age is considered a sign of manhood. Other people smoke to overcome the daily stress of life.
Thus, if you are visiting Turkey then don’t overreact to seeing smokers as you will find them everywhere. Smoking is a vital part of Turkish culture, and you should accept it.
7. Turkish People Leave Shoes Outside the Apartment
In some European countries, people take off their shoes while entering the house. They put the shoes in closets or beside the door. But in Turkey, taking off shoes before entering the house is customary.
This custom makes the entrance of the house look like a retail shoe shop. One of the best parts is that nobody tries to steal shoes from outside the house.
Turkish people are of the view that they occupy the space in the apartments and houses with the dirt of the streets by taking the shoes in. If there is a lot of space outside the house and on the stairs, then there is no use in making shoes in the house and making the house dirty.
8. Alcohol is Allowed in Turkey
You will be astonished to know that Turkey is the only Muslim country where alcohol is allowed by law. Although alcohol is not forbidden, it is very expensive. Buying and consuming alcohol with friends will cost you more than three meals in a day.
The cheapest local beer is Efes, and it costs 2 pounds from the grocery stores and three or four pounds from bars. These alcoholic drinks are also expensive in metro cities of the country.
Local wine costs three to four pounds from restaurants. If you visit villages, then you will get local traditional wine at less price. Therefore, many drinkers love to visit villages.
9. Turkish Evil Eye
After landing in Turkey, the first thing you will come across is an evil eye bead. It is a cultural symbol with a history of 5000 years. It is used massively in the country, especially for people who bought a new car or new house or on the arrival of a baby.
This sign is used to remove the negative energy of jealous people. Turkish people use this evil eye in necklaces, bracelets, and many other forms of jewelry.
You will not only find evil eyes in the jewelry shops, however, you will also see signs of good omens hanging in the houses, offices, and shops of Turkish people. This symbol is an important part of their culture.
10. Not Understanding the Turkish Language is not a Problem
The important fact to know about Turkish people is that if you don’t know the Turkish language then they don’t bother. Even if you don’t know any Turkish words and the Turkish person doesn’t know the language that you speak, they don’t make it a problem.
He or she still tries to communicate with you with gestures no matter if you understand or not. This situation is seen with old people and people living in the village.
But it can happen anywhere in the country. So, you should not mind if anyone in Turkey still tries to communicate with you even after knowing that you don’t understand Turkish.
Language is not a barrier to communication in Turkish culture. They give more importance to emotions and gestures.
11. No Lockers in Stores
When you walk into a store in Turkey, you will be surprised to find that there are no storage boxes or lockers available. This is not just true for grocery stores but most other types of stores as well, except for IKEA.
So if you have a backpack or bag that you would hope to drop off at the entrance before going shopping, unfortunately, this isn’t an option in Turkey. It’s commonplace that people would carry their bags along with them during shopping. Therefore, it’s a good idea to always pack light and try not to carry too many things in your hands. However, even if you bring a large suitcase or a dozen other bags of groceries, no one is going to utter a word about it.
This practice is deeply ingrained in Turkish culture and reflects a few different values, including a sense of personal responsibility and the idea that customers should take care of their own belongings. While it may take some getting used to for visitors or newcomers, it’s just one of the many interesting cultural differences that make traveling and experiencing new places so exciting.
Turkey is a country of rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant culture. From its ancient archaeological wonders to its modern bustling cities, Turkey offers a unique blend of old and new. Its cuisine tantalizes taste buds with a delightful mix of flavors, while its warm hospitality welcomes travelers from all corners of the globe. Whether exploring the historic sites of Istanbul, marveling at the natural wonders of Cappadocia, or enjoying the serene beaches along the Mediterranean coast, Turkey promises unforgettable experiences. As a crossroads between Europe and Asia, Turkey stands as a bridge between different cultures, making it a captivating destination for both adventurers and history enthusiasts alike.
After knowing the funny facts about Turkey, you must be even more inclined on visiting this amazing country. These cultural facts will help you in dealing with the Turkish people and you can enjoy your trip without any problem. Turkish dramas are also getting popular worldwide and people are getting aware of Turkish culture through these dramas too.