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National traditions of Turkey. Habits, mentality and the way of living

The peculiarities of the national character, traditions, and customs in Turkey formed more than six centuries ago. This is the time when the Ottoman Empire reigned in the region. Many different nations (Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Syrians, Balkars, and many others) were “melting in this pot”, leaving a great variety of traditions to modern residents of the country. Sometimes it is even hard to understand how so many traditions exist within one nation. At the beginning of the previous century, the secular revolution happened in the country. Because of it, the lifestyle in Turkey has changed as the country adopted many European values. Modern Turkey is a combination of strict traditions of the east, religious limitations, and European influence. All these have harmoniously intertwined in the everyday life of the country.
Despite the fact that Turkey is a great destination for beachside recreation and “all-inclusive” hotels in the opinion of many travelers, fans of …
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Social inequality and class-divided society are one of the country’s peculiarities. There is nothing strange in this for countries of the Middle East, but Turkey has a major difference. Despite the financial status, a person with a university education automatically becomes the country’s elite. Successful politicians, doctors, and engineers are well-respected in Turkey. In bigger cities, the “upper class” knows several foreign languages and actively collaborates with European specialists. These people prefer European clothing style and lifestyle. Middle-class people also have a good education, but they are closer to the national traditions and culture. This happens because this class is constantly growing because of many people from the countryside who move to cities. Local middle class harmoniously combines European and national culture and values. Almost one-third of the country’s population is represented by farmers. As a rule, they have low income, and because of this they have to move a lot (this is particularly true about young people) and often do not have high education. They mostly stick to traditional national values in the language, lifestyle, and culture.
Marriages are very strong in Turkey. Even if there are certain freedoms and changes in many spheres of life, the family is all about traditions in the country. As the majority of the population is Muslin, parents still select future spouses for their children in most cases. When choosing a husband, Turkish families strictly follow the traditional rule – a woman’s wealth must not decrease once she becomes married. Because of this, marriages usually happen between people of the same social class. The groom’s family is obliged to pay money to the bride’s family (in recent years, this money usually goes to the young family). Imam’s blessing is an important part of the ceremony. The wedding ritual lasts several days, and it is very important to follow all the traditions and rules. The share of divorced couples is very small in the country. Children can stay with any of the parents. After divorce, people usually marry again fast, and they often choose other divorcees as their partners. Families are usually big, and all relatives keep in touch and care for each other, so all members of the family can be sure they will get help in case of troubles. This is the reason why there are almost no problems like lonely elderly people or juvenile crime in Turkey. Copyright
The luxury hotels in Turkey, deserving attention of the most discerning traveler.
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Men are obliged to provide financial support for their wives and children, as well as care for homes. Women are obliged to take care of all family members and do household work. Turkish women usually dress modestly and prefer to cover most of their bodies. Even though there are more and more girls who prefer European clothing style in big cities, traditions are very strong in the countryside. It is possible to understand the social status of a woman by the way she is dressed. As a rule, families have many children. Kids are cherished and pampered in the country. It is also absolutely normal to ask a childless couple whether they are planning to have kids. In men only groups, it is typical to discuss such questions as future heirs. Boys under 12 are raised mostly by their mothers, but as they become older they join the male part of the family. Women raise their daughters until they are married. In local cafes and restaurants, it is easy to see families with children at any time of the day – this is considered normal in Turkey. The majority of dining establishments have stools and menus for children.
Kaş There are strict rules regarding relations between people of different age and gender. When talking to older men, local people add “-bey” after their name and “-hanim” when talking to women. A local man cannot shake the hand of a woman he knows unless she gives an agreement to that. When dealing with unknown women, this gesture symbolizes an invitation to “a more intimate acquaintance”, and this fact sometimes causes misunderstanding between female tourists and local men. In public transport and areas, women must sit close to other women. Men are not allowed to sit near unknown women unless they get permission.
The best hideaways for couples in love, as well as top hotels for wedding and honeymoon.
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Turkish hospitality is an essential part of lifestyle Acquaintances and members of the same family often visit each other. A refusal to an invitation can greatly offend the host. When accepting an invitation, keep in mind that even a very short visit will last no less than 2 hours. Naturally, no visit is possible without a leisure talk and numerous dishes carefully prepared by hospitable hosts. Do not refuse to eat food as hosts will be very offended in that case. If you are invited to a restaurant, the person who made an invitation pays for food. In all Muslim countries, there is a tradition of taking food with the right hand only (due to religion). The majority of the country’s population does fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. During this time of the year, it is prohibited to eat or smoke until the dark. Shops and restaurants work all night long during Ramadan. The end of the fasting is always a merry and colorful celebration. To be able to visit restaurants and entertainment venues, one will need to book tables or buy tickets in advance. Local people tend to treat small etiquette mistakes of foreign tourists with understanding, but it is still better to ask hotels’ staff about peculiarities of certain cities and its most signature venues. When choosing an outfit, it is better to select clothing that covers the body. Leave shorts and swimsuits for beaches.
Turkey guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Turkey

Reference information
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas in Turkey
♥   Meryem Ana Evi, Bülbüldağı. On the map   Photos
♥   St. John’s Cathedral, Izmir. On the map   Photos
♥   Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique Saint Antoine de Padoue, Istanbul. On the map   Photos
♥   Ayatriada Rum Katoliki Kilise, Istanbul. On the map   Photos
♥   Basilique-Cathédrale Saint-Esprit, Istanbul. On the map   Photos
Map of all castles
Castles of Turkey
♥   Castle 'Namrun Kalesi' . On the map   Photos
♥   Castle 'Rumelihisaru' . On the map   Photos
♥   Castle 'Yoros Castle' . On the map   Photos
Country maps Maps of Turkey
Car rental on Car rental in Turkey
Map of cities Cities map of Turkey
Map of sights Map of sights in Turkey

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Famous sites of Turkey in pictures

Unique traditions in cities of Turkey

Istanbul residents value their homes, so they always remove their shoes when they enter a house. This rule applies to mosques, which are also considered the house for everyone. Food is one of the most important aspects of life. The Turks can talk and argue on this topic endlessly. But when it comes to alcoholic beverages, the locals are more than careful - alcohol is banned by their religion. Tourists should also not walk on the streets of the city with a bottle of beer in their hands as this … Read more
It is worth noting that the locals are very friendly, polite and hospitable. When communicating with new friends they pay attention, first of all, to manners of a newcomer and how good a person is familiar with the rules of the etiquette. Travelers are strongly recommended to learn at least several phrases in Turkish prior a trip to Turkey. Just a few phrases in their native language can make the locals very friendly, and they will be happy to help a polite tourist who is interested in their … Read more
The locals have numerous interesting signs and superstitions, some of which coincide with the Slavic signs. For example, if a person’s left hand is itching, this may be a sign of large material profit. When a person's ears start to burn, this is the first sign that someone is discussing him/her. There is also an interesting ritual connected with funeral. Relatives of the deceased person should treat all the people present with candies. It is believed that after this the deceased will be … Read more
Many interesting traditions are associated with children. The birth of a baby remains the greatest joy for each family. When a baby is brought to a house for the first time, the owners make a magnificent banquet with many delicacies. Everyone, who passes the house, can come in and join the celebration. It is believed that after this ceremony the baby will grow generous and its home will always be wealthy. If two or more families have children on the same day, the happy parents should absolutely … Read more
On the contrary, locals take care of the birds and never hurt their unique "pets". The city has several dozen pigeon houses, some of which were built more than a hundred years ago. Walking through the city streets, the images of pigeons can be seen at every step. There are many thematic sculptures; the images of pigeons adorn street lamps and facades of some buildings. An important part of the city's culture is traditional crafts, to which locals have been committed for many years. … Read more
By the way, Herodotus, the "father of history" was born here (formerly the city was called Halicarnassus). No guide will fail to mention it during the tour, as local residents are very proud of this fact. Speaking of their mindset, it is worth noting that it's quite difficult to offend them. However, they will be surely offended by the rejection of the invitation for dinner from a person they like. Therefore, you should not do this, especially if you want to get acquainted with the … Read more
For some travelers, local people may look somewhat slow, but that is only an impression. Locals are not slow but relaxed because of their positive approach to life. They do not like to hurry when there is no particular need to hurry. Of course, they will not be late for an important meeting, but the way they prepare for that meeting may look somewhat slow. At the same time, locals can sometimes be a bit irresponsible. Sometimes they may not keep their word (even though they will try to do … Read more
The price for handmade rugs is rather high as the creation of a single rug absorbs a master for several months. The awesome rugs are primarily made of goat hair and lamb wool which are also spun by hand. Setting off to one of the local markets to hunt some memorable souvenirs, tourists should keep in mind an important tradition of bargaining – before making a purchase one should necessarily try to reduce the price for goods in a way of bargaining which is considered to be a unique ceremony. … Read more

Map of Turkey regions with authentic traditions

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