Customs and Traditions in Turkey

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What are the most important customs and traditions in Turkey? What do you know about Turkish customs and traditions? What are the similarities and differences between Arab and Turkish customs and traditions?

Turkey, customs and traditions

You must be reading this article and intending to visit Turkey, or perhaps dreaming about it Turkey is a beautiful country, which beauty is not hidden from anyone, or, as it is said, no one can deny its beauty.

Pictures from this country invade social media, newspapers and magazines. Perhaps the first images that appear in your mind when you pronounce “Turkey”, is a cup of tea, a blue bead, colored carpets, engagement rings tied with a red ribbon, a basket of Turkish bread,…and others.

Social media, magazines, newspapers, and Turkish series were not keen to show these things in abundance, so that they were almost associated with the image of Turkey, but these things are Turkey, and it is the customs and traditions of the Turkish people, the friendly, and even the most friendly people in the world, for kindness and hospitality is a habit to them, they are known for their good address to strangers, you must have heard words such as “I regret, Abe, Agaby” those words that address a strange man, or an old man, and words such as “Hanaim” for a woman, and “Ablah” Big sister, they are Turkish words, not Arabic, as you know them from many colloquial Arabic dialects, and this is not surprising, Turkey is similar in many customs and traditions with Arab countries, yet some of its customs will surprise you, with its strangeness and beauty.

Turkey and the cup of tea:

Tea is the most prevalent popular drink in Turkey, and Turkey is the country that consumes the most tea. There are no official times for tea in Turkey. If you are a guest in Turkey, do not be surprised when tea is served at noon in the summer. Tea is drunk in every time, morning and evening, before and after food, in summer and winter and at all times, it is a form of hospitality and welcome, where the host continues to pour tea to his/her guest without asking him/her, until the guest places the small spoon that is served next to the tea cup over the cup’s mouth. It is known that Turkish tea is made in a special way, as the jugs are designed in a way to put two teapots on top of each other, one for tea and the other containing hot water. And the fact that tea is one of the most important Turkish customs shows the interest to a large extent in the design of jugs and tea cups.

Hungry guest and coffee in Turkey:

Coffee comes in second place after tea in Turkey. A cup of coffee is served with a glass of water to the guest. The hungry guest drinks the cup of water immediately after drinking the coffee, as an indication that he is hungry, so the host serves the food, but if he is not hungry, he only drinks coffee. This custom is one of the well-known Arab customs in the past, but the it is of Turkish origin.

The Turkish groom drinks “salty” coffee:

One of the most exciting Turkish customs is the bride offering salty coffee to the groom when he comes to her house to ask for marrying her, as a kind of test of the extent of his love for the girl, and the amount of salt in the coffee is related to the girl’s acceptance of the young man. But if you put a small amount, it will be a sign of her acceptance, and the poor groom who shows his discomfort with the salty coffee means that he failed the test and this may be a reason for the girl to refuse him, unlike the young man who drinks the whole cup without complaining, this is evidence of the much love the young man has for that girl and his devotion to her.

Take off your shoes:

Never think, Take off your shoes at the door of the house before entering”, as this is one of the most important customs of the Turkish people, that indicates their love for cleanliness, which in turn provides clean slippers to wear before entering the house, do not think that the matter is limited to winter only, they brush carpets in summer and winter, and replace the carpets in the summer with less thick ones.

Give your gift first:

One of the customs of the guest in Turkey is to bring a gift with him/her, especially on his/her first visit, and among the gifts loved by the Turkish people is “chocolate, cake, a bouquet of flowers, or just bring something with you from your country if you are from another country.

Do not leave before midnight:

In Turkey, the guest leaving early before midnight is evidence that he is not satisfied with his visit.

The new neighbor and the empty plate:

If you are a new neighbor, your neighbors will bring you a plate of candy, or cake, or….

As a token of love, the Turkish people love to share food, which is a sign of affection for the other person, and the neighbor has to visit back and return the plate after a short period, for example, a week, provided that he/she does not put something on the plate to share with his neighbor.

Who pays the restaurant bill:

When you are a guest in Turkey, and you are invited to dinner, it is the host who pays the restaurant bill and trying to pay is considered an insult to him.

blue bead:

One of the most important and most prevalent customs in Turkey is the blue bead. You will not find a home, an office, or any place in Turkey without a blue eye. They hang the blue bead to ward off envy and evil from their homes and workplaces.

Wedding with a red ribbon:

One of the customs of engagement in Turkey is that the groom’s father brings the engagement rings over a flat tray tied with a red ribbon, and this means that the bond between the bride and groom will last forever, and the girl’s father or mother cuts the ribbon, meaning that they accept the groom’s relation with their daughter, and her leaving the family to join his family.

The red ribbon is also not absent in the wedding, where the bride’s father or brother ties the bride’s waist with the red ribbon, as evidence that the bride is a virgin, and this is one of the widespread customs in the Turkish countryside.

Water brings luck, and the salt on traveler’s shoulders:

One of the oldest customs in Turkey, if someone travels, they throw water behind him, in order for his/her trip to be successful and for him/her to come back safe and healthy. They also put salt on the shoulders of the traveler to protect him on his trip.

Mourning habits:

In mourning, the Turks recite Qur’an on the dead, and talk about his/her qualities. Relatives of the dead also refrain from wearing colored clothes or attending events until their sadness is gone. Food and sweets that the deceased loves are prepared, and distributed for his soul on the third, forty-seventh and fifty-second day, and on the anniversary. This is due to their belief that these foods will reach the dead as they reach the living, and the dead will be happy with it.

There are many and varied customs and traditions in Turkey, despite the simplicity of most of them, the Turkish people made them distinguished by their beauty through their unique style.

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