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
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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.
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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

Unique traditions in cities of Turkey

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