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The culture of Turkey is a blend of diverse and rich elements that have passed down through the generations from the various cultures such as Arabic, Armenian, Middle East and Central Asia traditions. Originally The Ottoman Empire was the gathering point for all those traditions, which was a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state at the same time.
For this week’s article we will talk about some Turkish traditions and cultural elements which may be new and even useful for those who live in Turkey.
Breakfast (Kahvaltı in Turkish) is certainly one of the most important cultural elements for Turkish people. It is the most important meal of the day. We enjoy long breakfast hours because it is a gathering point that brings friends and family together. Do not be surprised if you hear about those famous Sunday breakfasts and consider yourself lucky if you can join a Sunday breakfast :)
Turkish Tea and Turkish Coffee
In Turkey, almost every hour of the day is tea time or coffee time for us! Turkish people drink tea at breakfast and then after the breakfast there is a coffee time where you usually sit down with your friends around the kitchen table or maybe in the saloon and chat with them. Then at the five o’clock tea time you can have another tea and also some snacks before dinner. After dinner evening tea time is the perfect time when you can gather with your family members and maybe watch a movie or a Turkish series.
Shoes and Slippers
Turkish people leave their shoes at the house entrance or on the stairs and wear slippers inside the house. They also expect their visitors to remove their shoes before entering their houses and provide slippers to their visitors.
We can say that sharing is a very important cultural element for Turkish people. We love sharing and we share a lot. We love offering food or drink to the people around us. It is partly religious and also a cultural custom.
Nazar Boncuğu (Evil Eye Bead)
You probably heard about Nazar Boncuğu because it is a very common belief in Turkey. Evil eye may not be the best translation, but usually it is translated like this. We have a bead named Nazar Boncuğu. It is a blue glass in the shape of an eye, and it actually fights with the negative energy. Wearing evil eyes is so common in Turkey. We believe that it protects us from the negative energies of bad people. Traditionally, Evil eyes are pinned onto newborn babies’ clothes or you can see them hanging above doors in houses against bad luck.
Turkish Baths (Hamams)
Hamam is a cultural time-held tradition which comes from the Ottomans and means a steam bath. It is a public bathing place and it is associated with the Islamic world. You can also gather with your family and friends here. It is like a meeting place where people can clean up, relax and socialize with other people. For more information about the Turkish Hammams you can check out here.
Religious holidays are celebrated with enthusiasm in Turkey because on these holidays people visit their families, relatives and friends. Everyone wears their newest and most beautiful clothes. Especially kids have these new clothes called ‘bayramlık’ for holidays and they visit their grandparents to kiss their hands which is another cultural tradition for Turkish people.
Also, people help those in need sometimes with money, food or whatever they need. Because they believe sharing is the most important thing especially on those holy days.
Hıdırellez is a holiday celebrated as the day on which the Prophets Al-Khidr (Hızır) and Elijah (İlyas) met on Earth. In Turkey, it is celebrated with a great excitement. It is also celebrated in Crimea, Syria, Iraq and the Balkans. It starts on May 5 night and falls on May 6 in the Gregorian calendar. People celebrates the arrival of spring with Hıdırellez.
In this week’s article, we’ve talked about some Turkish cultures and traditions which are important in Turkey. Maybe you already know some of them or this is the first time you’ve heard about them. We’ll continue to share different contents and articles for you. Follow our blog for more,
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