What do you think about Turkish culture?

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  • tvdxer

    Senior Member
    Minnesota, U.S.A. - English
    - Muslim, but secular compared to Arab countries
    - Rivalry with Greece
    - Odd language that is completely unrelated to Greek or Arabic
    - Hummus :)
    - Cigarettes and tobacco are an important part of the culture
    - Once dominated the Middle East and southeastern Europe
    - The Armenian genocide is a very sensitive matter
    - Kind of the gateway to the Middle East from Europe, or vice versa
     

    karlah

    New Member
    Spanish/Mexico df
    I don't know 'bout their culture, but the only thing I can say is that they're so cool. I had the oportunity of metting a lot of turkish girls and boys and most of all of them were real nice and very honest with great eyes and really hansdsome and the majority had a necklace or a bracelet with eyes on it..for good luck I think... but at least the young people I met were such a beautiful people!!!=)

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    Pivra

    Senior Member
    ...
    ISTANBUL..... CITY OF MY DREAM....
    TURKISH DELITES
    TURKISH BATH
    TURKEY (as in a country)
    BYZANTIUM EMPIRE
    OTTOMAN EMPIRE
    KEBABS.... these are images that come into my mind when I think of Turkey
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Mod Note: In an effort to provide Language_Master with a better understanding of your answers, please provide your opinions in the context of sentences as opposed to simple lists, which really do not convey much.

     

    Language_Master

    New Member
    USA: Turkish-Turkey
    Population
    About 80% of the people in Turkey are Turks who originally come from central Asia, while 17% are Kurds who are in a majority in the eastern and southeastern territories. The remaining 3% is a variety of smaller ethnic groups, including Greeks, Armenians, and Jews . About 65% of the total population is now classified as urban people. Although Ankara is the capital of Modern Turkey, Istanbul is still the largest city and also industrial , commercial, and intellectual center of the country.
    LANGUAGE
    Turkish, is the official language of the country, that is related to the Uralic-Altaic languages spoken across from Finland to China. The language has undergone major reforms during the 20th century. Arabic and Persian scripts were used during the Ottoman Empire period, but a modified Latin-based alphabet, with some extra letters, was introduced in 1928 which has been spoken since then. The Turkish alphabet doesn't contain the letters "Q , W, X . of the English alphabet. Most of the Kurdish minority speaks Kurdish which also has some common words with Turkish Language. Arabic is also spoken especially in the Southeastern provinces. English is also becoming a popular foreign language probably as third language.

    RELIGION
    About 98% of Turkey's population is Muslim (about two-thirds Sunni, one-third Shia). But the Turkish government makes it very clear that Turkey is a secular state with complete freedom of religion. The Turks had converted to Islam on their way to Anatolia from Central Asia. Islam is not the state religion, its status as such was abolished in 1924. Before the declaration of the republic, Turkey was the home of the "caliph", the leader of the world's Muslim community. Although Turkish laws and other social structures are not based on Islamic principles, Islam maintains some influence on society especially in the rural areas. Traditional dress which was widely used during the pre-republic period differs from region to region and may still be worn in rural areas or for special occasions.

    GREETINGS AND GESTURES
    When greeting friends or strangers, one shakes hands and says " Nasilsiniz " ( How are you? ) or "Merhaba" ( Hello ). A typical response to Nasilsiniz is " Iyiyim ", " tesekkur ederim "( Fine, thank you ). Among friends, greetings are followed by polite inquiries about one's health, family, and work. Among close friends of the same (and sometimes the opposite) gender, Turks clasp hands and kiss on both cheeks when greeting. To show respect, an older person's hands may be kissed and brought to touch the greeter's forehead. The young often greet each other with " Selam " ( salute ). Someone entering a room, office, or tea house might say " Gunaydin " ( Good morning ) or " Iyi gunler " ( Have a nice day ). When parting, it is customary to wish for blessings from Allah "Allahaismarladik", to which the response is " Gule gule " ( Be on your way with a smile ). Upon joining a small group, one greets each person individually. When addressing others formally, professional titles are used. Among peers or with younger persons, the title "Hanim" is used for women and " Bey " for men. These titles follow the given name for example, Leyla Hanim or Ismail Bey. With older people, one uses " Abla " for women (Fatma Abla) or " Agabey " (Ahmet Agabey) for men. These terms mean sister and brother . If there is a great difference of age, the terms aunt and uncle are used, again after the first name: " Teyze "(Fatma Teyze) for women and " Amca " (Ahmet Amca) for men. Turks generally use their hands a great deal during conversation, forming gestures that add meaning as well as emphasis. Social courtesies are valued in Turkey, and Islamic conventions are observed by many. For example, it is offensive to point the sole of the foot toward another person, and it can be seen as an insult to pass an item with the left hand; it is best to use both hands or just the right one. Deference towards older people, or those with higher status, is customary, and it is considered disrespectful for young men and women to cross their legs in front of an older or more senior person. Public displays of affection are not acceptable. The word No can be expressed by either shaking the head or lifting it up once quickly.
     

    Language_Master

    New Member
    USA: Turkish-Turkey
    ARTSA transition from Islamic artistic traditions under the Ottoman Empire to a more secular , Western orientation has taken place in Turkey. Turkish painters today are striving to find their own art forms, free from Western influence. Sculpture is less developed, and public monuments are usually heroic representations of Ataturk and events from the war of independence. Literature is considered the most advanced of contemporary Turkish arts. Many critics regard Kemal Tahir as the greatest modern Turkish novelist. Among authors translated into English is Yasar Kemal.
    MUSIC
    A long history of influences from both Europe and Asia is reflected in the complexity and diversity of Turkish music. Turks are proud of their centuries-old musical tradition, which is similar to the music of nearby Islamic regions such as Saudi Arabia , Iran, and northern India . There is also a lively tradition of folk music, with many regional styles and contributions from ethnic minorities, including the Roma (Gypsies). A cosmopolitan nation, Turkey has also adopted classical and popular music from the West, and developed genres that combine Western, Asian, and Arabic elements. One kind of unaccompanied folk singing is the long melody , consisting of heavily ornamented songs influenced by Islamic chant, sung in free rhythm. The shattered melody style is in strict rhythm and is more suited as an accompaniment dancing. There is also a tradition of balladry and epics accompanied by the " baglama " (a lute; also called a saz ) and performed by itinerant musicians. Folk rhythms are often irregular, in a kind of limping pattern important to the coordination of group dance. Folk instruments include the " zurna ", a double-reed oboe, the " kemence ", a bowed violin, and the " kaval ", an end-blown flute similar to a Bulgarian instrument of the same name. Many of these instruments are capable of producing drones, a musical aesthetic found both in western Asia and in much of the folk music of Europe. Melody instruments include the ney, an end-blown flute; the kanun, a trapezoidal plucked zither; the 'ud, a short-necked lute; the tanbur, a long-necked lute, similar to the folk baglama; and the rebab, a spiked-fiddle. When played in ensemble these are often accompanied by a small drum, called the def, and kettle drums, as well as vocal choruses. Music like this is often used by the Sufi Medlevi cult for sacred ceremonies, often accompanying their famous whirling dervishes . Centuries ago the music of the Ottoman Janissary bands, which is no longer played, greatly impressed Europeans, who incorporated several Turkish instruments, such as the cymbal and kettle drum, into European music. Composers such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven also imitated the music in a style called alla Turca.

    LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
    The Sultan's Palace (Topkapi Sarayi), in Istanbul, is now a museum housing the imperial treasures and relics of the prophet Muhammad. Ankara's Museum of Anatolian Civilizations has outstanding Hittite, Phrygian, and other exhibits. Among the largest of Turkey's many libraries are the National Library in Ankara and the Beyazit State Library in Istanbul.
     

    alpago

    New Member
    Türkçe, Türkiye;Turkish,Turkey;Turco,Turquia;Turc,Turquie.
    good job language master.. I want to add something to greetings.. when greeting friends we also kiss each other from cheeks or we hug..
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    Hi.
    Unfortunately I never visited Turkey and I haven't a direct experience of the country.
    Being fond of literatures, I don't ignore the value of Turkish fairy tales and poetry.
    I read Nazim Hikmet's poems and I read something about 'meddah' and 'ashik', sort of ancient storytellers.

    Ciao
     

    sımurg

    New Member
    TURKEY-Turkısh
    Merhaba,
    I want to thank you for thıs work...I copıed ıt to my maıl adress and send to my foreıgn frıends who are ınterested ın Turkey.Thanks agaın and hope to other good works ,also I can help ıf you need..
    Best wıshes...
     

    antonia2240

    New Member
    Bulgaria
    I think that the best thing in Turkey is the Turkish bath. It`s amazing.
    I don`t like the Turkish attitude to women as to the second hand people.
     
    antonia2240 said:
    I think that the best thing in Turkey is the Turkish bath. It`s amazing.
    I don`t like the Turkish attitude to women as to the second hand people.
    I dont like it too. In Turkish families, mother is dominant on the children. Especially male ones. Turkish men do not obey their fathers as they obey their mothers. Mothers on the other hand do not teach their sons not to dominate their wifes.
     

    Tabac

    Senior Member
    U. S. - English
    Language_Master said:
    hello people,

    I wonder what you think about turkey and turkishy people ?
    what do you know about tukish culture?

    leave your thoughts!!
    In the late 60's, I lived in Turkey (one year in a very small town, the second year in Ankara) teaching English. I have nothing but the highest respect for the people I dealt with during that time, including university students who were then involved with protests such as "NATO'ya hayir (no dot on the 'i')". They were all wonderful to me, very helpful in my attempt to adapt to their culture, language and customs (I had NO trouble adapting to the food). I've been back only once, but I hope to return soon.....even though the "hüzün" that Orhan Pamuk refers to in his memoir Istanbul is exactly the Turkey that I knew when I was there!
     

    mora

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Hello

    Turkey is a facinating country. It is an advanced country, with highly trained professionals, highly developed industry, and phenomenal energy. Women and men enjoy a level of equality that may surprise people unfamiliar with Turkey, women are very well represented in the professions, including sciences and government and other non-traditional fields for women, at least in the urban areas that I am familiar with.

    Istanbul is one of the world's greatest cities. One is surrounded by some of the world's greatest architectural and engineering wonders such as Hagia Sofia, yet there is new construction everywhere. It is a fantastic blend of preserved history and dynamic modernism- Roman aqueducts intersecting modern freeways, it is like no other place in the world.

    Turkey faces a number of challenges. As in North America, there is a deep chasm between rural and urban culture and beliefs. This is exacerbated by the constant influx of rural people into the cities looking for work and opportunity. There is the struggle between muslims with 'fundamentalist' beliefs and other muslims.

    The painful memory of the difficult years of the coup are still close, and many people fear for the stability of Turkish government-n supporters and non-supporters alike. Human rights violations by the Turkish government are of great concern to the people of Turkey, not so much for their international reputation but for the issue itself, and their belief and hope for basic human rights for everybody.

    The tragic earthquake in Turkey that killed so many people in and around Istanbul in recent years remains a constant worry, as many building in Turkey are not adequately constructed for earthquakes, yet it is a very active seismic zone.

    If I had more time, I could talk about the cool cafes, the fabulous shops, the trancendental beauty of the Blue Mosque...

    Mora
     
    :D Mora's post is excellent, I wish I'd written it !

    Turkey is a facinating country. It is an advanced country, with highly trained professionals, highly developed industry, and phenomenal energy. Women and men enjoy a level of equality that may surprise people unfamiliar with Turkey, women are very well represented in the professions, including sciences and government and other non-traditional fields for women, at least in the urban areas that I am familiar with.
    Absolutely correct, it is a very enterprising nation with a lot of successful industrial sectors including major textile industries (and we're not talking rugs here). In terms of agriculture, Turkey is entirely self-sufficient; although it is a major exporter, they import virtually no staple food products (meat, vegetables, dairy, grains). However, any product you are used to seeing in Europe you can easily find in a clean, well-stocked store, at a very good price.

    As per men and women, although Turkish men are, well, on the whole pretty macho (any denial of this fact will be promptly dismissed with a big smile :D ), this does not prevent them from acknowledging women as, in fact, their equals, and respecting them in the workforce and in society in general. Of the women I met in Turkey, two engineers, a photographer, a med student, a graphic designer, and a top manager in a textile factory. All college educated and supporting themselves. And all quite happy to be Turkish women living in Turkiye.

    Istanbul is one of the world's greatest cities. One is surrounded by some of the world's greatest architectural and engineering wonders such as Hagia Sofia, yet there is new construction everywhere. It is a fantastic blend of preserved history and dynamic modernism- Roman aqueducts intersecting modern freeways, it is like no other place in the world.
    Absolutely, the architecture, past and present is breathtaking. The ruins are so plentiful, they are integrated into everyday life. You cannot walk a mile without trapsing over some stones from an ancient road or aqueduct, the past is everywhere, even in the midst of modernity. It certainly amazed me. And I was also amazed by how modern facilities are, and especially by the cleanliness of everthing, everywhere. From bathrooms to kitchens, restaurants to hotel rooms, to city sidewalks. Immaculate. And they wash their hands and feet constantly. Much cleaner people than I've ever seen anywhere else. You can eat on the floor :).

    there is a deep chasm between rural and urban culture and beliefs... There is the struggle between muslims with 'fundamentalist' beliefs and other muslims.
    Very important as well, in the cities life is predictaby quite different, in terms of beliefs, education, and economic situation. And also in terms of religion, which is in part responsable for the schism between fundamentalists and what I jokingly the average city-Turk's Muslim-Light attitude to religion (I hope this will not be taken wrong, this is a term I learned from a Turkish girlfriend). They are strong believers, but bend the rules quite a bit to allow for a basically European attitude to most things discouraged by Islam, drinking, smoking, premarital sex...

    The human rights issue is, it is hard to believe, still a problem although I think a lot of progress has been and is being made. Also there is the question of Armenian genocide, which the EU wants the Turkish government to recognize... And major issues with Greece (talk about rivalry!).

    And indeed the earthquake isssue, which I wouldn't have thought to mention, but that is a good point. The Sakarya earthquake of 98' or '99 (?), is that the one you are referring to? I have a friend who was there and came out of his house early that morning to find all the surrounding building flattened, and injured and dying neighbors eveywhere. Very few of the building supported that quake.

    What else, what else? Don't even get me started on the food, which is marvelous and exceptional, from the quality of the ingredients to the cut of the veggies, the recipes and spices; the olives, beyaz panir cheese and cucumbers for breakfast with red, ripe tomatoes! The pastries!

    Really, I think it is a country that Europeans don't tend to know a lot about. Over the past few years, more French people are going there on vacation, but that's just to touristy spots so I don't know if they get to meet the locals or get a feel for the country. Plus, the language is unlike anything else tourists have ever seen, you can't make out a single word and even learning to say "thank you" is challenging. So it seems hard to integrate into the landscape.

    Sorry to go on so long! I knew that would happen if I started to post in this thread...
     

    ukuca

    Senior Member
    Turkish - Turkey
    Wow badgrammar, your post made me moistened. what should I say...
    As a native, there are favorable and negative things about Turkey. and I believe there is no such place like Istanbul (in both ways) You have to see it for yourself. "Anlatılmaz yaşanır"
     

    Little_Me

    Senior Member
    Poland, Polish
    Ohh, I truly love Turkey!! I was there only once, but that was my best holidays ever! (although my first night was violently disturbed at 4:00 or 5:00 o'clock by muezzin...;))
    - Absolutely beautiful Istanbul and all its amazing places:
    * beautiful temples- Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) and Sultan Ahmet I
    * Topkapi Sarayi- so much to see and admire!
    * Mozaik Muzesti
    * At Meydani with its great monuments from Egiyt
    * and of course Kapali Carsi (the Great Market)- I loved this place for the first sight! So much to buy...:)
    - Troia and especially Efes- beautiful places where you really feel the spirit of history
    - Pammukale- like in some fairy-tale!
    - Ayvalik with its beautiful beaches and this atmosphere I still remeber so well
    - PEOPLE: so kind and very hospitable (just like Poles;))- I'll never forget a story: I was with my friends in Pammukale and we went for a walk. And near some house there was sitting an old couple, they said something, but we could't understand (although they knew English). We came closer and they invited us to sit with them. The lady made us some wonderful apple tea and we started to talk. And we talked for hours, 'till the late evening! They were so nice, although they didn't even know us! I'll never forget that!:) I met great people in Turkey, I have to say. Very friendly and smiling all the time. From some of them I'm still in contact with. Oh, and sorry, but I must say it- Turkish boys are veeeeery handsome:D;)
    - MUSIC: I love such oriental rhytmes, so nights spent in Turkish discos were one of the most enjoyable
    - FOOD: in Poland there is a lot of places where you can buy kebab, but the original one, Turkish, is the best! Olives- so fresh and tasty, and tea of course- I love Turkish tea- the traditional and the apple tea- delicious!

    So in general all the things I saw in Turkey, all the things I learned about Turkish history and culture, all this things made a great impression on me and I'd love to visit Turkey again.
    Sadly, I don't know much about eastern Turkey, only what I could read in books and guidebooks. I know it's much more different from the western parts, more traditional and conservative. But I hope I'll have a chance to visit it some day!
    Warm greetings,
    Little_Me
     

    Aldin

    Member
    Bosnian
    Being Bosnian,Turkish culture is very close to mine culture.I love everything about Turkey.When there is a Eurovision I always vote for Turkey.It feels natural.I love Turkey.
     

    barkley04

    Senior Member
    arabic tunisia
    I have to say that the turkish culture is very rich and it can be said that once upon a time the turkish culture was dominant during the reign of the ottomans.
    With a country like turkey and its vast superficy, I know that it has a cultural variety from istanbul until reaching the iranian boarders.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    barkley04 said:
    … and it can be said that once upon a time the turkish culture was dominant during the reign of the ottomans.
    Steady on, it dominated a small area, but didn't "dominate" in the way that the British Empire did, or the Roman even. Those empires dominated their known world.
     

    barkley04

    Senior Member
    arabic tunisia
    appearently, what you said is right but to a certain extentent for the reason that the ottoman empire stretched over an important area that included eastern europe ( bulgaria, romania, hungary, austria) and the middle east without forgetting north nafrica and armania and such an empire certainly had an in influencing culture and i think that evrybody likes chech kebab thanks to them.
    the turkish civilization is one of the greatests in history and this is a fact that can not be denied.
     

    barkley04

    Senior Member
    arabic tunisia
    you are right.
    one of its famous people is the former president habib bourguiba who got the tunisian independence and thanks to him tunisians had the chance to have a very good education.
    concerning french, until now its status is unknown since there is a confusion whether itb is a second or a foreign language.
     

    barkley04

    Senior Member
    arabic tunisia
    i personally think that the relation is pretty good if politics is not involved because u know that god does not have a place in politics.
     

    gjou

    Member
    Français
    Hello,
    I never went to Turkey, but there are a lot of Turkish in France (although less than in Germany), mostly working in construction or Kebabs.
    It seems that they are almost well integrated.
    But from the french point of vue, the main problem of Turkey is the lack of civil liberties (cf the movie midnight express), but that seems to get better, with the prospect of entering into the european union...
     

    mora

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Hello

    Midnight Express was a movie made in 1978. It was an exaggerated fiction of a drug smuggler's experience in a Turkish prison. With respect, I think it has no relevance to the discussion of contemporary Turkish politics or culture.

    Mora
     

    vespista

    New Member
    Swedish / Sweden (Suéde)
    Having never been to Turkey, all my "experience" (or prejudice) comes from meeting Turkish immigrants in Sweden. The one thing that has struck me with Turks (over here) is that everyone seems to be an entrepreneur - granted, most of the Turks I've met are self employed people, but what I'm trying to describe is a good sense for doing business, that they tend to be more service minded than people from other places (including my own cultural sphere). I realise I'm speaking from a somewhat narrow viewpoint here, but still. When doing business with Turkish people in Sweden you feel more appreciated as a customer, and they're good at making any transaction becoming a transaction between "friends". I'm not talking about being service minded in the sense that they "bow" to the customer in any sense, they just have this way of establishing a really good relationship and then do their part in keeping that relationship a good one. What leads me to think that this is a cultural thing is that I can't say I've had the same experience with Turkish Kurds. I'm hoping of course that I won't sound racist in any way by saying this, and I'm not implying that I've had a lot of bad experiences with Kurdish people, it's just that they behave more like "everyone else" in these matters.
     
    vespista said:
    The one thing that has struck me with Turks (over here) is that everyone seems to be an entrepreneur - granted, most of the Turks I've met are self employed people, but what I'm trying to describe is a good sense for doing business, that they tend to be more service minded than people from other places (including my own cultural sphere).
    I want to give you a clue. Before buying something from a Turkish merchant, you would try to start a dialog about his hometown. And then, tell him that you are from there too, or show him somehow that you have been in there and liked his hometown (I use white lies to make it:D). You would probably buy what you are buying with a reduced cost. Perhaps, you should ask for a discount as being his hometown friend.
     
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