7 things you need to know about Turkey and Turkish people

Posted on Jan 05, 2023

7 things you need to know about Turkey and Turkish people

LIFESTYLE • 5 min • Posted on Jan 05, 2023

1. Hospitality and warmth:

Turkish people are some of the friendliest and most hospitable people you'll ever meet! Hospitality is a core part of their culture, and they take great pride in making sure their guests feel welcomed and well taken care of. Even if you're meeting someone for the first time, they'll do everything they can to make you feel right at home.

Hugs and kisses on the cheeks are common when greeting friends or loved ones. In Turkey, people express emotions strongly and openly, whether it be through loud conversation or by expressive gestures. It's all about being warm-blooded and showing passion for what matters most to you.

2. Strong community sense:

In Turkish culture, family is everything! It's common for extended family members to be very close and involved in each other's lives, often living nearby. But it's not just within their own families that Turkish people show their affection — knowing your neighbors and even being friends with them is another thing that is widespread in Turkey. Also, Turkish people have a special place in their hearts for children of all ages. You'll often see them smiling and waving at kids, or even offering them treats. It's just one of the many ways that Turkish culture is rich with warmth and positivity.

3. Love to Ataturk:

One interesting cultural fact about Turkey is the important role of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the country's founding father and first president. His portraits can be found almost everywhere you go in Turkey, and he is held in high regard by many people. Ataturk's contributions to Turkey are truly remarkable: in just 15 years (from 1923 to 1938), Ataturk transformed Turkey into a strong, developed, and modern country, and that’s why he is celebrated to this day.

4. It’s always tea (or “çay”) time:

It's hard to imagine a day in Turkey without a cup of tea from the Karadeniz region (the east of Turkey). It's common to drink it both during and after eating. You can find tea almost anywhere here – even in parks and by the sea, you'll often see people walking around with thermoses and selling cups of tea to passersby. In fact, some workers and post office employees even take tea breaks! It's a wonderful way to relax and connect with others, and it's a big part of what makes Turkish culture so special.

5. Chaotic traffic:

In big cities like Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir, traffic might increase at times, affecting the local lifestyle a lot. For example, if you have a meeting, it's a good idea to factor in traffic jams when scheduling. To get where they wanted on time, Turkish people developed a skill of fast and rapid driving. That’s why it's always better to stay cautious when walking or driving in Turkey. When crossing the road as a pedestrian, some don’t pay much attention to the traffic lights or crosswalks – the cars will either flow around or stop when it sees you.

6. Not knowing a language is not a problem (they’ll try to communicate either way):

Even if you don't know any Turkish and they don't speak your language, Turkish people will still try their best to explain things using gestures. So if you're being spoken to by someone on the street or in a store and you don't understand them, don't worry! Language is less important than the emotions and openness that are being shared. And if this way won’t work out, many Turkish people will use translator apps to help you out.

7. Street cats:

If you're a cat person, be prepared to fall in love with all the fluffy felines you'll find in the streets of Turkey! Many of them are chubby, especially those near butcher shops or cafes. Around stores, pet shops, or even the metro, you can often come across signs "For our homeless friends," where people can leave cat food. Turkish cats are not afraid of people, and some will even let you pet them.