Like any country, Turkey has a range of social rules to live by. If you intend to live or start investment in Turkey, here we highlight a few of them for you:
1- Elderly First
Elderly people in Turkey are treated with the highest respect. When you enter a place, greet the eldest person first. Many Turks have also been raised to kiss the hand of their elders.
2. Sharing And Caring
Sharing food is an essential part of Turkish society. If your neighbor is sick, take them a dish of soup. Even in the bustling large cities, this custom is definitely rooted in the Turkish way of life.
3. Bring A Gift
Make sure you take gifts with you if you are invited to someone’s house. Flowers and chocolates are not bad ideas. No need to be shy. Calling the young ones where you are invited with names like “honey”, “sweety” is believed to apply to western cultures. It is fair to call a girl “Chocolate Princess” if you know she has an affection for chocolate. Sweet pastries, such as baklava, şöbiyet, bülbül yuvası, etc. are also a popular gifts.
4. Take Your Shoes Off
Take your shoes off on the front door. Your host is likely to offer you a pair of slippers to wear inside; the shoes-off rule is common throughout the whole of Turkey.
5. “-Bill on me!”
Turkish hospitality dictates that your host will pick up the bill and the idea of sharing a bill is completely strange in Turkish society. If you offer to pay you will be politely declined. The best idea is to simply thank your host and offer them another invitation. The one who invites…pays!
6. Personal Space
Turks don’t believe in much personal space and will stand close to you when you talk. Try not to back away, this would be considered rude. On the other hand, it is considered impolite to touch someone without their permission either. The famous “personal bubble” of the western cultures has just bursted! Welcome to Turkey!
7- How to address a person?
Turkish community addressed each other by their nicknames as family names for centuries. You had to really “know” the names way back then. Nowadays it is much easier to address someone. Men are usually titled by their first name and then “Bey” meaning “Mr.”. A woman’s first name is followed by “Hanım” meaning both “Mrs.” or “Miss”. However, if the person holds a professional title you should use that, for example with lawyers (“avukat”), or managers (“mudur”) followed by “bey” or “hanım”. You would call a Doctor by the name Barbaros as “Doktor Barbaros Bey”. As easy as that. Do not fret making mistakes. This is not Japan! Nobody will be offended. In fact, the person you are trying to address will not only help you with the correct way but also be happy to help you with anyway possible. A nice communication starter!
8- Street Cats And Dogs Are Part Of Turkish Daily Life
Cats and dogs are found everywhere, even on the doorstep of restaurants and shops and luxurious beaches. They are commonly taken care of by the locals and are quite friendly so there is no need to fear them. There is even a statue in istanbul of a famous street cat that died in 2016 on the spot. A warmer society where being alive is enough to become a friendly part of wheather it be a a cat or a respected tourist Friendly, Turks are!
9- Don’t Drink Tap Water
The tap water is not used for drinking purposes in many parts of the country. However, it’s okay to use it to cook food, make tea after boiling it and brushing your teeth as long as you don’t swallow the water. Despite of Filtration systems are in big cities but locals still choose not to drink tap water just to be on the safe side. Please remember. You might as well get sick drinking the best quality bottled water until your stomach’s chemistry gets accustomed to the region’s water type regardless of its quality.
10- Greetings Are Done By Kissing Both The Cheeks
…or at least pretending to. Turkish people are generally quite friendly and it appears in the way they greet others. when you meet a friend or someone you know, the general rule is to kiss both cheeks regardless of gender while shaking hands.
Last Updated: 18.5.2019 10:28:41