Surprising Customs in Turkey

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Turkey is a wide geography where different cultures live together. Coming from Central Asian culture to Anatolian lands synthesized with Islamic culture, Turkish culture forms an important cultural mosaic that includes a big variety of traditions and customs.

Turkish Henna Night Custom
Turkish Henna Night Custom

There are many customs that seem strange when seen by the outsiders for the first time. Although many of these traditions are now found only in small settlements, some of these traditions still live in modern cities as well. Some of these traditions from Turkey for the first timers are surprising. Here are some examples.

Turkish Marriage Customs

Even though Turkish people start their relations very modern style, some old traditions have to be followed during their weddings.

A Turkish wedding at the time of the Ottoman Empire

Families with single daughters erect a bottle on the chimney of their house to show that they have single girls. The groom-to-be, one of the young people of the region, who wants to aspire to that girl, tries to break the bottle by targeting this bottle standing on the chimney. The young man who broke the bottle aspires to the girl of marriage age in the house and the boy sends the elders of the family, who are called the seer, to the girl’s house to ask for the girl.

If the decision of the girl to marry and her family is positive, the word is given after the tradition of asking for a girl and the wedding preparations begin.

Turkish Flag

The traditional colors of the Turks appear mostly in weddings, holidays and special days.

The marriage of two young people who love each other in Turkey is shared by all of their loved ones. Of course, there is a rule in this tradition that; There is no wedding between two major religious holidays.

Holding a wedding between the religious holidays of the Turks, the Eid al-Adha and the Feast of Sacrifice, is considered as bad luck, and the wedding dates are never coincided with these two holidays.

Turkish Hand Kiss on the Forehead

The groom cannot see the bride before the wedding, and ties a red belt around the waist of the bride leaving the father’s house. Also, there are many traditional items such as not showing the bride to the groom who comes to take the bride and not receiving a tip for opening the door.

Festive Customs of Turkish People

Including Ramadan and Eid in Turkey there are two religious holidays. These holidays are the days when people come together and feel the national unity and solidarity.

Among the most important traditional motifs are waking up early on holidays, wearing new clothes bought for the holiday, and visiting relatives.

Turkish Baby Traditions

During the feast visits, the younger ones go to the elders of the family and kiss their hands. The peace of the holiday traditions in Turkey are joyful and something to experience yourself.

While sweets, candies and baklava are served during the holidays of Ramadan, people distribute the meat of the lamb they sacrificed to each other.

Newborn Customs in Turkey

More difficult traditions await at the door after couples cross all the tough traditions and finally get married. One of these is the pressure exerted by the families of the couples to have children as soon as possible.

Newly married young couples often receive requests from families to have children with traditional phrases such as “Come on, give us grandchildren now, the joy of the house is a child, no home without children, no home”.

Turkish Newborn Traditions

The newborn child is usually named after his grandfather or one of the family elders. While naming a newborn child, the Quran is recited in one ear and the name of the child is told aloud three times in the other ear. Thus, the name of the newborn baby is named.

Newborn babies do not touch the evil eye so the baby is not affected by bad energies. An evil eye bead is attached to the collar right after the baby is born and this evil eye bead is never removed. In addition, the newborn is not taken outside until 40 days old and is not shown to anyone other than family members.

Elizabeth Hensley

I started my life back in Maine but destiny took me to Istanbul. I have been living in this amazing city for the last 7 years. Exploring Istanbul is a quest which has been keeping me busy and I hope you will like my articles on Istanbul and more. Elizabeth Hensley

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