Customs and traditions of Turkey

Turkey is a country with a culture full of customs rooted in its society that come from different ancestral peoples such as the Ottomans. Some of them may be rare for people who do not know them, as they are different from those in other countries. In this article, we show you some of the most important today.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.


The situation of women in Turkey and the customs they follow depends on the area of ​​the country to which we are going. While some cities cover their hair and others do not, in rural areas they all do.

Also, although women have the right to vote since 1927 and are the same as men before the law, in rural areas their situation is quite different, since they can barely leave home, especially if they are alone. In addition, honor killings for having dishonored the family are not strange.

Across the country, approximately 30.5% of women work, a low percentage compared to the number of men who work. In addition, about 42% suffer domestic violence.

Throw water

When a person goes on a trip, it is typical to throw water on the ground, usually just after the car leaves. It is not made with a particular container, it can be a glass, a jug, etc.

This act symbolizes the desire that the trip Wow nice, that both the round trip and flow smoothly as the water does. Although it may be rare, it is an act that Turks of all ages continue to do when a loved one goes on a trip.


For two people to marry, the first step is the hand request, at which time the family of the groom goes to the bride's family to speak and formalize the agreement. After this, a party is held in the same house to announce the commitment and give the woman the taki, a kind of engagement ring.

The day before the wedding, women organize henna night. In it, they paint with henna the hands and feet of the bride, who is wearing a red veil. In addition, songs are danced and sung in order to make the event's protagonist cry.

The family of the bride is responsible for paying all the expenses of the wedding, although that of the groom can help.

On the other hand, before the day of the celebration, the dowry is also exhibited, consisting of clothes, jewelry and objects for the house. First he puts himself in the woman's house and then in the man's.

The wedding can be religious or civil. The religious is more traditional and it is the imam in charge of carrying out the marriage, since she is responsible for directing the prayer for Muslims. As a curiosity, at the end of a civil wedding, it is typical for the woman to step on the husband. Sometimes, to go to the ceremony a procession is made from the house of the bride.

During the celebration, the bride and groom put a red ribbon around the neck so that the guests tie their gifts, which are usually gold coins of greater or lesser size.

marriage and family

In Turkey, marriage with children under 18 is illegal. In rural areas it is the families who choose who their son or daughter marries, a fact that in cities no longer occurs. Each time, the marriage age is usually more advanced due to university studies and compulsory military service.

Polygamy is not frequent, since it is illegal in the country, but Islam does allow a man to marry up to four women. However, it is quite frowned upon.

In some rural parts there are still some characteristic marriages. For example, it is possible for a widow to marry her brother-in-law in order to give her children greater stability.

End of the year and holidays

January 1 is an official holiday in Turkey due to the arrival of the New Year. In big cities like Istanbul, different parties are organized, although it is not a traditional celebration of the country. It is not typical to celebrate Christmas, as there is hardly any Christian population.

Another prominent date is April 23, Children's Day and National Sovereignty. It is a party in which the protagonists are the children. It is the oldest holiday in the world dedicated to them, since it has been celebrated since 1920.

Although Turkey is officially a secular state, the vast majority of the population is Muslim, so you also have to take into account other important times of the year such as Ramadan.


Each culture has different traditions regarding the death of a person. In the case of the Turkish, it is typical to distribute a sweet called halva Among those attending the funeral.

In Anatolia, the Asian part of the country, the funeral is formalized 14 or 15 hours after the death of a person, who is usually dressed in white. The funeral is held in the cemetery or mosque and, generally, women cannot attend.

Then he goes to the place where the person is going to be buried and the assistants give condolences to the relatives. In some villages, the deceased's house does not cook for two or three days, so the neighbors bring food to the family.

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee is a special and artisanal way to prepare this popular drink and, therefore, is declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.

This is usually thick, goes in a small cup and is accompanied by a glass of water. In addition, sometimes, you can also go with some candy, such as rahat lokum or Turkish delight.

Once drunk, as you can see in the following image, a cup remains at the bottom of the cup. Traditionally, people skilled in this drink can read it and tell you about your future and the luck that awaits you.

Turkish eye

The Turkish eye, known in Turkish as Nazar Boncuk, is a symbol that is found everywhere in Turkey: both in houses and in cars, jewelry, decoration, etc.

This amulet is supposed to be a protection against the evil eye. Therefore, when a baby is born, it is also customary to give him one. It is typical of other countries like Greece for thousands of years.

Culinary traditions

Turkish cuisine is varied, a mixture between Arabic, Persian and Indian cuisine. Olive oil, vegetables, meat and fish abound, but pork is not usually cooked.

The meze they are typical snacks that are served in the meyhane, a kind of taverns. Sometimes they are accompanied with raki, an alcoholic beverage made with anise. Among the different ingredients we find in these dishes are eggplant, cheese and chicken. Soups are also traditional, such as yogurt.

Turks usually eat breakfast in a variety of ways. They stop for lunch at noon and have dinner in the afternoon as a family. Among their eating habits is that of Drink tea for the whole day.

Consumption habits

When they make a purchase, quality is important for Turks. Also, young people have Western tastes and use technology to acquire new products.

Another custom rooted in their culture is that of bargain. Negotiations can be long and it is common for the seller to offer a tea to the buyer, even if he finally acquires nothing.

On the other hand, Turks like hookah or water pipe, a traditional way of smoking tobacco of various flavors. In some bars and cafes it is possible to try it.

One of the most typical objects of this country is the carpets, which are characterized by their quality and the prints woven into them. It is one of the best selling souvenirs to tourists.

Social behavior

Within the uses and customs of Turkey, when greeting each other, people of the same sex give each other two kisses on the cheeks. If you want to show respect towards an older person, you kiss your hand and place it on your forehead. Strangers shake hands.

When the Turks turn to a young woman, they use the word hanim and bey for men. If they are older, they are then talk and agabey. Also, if there is an age difference, the woman is teyze and the man, amca. This word is placed just behind the first name.

The inhabitants of Turkey are hospitable people who always invite visitors to enter their home. They are also offered coffee or tea, which must be accepted if you do not want to make a bad impression. If you are invited to eat, you should try a little of all the dishes they take out.


He hammam or Turkish bath is a place with centuries of tradition that is still used today to relax. This is composed of different rooms. In some of them you can receive a wash or massage. Historically, it was a meeting place.

If you travel to a Turkish city like Istanbul or Ankara you can find Turkish baths even within the hotels themselves, as there is an important offer for tourists.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Cultural diversity"so you can continue reading:

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