Turkish Life Style

Turkiye is a country that is not only situated at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, but also in terms of its cultural, social, and political aspects. Its geographical location, spanning across Anatolia (Asia) and Thrace (Europe), has given rise to numerous civilizations throughout history. These civilizations have been characterized by their cultural and ethnic diversity and richness. A visit to any city in Turkiye, regardless of its size, will reveal a fusion of the West and the East, the Old and the New, and the Traditional and the Modern. One can witness a coexistence of various cultural elements, traditions, beliefs, languages, and dialects.

Turkiye’s territory has been home to many communities and empires throughout history, with various religious, ethnic, and cultural origins. These communities and empires have left their mark, and their presence is evident along migration and trade routes. Perhaps as a result of this diversity, the people of Turkiye are known for their harmony, friendliness, hospitality, and helpfulness.

Charity

One of the first impressions that most international students have of Turkiye is its people’s helpful and friendly nature. In Turkiye, it is not difficult to communicate with someone who does not speak a foreign language when help is needed. In difficult situations, one may ask for help from anyone nearby, and often a helping hand will be extended on the street without even being asked.

Many universities in Turkiye have teams of local students who volunteer to support the adaptation process of new international students. These volunteers, who will become your friends during the semester, can provide invaluable tips about life in your new university and city.

Hospitality

One of the first impressions that most international students have of Turkiye is its people’s helpful and friendly nature. In Turkiye, it is not difficult to communicate with someone who does not speak a foreign language when help is needed. In difficult situations, one may ask for help from anyone nearby, and often a helping hand will be extended on the street without even being asked.

Many universities in Turkiye have teams of local students who volunteer to support the adaptation process of new international students. These volunteers, who will become your friends during the semester, can provide invaluable tips about life in your new university and city.

Presenting Gifts

In Turkish culture, sharing and presenting gifts is a beloved tradition. Innovations, such as moving to a new house or the birth of a baby, are often celebrated with the exchange of gifts. As an international student in Turkiye, you may encounter people who wish to offer you gifts as a gesture of friendship and hospitality. It is important to keep in mind that refusing a gift or treat offered by a host can cause hurt feelings. Therefore, it is recommended to accept such offerings with gratitude and appreciation.

Treating (İkram) Tradition

The concept of “treat” or “ikram” in Turkish culture is difficult to translate into other languages. It refers to a gesture of hospitality that is extended to guests as a way of welcoming them, typically in a short-term meeting or seeing place. While a treat may be offered free of charge, it does not require an established relationship or affinity, and it is typically on a smaller scale than a gift. For example, treats are often offered in restaurants or institutions when a guest visits. One of the most common treats in Turkiye is tea, as Turks love to drink and offer tea to their guests.

Cozy People

In Turkiye, there is a common interest and curiosity toward foreigners, and people are not hesitant to strike up conversations and make new acquaintances. As a new resident in your city, university, or home, you will likely encounter individuals who are eager to meet and talk to you.

Compared to many other cultures, verbal communication in Turkiye can be quite “noisy.” If you see someone suddenly comment or laugh, do not be alarmed. This is not an argument or a conflict but an indication that the conversation has become lively and enthusiastic. Moreover, it is not unusual to see individuals physically interacting with each other while chatting or joking. Physical contact is often a part of social interactions in Turkiye.

Strong Family and Friendship Ties

The concept of “treat” or “ikram” in Turkish culture is difficult to translate into other languages. It refers to a gesture of hospitality that is extended to guests as a way of welcoming them, typically in a short-term meeting or seeing place. While a treat may be offered free of charge, it does not require an established relationship or affinity, and it is typically on a smaller scale than a gift. For example, treats are often offered in restaurants or institutions when a guest visits. One of the most common treats in Turkiye is tea, as Turks love to drink and offer tea to their guests.

Religious Holidays and Public Holidays

Although Turkiye is a secular state, its citizens place great importance on religious holidays and often make an effort to gather with their families during these occasions. The country observes a variety of national, religious, and public holidays, as listed below.

  • New Year: January 1st
  • National Sovereignty and Children’s Day: April 23rd
  • Labor and Solidarity Day: May 1st
  • Atatürk Commemoration, Youth, and Sports Day: May 19th
  • Democracy Day: July 15th
  • Victory Day: August 30th
  • Republic Day: October 29th
  • Ramadan Feast: Changes Yearly
  • Sacrifice Feast: Changes Yearly