There's plenty to love about Turkey. The food, the landscape, the sunshine, the staggering history. But the icing on the cake? The Turks themselves. Complicated, passionate, friendly and kind, here's why you'll fall in love with Turkish people.
1. Their hospitality is boundless
Turkish people are known for their friendliness, and pride themselves on their hospitality. Almost every visitor will have a story of a kind stranger who helped them or even invited them into their home for a family lunch. You'll quickly see that Turks appreciate serving others and are ready to show guests their compassion.
2. They're endearingly nosy
Turkish people are extremely curious. They don't have the same sense of reserve that keeps British people at arm's length. They routinely ask intrusive inquiries such as "How old are you?" and "How much money do you earn?" and they constantly stare.
Anything that makes you stand out – your skin colour, hair, or apparel – attracts attention, especially outside of cities. Because Turks have a genuine desire to learn about foreign living, try to reply with kindness, but you don't have to answer or interact more than feels comfortable.
Eventually, you'll come to appreciate the directness. After all, you'll always know what a Turkish person is thinking!
Read more: Turkish habits and how to manage them
3. They know how to enjoy themselves
Despite the importance of Turkish customs, Turkish people know how to have a good time. Attend a Turkish wedding to see even the oldest grandma dance, or visit a tavern to see Turkish people singing their favourite songs alongside street musicians.
Turks embrace spontaneity and living in the moment, whether it's drinking a cup of tea, having a leisurely supper, or even ending up at a sleepover. All of these things could happen right away if you meet someone. On the other hand, you should take plans with a grain of salt because people who live spontaneously may be unable to attend previously scheduled events or, if they do, may not arrive on time. Turks enjoy making spur-of-the-moment plans that they can cancel in the blink of an eye.
4. They love it when you speak their language
Outside of tourist regions, and even in major cities, few people speak English, so having a basic understanding of Turkish is really beneficial. Knowing even a few words in Turkish will be greatly welcomed if you are invited to a local family's home for Turkish coffee or tea.
It's crucial to understand Turkish nonverbal communication, especially when it comes to saying no. Turkish hospitality entails being served more food and wine than you can possibly consume. Simply lay your hand on your heart and say no to halt the flow. If saying no hasn't worked and you're being forced to buy something or provide money, tilt your head up and back while producing a quick tsk sound with your tongue. It may appear impolite, but it works.
5. They love their families
Family is extremely important in Turkey, and Turkish people always prioritise their families, respecting and caring for them. Many Turks choose to remain with their parents until they marry and start a family, although this is changing as Turkey modernises.
6. They're proud and passionate
Turkish people are highly proud of their history and culture, and they are ready to share it with visitors. No matter where you go, people will be more than happy to tell you stories about their hometown's past while showing you the sights.
The concept of love has a strong hold on the Turkish people. They believe in soulmates and true love, and they relish the emotions that accompany falling in love. Turkish songs are almost always about the joys and sufferings of love, whether it's pop or folk music from a thousand years ago.
7. They're deeply loyal
In addition to their family, Turks are very attached to their friends and place a high value on friendships. On both good and bad days in Turkey, you can count on your friends to be there for you. Turkish people are not scared to express their emotions and are honest about them. When a Turk is delighted, he or she wants everyone else to be pleased as well.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of making friends with Turks can attest to the fact that they are among the warmest, loving, supportive, and generous people you will ever encounter.
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