Turkish culture. Traditions of Turkey. Turkish cuisine
Ottoman literature and court music of Turkey were mostly religious in nature and sounded pompous and sad for the western ear. The visual arts were limited by the requirements of Islam, which forbade depicting creatures “with an immortal soul,” so talented Muslims did not long for this kind of art. Turkish museums are filled with exquisite colored tiles, elegant glass vases, decorated with woodcarving doors of mosques, sparkling colored Korans, intricate decorations and luxurious costumes. Atatürk in the blink of an eye turned over the culture of Turkey, enabling the prosperity of painting, sculpture, literature, Western music (he loved opera), dance and drama. The introduction of a new alphabet based on Latin alphabet increased the literacy level of more people, and Ottoman court prose allowed the use of the national language. Several Turkish writers, including Nazim Hikmet, Yashar Kemal and Orhan Pamuk, gained fame not only in Turkey, but also in the world. Recently, Ottoman arts such as marbled paper and shadow puppet plays have gained fame. To this day, the passion for weaving carpets continues in Turkey.
Folk music was (and still is) energetic. Turkish music, which can often be heard on the radio, is traditional folk music, but has a modern urban dimension. The thousand-year tradition of the existence of Turkish troubadours was practically destroyed by television and cassettes, but the songs of the great troubadours are still popular, they are often recorded and broadcast. The cinema of Turkey has a long history, it flourished in the 20s of the twentieth century, spread rapidly after World War II, and began to affect social and political problems from 1960 to 1970s. Turkish cinema is characterized by honesty, naturalism and dry humor. Ilmaz Guney, Tunch, Basaran, Zyulfu and Omer Cavour are popular directors.
Although Turkish is a fairly simple language, the rules of word order and the formation of verb forms are very different from Indo-European languages, which makes it difficult to learn. Verbs can be so complex that they represent whole sentences. Look at the length of this: “Afyonkarahisarlilastiramadiklarimizdanmisiniz?” (Are you not one of those people whom we tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to make them look like the inhabitants of Afyonkarahisar?)
99% of Turkey’s population are Muslim, mostly Sunni, but there are Shiites and Alevis in the east and southeast of the country. Many Turkish traditions and way of life originate from the laws of Islam. According to etiquette it is required to wear modest clothes and take off shoes when visiting a mosque. In areas not frequented by tourists (or places where you can feel a conservative Islamic influence) women should have their heads, arms and shoulders closed, they should wear modest dresses and skirts not above their knees. Avoid visiting mosques during prayer and on Friday – the holy day of the Muslims. Other Turkish traditions are connected with politeness – the Turks themselves complain that even the door cannot be left without standard courtesies for 5 minutes, but nevertheless your attempts to use these remnants of court traditions will delight your Turkish masters.
Many women who come to Turkey complain of moral and physical harassment. Although one should not be afraid and allow stupid problems to spoil your journey, some caution should be followed. In the end, do not walk with a bare torso, shoulders and legs, especially if you are traveling in the eastern part of the country. You can also wear a wedding ring. While hiking, try to look focused, do not pay attention to the whistle in your direction and avoid deserted streets after dark. If you eat somewhere alone, it is better to visit family canteens. Drinking alone at a local bar is very silly.
Your stomach will thank you for bringing it to Turkey. Shish kebab (lamb on a spit) is a Turkish invention, and kebapchis are a very popular Turkish dish. Lamb and fish (which can be expensive) are dishes that prevail in restaurants. If your funds are limited, Turkish pizza can be the best cheap and tasty food. Eggplant is the number one vegetable; Be sure to try Imam Baildi (“priest’s fainting”) – an excellent dish of stuffed eggplant. Local desserts are usually sweet (often soaked in honey) and often consist of fruits, nuts and cookies in tempting combinations. Vegetarians, of course, are not very lucky, but even they will not starve to death with just snacks you can get enough good. The national drink is tea. Beer is served almost everywhere, and Turkish wines are cheap and surprisingly good. Rakia – grape brandy with aniseed smell – a stunning drink.