Turkish Culture

Turkey offers the visitor a rich and colourful culture with a unique blend of East and West. Here we look at some defining points of Turkish culture.

The culture of Turkey varies depending on the region and the ethnic background of its inhabitants. In the larger towns and cities of Turkey the culture is very similar to Europe in many ways. It is part of the culture of Turkey for both men and women to work and the clothes worn by people in these parts of Turkey reflect western culture closely. Turkish people living along the coastal towns who belong to the middle class look to Europe for their cultural ideals and a foreign visitor will easily feel at home here. Ataturk took great measures to modernize the culture of Turkey, changing laws, dress codes and the educational system all of which had a great bearing on the culture of Turkey.

Culture in Rural Turkey

The culture of Turkish people living in rural areas of Turkey and especially in the east of Turkey is a lot more traditional. These Turkish people belong mainly to the farming classes and their religion plays a greater part in their culture. Aspects of traditional Turkish culture show up in the clothes, housing and lifestyles of rural Turkish people whose culture is generally more conservative than city dwellers.

Hospitality in Turkish culture

Hospitality plays a great part in Turkish culture and traces its roots to the nomadic origins of Turkish people. In those days it was very important to be kind to strangers and offer them food and shelter because often their survival would depend on it. This aspect of Turkish culture is visible today across Turkey where it is not unusual for visitors to be offered food and beverages from shop owners in the bazaar, or even to be offered shelter for three nights in the homes of rural Turkish villagers.

Family and Culture in Turkey

The family plays a big part in the culture of Turkey although this is changing due to modern lifestyle demands. The traditional extended family in Turkish culture consists of 3 generations living together, however this is becoming rarer in the cities where families live in similar arrangements to western nuclear families. Turkish culture dictates that families should work together and all members should contribute somehow to the family. The father is the breadwinner, while the mother either works or looks after the children, who according to their culture are supposed to do household chores. Traditionally Turkish families sit down together three times a day to eat however due to hectic daily schedules this also is happening less.

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