Everything about the Turkish Culture

TurkeyTurkey is a country that lies for the most part in Southwest Asia and for a small part in Southeast Europe. Sometimes the country is said to be part of Europe if we are talking history and politics. For religious and cultural reasons, Turkey is however counted to be part of Asia. In this article you can read everything about Turkish culture.


The majority of the population of Turkey is practicing Islam. We are talking about roughly 96 per cent. Therefore we can characterise Turkey to be an islamic country. The country knows the most mosques in the world and the state influences how people practice their religion. According to the Turkish constitution religious education is mandatory. Furthermore multiple islamic holidays are also national holidays. Circumcisions are also part of the Turkish culture and are often seen as celebratory occasions.


A big part of Turkey is still quite conservative regarding what to wear. It is for instance not seen fit to dress up daringly or to have a shirtless upper body and walk on the streets. Furthermore swimwear can only be worn on the beach. Besides it is forbidden to sunbath whilst being naked. You can not do this anywhere in Turkey.

Family celebrations

An important characteristic of Turkish culture is to be together with the family quite regularly. Families in Turkey are very close and come together as often as possible. Quite regularly, celebrations are held during which the whole family comes together, such as a circumcision party or a wedding.

Circumcision ceremony

Almost every boy in Turkey is being circumcised between the ages 5 and 8. In some cases this is however already done when the boy is still a little baby. At a circumcision ceremony the whole family comes together and there is a huge celebration.

Turkish wedding

A Turkish wedding is celebrated in Turkish culture with different rituals. Before the wedding starts a hamam is visited. Furthermore during a wedding the dowry is handed over. There is also a henna-evening planned. Usually in Turkey a wedding lasts for a couple of days, on average about 3. In Turkey people get married not only before the law, but also before the imam. If this does not happen, the marriage is not legal. Arranged marriage used to take place a lot in Turkey. The women were assigned a man who was picked by the parents. Nowadays this hardly ever happens anymore. If the woman is still assigned to a man, the woman has more to say about it nowadays.

Well known holidays

There are quite a few holidays in the Turkish culture during which the whole Turkish family comes together. Because Turkey is an islamic country, a big part of the holidays are islamic. Two known holidays that are celebrated in Turkey are the Sugar Feast and the Sacrifice Feast. Besides this there are two more well known Turkish holidays, namely Victory Day and the Republic Day of Turkey.

Sugar Feast

The Ramadan is a period of fasting that lasts for a month. It is celebrated in the ninth mony of the islamic calendar and the muslims see this month as a month of celebrations. The end of the Ramadan is celebrated with the Sugar Feast. At the beginning of this day the Turkish muslims visit a mosque for making special prayers. Then they celebrate with the whole family during which all kinds of delicious foods are served. Presents are also handed out during the Sugar Feast.

Sacrifice Feast

The most important holiday of the islam is the Sacrifice Feast that is being celebrated from the tenth day of the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. On this day they remember that Ibrahiem instead of his son, sacrificed a sheep. Allah asked him to sacrifice his son, but at the least moment he was allowed to sacrifice a sheep instead of his son. Muslims remember this holiday to sacrifice a sheep during the Sacrifice Feast.

Victory Day

Victory Day is celebrated on the 30th of August. On this holiday the Turks remember that the national troops of Turkey overran the Greek troowps in the battle of Dumlupinarin in the year 1922. The national troops were led by Kemal Atatürk.

Republic Day of Turkey

On the Republic Day of Turkey it is being celebrated that Kemal Atatürk founded the Republic of Turkey in the year 1923. The independence, integrity and sovereignty of the republic were recognised in the Treaty of Lausanna. This holiday takes place on the 29th of October.

Equality between men and women

Men and women are equal according to the law. According to the Turkish culture in a large part of East-Turkey, women still have to keep to traditional rules and they do not have much to say. This is especially present in families from lower education and poorer circumstances. The women have to keep their virginity before marriage for instance.


The inhabitants of Turkey greet their elders with a kiss on the hand. Men and women greet each other by kissing each other. The Turkish population finds it very bothering however when people cuddle or kiss on the streets. Furthermore it is not accepted to sneeze in the company of others. It is also not regarded as nice to point at someone.

Visiting a Turkish family

In Turkish culture, hospitality is regarded as an important value and therefore it is not uncommon if you are invited by a Turkish family to come and drink tea in their home. Often this takes place at the families home or in a teahouse (çayhane). It may also be the case that you are invited to a Turkish home for a meal. You can actually not really turn down this invitation, it is a real honour that you are invited for a meal at a family.
Are you visiting a Turkish family? Then always make sure that you take off your footwear at the front door. If you are going with the family to consume a meal at the local community house, then it can be that you are sitting on pillows on the floor at a low table. Always hide your feet under a little carpet or under the table, because according to Turkish culture you can not show your feet. In case you want to take a soon of food out of a pan or pot, then always make sure that you use your right hand. The left hand is namely always used for toilet paper and other body hygiene.
Do you not have time to accept the family invitation? The best way to turn down an invitation is to hold your hand on chest height and point at your watch, then you point your finger into the direction that you have to go to. This is a Turkish custom and it will be appreciated by the family that you respect their customs.

Monuments in Turkey

If you are going on a holiday in Turkey, then you can enjoy beautiful monuments from different periods of history. These monuments are coming from different civilisations, such as the Greeks, the Romans, the Hittites and the Byzantines. The country is therefore rich of different cultures.
The islam forbids pictures of life things and most of the art you can find back through architecture. The mosques, hammams and schools are beautifully decorated with flower patterns and other patterns. Furthermore most theatres, temples and pillars are real gems to the eye. If you love culture, then Turkey is a fantastic country to visit!


Article written by: roybor
Times read: 1611x
Added: 19-12-2016 11:21
Last modified: 11-01-2017 22:38

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