Getting to Know Turkish Culture, Customs and Common Phrases

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When visiting another country we believe it is important to learn a little bit about their culture, their customs, and their language. For anyone who is planning to visit Turkey, this guide will get you ready for your journey and you can be prepared to impress the locals.

Common Phrases

Turkish people will like it if you appear to be attempting the language. Here are some very basic phrases and some pronunciations for the more difficult words.

Hello – Merhaba

How are you? – Nasilsin?

I’m fine – Iyiyim (ee-yim)

Please – Lütfen (lootfen)

Thank you – tesekkür ederim (teshekoor ederim)

Yes – Evet

No – Hayir (higher)

How much? – Ne Kadar?

Goodbye – Hosça kal (hosh-cha kal)


If you go visit a Turkish person’s house, you are guaranteed to find lots of shoes outside the door. This is because Turkish people always take off their shoes before entering any house. It would be considered rude and disrespectful to not do so, however very often you will be provided with a pair of slippers to wear in doors.

In Turkey there are many different ways to greet somebody. When you meet somebody that you haven’t met before or that you have met but don’t know very well, a simple hand shake is appropriate. If you become good friends with someone, don’t be surprised if they greet you by kissing each cheek once as this is the common greeting between friends and relations. Greeting an older person is usually done by a kiss on the hand and then putting their hand to your forehead. If you have this done to you, don’t be upset that they think you are old as it is sometimes used simply as a sign of respect, regardless of age.

In general Turkey has some unwritten rules regarding men and women. If you are a woman, it is sometimes OK to kiss another woman on the cheeks even if you don’t know them well but are being welcomed into their home, or vice versa, but you will only shake the man’s hand. If you are a man, you will only shake the hand of the man and woman, unless you know them well.


If you spend some time in Turkey among local people, you will quickly learn that a huge part of Turkish culture is to drink lots of tea, or çay. If you visit somebody’s house you will almost definitely be given a glass of tea. It is served from a Turkish style teapot which consists of two parts; the bottom containing hot water, and the top containing the brewed tea leaves. The tea is then poured into a small curved glass and given to you with a spoon and some sugar to add yourself. Your glass will continue to be topped up until all the tea has finished. If you visit shops and businesses you are also likely to be offered tea.

So now you have learned a bit about his fascinating country, you are ready to book your next trip. If you are wondering where to stay, have a look at some holiday villa rentals and stay right in the heart of Turkey’s rich culture and experience it for yourself.

write by Kiera

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