Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Things that amaze me in Turkey

• Nobody I have talked to likes Orhan Pamuk – the only Nobel Prize winner from Turkey

• Students are given homework for the weekend, winter break, summer holidays and any short holiday that comes up

• In any type of organization there are at least 5 levels of management with general director, director, manger 1, vice manager1, vice manager 2...

• Kids in private schools have at least eight 40 min classes a day and frequently attend extra courses after school i.e. they have hardly any free time

• The number of students in public schools can be close to (or more than) 60 per class

• A lot of Turks have never been abroad and have no desire to do so (reason: their country offers them everything they need so why bother and look for something nicer elsewhere)

• It’s very easy to get a passport in Turkey, the only problem being its price (more than $100 for a year)

• A great majority of people who live in Istanbul or the western part of Turkey have never been to the eastern part of the country (reasons: it’s dangerous or there is nothing interesting there anyway)

• It is very difficult (sometimes impossible) to use a pre paid Turkish sim card in a non Turkish cell phone

• Although the redenomination took place in 2005, a lot of people still talk about prices using the ‘old money’

• You will be loved instantly if you tell Turks you support one of their teams – Beşiktaş, Galatasaray or Fenerbahçe. In other words, they are crazy about football.

• People genuinely like artists like Bülent Ersoy (I am still not sure whether he is a she or she is a he)

• The majority of Turks are Muslims but the country is secular. Anyhow, most people drink alcohol but they dread eating pork

• The patriotism, nationalism and unconditional love for Atatürk (founder of the republic) are unimaginable

• Turks use kolonya to make their hands smell of lemon all the time

• They eat bread and yoghurt with almost everything they consume and drink sweet tea with it

• Different stores selling similar items are located in close proximity e.g. stores selling lamps are to be found in Şişhane, fabrics and things for hamam are sold in the Eminönu area

• Some websites including www.youtube.com and many others are blocked (still wondering when www.facebook.com will be blocked as well)

• Turks love eating breakfasts out, especially in groups and at the weekends

• The sell things everywhere – in the streets, on the ferries, in the middle of the highway…

• A lot of Turks are fascinated with communism, maybe because they have never experienced it

• They love music and a lot of them can play a musical instrument

• A couple can legally get married if they are first cousins

• People eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and nuts, especially pistachios. They can be even an ingredient of ham.


  1. These are things most foreigners find rather strange about Turkey. Show the list to your students. They will find it even stranger what you find strange. Could be a good lesson.

  2. come on... we dont really like bülent ersoy:) who told you so:)

  3. Maybe you don't like him/her but some people definitely do :)
    Anyway, his/her voice is amazing, that's something we have to admit :)

  4. I really liked your points,i can tell you the reason why youtube is blocked: because of terrorist groups put some videos made of Ataturk's photos( edited by photoshop and makes him look like gay or transexual or sth else,including bad words), and although turkish authorities warned youtube admin.that he is like a taboo in Turkey and if possible to bann this videos. but youtube didnt answer on any request. so Turkey protests using youtube.