90 Things that Turkish people do different (comparing them with Romanians, of course) :)

I decided some time ago to try to summarize and translate the article published in his original variant on:  https://launpahardeceaiturcesc.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/90-de-lucruri-pe-care-turcii-le-fac-diferit-10-prieteni-tluc-povestesc/

As I do not know all the people that helped to the realization of this article, I allowed myself to use the pronoun ‘’I’’ only for my own opinions. Everything that is written in the brackets, represents my own opinion.

Also, as everybody sent their opinions separately, some of the points might be similar. As I will not mention the names of the other participants, I am writing the opinions on the same subject one after the other, without respecting the order from the main article.

I think the result of the research is interesting and is worth to be read. So, here we go:

School

1. At school, children raise only one finger instead of two.
2. Classrooms are very crowded.
3. All schools assure the transport of pupils, for a moderate price. In village, the transport is free.
4. The educational system is very different from the Romanian one. In the first year of school for instance, they are taught to write words, no letter. One of the persons who participated to this project, told that after a day full of writing the word ‘’kapı’’ (door), her daughter was not able to recognize any letter of the word, but she was recognizing and was able to write the word very easy. She got angry and punished her daughter, but the second day, when they went to school, she realized that this is a result of the system.
5. Activities as painting or preparing hand made products are done at home by the children, not at school. (My colleagues from work explained me that this is not the case in Elazığ).
6. Usually high school students are going to a special after-school, called ‘’dershane’’, in order to be well-prepared for the university admission exam.
7. There is no exam at the end of High School. If you do not want to go to the university, you just take your Diploma and that is it. The system is 4+4+4, meaning that every 4 years the pupil has to change the school or to pass an exam in order to be able to take the further step.
8. At school you can order something from the cafeteria and they will bring it in your classroom.
9. In school and high schools you have to use uniforms.

Transport and Traffic

10. They have very nice trams and a very nice cards for travel. It looks like … A button.
11. Everybody is using the front entrance of the bus and pay for their ticket. (Well, I am not sure about Elazığ :)).
12. After getting out from the metro, everybody stays on the right side on the stairs, left side being for those who are in a rush. (It is same in Bucharest)
13. It is very funny that in the minibuses making the connection between cities, excepting the legal number of places, they have to other very small chairs. One can never know! This transport companies have different offices in the city. It does not matter to which of them you are going, they will assure you free transportation to the main station.
14. In the buses Turkish people offer their places to ladies and is a must to give your card for validation. Otherwise people will look strange at you. (I do not know what to say about the first part. In 2 years there was only one guy offering me his place and it was in Istanbul. I would say it happens more often in Romania).
15. It is an adventure to cross the street. Almost nobody respects the red light or the stop.
16. Traffic rules exist only in theory. People are used to cross the street no matter if the light is green or red. Thus, they are lucky. Turkish drivers are used with the situation and they pay extra attention.
17. They have a pleasure to drive white cars. Is not like this is their favorite color, but the cars seem to be less dirty.

House & Rules

18. The rubbish is taken outside the house every evening and is gathered every morning by the responsible of the block of flats.
19. The rubbish is gathered outside in special places. The bread is left in different places for poor people or for those with animals.
20. There are public swimming-pools just near the blocks of flats and the children can play there all day long. Bye bye kinder garden!
21. In the gardens you can see huge aloe vera plants.
22. Every balcony has a barbecue made of bricks.
23. They love their country and they love to show it. You can see almost at each balcony the Turkish flag.
24. A Turkish woman cannot come and clean your house if there is a man inside. According to the Islam, a woman can stay alone with a man in the same room only if that one is her husband or son. She is not allow to stay alone with her step-son for instance. If a man looks and thinks something about the woman in front of him, the sin is not only the man’s but also the woman’s.
25. It is not normal to use flower to a lady while visiting her. You would rather buy baklava. Flowers are mostly given to ill people.
26. Dinner is very important for them as all the family members are coming home for it. (Dinner is important in Romania too. We love to spend time with our beloved ones).
27. They love foreign people and they love to have guests.
28. If you do not want your cup of tea to be refilled, you have to put it on the top of the cup, with it’s face down.
29. If a neighbor brought you food or something sweet, you are not allowed to give back the plate empty. (It is the same in Romania).
30. The women from the same neighborhood are always preparing together for winter when it comes about food, vegetables and fruits.

Food

31. There is black pepper in Turkey and it is something new.
32. They have a very high price for mirabelles. Approx. 10 pieces – 24 lei!
33. Turkish people have many special plates made with olive oil.
34. Purslane it is frequently used in salads or in the plates prepared with olive oils. The same plant it is given to the pigs in Romania.
35. We use mint in order to prepare tea, they use it mostly as condiment.
36. Turkish people eat a lot of yogurt with cucumbers. ‘’Cacık’’ on its Turkish name.
37. Turkish people eat lemon with salt, apples with bread and vegetables cut in very very small pieces.
38. On the street you may find many interesting fast food plates. Fish with ketchup (never tried), mussels (not really fast food) or ‘’kokoreç’’ (sheep guts).
39. Turkish people do not know what sour cream, parsnip, horseradish and lovage are.

Weddings

40. When they are going to propose, the boy should buy gifts for all the family members. A good examples for the masculine part, would be pijamas, belts and ties.
41. There is no wedding without trousseau. Depending on the part of the country, the wedding is paid either by the boy’s family or the girl’s.
42. Turkish weddings last for only 3-4 hours and many people are invited. Only the official guests are offering gifts to the happy couple, the others are just watching the show.
43. A wedding starts around 7 and should be finished before 12. If the couple offers food at their wedding (it is written on the invitation), then you cannot bring anybody else then yourself. Otherwise, they will offer you a very thin slice of cake, a juice or a lemonade. In order to offer your gift, you have to wait at a cue. Sometimes 2 hours are lost for this activity, you just dance a bit and that’s it.
44. Those who cannot attend a wedding, are sending to the bride and groom (damat and gelin) wreaths. (In Romania, we prepare wreaths while attending a funeral). Those who are attending the wedding will offer to the happy couple money or gold. Do not worry if you did not get your invitation card. You can go uninvited!
45. If the wedding is organized in a village, for sure you will get plenty of food. On the other hand, in the city you may receive a lemonade and some cakes.
46. In this part of the country, especially around Elazığ, there is no wedding without ÇaydaÇıra ceremony. This ceremony is done with candles in the hands, as a remind to the old love story. It is told that there were a boy and a girl who felt in love. Their families did not agree with their relationship, but they found a way to be together. They were living on opposite sides of Hazar lake. The girl was going near the lake every night with a candle in her hand. The boy was guided by its light and was swimming towards her. One day, the girl’s father has learnt what was happening. Angry, he locked the girl inside the house and went near the lake. With the candle in his hand he was walking up and down continuously. The boy did not understand what was happening and continued to change his direction until he got very tired and died.

Traditions

47. They throw water behind the ones who are going to travel. (There is a saying that can be translated as ‘’Go and come like water’’).
48. When your fiance is coming to propose you, the tradition says you have to offer him a coffee with salt.
49. Young boys and girls, kiss the hands of elder people as sign of respect.
50. When the first tooth appears at a baby, his/her family prepares a special cake, called in Turkish diş buğdayı. (In Romania, we serve the same cake when we prepare special ceremonies for death people).
51. When someone is feeling bad, because of the fact that someone else looked at him/her with insistence, they are getting in a warm state some plumb and pour it in a bowl with cold water. Meantime, a bed sheet is kept over the ill person. Depending on the shape the plumb takes into the water, it can be interpreted. (Romanians also do this, but with matches. If the matches stay down in the bowl, a guy was watching you. If up, a woman is the guilty one.)
52. The hands of young man going to the army or preparing to get married are painted with something called ‘’kına’’. They have to sleep one night with the paint on their hands.
53. When a new shop is open, the owners put many balloons outside, they hire a Dj and two clowns and they announce all the promotions. All the big companies, selling their products to the new store will send wreaths. (Strange, I mentioned already above that in Romania we do this at funerals).

Pray

54. Men pray more the women.
55. When going to mosques, Turkish people are leaving their shoes outside.

Hospitals / Health Care / Environment

56. At hospitals, stores and in any other places where services are provided you won’t receive a bill.
57. It is annoying that in Turkey most of the pharmacies are near the hospitals. You cannot find easily one in your neighborhood.
58. People can stop you while walking and they can tell you that your kid does not have enough clothes on him/her. Even if they have good intentions, you might be surprised.
59. Turkish people are doing their best in order to keep the trees healthy, especially in Istanbul, where, due to the constructions green spaces are hard to be find.
60. In parks you can find panels as ‘’Leave the place as you want to find it’’ instead of ‘’Keep it clean’’.

Work

61. Turkish people know how to satisfy their clients. Even if you ask them to show you million things and you still decide to buy nothing, they are smiling and they will thank you.
62. Even in Istanbul workers may sleep (at shadow and during their working program, of course). – Dorele! …pour les connaisseurs. emoticon smile
63. They have very illogical jobs. There is a guy who makes the cleaning, one who takes the copies, one preparing and serving tea. In Romania, all this is done by a secretary!.

Interesting facts

64. They call each of their relatives with specific names. For us is uncle and aunt, mother side or father side, being very less important. But they would call ‘’teyze’’- their mother’s sister and ‘’hala’’ – their father’s sister. ‘’Dayı’’ – would be your mother’s brother and ‘’amca’’ – guess who? – your father’s brother. I let you know think how they call their cousins:)
65. In some parts of Istanbul you can see only men on the streets. If a woman appears she is for sure dressed very simple, in order to avoid any kind of attention.
66. In Anatolian region parents do not show love to their kids while elder people are around. Why? Because it reminds of the act of procreation.
67. If you are 65 or above, you do not have a house or a good situation and you have only boys, the government is paying you an amount of money every three months and pays 20% from the cost of the medicines you use.
68. If two brothers have same father but different mothers they are still considered brothers in the full sense of the word. In Romania, it is the other way round. We consider full brothers only those who have same mother.
69. If you are not in the mood to go to the public market…it comes to you. There are people who are selling things directly from their cars. Pay attention, they are not staying too much in the same place.
70. If you are too lazy to go and buy bread, you can just open the window and using a basket and a rope and ask someone to do you a favor.

General facts

71. You cannot find postcards at the post offices.
72. There are many cats waiting for their daily meet. Many restaurants from Istanbul made it an habit. They are feeding the cats with all the food rests. (We also love and feed animals).
73. In parks, there are small houses for the cats without an owner.
74. You do not have to go to Romania in order to listen to your favorite artist’s music. You can easily find albums of Inna or Alaxandra Stan.
75. Istanbul is amazing, being in part modern and in part conservative (Well, Bucharest and many other cities of Romania, are exactly the same!).
76. Turkey is a colorful country.
77. They have a tendency to exaggerate. They would tell you ‘’I am waiting for you since morning, even if they arrived 10 minutes ago’’ or while being a bit windy, you can hear them saying ‘’Uuuu, the weather is like ice’’.
78. They are insisting very much! Beside this, Turkish people are either very hardworking or extremely lazy. In my opinion there is know middle level.
79. I am a person who loves to interpret words. So, it was very funny when my home mate was telling me ‘’Hoşçakal’’ when I was the one leaving. (hoş – nice, good, in good in good condition) & (kal – from the infinitive kalmak – to stay, to remain). I got it at the end. They use this expression because it does not refer to your physical status but to your moral and psychological one. Anyway, now she is always telling me ‘’Güle, Güle!’’, meaning something like – ‘’Always with smiles’’.
80. I am trying to avoid discussions about religion, because there are very less people willing to listen and respect your opinion. I respect people for who they are – not their families or their politically involved relatives.
81. They are very curious people. They won’t hesitate to ask you personal question as:’’are you married?’’, ‘’where do you work?’’ or ‘’how much you earn?’’.
82. Sincerity. Turkish people are considered sincere people. It is very common to hear ladies to tell each other ‘’you took some weight’’. But as long as nobody gets mad, everything is fine.
83. If you are married and you do not have kids, is very strange.
84. There are no casinos in Turkey, but you can find lottery and sportive bets.
85. There are some coffee shops only for men.
86. Alcohol is very expensive and you can find it only in special shops.
87. In Turkey the civil engineering domain is very developed. In only one month you can observe a new building.
88. At the beauty salons the access of men is forbidden. Everyone with their own side.
89. If you talk long enough with someone, you may end up with the conclusion that you have common friends or you are relatives.
90. Some of the historical objectives have higher price for the access tickets when it comes about foreigners.

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