Turkish Lifestyle and Activities
Lifestyle; is a person’s pattern of living as expressed in his or her activities (work, hobbies, shopping, sports, social events), interests (food, fashion, family, recreation) and opinions (about themselves, social issues, business, products) e.g. internet behaviour.
As a Turkish property estate agent in Dalaman Turkey, not only can we help you buy or sell your ideal Turkish property such as a villa, apartment, land, holiday homes, village houses especially in Dalaman, Dalyan, Gocek, Marmaris, Bodrum, Fethiye or in other Turkish cities and towns, but also to introduce you to the Turkish social life and culture.
Turkey is an ideal place. It has incredible beaches, amazing historical and archaeological sites, very reasonable priced accommodations, delicious food and hospitable people. Culturally, as in so many other respects, Turkey sits between East and West, drawing elements from both to produce its own unique blend. If you are interested in arts, there are many options such as going to theatres and cinemas, visiting exhibitions and enjoying festivals.
The following topics and pages should offer you an insight into the intriguing blend of East and West that makes up the Turkish lifestyle.
Food and Drink
Domestic Animals in Turkey
Turkish Carpets and kilims
TURKISH FOOD AND DRINK
Traditional Turkish cuisine
If you hear "Traditional Turkish Cuisine", you may automatically think that it is “Şiş-kepab” "Shish-kebab" or "Doner Kebab"...However, Turkish Cuisine does not only consist of kebabs and they are considered a different category.
Traditional Cuisine is the dishes which are actually cooked and eaten in a typical Turkish family's house.
A typical dinner of a Turkish family is usually had at 7-8 pm after all the members of the family return back home. The mother cooks the food, the daughters(sisters) usually make up the table, bring the tablecloth, plates, the silverware, fresh, sliced Turkish bread, freshly prepared shepherd's salad, and after the father, or grandfather and grandmother sit down, the food is brought to the table.
The most common starter is soup (Corba). There are several nutritious soups, like Tarhana Corbasi( prepared with green pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, flour, yoghurt and dried mint), Yayla Corbasi(rice, yoghurt, eggs, flour,dried mint, butter and red pepper sauce on top) or Mercimek Corbasi(red lentils,onions, tomato paste cooked and filtered).
After having the soups, another appetizer is the Mevsim Salatasi(Season's salad) or Coban Salata(Shepherd's Salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper and onions are sliced into small pieces). The usual dressing for the salad is lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Then comes the main meal. The main meal always includes meat, it can be fresh season vegetables cooked with lamb or veal or only meat cooked with onions and tomato paste. Onion and tomato paste are two indispensable elements in Turkish Cuisine. The most common meals are Karniyarik(eggplant stuffed with tomatoes, ground meat and onions), Dolma(stuffed green pepper, tomatoes, vine leaves with ground(minced) meat, rice and ground onions) and Turlu(several season's vegetables sliced cubicly and cooked with either ground meat, lamb or sliced veal, onions and tomato paste. These dishes are usually accompanied by Pilav(rice cooked with either chicken or meat juice and butter added after cooking). Sometimes, they have
There is a rich variety including gyros type dishes, grills, fried meats, kebaps, stews, meat cooked in a crock or pan. There are also boiled meats, meat balls, vegetables stuffed with meat and meat dishes cooked with fruits.
Olive oil dishes
They are an integral part of lunch and dinner especially in the summer. They can be served warm or cold. Olive (or vegetable) oil can be used to fry eggplants, peppers and zucchini or cook them in an onion and tomato sauce and letting them simmer.
Traditional Turkish Drinks
Turkish Coffee - Turkish: Türk Kahvesi
The Turks have always ritualised the drinking of coffee and the original coffee brewer was probably a Turk using something not dissimilar to the 'ibrik' or 'cezve' in use today.
Traditionally, the very finely ground (pulverised) coffee is placed in an 'ibrik' with water and a spoonful of sugar and brought to the boil. The moment it boils, it is taken off the heat, then put back until it has just boiled again, then removed and the process repeated - usually three times. Finally, a few drops of water are added to the pan to make the dregs fall to the bottom.
The coffee should be served very hot and frothy - coffee that does not have foam indicates bad preparation and/or bad quality of beans. Some grounds will settle at the bottom of the cup.
Traditionally, each cup of coffee should be served along with a glass of water. Sugar may be added to taste into the cezve right before the cooking stage. One will be asked to specify the amount of sugar when ordering, sweet, sekerli, medium sweet, orta sekerli, and plain, sade.
Turkish coffee cup reading is an ancient way of fortune telling
Turkish: Kahve Falı
Traditionally, coffee readers use Turkish coffee, or any coffee that has grinds that sit at the bottom of the cup. Most of the liquid in the coffee is drunk, but the sediment at the bottom is left behind. The drinker of the coffee cannot read his or her own cup.
There are at least two forms of coffee readings. Both require that the cup be covered with the saucer and turned upside-down. Some traditions, such as in Romania , require that the sediments in the cup be swirled around the inside of the cup until they cover the majority of the cup's inside surface. Other traditions, such as Turkish and Middle Eastern, do not require this swirling but do require that the cup be turned towards yourself for showing your own fortune. The coffee grounds are given time to settle and dry against the cup before a reading begins.
Many interpretations for symbols exist, but one common thread is the colour of the symbols. Since most cups used are white or ivory and the grounds are dark, string contrast exists for the symbols. White is considered a "good" symbol foretelling of generally positive things for the drinker, while the grounds themselves are considered to form "bad" symbols.
Symbols can be many things, including people, animals, and inanimate objects. Usually, the fortune teller will group nearby symbols together for a prediction.
After a reading, the drinker will be asked to "open the heart". This is done by placing the right thumb at the inside bottom of the cup and twisting clockwise slightly. This will leave an impression behind that the fortune teller will interpret as the drinker's inner thoughts or emotions.
Turkish Tea - Turkish: Çay
Turkish tea, called çay, a form of black tea, is produced on the eastern Black Sea coast, which has a mild climate with high precipitation and fertile soil. Turkish tea is typically prepared using two stacked kettles (çaydanlık) especially designed for tea preparation. Water is brought to a boil in the larger lower kettle and then some of the water is used to fill the smaller kettle on top and steep several spoons of loose tea leaves, producing a very strong tea. When served, the remaining water is used to dilute the tea on an individual basis, giving each consumer the choice between strong (Turkish: koyu (dark) or weak (Turkish: açık (light). Tea is drunk from small glasses to enjoy it hot in addition to show its colour, with lumps of beetroot sugar.
Within Turkey , the tea is usually known as Rize tea. Virtually all of the tea is produced in the Rize province, a Turkish province on the Black Sea coast.
Turkish Raki - Turkish: Türk Rakısı
When one thinks of Turkey or Turks, one is reminded of Raki. RAKI is the national alcoholic beverage of Turkey. Although it is not known where or when this drink was invented, it is certain that the history of raki does not go as far back as wine or beer.
Raki is made from different fruits in different regions, but grapes, figs and plums are the main ones, flavoured with pungent anise. Most is quite potent (80- to 90-proof/40% to 45% alcohol) and thus diluted with water and sipped. It's similar to Greek ouzo and French pastis.
White cheese is the main and unchangeable meze of raki. Raki is usually drunk with cold dishes like tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and seafood. Fish is also a favourite. When mixed with ice and/or water for drinking, it turns milky white. Because of its colour and hefty alcoholic punch, Turks call it lion's milk (aslan sütü).
If you like liquorice and anise, you may like raki. If you don't, for sure you won't.
Until recently, raki was made only by Tekel, the Turkish government tobacco and spirits monopoly which produces the Yeni Raki, Tekirdag and Altinbash brands.
In 2004 the commercial Elda company distillery producing the premium Efe Raki brand opened, starting the trend to more brands. Both raki factories are located near Izmir take advantage of its abundant, high-quality grapes, raisins and anise.
HOW TO DRINK TURKISH RAKI
Here's how you drink it: a clear, straight, narrow glass is filled 1/3 or 1/2 with raki, and then diluted with water and/or ice to suit the drinker's taste. (Say Tamam!, tah-MAHM, "okay," when the waiter has poured enough water and/or ice.)
A traditional raki sofrasi ("raki table") bears dozens of meze (MEH-zeh, Turkish hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, salads, cheeses, etc.) but the two essentials are salty white sheep’s'-milk cheese (beyaz peynir) and sweet yellow melon (kavun).
While sipping raki and nibbling meze, there's good conversation, much humor, and many toasts to your companions' health and prosperity. After you've eaten far too much, the main course of kebap or fish arrives, to be followed by a dessert/sweet, fruit and Turkish coffee.
Raki is sold by the drink (kadeh), in small 17-cl glass pitchers, in half-bottles (35 cl) and full bottles (70 cl).
Serefinize! (sheh-REHF-ee-nee-ZEH, "In your honor!") is the proper toast.
When you visit Turkey we hope you get experience with RAKI and enjoy!
TURKISH MUSICTurkish music is one of the world's great undiscovered artistic treasures.
From the mystical flute music of the whirling dervishes through Ottoman classical court compositions, Anatolian folk tunes and the driving rhythm of the belly dance, to the latest multi-track techno-pop, Turkey is alive with sound. Many kinds of Turkish folk music (such as Türkü) can be sprightly, upbeat, rhythmic and tuneful.
Music for “Turkish belly dance” is upbeat and driving by nature!
Most young Turks favoured European and American pop musicians. Today, the Turkish pop music industry is rich in talent and sophistication, with hundreds of great bands, singers, composers and arrangers, and the music vies in sophistication with the best in Europe.
Turkish pop music boasts numerous mainstream artists with wide followance since the 1960s like Ajda Pekkan and Sezen Aksu (Minik Sreçe) and younger pop stars like Sertap Erener, Tarkan Tevetoglu and Mustafa Sandal.
Tarkan Tevetoğlu popularly known as Tarkan, is a successful World Music award-winning pop music singer in Turkey. He has released several platinum-selling albums during his career, with an estimated 15 million albums sold, and is also involved in producing music through his own music company HITT Music, which he established in 1997. Noted for his live stage performances, the Washington Post has compared Tarkan's effect on Turkey as analogous to Elvis in America circa 1957.
Tarkan is one of a few European singers that have managed to span chart success over three continents without singing in English. Often cited as the Turkish Prince of Pop, the German born singer has charted in Russia , Europe and in the Americas with the song "Şımarık" (Spoilt/Kiss Kiss/Chanson Du Bisou/Besos).
Turkish Nightlife in Turkey
There are boundless choices where nightlife in Turkey is concerned, Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, the State Symphony Orchestra and State Opera and Ballet offer the works of Turkish and foreign composers under the direction of world famous Turkish and guest foreign directors. Alongside the Turkish theatre, there are foreign theatrical groups which come to Ankara , Istanbul, and Izmir from time to time. For a different view of nightlife in Turkey, there are nightclubs and colourful shows. Wherever you are, you will be able to go into a nightclub and taste some Turkish food while enjoying yourself until morning. The discos in resort areas and large cities have the latest facilities. After dark Turkey offers everything from smart bars with cocktails as colourful as the sunsets, through to the Pubs with draught beer, music bars for those who like it loud and bars and clubs open until the early hours.
Turkey has risen to prominence in a number of sporting areas in recent decades. Its national sport, football, has seen a rapid transformation earning it third place in the coveted 2002 FIFA World Cup. Turkish domestic football teams are dominated by Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü, Galatasaray Spor Kulübü, Beşiktaş Spor Kulübü and Trabzonspor Spor Kulübü.
In recent years Turkey has exported many of its players into top foreign teams including Inter Milan, Barcelona, Parma, AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen among others. As well as sending players abroad, the Turkish league has also attracted players into Turkey. World class players such as Gheorghe Hagi, Ariel Ortega, Claudio Traffarel, Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Gheoghe Popescu, Mario Jardel, Nicolas Anelka, John Carew, Harald ‘Toni’ Schumacher, Falco Götz, Radomir Antic, Oscar Cardoba, Lincoln, Kakan Şükür, Mateja Kezman, Kleberson, Richardinho, Roberto Carlos da Silva, Zoran Siovic, Frank De Boer, Rigobert Song and many more have played at some point, or continue to play in Turkey.
Weightlifting has been another successful sport for Turkey, regularly relied upon to provide gold medals in the Olympics. Its most famous weightlifters Naim Süleymanoğlu and Halil Mutlu are only two of four weightlifters in the world to have won 3 gold medals in 3 Olympics.
Athletics is another fast improving sport, Süreyya Ayhan set the 1500m world record in 2003 and Elvan Abeylegesse set a new 5000m record in 2004.
Turkey placed a bid to become a candidate for the 2012 Olympics but was eliminated in the initial rounds. Part of its bid included the building of the 80,000 seater Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul . The stadium was used for the 2005 European Champions League final.
Another major sporting event that takes place in Turkey is the Turkish Grand Prix. The trach located at Istanbul has a seating capacity of 155,000 people (biggest in Europe), is just over 5,340 m long and runs anti-clockwise. The track was designed by Herman Tilke, designer of the Sepang, Bahrain and Shanghai tracks. GPS series also include a Turkish Team (Petrol Ofisi FMS International) and a Turkish Driver, Jason Tahincioğlu.
Basketball is also gaining popularity in Turkey. Turkey national basketball team came second in European Basketball Championship in 2001 in Istanbul. Turkey national basketball team also came the 9th in 2002 FIBA World Championship. Three Turkish nationals, Ersan Ilyasova, Hidayet Türkoğlu and Mehmet Okur, have achieved success in the prestigious NBA of North America, generally considered the world's top basketball league. Turkey will host the 2010FIBA World Championship, which could introduce more Turks to the game. Turkey national basketball team have advanced to quarter finals in 2006 FIBA World Championship.
Sailing and boat trips
Turkey has four bordering seas; the Black Sea, Marmara Sea, Aegean Sea, and Mediterranean Sea, so it not surprising that cruising is a popular sport. There are many cruising charters available. Gulets are traditional motor yachts and gulet holidays are becoming increasingly popular. Best Gullets are build in Marmaris and Bodrum.
Mediterranean and Aegean coasts are the best places to dive. It is also possible to dive to shipwrecks from World War I (with special permission of local authorities) in Gallipoli, Çanakkale.
Turkey's rivers provide perfect conditions for canoeing and rafting, for both beginners and experienced. Some of the best rivers for rafting are: Çoruh, Çolak, Manavgat, Dragon, Göksu (Silifke) Kızılırmak and Dalaman Çayı ( Dalaman River ).
The bays around Çesme, Alaçatı, Bodrum, Datça peninsulas and Fethiye as well as Antalya have ideal wind conditions for windsurfing.
Fishing cannot be done without a license even if you're an amateur. You must apply to have one by submitting some id cards and paying a fee. Details concerning fishing zones, the minimum sizes of fish that can be caught, and the numbers of fish that can be caught per person, can be obtained from the Department of Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Especially Aegean and Mediterranean seas are rich fishing areas.
Plane gliding, hang gliding, parachuting, paragliding and single engine flights are catered for as well as services that provide instruction courses. Best areas are Fethiye Ölüdeniz, Eskişehir, Pamukkale and İstanbul.
Turkey has a number of mountain ranges with peaks ranging from heights of 3250m (10,660ft) to the 5165m (16,945ft) of Mount Agri (Ararat), the highest mountain in Anatolia, which provide excellent climbing possibilities for both novice and expert climbers. Permission is required from the Turkish Mountaineering ClubSkiing
Skiing: Winter sports resorts in Turkey are generally located in forested mountains. Ski centres are often easily accessible by road or by Turkish Airlines domestic flights. Most resorts are in the north (near Ankara) and the western.Golf
There are currently five championship courses in Turkey; one of which is at the Klassis resort close to Istanbul, the other four of which are in the resort of Belek in the Antalya region.
DOMESTIC ANIMALS IN TURKEY
Turkish Denizli Rooster -Turkish: Denizli Horozu
Each rooster crows at its own place but Denizli Rooster crows everywhere.
Denizli is a province of Turkey in Western Anatolia, on high ground above the Aegean coast. The thing that modern city life has taken out off us is rooster crowing sound which is sweeter than gold sound... Contemporary city life, at the very beginning, stops the sound of rooster..."
"Denizli Rooster", the symbol of Denizli is a domestic species which is well known in even the farthest regions to our city with its colour and body building, harmonious long and beautiful crowing. According to some rumours, Berat roosters having long crowing were brought to Istanbul during Ottoman Empire from Albania and then brought to Denizli and crossbred with domestic chicken of Denizli and thus Denizli Rooster species was originated but it is not true. Because there are no similarities between two species when compared in terms of colour and body structure. Denizli rooster was originated automatically upon great care shown by the people living in Denizli to long crowing rooster for centuries.
The colour of Denizli rooster's eyes is black and blackened with kohl. Its legs are dark grey or purple, its comb is in big axe comb, and atrium is red or white spots on red background, general colour is black and dirty white together. Sometimes wing features have brown colours. Red roosters have black-white mixture. Their alive weight is about 3-3.5 kg. They are divided into 3 groups according to their colours, body building and combs types. According to their colours they are classified into 6 groups as: DEMİRKIR, PAMUKKIR, KINALI , AL , SİYAH and KÜRKLÜ. According to their body building, they are divided into 3 types, namely : YÜKSEK BOYUN, SÜLÜN and KÜPELİ. According to their combs, they are divided into 2 types: GENİŞ İBİK and DAR İBİK.
The sound of Denizli roosters are classified according to the tone and clearness. According to sound tones they are divided into 3 groups: İNCE, DAVUDİ, KALIN SES. Davudi (bass) voice is between high pitched and deep voice and is the only sound close to deep voice. According to clearness, they are divided into 4 groups, namely: SAD VOICE, SHRILL VOICE, WAVY VOICE (FUNNY VOICE).
Crowing of Denizli roosters is performed upon use of all abilities. Crowing is divided into 4 groups depending on body position during crowing, which are LION CROWING, WOLF CROWING, HERO CROWING, PUS CROWING.
A good Denizli Rooster must have: alive apearance, long and strong legs and neck, wide and deep chest, sharp and sloped toward head tail. The same features are true for the chicken. The crowing period of Denizli Roosters in the first year must be 20 to 25 seconds.
Denizli roosters being grown up by Denizli species production unit formed under body of Director of Province Agricultural Affairs are maintained generally in 100 flocks. Breeding roosters are selected and the rests are sold according to the demands made from various parts of the country from March, April, and sales of chicks are made in March, April, may, June.
TURKISH ANGORA GOAT-Turkish: Ankara Keçisi
The Angora goat originated in the district of Angora (present day Ankara, the capital of Turkey) in Anatolia. The Angora dates back prior to early biblical history. Mohair became a valuable product in commerce early in the nineteenth century. In order to increase the supply of mohair available for export to the European countries, the Turks crossed the Angora goat with common stock to increase the poundage of salable hair. Probably there was no effort to keep the original Angora separate, and the general increase in size and vigor of the goats in the Angora area was, no doubt, partially the result of this infusion of other blood. The Angora is very picturesque animal in which both sexes are horned. The bucks usually have a pronounced spiral to the horn, which comes back and away from the head; the horns of mature bucks sometimes reach two or more feet in length. In contrast, the horn of the female is comparatively short, much smaller, and has only a very slight tendency to spiral. The horn of the female seldom exceeds nine or ten inches. The ears are heavy and drooping.
The most valuable characteristic of the Angora as compared to other goats is the value of the mohair that is clipped. The mohair is very similar to wool in chemical composition but differs from wool in that it is has a much smoother surface and very thin, smooth scale. Consequently, mohair lacks the felting properties of wool. It is a strong fiber that is elastic, has considerable luster, and takes dye very well.
Angora stock was distributed to different countries, and a pair of Angoras was imported to Europe by Charles V about 1554. In 1765 an importation was made by the Spanish government and twenty years later a considerable number were imported into France . None of these importations were successful in establishing mohair production. On the other hand, Angoras were taken to South Africa in 1838, and from this importation and later importations mohair production was established in that country. The top mohair producers in the world are Turkey, U.S.A. and South Africa.
The Van Cat - Turkish: Van Kedisi
The Van Cat is a world famous cat among the world cat breeds, which is also known as odd-eyed cat, with snow-white, velvet-like soft fur. The numbers of these cats are decreasing dramatically.
The Turkish Van is a breed of cat that is supposedly derived from a type of cat that is still to be found in the Lake Van region of present-day Turkey. They have massive paws and rippling hard muscle structure which allows them to be very strong jumpers. Perhaps the most interesting trait of the breed is its fascination with water; most cat breeds dislike being immersed in water. As such, Vans have been nicknamed the "Swimming Cats" for this most unusual trait. They are reported to be friendly and intelligent, but also to howl more than meow, take pleasure in breaking things, and are very jealous of other animals in the house.
TURKISH CARPETS AND KILIMS
Turkish carpets come in distinct styles, from different regions of Turkey. Important differentiators between the types include the materials, construction and the patterns.
Turkish carpets have a woven base, on to which threads are knotted to produce the pile. "Warp" threads run from the top of the carpet to the bottom, and "weft" threads run from side to side. The fringes of the carpet are the protruding warp threads. Knots are tied onto the warp threads, and these knots form the pile of the carpet. Changes in the number of warp and weft threads for the base and the type of materials used lead to different numbers of knots per square inch. The density of knots per square inch is generally considered one of the indicators of technical quality. However, many extremely beautiful nomadic and village carpets are considered to be of excellent artistic, cultural and historic quality even though they have very low knot counts. You can see many Turkish carpets by regions in Turkey.
The Kilim (the rug) is a truly remarkable tradition maintained by women of Anatolia for hundreds of generations, dating back nine thousand years. Turkish mothers and daughters maintained this mysterious tradition for the last thousand years as Turkish tribes settled in Anatolia and intermingled with the local population.
The oldest record of kilims comes from Catal Hoyuk Neolithic pottery circa 7000 BC, the oldest settlement ever to have been discovered. It is located south east of Konya in the middle of the Anatolian region. The excavations to date (only 3% of the town) not only found carbonized fabric but also fragments of kilims painted on the walls of the houses. The majority of them represent geometric and stylized forms that are similar or identical to other historical to contemporary designs.
TURKISH IZNIK TILES AND CERAMICS
Iznik is located on the banks of the lake of the same name in the province of Bursa in the north-western part of Anatolia in Turkey.
World famous Iznik tiles reached a zenith of perfection in the 16th and 17th centuries during the Ottoman period.
Characteristics of Iznik tiles: Iznik quartz tiles are the result of extremely difficult production methods, which involve very hard glaze and under-glaze decorations. Due to the fact that the body (biscuit), the undercoating and the glaze contain 85% quartz and also that the composition of the materials involved is exposed to a high spectrum of temperatures during firing that exceeds 900 degrees C., these tiles are recognized in ceramic literature as being very difficult to make successfully. The quartz tiles contain a network of pores, which act to protect them against the effects of extreme temperatures by allowing the four layers of the tile both to expand and to contract.