Culture Shocks Experienced by People Who Come to Turkey as Tourists

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1. “The biggest culture shock I experienced was meeting people in Turkey.”

‘They’re so open-minded that it’s not like I’ve ever heard. Your religion or color doesn’t matter to them.’


2. “The thing that surprised me the most was the milk sold on the street.”

‘Middle-aged women in traditional clothes were selling cow’s milk in bags on the streets. Unboxed milk. But Turkish cuisine was really great. As long as I stayed there, wherever I went, everyone hosted me very nicely. They even insisted that I eat when I was full.’


3. “They drink the tea without sugar.”

‘Everyone is talking about their tea. They say it’s perfect and you can’t drink it like this anywhere else, but they drink the tea without sugar. I was very surprised by that.’


4. “Too much smoking in Turkey.”

‘I think Turkey is the country with the highest number of smokers in the world. This was the thing that surprised me the most when I first went, everyone smokes, young and old. And the number of non-smoking areas is very few and limited.’


5. “I was in shock when I saw the minaret I marked when I went to Ankara and visited the Kocatepe Mosque.”

‘Since I’ve never seen anything like this before, I thought it was a rocket at first, then I learned what it was.’


6. “There is no such thing as private space in Turkey.”

‘I stayed in Turkey for a while for my education. I rented a small house, my neighbors were very hospitable people, but there was no definition of private space. Whenever they wanted, they would appear at my door without asking or they would invite me to their home.’

7. “They take off their shoes before they walk in the door.”
‘They take off their shoes when they enter the house. But they also see the garden as part of the house. When they go out to the garden, they go out with the slippers they wear at home.’
8. “I was so surprised to see them lying on the floor.”
‘I went to a friend’s house as a guest who lives in Gaziantep, Turkey. They were a large family, and when it was evening, his mother made a bed for us on the floor of the room. At first I couldn’t understand, but later my friend told me. They called this bed the ‘floor bed’. It was more comfortable than I expected.


9. “I went to a village during my stay in Turkey and it was a holiday.”

‘Everyone goes to visit their elders during the holidays, I was very surprised at this. And they kiss the hands of people who are older than themselves in the house they go to. Of course, it didn’t seem very hygienic to me at the time, but this is a tradition for them.’


10. “There is no such word as ‘no’ in Turkey.”

‘This applies to both social and private life. For example, even when you ask for directions outside, nobody says ‘no, I don’t know’. They always say an address, and when you go to that address, it turns out to be wrong.’

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