Turkey Information Thread: AmA you're curious about Turkey
@gergir mentioned the idea, and I thought, why not give it a try?
I'm a young adult from Turkey, lived up until now in Istanbul. Whether specific to that city or not, and whether about life, tourist attractions, politics, culture, etc., just AmA.
If you have anything you don't want to publicly ask, I'l love to help if you PM me your question.
What's a food (or drink) that people in Turkey enjoy that people elsewhere are unlikely to have tried? If I was to find that food/drink somewhere, how would I be able to distinguish a good version of it from a bad one?
Turkish coffee is one such thing. It's also known as Greek/Armenian/Arab/Lebanese/... coffee, and the distinctive feature is that it's made in an ibrik and is not filtered (my turkish coffee recipes and info page), and the good version has a smooth foam on top and the drink has some body to it but it's smooth and not muddy at all, and you should feel none of the grounds in your mouth. It's best with medium roast blends. the Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi brand is the Nickelback of Turkish Coffee. The other stuff that's similarly named like Greek coffee is just the same thing; there is rivalry among these countries w.r.t. the common heritage of theirs, and everybody calls stuff after their nation. I thus like to call this particular coffee "ibrik coffee", after the container it's brewed in.
Rakı is a Turkish spirit drink made of grapes and anise. It turns white when you add water (and it burns you well and thoroughly if you don't), and has a strong anise flavour to it (you'll really smell it in a room where people drink it, even if there are other spirits out). It may be essentially the same thing with Greek ouzo, but I never had a chance to taste ouzo, so I can't tell.
There are two kinds of raki: made of wet grapes, and of dry grapes. The popular Yeni Raki brand is dry grape raki and it's "sharper", more bitter than the wet grape varieties like Efe or Tekirdag. A good raki is freezing cold, a serving is best with 1/3 to 1/2 raki & the rest water; the best meze to have with it is sweet melons and beautiful feta cheese. I like it on the rocks. That one time I had to call someone to pick me up from the side of the road b/c I simply couldn't walk unassisted was because I had too much raki too fast. It's that kinda booze.
Çiğköfte "raw meatballs (lit.)" is a fairly unique thing too. A good one is made with nice, delicate meat and an abundant amount of isot pepper flakes. The meat is mixed with the ingredients including the pepper and kneaded into a paste, w/o any cooking involved. The heat from the pepper "cooks" the meat, a bit like how carpaccio or ceviche is done. The resulting paste is firm but smooth, it's served as little knobs the size of a chestnut, wrap it in a lettuce leaf and squeeze some lemon on it. The stuff sold on streets is not made from meat, but potatos and reportedly some sorts of nuts. It's fine to eat but nothing like the real deal. It's been years since the last time I had some...
Thank you so much for your ibrik coffee page! It's not just a recipe, it's a delightful exploration of the variations, coffee traditions, and sourcing for the tools - as good as any magazine article or cookbook I've seen.
You're welcome! If coffee is a thing for you, Coffee and Coffeehouses by Ulla Heise is a great book that explores the entire history of coffee with details. Really nice read recommended to me by my barista friend.
I'm enough of a foodie tourist and caffeine junkie that I make it a point to try every regional and national variation I can get my hands on, so your recommendation is greatly appreciated. The spouse took it a step further and went into home coffee roasting.
One of the very few things that I really miss about Florida was that it's coffee heaven. I could get Cuban colada, Brazilian cafezinho, Guatemalan, Columbian, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Argentinian, Peruvian, Haitian, Viennese, Italian (basically, every kind of pressure-expressed coffee drink possible), New Orleans chicory, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Japanese bottled cold brews, Indian kaapi, Greek (no, it's nowhere near as good as Turkish), and the Turkish coffee-related Syrian, Lebanese, Moroccan, and Israeli variations within a half hour of home.
I'm guessing there's a need for a coffee thread...
Sure as heck! That'd be lovely.
Here in Istanbul it was like your description of Florida, up until the recent and ongoing crisis; now it's a struggle to find even the most rudimentary beans in cafes. Instead they opt for the cheapest. I'm not really a coffee afficionado to know all the beans I drink, but my favourite was El Salvador Finca Bosque Lya, and it's nowhere to be found in the country. Now I'm back to drinking instant coffee...
I absolutely love Greek coffee. Highly recommend trying it out :)
If you're in Europe, look for a Moroccan, Turkish or Lebanese shop and they will most likely have the utensil you need for it. Turkish coffee itself you can find in a lot of places.
Any difference with the Turkish variety?
Not that I know of.
What do you think about ayran? It's sold in the store in Sweden. Also, we love Turkish yoghurt here!
Ayran? The best thing since sliced bread, quite literally. Goes great with fast food like kebabs or quick pilavs, really freshens you up when it's hot, and really helps with the burn if you're eating something hot or spicy. It's essentially yoghurt + water + salt, BTW.
I can't find Greek yoghurt easily on sale here, if you had a chance to compare, how dissimilar would you say the are?
I can't do a taste test right now, but I'd say Turkish yoghurt is a bit less tart. There was a controversy a few years ago, because the biggest brand of Turkish yoghurt had a Greek guy on the package (or was it the other way around?). But either way, the two are similar in style/consistency and taste.
W.r.t Turkish coffee, do you guys drink it with or without cardamom added? In Lebanon you can find either version in the store.
Ouzo sounds extremely similar to arak. We usually serve it in the same ratio you described, but it's usually enjoyed with barbequed meat. I find it compliments it very nicely.
The default recipe is plain coffee, but it's also consumed with cardamon, mastic and some other stuff added. I haven't had it with cardamom before, but I do like the mastic added version.
I've heard of arak but hadn't had a chance to taste it so far. Raki too is good with meat, I unashamedly wrote my favourite meze up there :) It's actually most closely associated here with seafood.
Do Turkish people consider Ancient Greece/Rome to be part of their cultural and historical heritage? I'm not sure how to word it clearly but as an Englishman we were part of the roman empire and because of the Romans (and 19th century Hellenophiles and democracy) Classical Greece is part of our heritage too. Films get made about Troy and Thermopylae, books, plays, etc. are written with the protagonists being Greek or Roman. People know of Marathon, Greek Gods, the Olympics, Acropolis etc. even if they aren't history fans. We attribute many of our ideals to starting in Greece however ahistorical or caveats there might be.
I'd assume so except that in many Islamic countries there tends to be quite a big consciousness divide between pre-Islam history and post-Islam history but then again Turkish people tend to be outliers when it comes to Islam too.
It's complicated. Fact is, it's mostly the same population that inhabits the country since prehistoric times. But politics and religion complicate things, and most people more closely identify with Ottomans than their predecessors. The Republic has leaned towards the "Turks are Central Asian migrants" hypothesis, and more closely identified with pre-Greek Anatolian and Mesopotamian civilisations. There are even crazy theories like the Sun Language Theory and the Sumerians are Turks hypothesis mad people like Muazzez Ilmiye Çığ champion. Stuff like Antiquity, Ancient Greece or Romans are more viewed as exotic distant stuff in history. It's evident in history lessons or in daily smalltalk: we generally don't know of those much, it's some form of Alterity, it's not really us; altho Mehmet II assumed the title of Kaysar = Kayzer = Caesar = Emperor of Rome, which was almost recognised by Pope Pius II when he wrote a letter urging him to convert to Christianity (tho it's not all kind requests, there apparently was a Crusade going on at the time, and the letter was possibly never sent).
Fun thing is, up until last summer, my plan was to study Comparatistics and the ultimate goal was to find out about how this Turkish identity formed, and it included singling out narratives that brought about these identity crises and how the Turkish identity was formed. I wanted to try and shed some light onto the Anatolian Dark Ages, 1000--1500 AD, where the whole area saw large Islamisation and Turkification; the documents are really scarce on how all that happened, but seemingly it was a gangbang of imperial forces and local bandits clashing the shit out of their empires and religions. If I hadn't lost my interest in how nations form, or national/ethnic topics in general, I'd probably have quite a bit more to tell you about this particular subject.
TL;DR There is no aversion towards Ancient Greece or Rome, but an exotic interest; and it's not really ours.
Thanks for the reply.
Are there any local slang terms/idioms you're fond of?
What is life like there for LGBT individuals?
What's something that the rest of the world should know about Turkey, but likely doesn't?
There is a very elaborate and creative tradition of cussing that involves fucking or screwing or shitting on/in or sticking it into almost anything you can imagine: babanın düşmanlarını sikeyim "I shall fuck the enemies of your father" (mostly a marker of informal, friendly dismissal of an ingroup peer); amına kodumun çocuğu "the child of a woman whose cunt I stuck it into"; senin ağzına salıncak kurar sallana sallana sıçarım "I build a swing on your mouth and shit into it as I swing back and forth", etc. etc. Not that I particularly like any of these, but it is interesting (tho I do cuss a lot, one of the more Turkish things I do; Italians even say bestemmiare come un turco "to curse like a Turk" to mean to curse excessively.
Apart from that there are many slangs like Lubunca (used especially by the transgender sex workers); one example I find amusing is ıspanak "spinach" for money, tho IDK if it's Lubunca or something else.
If you're in major cities, it's different. If not, it's shit: just another patriarchal religious society that hates on you. Hate crime is common, especially against transexual individuals. Life is difficult. Lots of exclusion. Lots of hiding your true self, facing societal pressures, dealing with ignorance. In major cities it may be a bit better: if you're not trans, and not particularly overtly gay, you'll be fine. You'll be okay if you're very stereotypically gay too, but you'll feel the constant disparaging eyes on you, and occasional catcalling and people saying stupid shit to you. But you can survive and have a job rather easily. Not the same story for trans people who can't really do much apart from sex work because most of the society is not really accepting of them. Your work will involve the more pervert and ignorant kind of customers, will be totally illegal (altho there are legal state-operated brothels in Turkey---yeah, you didn't misread, I did not mean brother or something, there are brothels here, and the state runs them), very risky, and rather low-paying compared to your female-born peers. Prostitute or not, you'll face constant hate---disparaging gay and trans jokes are even on TV---and hate crimes are common, the most common one being killing a trans woman after having sex with her. That's been on news at least 5 to 10 times in last few years.
TL;DR Be invisible and you'll survive. If your family is a progressive, accepting one, it's a big plus. Live in major cities' more youthful neighbourhoods. Or, be a celebrity.
While we're not a bastion of freedoms and a first-class progressive developed society, Turkey is simply the best majority-Muslim place you can find out there. A very big chunk, possibly the majority of the country is essentially non-practicing cultural Muslims, and laicism/secularism has a very strong foothold: even the current far right govt can't really openly talk against it after 18 years of absolute dominance of country's institutions. Don't expect it to become a Shariah state any time, and expect instead that this wave of conservatism and religious stick-your-head-in-sand-ism will soon disappear.
Also, Eskişehir is a beautiful city with lots of potential.
Have you lived in the US?
If so, in what ways have you found Turkish culture differs?
Thoughts on the Erdogan situation?
Favorite Turkish food and dessert?
I haven't, but I can mention a couple points where it's similar: it seems to me that Americans too have this life plan of "I want a home and a car, married, with a couple kids, and maybe a summer house"; also, both places are rather religious and conservative relatively to the rest of the developed world.
Well.... I'm fed up with him, and it looks like he's gonna get an ass kicking next elections, which I expect will happen prematurely. Erdogan and his AKP is basically a very large scale pyramid scheme designed from day one to usurp the riches of the country. About everything he does is with the goal of maintaining power and crushing opposition, nothing beyond that. The last two decades it's gotten shit "gradually, then suddenly". Now that the economy's gone broke too, he's lost a lot of support. But among the young a new "conservative but progressive" class emerges. There is some sort of light appearing at the end of the tunnel, but we can't be sure what it is.
How expensive stuff has become is not explicable, really. Just take this: the table here really illustrates how dramatic it is: in 2011 minimum wage was ~TRY800, which amounted to ~USD500; today the minimum wage is ~TRY2500, which amounts to ~USD480 (and actually a fresh Googling says it's ~$430 now). Basically, all money you had values 1/6th of it now, and apart from the minimum wage, the rest of the wages did not really increase after the fall of Turkish lira. Add to that increases that do not stem from the parity, and the fact that Turkey produces almost none of it's basic needs, we're all on life support, basically. And even hardline Erdogan supporters are fed up with this. This is not reversible for him because this is entirely his fault and it is the only expected result of his policies. I'm pretty much sure we'll be having elections next summer and he's not being re-elected.
Sorry for the rant...
My absolute favourite dessert is the simple but tricky kabak tatlısı "pumpkin dessert", a desert made by baking pumpkins and then pouring syrup onto them. It is really that simple, but picking the right pumpkin (ripe but not soft) and pouring the right amount of syrup (not tart, but not totally sweet either, only just enters the sweet territory) is what makes the difference between kabak tatlısı and just pumpkins and syrup. It's thus not really easy to find it made well outside, but I can suggest this place tho they don't do it all the time (food there was great nevertheless, at least back in 2014 when I used to work near it).
My favourite dish, well it is numerous but I can say ezogelin çorbası "ezogelin soup". It is really easy to make (put bulgur, red lentils, potatoes, carrots, onion, water, dried mint, dried oregano, black pepper, salt, olive oil into pot; cook until lentils pop, mixing every now and then (20-45 mins); go through it with a blender; optionally serve with croutons), but it is such a tasty, filling, beautiful soup that can become your whole lunch if you do it thick enough (Turkish soups are generally rather thin).
There are different stereotypes of Turkish diasporans. German Turks are viewed as entitled and boorish descendants of immigrant workers that don't know shit about here but have ignorant opinons on everything. And to some extent you see that happen: the most stupid nationalistic utterances or the most unimformed of opinons on Turkish happenings come from diasporan kids that approach Turkey with some hubris from living in a better socioeconomical standard, and you can see they look down upon us. A stereotypical phrase is "In Europe it's not like this." Of course, the same stereotype extends to immigrant workers and their descendants in other European countries. This sort of immigration is nowhere near big for overseas, and the stereotypical Turkish immigrant in Americas is a rich or at least white-collar guy that went there just because, and the same negativity is not really present.
Another major stereotype is the academic or intellectual that lives abroad, often because the state of the facilities or ideologies back home impeded them to progress in their activities. There are different views on such people (of which I'll probably become an instance in a few years), some are bitter because they're not contributing to the "motherland", even go as far as to view them as traitors; some empathise and sympathise, understanding the hardship they face here. It's often imagined that they have a hard time fitting in where they are, and have a melancholic life (which is not necessarily true, but some do have a hard time fitting in).
It's normal that many come from the same region because it's often with the help of relatives abroad that most people go abroad. Family ties are really strong in more rural Turkish families. Konya is decidedly conservative.
When they come back to Turkey, again stereotypically, there's some tension, because there is the economic difference, and there are stereotypical disparaging of life here by them, and these are not so stereotypical as to be far away from truth: you'll encounter them go "It's not like this in Europe", and tell, inside voice or out loud, them to just fuck off then, given you're already aware of the troubles.
I have uncles and cousins abroad in the UK and we don't really have these troubles, but with a couple farther relatives I can observe these: real fun when they pretend they don't know the Turkish word for something or switch to English among them, when they barely speak B2 level and you know they live in what's almost Turkish ghettos there in the UK.
These immigrants, especially in Germany, are a big trope of comedy. Especially the German-Turkish accent awakens all these stereotypes of a sudden when heard during a stand up or comedy sketch, or even among friends.
How would you rate Turkish public infrastructure, e.g. Internet access speed and reliability vs. cost; road network capacity and safety; drinking water distribution and quality, etc.?
[I'm not asking for a global comparative assessment, just your experience of daily life and the circumstances you're familiar with.]
Internet is shit, the infrastructure almost entirely belongs to one company that used to be a public one but privatised. Down speeds are okay (but good speeds are pricy), uploads suck unless you pay decent money. ATM I pay TRY75 for 16Mbit down and ~1Mbit up. I can't really speak for mobile coverage b/c I have a shitty 3G only phone and can only connect to the "H" thing in most places.
Road network is extensive, tho I haven't been to the east of Ankara except once ~15yrs ago. It's safe except drivers aren't, Turkish drivers are notoriously agressive and break rules.
Water from the tap is not really potable here in Istanbul, tho I can't talk about the rest of the country. It's been more than a decade that we don't drink the tap water in our home. It's easy to have carboys (or demijohns, both are amusing names TBH, TIL) of potable water delivered to your home, and the containers are returnable. We buy 4 bottles per month, only pay for the water.
In Istanbul and Ankara the metro is really good, and in all cities the bus lines are comprehensive. Intercity travel is mainly by intercity buses or by plane, tho recently the latter became very pricy. High speed trains are available between Istanbul-Eskisehir-Ankara, Istanbul-Eskisehir-Konya, Konya-Ankara, with Ankara-Sivas due to open by the end of this year. There are also mainline trains that serve long routes. I did ride the one from Izmir to Ankara in a sleeper, it took 16hrs and was pure joy. There's also the Orient Express to Kars (Armenian border) which is famous (the touristic version has sleepers, the normal couchettes). Train tickets are for fucking peanuts, I use Istanbul-Ankara frequently since a few months ago and love it.
If you have any questions about some sort of infrastructure that I didn't talk about, feel free to ask.
Thanks! We in the U.S. have taken potable tap water for granted for a long time, though there are clearly interests that want to sell us bottled at the expense of properly maintaining a system that's served pretty well for the last century. Is the Istanbul situation something like that?
IDK, TBH I'm not really sure who's scamming us, given we can't trust the govt nor the industry. But one thing for certain, the tap water is hard and frequently treated with chlorine. It's fine when filtered, but I can't bring myself to drink it unfiltered. We used to drink it like till a decade and a half ago, but then the news said don't drink it, and nobody does.
Hey cadadr, nice!
I'm in Europe at the moment and you know there's been quite a bit of talk about Turkey joining their club. Is that talked about much over there? If so, how do people feel about it after seeing what it did to countries like Greece and Portugal? I mean places with a pretty large rural population with traditional occupations, products, mores and such. And aren't people afraid they may just become the next cheap holiday destination for unruly foreign drunkards like in Malta or lately the Czech Republic?
What about travel or just normal circulation for girls or women by themselves? I don't mean hitch-hikers/'backpackers' in hotpants but soberly dressed non-tourists? And foreigners in general, would they be welcome/accepted in the provinces on extended stays?
A turkish girl here spoke of where her family lives and showed some photos; it's stunningly beautiful in the countryside, unspoilt. If foreigners plopped down there without making waves and observing local custom, would that be tolerated? She thought nope...
p.s. turkish coffee is delicious
People are rather deluded over EU: it was really desired, but the EU is keen on making it impossible for Turkey to enter. Many say it's a Christian Club, and while I try my best to not give in to this sort of conspiracy theories, it is not particularly difficult to believe this one, I have to concede: after all, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Poland, Greece, and Italy are in there; EU concedes more freedoms to the citizens of Ucraine, Georgia and Armenia; and none of these countries are particularly better off or less corrupt than Turkey (at least as it was a decade ago, and the negotiations have been going on since decades). It is quite understandable that people lose faith in EU. TBH, I'd really love if Turkey could become an EU member. Or at least participate in Schengen area and EEA. If they could help us with corruption and good education, we could help them and the world as a country that can both do tech and agriculture, finance and skilled work, and (sadly) a big boost as a military power.
The Greece problem is an issue, but it does not really have much to do with EU, AFAIK it's Greece's govt being really corrupt and just squandering EU money until at the end no money is left in the country. Turkey is corrupt, but if we can deal with that, EU would've been a great boost to so many things here.
I'm not really fond of the "I can get drunk wasted, puke and piss everywhere, abuse local locations and people, and do other stupid shit, for I have money to spend" kind of tourism that Czechia or parts of Italy etc. gets, but I don't think that's a difficult issue to deal with if you're willing to give up a bit of tourism income, and a Turkey that's not killing itself like it is now could easily make use of tourism as a side gig rather than a main job, we have that potential. In provinces locals wouldn't really let you do that sort of stuff, and I haven't seen it happen when Istanbul was bustling with tourists. But policy can help if tourists start flocking.
People here love foreigners as guests, but if you're settling or staying for longer periods, you're expected to try to fit in a bit, or there'll be some passive aggression. Women won't have much trouble in major cities (where you can freely enjoy your hotpants under your crop tops) or summer hotspots that they don't have in France, Italy or elsewhere, but most provinces are indeed a bit more conservative, at least. There are places which I'd advice against going and things I'd advice against doing in those places; and there are places where the right outfit can help you avoid trouble. One thing to always keep in mind is that Turkey is an incredibly diverse country with many different realities coexisting, so you can't take for granted the freedoms or limitations of Istanbul when you go to Urfa, or even Kocaeli which is a province just next to Istanbul (but in between there is Eskisehir and Ankara which are just as good as Istanbul).
All in all, tho, I can guarantee that people everywhere will cheerfully welcome you so long as you don't disrupt their lives in a negative way. Your friend is displaying a bit anti-Turkish bias that all of us have; no-one will bother you if you don't happen to end up in particularly tough neighbourhoods.
If you have particular questions about particular places, I think I can help better; or else it'd take too much time to be feasible for a comment here to talk about everything (and I've not been to very many places outside from Istanbul yet, tho I do know enought to comment on most places).
That's a very thorough reply, thank you very much. Personally I think Turkey should be in the EU, as it really is very different from its neighbouring countries and always had that drive similar to countries like Germany and Japan if I understand correctly. I mean tradition as a basis but modernisation and innovation on top of that, i.e. the best of both worlds.
I've been talking to the turkish girl a lot, because I've been wondering for a while if it could be a place for me to live. I was born in a 3rd-world country and had to come here 2y ago, and the differences are just too great. So when I saw pictures of the turkish countryside, no telephone poles or ugly concrete, nature intact, people seemingly contented, I thought hmmm.
I learn languages quickly, so that's not a problem, and dress very conservatively anyway, but I'd be very obvious as a foreigner by looks, and the turkish girl said there's no chance a female my age could get anything done in the deep rural areas. Where I'm from I was able to sell the house and sign the deed at not even 9 1/2, because all that counts is money, the rest they don't care. But she says people wouldn't even talk to me.
I'm not joking or just toying with the idea. Been reading your posts about Ankara and Istanbul, looked at pics and articles, but that's too modern and hectic for me. The people who hold my money have been looking into possibilities since December, but can't get a conclusive answer about residence rights for someone in my position.
It would be perfect though; no ostentatious signs of modern civilisation, traditional customs, easy pace, good climate, etc., just like at home. I'm not christian either, don't have any modern habits. Well, one; I play jazzguitar, but not connected to an amp most of the time anyway. Otherwise I wouldn't be any different from locals except in appearance. I'm trying to get someone to come with me later this year for an exploratory visit. I only sailed past the southern coast (Antalia?) on arriving here and remember being charmed.
This was a bit rambling, but I hope you get the idea.
Wow. That's not happening here, you gotta be 18yrs or older for anything serious, or your legal protector needs to act on your behalf. That's just legally impossible.
If I were you, I'd try it at some of the smaller cities like Eskişehir, Çanakkale, etc. You can both have a home not that far from an urban area for when you need to do shopping and other needs, and pay really cheap rent; and also be very close to nature.
I imagine you're a young lady almost 18yo, from what I read. IDK, to each their own, but I can't really recommend more rural areas especially in Central and Eastern parts of the country. Maybe you could try the exciting Maths and Philosophy villages by the Nesin family (a famous family of important Turkish intellectuals), they are running these villages in rural Izmir and they are an exciting phenomenon. They probably only teach in Turkish tho.
Don't hesitate to ask me further questions now or later about Turkey, I'll try to help to the best of my knowledge. I wish you the best of luck in your adventure!
Thanks a lot! Is it all right if I ask something via PM? It's not something that would be interesting to the thread, but that I'd like to know soonish.
Great, will do.
What are the major opinion groups regarding Atatürk in modern Turkey? Did the popularity of AK Parti decrease the respect of the Turks for “The Father Of All Turks”?
The two most vocal groups are haters and unconditional lovers, both of which are as dumb as each other, and as much as it gets. AKP definitely made him become a figure more open to discussion, but I think that gave most reasonable people to see him for the man he is and feel respect and love for the actual guy who he is, with his flaws and mistakes in his mission for good. Up until today it was impossible to be critical of him, especially after the fascist coup of 12 Sep '80 after which he was made into an indiscussable taboo, a holy saviour of fatherland.
I think most people have that "we love him, but he's human too" attitude. I for one definitely respect and love him for what he did, but am critical of him for the many mistakes he did or let happen. But I'm fairly sure he didn't intend anything disingenuous; his deeds and his life proves that.
AKP tries to erode this sort of common stuff majority of people share in the country, but they're constantly failing, and they often end up having to pretend they respect and follow him.
What is/are the essential element(s) you need to understand to fundamentally grasp Turkish society and culture? (e.g. English society is inextricably built on class structure, US = race, Japan = wa, etc.)
How Asian do you think Turkish identity is?
Most importantly, who's winning the Super Lig this year?
Başa gelen çekilir: "You deal with whatever life brings on to you", paraphrasingly. This is about pushing on through despite bad luck, and has roots in both the economic and societal harships and the Islamic/Christian belief in stuff in this world being some sort of test you have to endure for eternal happiness. It's both a good characteristic to have, and also what ruins life for everyone in this country: it's nice to keep going despite shit that constantly happens because life, but when you put up with way too much before reacting, you have to endure a lot of stress and people abuse of such excess tollerance. Like, this whole Erdogan ordeal can boil down to the "gotta put up with what comes up" attitude people have which helped keep them silent to all the outrageous things that happened in the last two decades, but also many before. Instead, many seem to fancy passive suffering instead of an active resistance, in many levels of life, from personal to social.
Racism is present here too, we have our Turkish Supremacists, tho that's not really the name. There is a lot of racism against especially Christian minorities and Kurds. It's always been something that was exploited by both the Empire and the Republic, and has had (and still does have) disastrous consequences for the country.
W.r.t. Asianness, well, it depends on what part of Asia you're talking about. I can say fairly confidently that the "we came from central asia" hypothesis is mostly a myth, but a lot of characteristics are shared between Turkey and other places of Near East. But we don't have much to do with Central Asia and Far East, despite decades of efforts to create links. I'd say we're on a continuum from South Eastern Asia to Europe, somewhere in the middle, but a bit to the west of it.
FE- NER- BAH- ÇE! We've had a hard time last season after the old club president decided to fuck us up instead of just walking away after a great career with the club, but we're recovering. Our current manager, Ersun Yanal, is a very smart and able guy who's said to make use of all football tech available, and the first three games were good. Our defence is rather lacking, but I hope that can be bolstered mid season. There are a few rising stars in the team, and our captain, Emre, is 38yo but a huge talent and has enough flair to pull the team together on the pitch. Last night I watched the Trabzonspor game, and the team put up well with the huge stress, but it's obvious we need better centre backs, and we could've done better penetrating when around the 18yd box with some tactical passing.
Thank you, great responses, and holy crap, I did not know Emre was still knocking about! And back at Fenerbahce to boot. I'll have to keep an eye out.
Bonus question - Say I'm flying into Turkey for a vacation. I hop off the plane and my butler's taking care of all the necessary arrangements. What's the first thing I should do?
Emre is great, he's like a Turkish Pirlo. He's a bit of an asshole, and many dislike him for that, but for me, he's a great player, and at least not an asshole in the was Arda Turan is, i.e. not detrimental to the team he's playing in (Arda OTOH is a menace, and it's quite obvious in how he went from blinkin' Barcelona to Başakşehir which is a team spawned by the current govt to suck up Istanbul Municipality's money).
Your question really depends on where you land. If I assume you're arriving at Istanbul, the first thing you need to do is when booking your tickeds, you'll avoid the new airport like the plague. It's built haphazardly and barely functions, and it's out in the woods (actually, "on" the woods, they razed three entire villages and a large chunk of Istanbul's Northern forests to build an airport that takes winds from the wrong way and right on the migration path of multiple species of birds---many pilots have denounced the entire thing). The last time I went there two thirds of planes were delayed. Use Sabiha Gokcen instead. There, avoid taxis even if you're Elon Musk, they scam you and drive like shit and ruin your first hour in Turkey. Hop on one of the buses and go to Kadikoy or Taksim, from there, there isn't a point that public transport can't take you to. Don't exchange money in the airport or touristy districts, they buy/sell on the cheap. Get an IstanbulKart, with it you can use all public transport except taxis.
Precautions aside, the first thing I'd do would probably be to go to Kadikoy and hop on a boat to Besiktas. The sea travel is one of the best parts of this city. Look around the ship, often somewhere there'll be someone busking, and it'll be beautiful music. If you don't have luggage you need to deal with, go back to Kadikoy with the next boat, buy some beer, and head to Moda park. Sit down on the grass, enjoy your beer watching the sky and the sea. Tho if I was not alone I'd opt for a bottle of wine. Whatever you do, that park is one of the best places to be in the whole city. BTW the boats have canteens and they've always doubled for me as a mobile cafe : when I was in the uni which was near Eminonu, I'd go to Karakoy, go to Kadikoy on boat, then to Besiktas, and then home with bus, spending an hour on the sea, having a tea and a toast, doing homework or reading a book or something. It's beautiful.
Grand Bazaar is a colossal tourist trap, and there's nothing of good quality there. Similarly with Spice Bazaar. There are some nice shops in these historic bazaars, but even a local struggles to discover them.
This question may be a sensitive topic so I apologize if it is. I’m curious on the view of a Turkish citizen on the Armenian Genocide, do you acknowledge it as a genocide and do you think other people do?
No problem! The genocide did happen, no questions there. Most people here think otherwise because of the huge decades long misinformation campaing that they are subject to from secondary school onwards. I don't blame them, it's been a long struggle to find out about this, for me, and it has hit me hard emotionally I discovered it. In fact, that process of discovery has been a very formative part of my life and made me the guy I am, for which I'm thankful I came to learn about this stuff. But for a normal Turkish guy that only speaks Turkish there is simply no easy or even not relatively less difficult to find out about this stuff. Hopefully this'll change in the future, but the sheer stigma around the topic renders me hopeless.
Hi, what do young people in Turkey think of Mongolia? Whenever there is a video about Mongolian about traditional music video or history video, it is usually mess involving pan-turanists and Mongolian nationalists. Also, what is the attitude among the young about Turanism? I am From Mongolia.
I haven't really observed a particularly widespread attitude against or towards Mongolians per se, apart from the few actual Turanists I've come to meet. They go talking about "our kin in Asia" all the time. That's dumb on many levels (we're all kinsmen, the entire world; nations are abstract social obsessions and a set of lies some people share, etc), and annoying.
Turanism is strong it its very light form "Turks come from Cental Asia, and we're 'kinsmen' with the people of the Central Asian Steppe", which includes Mongolians. It is really hard to avoid this because it is in the K12 curriculum here.
I'd really love to hear what you think about Turanism, Pan-Turanism, and identity of the people in Turkish Republic.
I do agree that everyone is a kin to each other and should see each other as such. I don't mind them but sometimes it feels like they are claiming other people's history and culture. I have meet some Turkish people who claimed we are kin. They were fine people but on the internet it is whole another story. It gets really nasty. In Mongolia, a lot of nationalists (which is wast majority) dislike them because they think they are stealing their history. Also we Mongolians have superiority complex and often look down on other non-Mongolian steppe people. I am major lefty so, for me nationality does not matter much.