25 Ways to tell if you’re turning Turkish

Are you a foreigner living in Turkey? If so, here’s a fun post that may raise a giggle. As anyone that has spent time in Turkey will know, Turks certainly have their quirks – just as all nationalities do. But are the local traits rubbing off on you? Chances are you’re now guilty of some of the local idiosyncracies without even noticing! Here are Oceanwide Properties list of 25 ways to tell if you’re turning Turkish.

You know you are living in Turkey when…

  1. You drink “large” beers rather than “small” because it makes financial sense at just a lira or so more a bottle.
  2. You drink tea from little hourglass-shaped glasses, and certainly not with milk.
  3. You’re cupboard no longer stocks cereal. You now eat bread, cheese, tomatoes and olives for breakfast – did this used to be lunch?

    Ayran property in Turkey
    Ayran the salty yoghurt drink that isn’t milk!
  4. You now educate tourists in supermarkets that the Ayran in their trolleys is not milk but a popular salty yoghurt drink – it really doesn’t taste good in tea or on your cornflakes!
  5. You turn your nose up at a Nescafe. You now drink strong thick coffee from a tiny cup that vaguely resembles espresso. It has the alluring consistency of mud with huge grains at the bottom. But after you’ve drunk it, not only are you wide awake, but you can turn the cup upside down, wait for the gravel to seep into the saucer, turn it back over and get a local woman to tell you your future.
  6. You buy your vegetables far cheaper and by the kilo, with stalks, earth and bugs suggesting it’s beautifully fresh and undoubtedly organic. Gone are the days you buy fresh produce washed and gleaming coming in fancy little cling film packets.
  7. You always cook lots of food, especially on Sundays when most of your local friends are off work. Invariably Turkish family will pay a visit and will expect to partake in whatever you have going, no matter how small the portion.
  8. You are now a better cook. With few ready meal packet options or convenience foods available, if you want something fancy, you either eat out or rustle up the dish yourself from scratch.
  9. You have mastered the art of snacking on pumpkin and sunflower seeds, your teeth are even getting a groove to prove it.
  10. You will happily argue the toss on “Greek Feta”, “Greek Baklava” and “Greek Humus”
  11. You take your shoes off as soon as you walk into the house. You also have a stock of extra slippers, in assorted sizes, to give to guests that pop in as you wouldn’t want them catching a foot cold.
  12. Gone are the fish and chips or curry after a boozy night out, you now sit in a lokanta and drink soup, eat a kebab or buy kokorec from a street vendor made out of sheep intestines.
  13. If you are heading for a night out, you arrange to meet friends for drinks no earlier than 11 pm
  14. You refer to an older person you’ve never met before “abi” or “abla”
  15. You greet friends with a kiss on both cheeks, even if you are the same sex.
  16. You say “open” and “close” the light rather than switch it “on” or “off”.
  17. You never buy bin bags, instead, you stock up on carrier bags and use them instead.
  18. You save your stale bread to give the local chickens and the food scraps for the goats or hungry street animals.
  19. You have adopted a few stray cats and/or dogs. You didn’t set out to do this, perhaps they adopted you, but now you have them and they have become loved family members.
  20. You don’t bother with waiting your turn in banks, government offices or shops that don’t have a numbered ticket system, you simply head straight to the front.
  21. You find driving in your home country boring. When you do, you drive with one finger on the horn at all times and constantly expect the unexpected.
  22. You fully expect the car in the right lane next to you to be turning left. You also know the car pulled into the right at a junction is really just waiting for a space in the traffic to cut across the road again and head left.
  23. You are used to electric cuts. You have a stock of tea-lights, a pack of playing cards or backgammon set, a hob with just one electric ring (for when the gas runs out) and try to keep your phone or iPad charged at all times for just such an occasion.
  24. You can now afford Calvin Klein, Chanel, Hugo Boss and all manner of other designer names.
  25. Anything that goes wrong in your life is undoubtedly the fault of the evil eye. You have stocked up on lots of shiny blue eye pendants and have them strategically placed throughout your home to ward off this widely feared entity.

I’m sure there are many other quirks we could add to the list….please comment and let us know if you can come up with anymore.

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Join The Discussion

4 thoughts on “25 Ways to tell if you’re turning Turkish”

  • oiseau

    You prefer to walk on the street rather than sidewalk.

  • Lesley

    You tend to tut a lot instead of saying no

  • oceanwide

    Thanks for the great response we’ve received on this post, especially on our Facebook and our social media sites. So far it has reached over 10,000 people, racked up well over 100 likes and been shared many times!

    Some of the most popular suggestions on other Turkish idiosyncrasies include:

    * You now raise your head and tut like a chicken rather than shake you head to disapprove or say “no”
    * You have heard that Heath and Safety in Turkey exists but are still on the look out to find evidence of this
    * You are now well groomed. Whether a man or a woman, you can now afford regular manicures, pedicures, hair cuts, Turkish baths and massages
    * You have developed a taste for Raki and can even tell the difference between the brands.

    Thanks again and keep them coming….

  • Marion Kayaalp

    I lived in Calis, Fethiye for 5 wonderful years. It is the most wonderful place and the people are friendly and caring. My husband was Turkish. Due to ill health I am now in Bristol, England. I love going back when I am able.


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