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Thursday, June 13, 2024

25 Misbeliefs & Myths About Turkey The Nation (Not The Chicken)

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Let me bust a couple of myths as a result of, let’s be sincere, there are rather a lot.

The primary time I went to Türkiye, I can truthfully say it wasn’t someplace I had ever actually considered going. The truth is, it’s someplace I actively figured I’d by no means go as a result of I had particular concepts in my head about what it will be like. That was 16 years in the past.

Now, I dwell in Türkiye, and I’m even married to a Turk.

My expertise has taught me that lots of the beliefs I had about Türkiye had been completely off the mark. So, let’s discover a few of these widespread misconceptions collectively and see simply how wonderful this nation actually is.

And it’s, belief me.

I hear numerous issues, and a few of them make me roll my eyes so arduous that I ponder whether I’ll see straight once more. However there are additionally some on a regular basis issues that do have just a little sense behind them. So, that can assist you perceive simply how wonderful Türkiye is and to kick these complicated ideas proper out of your thoughts within the course of, let’s check out 25 of the commonest misconceptions about this gorgeous nation.

After which you possibly can thank me since you’ll have a implausible vacation.

Many individuals consider that Turkish persons are unwelcoming to outsiders. In actuality, Turkish hospitality is famous, and guests usually discover locals to be extremely pleasant and useful. I’ve misplaced depend of the variety of occasions I’ve been invited into somebody’s residence for tea or provided help after I appeared misplaced. Turks take satisfaction of their hospitality, and it’s one thing that genuinely comes from the guts. For those who come right here with an open thoughts, you’ll go away with new associates and unforgettable experiences.

Okay, let’s sit down and focus on this for a second. Türkiye just isn’t harmful. Sure, there have been a couple of issues previously with terrorism and home points, however present me a rustic that hasn’t handled issues like that. Personally, I really feel safer in Türkiye than I do within the UK.

The one recommendation I’d give is to maintain updated with the information, simply as you’d in another nation you might be visiting, comply with authorities recommendation, and keep away from giant gatherings akin to protests. Simply keep out of it and get pleasure from your vacation.

By no means say that to a Turkish individual as a result of they’ll be very insulted! Turkish delicacies is scrumptious and intensely assorted.

Sure, there are numerous forms of kebabs to attempt (actually, the record is ridiculously lengthy), and sure, there’s loads of baklava (and fortunately so as a result of it’s beautiful), however have you ever ever tried a Turkish breakfast? How about guvec and gozleme? Kofte and cig kofte ought to positively be in your menu. Pide? Lahmacun? I may go on.

The purpose is, whereas kebabs and baklava may be well-known, they’re definitely not the one issues to attempt.

I like to recommend you step out of your consolation zone and check out genuine Turkish delicacies when you’re within the nation. You’ll simply discover worldwide fare, however why keep on with what you’re used to? You’re positive to discover a new favourite in the event you attempt one thing native.

Türkiye has an enormous and booming vacationer business – how can it do this with out talking any English?

In fact, not everybody does, however many do. The truth is, I’d say that in the event you go to the massive cities and vacationer resorts, extra folks converse English than those who don’t.

For those who enterprise off the overwhelmed monitor to maybe east and southeast Türkiye, you would possibly discover extra individuals who don’t converse English, but it surely’s a fairly sweeping assertion to say that no one does.

Personally, I feel you must be taught a couple of phrases of the native language regardless of the place you go, and Türkiye isn’t any completely different.


Fable 5: Istanbul Is The Solely Metropolis Price Visiting In Türkiye

SJ stands on a sandy hilltop in Devrent Imagination Valley, Cappadocia, waving their hand under a clear blue sky.
Mountaineering Devrent Valley Cappadocia

Oh, hell no! Look, I’m a big Istanbul fan; I really like the place, but it surely’s definitely not the one metropolis value visiting.

What about Cappadocia, Izmir, Antalya, Ankara, Trabzon, Fethiye, and Konya? These are just some of the most important and brightest locations in Türkiye, and so they’re all implausible in their very own proper.

Türkiye is gigantic; actually, it’s a lot greater than most individuals give it credit score for. In fact, there may be extra to it than simply Istanbul.

Fable 6: Turkish Individuals Journey Camels

A camel lying on grass with a red blanket, with unique rock formations in Goreme, Cappadocia, and a clear blue sky in the background.

I’ve lived right here for years, and I’ve by no means seen a camel. SJ did inform me that she noticed them in Cappadocia, however solely as a result of the vacationers like them, not as a result of they’re really native to the nation. They had been imported to serve the aim of rides.

Personally, I’d be extra involved in regards to the mosquitos as a result of, belief me, these are a ache!

For those who’re questioning how folks get round, effectively, they do — similar to everybody else—in vehicles, buses, trams, trains, and ferries. Oh, and folks stroll.

Sorry, no camels.

Fable 7: Türkiye Is Shut To Syria And Iraq


That is half true and half not. Türkiye borders each of those international locations, however because it’s an unlimited metropolis, these two international locations are extraordinarily distant from most vacationer locations. As an example, the Syrian border is 1206km away from Marmaris. That’s a great distance. Istanbul is 1685km away from the Iraq border.

Despite the fact that there’s a border, it’s not such as you’re going to go there, proper? You’re very secure in the principle cities, cities, and resorts. Türkiye is HUGE.

Fable 8: Turkish Individuals Solely Drink Cay

A clear bottle of Yeni Raki, a Turkish spirit, set on a table with plants softly blurred in the background. The label prominently displays "1937.

You would possibly suppose so, however no. In addition they drink raki, ayran, Turkish espresso, and plenty of different drinks. However sure, Turkish tea, or cay, is extraordinarily well-liked.

After years of dwelling and touring in Turkey, I’m nonetheless but to satisfy somebody who doesn’t prefer it.

Fable 9: You Can Solely Benefit from the Seashores in Summer time

A group of people in the water at Incekum, near Marmaris

Türkiye’s seashores are lovely year-round. Furthermore, Türkiye presents quite a lot of actions past seashores, like snowboarding in winter, historic excursions, and cultural festivals.

I swam within the heat Aegean waters in October and skied within the mountains close to Erzurum in January. There’s all the time one thing to do, regardless of the season. Don’t restrict your self to only summer time seashore journeys; Türkiye is a year-round vacation spot with infinite potentialities.

Fable 10: Turkey Is Simply A Low-cost Trip Vacation spot

A rustic outdoor sitting area in Goreme, Cappadocia, with a wooden coffee table on an ornate rug, a beige sofa, and a wooden door in a stone wall.

Whereas Türkiye may be inexpensive, this fable undermines the standard and number of experiences it presents.

From luxurious resorts to historic websites and high-end delicacies, Türkiye caters to all budgets and tastes.

Once I first moved right here, I used to be amazed by the vary of experiences out there. Whether or not you’re staying in a five-star lodge in Bodrum or having fun with a boutique keep in Cappadocia, the service and facilities rival these of any high vacation spot worldwide.

Türkiye is far more than an affordable journey vacation spot; it’s a spot of luxurious and journey.

Fable 11: Turkish Individuals Have Organized Marriages

Some do, sure, however definitely not all. The truth is, I’d say that almost all don’t. Organized marriages definitely aren’t the norm, and they aren’t one thing that’s pushed upon anybody.

Fable 12: Turkish Males Have A number of Wives

For those who ask a Turkish man if he desires multiple spouse, I can guarantee you he’ll say no! So, no, Turkish males would not have multiple spouse; actually, polygamy is against the law in Türkiye.

Fable 13: Turkish Girls Have No Rights

Nicky smoking a shish on a couch in Istanbul.

I urge you to look at any Turkish cleaning soap opera, and also you’ll immediately perceive how ridiculous this false impression is. Turkish girls are very loud, proud, and unbiased, and sure, whereas there are some extra conservative areas the place girls aren’t seen out and about as a lot as somewhere else, they’re definitely not oppressed. In addition they have simply as many rights as males.

Fable 14: Türkiye Is A Predominantly Arab Nation

Türkiye isn’t Arabic; it’s Turkish. The language is Turkish, not Arabic. You’ll see plenty of Arabs on vacation, similar to everybody else, however no, Türkiye isn’t an Arabic nation by far.

Fable 15: Türkiye Is Unsafe For Solo Feminine Vacationers

Woman in a scarf at the Turkish mosque Suleymaniye

I traveled as a solo feminine in Türkiye and was high-quality. Many others have, too. Certain, some may need had a nasty expertise, however I can guarantee you that’s the case in any nation on the planet. Turkish persons are useful and welcoming, and in the event you do need to journey round the nation alone, use your widespread sense.

Fable 16: Türkiye Is A Strictly Muslim Nation With No Non secular Freedom

An illustration of a donkey in a city with Christmas lights in Turkey.

I went to a Christmas market in Istanbul final yr. So, from that, you’ll perceive how ridiculous that false impression is. Sure, the vast majority of folks in Türkiye are Muslim, however, as we’ve already talked about, it’s a secular nation, and faith isn’t compelled upon anybody.

Fable 17: Turkish Individuals Don’t Have fun New Years

A clock tower celebrating the arrival of a happy new year in Turkiye.

New 12 months is a large deal in Türkiye. The truth is, it’s mainly the identical as Christmas however with out the nativity story. Referred to as ‘Yılbaşı,’ locals consider that Santa Claus visits on New 12 months’s Eve and leaves items.

There are bushes, songs (sure, you’ll hear jingle bells), lights, and festivities. It’s a giant deal, and in the event you attempt to get right into a bar or restaurant on New 12 months’s Eve, you’d higher have booked beforehand, or else there’s actually no likelihood you’re getting by way of the door.

Fable 18: All Girls Have To Put on The Hijab In Türkiye

A bustling narrow street at dusk, lined with cafes and restaurants, filled with people dining and socializing. The vibrant scene is illuminated by streetlights and storefront signs—a perfect introduction for anyone exploring A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul.

Nope, they don’t must, however they will in the event that they need to. You’ll see a mixture of girls with their heads coated, some with out, some completely coated, and plenty of sporting Western-style garments. It’s a private alternative.

Fable 19: Turkish Individuals Don’t Drink Alcohol

Oh, I can guarantee you they do! Some do, some don’t; once more, it’s as much as the person. Small outlets and supermarkets promote alcohol as much as 10 p.m., and there are many bars and eating places that serve alcohol.

Some eating places don’t serve alcohol, however these are usually the extra conventional soup/kebab, family-friendly locations.

The truth is, to point out simply how ridiculous this false impression is, take into consideration raki for a second. Raki is mainly a nationwide pastime for many who do drink, and in order for you a genuinely conventional night time out, head to a fish or meat restaurant and have raki together with your meal.

Simply don’t drink an excessive amount of since you definitely gained’t keep in mind something the following day! (Ask SJ after she and my husband drank a bottle)

Fable 20: You Have To Haggle For Every little thing In Türkiye

A variety of antique items and colorful textiles displayed on a rustic street market in Goreme, Cappadocia, including carpets, mirrors, and old metallic objects.

Haggling is enjoyable; you must attempt it. However significantly, you solely haggle in markets or bazaars, not in outlets and supermarkets. For those who attempt it there, the employees gives you a humorous look and suppose there’s one thing incorrect with you.

Fable 21: Türkiye Is Full Of Cons & Scams

Look, you’ll discover some rip-off retailers in Türkiye, for positive, but it surely’s positively not stuffed with them. They’re a tiny minority, and the vast majority of persons are extraordinarily sincere and useful. You’ll discover cons in any nation, particularly these which are fairly touristy.

I acquired ripped off in Spain as soon as, and from that one expertise, I don’t consider the entire of Spain is filled with scammers, do I?

Fable 22: You Can’t Put on A Bikini On The Seaside In Türkiye

Sedir Adasi, Marmaris

Inform that to everybody who’s sporting a bikini on the seashore in Türkiye …

I wouldn’t stroll down the road in a single and not using a cover-up excessive, however would you do this wherever? In fact not.

Fable 23: The Nation Isn’t Secular & All Turkish Individuals Are Conservative & Non secular

Strolling across the suspension bridge over the Kızılırmak River, with the idyllic backdrop of Avanos in Cappadocia. A stunning mosque with two minarets stands tall, framed by tree branches, in this picturesque pottery village.

Nope. Simply as with every nation on the planet, you’ll meet some conservative folks, and also you’ll meet some not-so-conservative. Türkiye is a secular nation, and whereas the vast majority of persons are Muslim and comply with Islam, that doesn’t imply it’s a really conservative nation.

And even in the event you meet some people who find themselves very non secular and conservative, so what? They’ll converse to you want associates, deal with you splendidly, and possibly give you some tea.

This brings me to…

Fable 24: Turkish Individuals Solely Drink Cay

Turkish Drinks - tea in Turkey

You would possibly suppose so, however no. As a result of in addition they drink ayran and Turkish espresso. However sure, Turkish tea, or cay, is EXTREMELY well-liked. I’m nonetheless but to satisfy somebody who doesn’t prefer it.

Fable 25: Animals Have No Rights In Türkiye

A ginger and white cat is curled up asleep in a wicker basket on a cushioned surface, with a leafy background visible, reminiscent of the cozy nooks you'd find while exploring A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul.

I’m not going to lie; there have been some points with animal rights previously. We’ve all seen photos of dancing bears in vacation resorts twenty years in the past. Nevertheless, that wasn’t solely Türkiye, and fortunately, it’s modified.

Lately, animal rights are taken extraordinarily significantly. The truth is, they just lately closed down a dolphin park in Marmaris as a result of there have been stories of mistreatment.

You’ll see avenue canine and cats, and the native council takes care of them very effectively. There are feeding stations and loads of water left round, and so they’re all tagged. Turkish folks love animals.

Misconceptions Be Gone!

SJ looks up at a large orange and white hot air balloon flying in a clear blue sky, capturing the essence of "How To Spend 3 Days In Cappadocia

Türkiye is a kind of international locations that, sadly, has to take care of an entire vary of various misconceptions. However as we’ve seen, these myths are removed from the reality. Türkiye is gorgeous, numerous, and welcoming. Sure, I’m biased, but it surely actually is a cultural melting pot with implausible meals, great folks, and gorgeous landscapes.

Don’t let misconceptions preserve you from experiencing all that Türkiye has to supply. Whether or not it’s the colourful cities, the scrumptious delicacies, or the wealthy historical past and tradition, there’s one thing for everybody. Overlook what folks let you know, and go and see for your self. I promise you gained’t be disenchanted.

So pack your luggage, preserve an open thoughts, and prepare for an unforgettable journey in one of many world’s most unimaginable international locations. Türkiye is ready for you.


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