Social rules and graces
Every culture has various etiquette and good manner practices. The thing is, they are basically different in nearly every culture. Even simple hand gestures or eating with a spoon instead of a fork may be considered something different in another social culture.
The best thing to do before visiting a country that you know has different ways to the ones you are used to you should look up everything you can about their culture which is really easy to do in this day and age. Especially in places like Turkey where they take their culture and traditions very seriously.
5 Unspoken Turkish social rules and graces
#1 In Turkey you must never:
- Never chew gum, there are certain places that this is a HUGE no, no like at a public gathering, or while talking to someone. But really, they just do not enjoy people chewing gum it is deemed rude.
- Pointing a finger at someone is offensive and you could land in a bit of a pickle for doing so.
- They do not abide by open swearing and any display of drunk and disorderly conduct is dealt with in a manner that is rather uncomfortable for the perpetrator.
- It is considered very, very rude to either pick your teeth or blow your nose during a meal.
- Never show anyone the bottom of your feet, this goes for putting your feet up whilst sitting as well. So, NO propping your feet on the coffee table!
#2 No personal space
The Turkish like to stand close to you when they are talking to you. By no means back away as that is considered rude.
Never ever touch someone though without their explicit permission either.
#3 The host always pays for dinner
In Turkish culture if someone invites you out for a meal it basically means they are the ones footing the bill. There is no such thing as splitting the tab in Turkey but what you can do is to return the invitation once dinner is over and you are leaving.
#4 Don’t leave your guests too early
If you are visiting friend in Turkey you must never leave before midnight because it is like telling them they did not do a good hosting job. It is considered an insult to their hosting skills. The Turks like to have a long night of chatting, drinking their favorite drink and letting any kids stay up late to treat them as well.
#5 The Turkish love of tea
Turkish love their tea or cay and will drink what seems like gallons of it each day. At a meal they will serve it between every course. Once you have drunk your first glass they will keep topping it up until you indicate you have had enough by placing your teaspoon across the top of your mug.
#6 You hosts love gifts
It is the polite and expected thing to do when visiting in Turkey. You can take flowers and or chocolate or their favorite bottle of Raki.
If you are leaning towards the flowers be sure to ask the florist for advice on which flowers are best to take your hosts as you don’t want to arrive with a bunch of flowers that may have some traditional meaning of sorts.