Turkish Culture

Situated between Europe and Asia, Turkey is slightly larger than Texas and is in a unique position to highlight some of the best qualities of both continents. The beautiful Mediterranean coastline mixes with mountain ranges and farmlands. In Turkey, the climate varies by region. Coastal areas have a Mediterranean climate with cool wet winters and hot summers.

In more suburban and urban areas, you will be delighted by skylines shaped by a mixture of modern and Ottoman architecture and find colorful markets filled with ceramics, fabrics, handicrafts, exotic spices, rich Turkish coffee and an energetic game of tavla (backgammon board game).

Host a Turkish Student in the U.S.

Turkish People and Community

Turkish teens

In Turkey, the family is the main social structure. A traditional Turkish household often consists of two parents, any unmarried children, and sometimes, married sons with their families. It is common for married sons live with their parents until they can survive financially on their own. The family may co-exist together in one house, sometimes with each floor belonging to a different family member’s family. Throughout Turkey, grandmothers or other family members play a big role in child rearing. In the evenings, it’s very common for Turkish families to gather around the dinner table and watch TV and drink tea together. Expect a flow of friends and relatives visiting for coffee, tea, and lively conversations.

Language and Communication Styles

Turkey park

While Turkish is the primary language, English, French, German, and Italian are spoken by many people around the country. Arabic is also spoken in some parts of southeastern Turkey.

Food in Turkey

Turkish Baklava

Turkish dishes combine Mediterranean and Middle Eastern styles and are quite rich and varied. Eggplant is the number one vegetable and is often paired with meat in a shish kebab. Food is cooked mostly with olive oil and herbs in the western part of the country, whereas meals can be very spicy and meat oriented in the eastern part of Turkey. Lamb, beef and rice are common ingredients and seafood is abundant on the coast. If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in luck because Turkey is famous for its desserts, especially baklava, a sweet pastry, and milk pudding.