The use of proverbs in Turkish culture goes beyond just imparting wisdom and advice. It has become a deeply ingrained habit in the way people think and approach daily situations. From childhood, Turkish people are raised with these proverbs, and they play a significant role in their decision-making process later in life. It’s not uncommon for adults to use these proverbs in the workplace and in family settings, as they navigate difficult situations and offer advice to others. In essence, these proverbs have become a cornerstone of Turkish identity, shaping the way people think, act, and interact with the world around them.
Öfke ile kalkan zararla oturur: He who gets up (starts up) in anger, sits down with a loss. Or harm.
Turkish people are known for their easy temper and impatience. That’s what makes this proverb very commonly used and easily remembered. And to be honest, quiet effective! One of my favorite Turkish proverbs.
It has a powerful message that resonates with Turkish people on a daily basis. Its reminder to not act on anger without considering the consequences is a valuable lesson that helps individuals avoid making mistakes that could lead to loss or harm.
Sürüden ayrılan koyunu kurt kapar: The sheep separated from the flock is eaten by the wolf.
I’ve met a lot of travelers in Istanbul who were surprised at the fact that we have almost no homeless people here. When they ask me why, I always think of the same answer because that’s the only one that makes any sense: the family structure is so strong here!
People have each other’s back. This proverb reminds me of that way of thinking. You know, not leaving the flock, not leaving the family behind or out. Supporting each other and having the back of one-another.
When you look at the rich people in Turkey, you see that most of them have worked their way up together with their families.
Yenilen pehlivan güreşe doymaz: A defeated wrestler will always ask for more.
This one’s about being stubborn and how it can be your worst enemy at times. Especially when you’ve just lost.
Just to keep us aware of the fact that it’s people are more likely to make mistakes easier while trying to make up for recent losses.
Ateş düştüğü yeri yakar: An ember burns where it falls.
This one’s very realistic and can be a little bit depressing. It means that a pain can only be felt by its true owner.
No one can really understand what you’re going through except for yourself. And you shouldn’t expect anyone to truly understand your emotions or what you are going through. It’s just impossible.
İnsan yedisinde ne ise yetmişinde de odur: What a man is at seven is also what he is at seventy.
This one you don’t have to agree with! But it is what many people believe in Turkey. We believe that people don’t change that easily. Even if they think they can or have, it usually doesn’t mean it’s a permanent change. You are usually who you are…