UNSPOKEN FACTS ABOUT TURKEY

This article is for those of you out there who want to hear it straight. No beating around the bush! I am telling you the truth about my own country and its people without any sugar-coating or holding back. Guidebooks, other websites, writers, bloggers, I mean almost everyone who gives advice on facts about Turkey just doesn’t seem to be courageous enough to me. So, I have prepared my list of unspoken facts about Turkey.

I believe visiting this country aware of the insider’s tips that I’ve shared below can only help you be more prepared and insightful with respect to Turkey.

 

 

– MOST TURKISH PEOPLE ARE MUSLIMS, BUT TURKEY IS NOT AN ISLAMIC COUNTRY

Turkey is the only secular muslim country in the world. Secularism is established and protected by the constitution and it is one of the fundamental values of this country.

Even though most of the population consider themselves to be muslims, in general they don’t follow the rules of Islam very strickly. More than half of the Turkish people go out, drink alcohol and socialize with one and another in ways that are traditionally a ‘sin’ in Islam. The religion is more of a cultural thing in Turkey, especially amongst the young generation. People believe in the religion and they would get angry if their religion was critisized in front of them, but only a VERY SMALL percentage of the population would go and join protests for religion-related issues. Of course, this is not saying that very small percentage is not there. It is there and it always has been. One might even say that today they are more powerful in the political and social spheres than they’ve been in the last 100 years. That still doesn’t change the fact that most travelers coming to Turkey for the first time are surprised by how Middle Eastern and Islamic this country is NOT.

 

– TURKEY IS NOT A CHEAP COUNTRY.

We have heard from many people that they had expected Turkey to be a much cheaper country before they came here. The food, entrance fees to museums, transportation, alcohol, gas, etc. We hope you don’t make the same mistake. Turkey is NOT cheap at all. A few examples: Turkish people pay for the most expensive gas in the world. It is more than $10 a gallon in 2015… There are more than %400 taxes on alcohol, so be prepared. Museums are expensive, usually between 5 to 10 Euros a museum. The food is generally not super expensive, but not too cheap either.

 

– TURKEY (ESPECIALLY ISTANBUL) IS TOURISTY.

Most people can’t even believe it when I tell them Turkey is the 6th most visited country in the world. It is the truth. More than 39 million people visited Turkey in 2013, which puts Turkey in the 6th position behind France, USA, China, Spain and Italy.

Finding a local, non-touristy restaurant or a cafe can be challenging at times. But hey, that’s what this website is here for if not for delivering actual facts about Turkey, right?

 

– TURKISH PEOPLE ‘LOOOOOOOVE’ FOREIGNERS!

UNLESS THEY ARE POOR OR UNATTRACTIVE of course. I know this sounds pretty harsh, but unfortunately it’s also the truth. Look, there is no denying the obvious fact that Turkish people are extremely friendly, warm, welcoming and hospitable. They really are in general. But then again, tourism is a huge income in this country and there are hundreds of thousands people working in this industry to get a little extra something ‘something‘. We have been involved in tourism in Turkey for long enough to know that there are salesmen and women out there who wake up in the morning hoping to have a great business day by selling over-priced carpets and rugs to rich American couples. And we most certainly know that there are thousands of Casanova-wannabe Turkish men out there hoping to score with a naive Japanese girl every breath that they muster.

So do expect sleazy attempts and constant hassle while walking down the street – like restaurant people trying to convince you to come inside and pay for whatever they’re offering. In certain areas of course – however, those areas expand fast.

 

– HIPS DON’T BUT MOVIES LIE.

Midnight Express has a story that revolves around the horrible prison conditions in Turkey. Directed by Alan Parker, this film created serious safety concerns for especially American tourists planning to visit Turkey. Sure, prisons are horrible anywhere and Turkey has been known for its harsh prison conditions in the past but this movie, made in 1977 still doesn’t provide accurate information about Turkish prisons. It is a pretty decent movie though!

 

Visiting Turkey for the first time since the movie was released in 1978, Stone admitted “over-dramatising” the screenplay, which he wrote. –Source

Anyway, Turkey (again, especially Istanbul) is VERY safe. It’s actually so safe that I am amazed. The safety levels seriously don’t even make sense to me. So, come here at ease please… keyword: facts about turkey and istanbul


 Read about Turkey Trivia post to learn more about Turkey and Istanbul.

17 Replies to “UNSPOKEN FACTS ABOUT TURKEY”

  1. So, if you’re looking at this list, you’re probably a tourist with plans to visit Turkey. Unless you’re an observant Muslim, it sounds great. Bring your money so you can take home some souveniers and gifts (and do The Other Tour), don’t plan to drink a whole lot, look good, be friendly and have fun. Sounds good to me!

  2. Citizens of Turkey are really friendly and kind but one thing that confuses me the most is that when I was back home in South Africa, I was told that dating was forbidden especially in public but you will find couples in parks hand in hand and kissing which is considered as sin and the fact that we cant wear revealing cloths is really ridiculous…….does anyone know where I can do my dreadlocks in Konya or Istanbul?

  3. wow!….:*

    I was amazed of that Unspoken Facts about Turkey…. I am not really mistaken…Turkey was a great great place that I wanted to visit ….hope that I can go there soon…

  4. completely agree with th complaint about alcohol costs, but then again, its a smokers paradise pricewise so you know, it all evens out.
    Loved the post, keep up the good work guys!!:)

  5. Hey the turks are Muslims right? and Muslims don't drink alcohol. why is allowed to in Turkey? and do turks celebrate eid like elsewhere? I've watched few turkish dramas but never even have they whispered about any festival .i says:

    Hey the turks are Muslims right? But Muslims don’t drink alcohol. How is it allowed for Muslims here? And Muslims celebrate eid. I’ve watched many turkish dramas but never have they ever whispered a festival. Instead they celebrate new year lavishly. What’s with the religion here actually? (No offence in any manner )

    1. Yeah Turks are Muslim in general just like Americans are mostly Christian. A big society that consists of full spectrum of beliefs and skills. A society that is also secular, democratic, progressive and innovative in many areas but majorly influenced by a majority of religious citizens. Understanding Turkey’s contradictions can’t be that hard considering that it’s THE Muslim civilization bordering Europe for about 1000 years.
      And other than that, after WWI, Turks were practically forced to embrace Western values and systems which pushed the country in the direction of establishing a two faceted structure both its state and social structures.

    2. Ok so Christmas is supposed to be a religious holiday but it’s celebrated differently nowadays. They used to go to Church now all they do on this day is against there religion. It’s the same for Muslims, they believe in their religion but still make mistakes because they are humans.

  6. Turkey is great country i accept but not Islamic country after the era of Ata Turk this men had changed the whole senario.I came to know abt Secular turkey after watching series of turkish dramas.May allah guide them all.

  7. I am now into watching Turkish TV drama. I love it by the way.
    I was confused about their religion. Now, I am not.
    Thanks
    I may find my way there one-day!

  8. I love Turkey so much and 2 of my very close friends are Turkish. In America and in my experience, only those 2 Turkish friends are the good Turkish people I’ve met. I meet many Turkish people here and I realized that they are so dramatic and love gossiping and lie a lot. At first I thought I was wrong but then everyone agreed with me including my Turkish friends. Yes all they talk about is how open minded and westernized they are which shows and act of insecurity. Going to school, I met older Turkish people and I would say that they are so respectful and very smart. And yes I would go to Turkey when I have the time. Every country has positive and negative things to look at. Here in the US we are always taught that we are the best at everything and that is clearly not true. The crime rate and hate rate is the highest.

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