Category Archives: Culture & Tradition

The Pull of It by Wendy Fox

Wendy Fox’s new novel The Pull of It puts a spotlight on the way travel gives us the chance to start our lives again. To find answers to the questions ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What makes me happy?’ Laura, the … Continue reading

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New Year’s Eve in Turkey – Red is for Health

If you’ve lived here for more than a year you’ll likely have had at least one conversation with a Turkish friend or colleague about Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve in Turkey. Despite your best efforts at explaining that Christmas … Continue reading

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The Turkish fez, hats & Atatürk

I’m Australian, so coming from a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, wearing a hat in summer, or in my case any time the sun shines, is imperative. When I first moved to … Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Tradition, History & Politics | 4 Comments

Kandil – five holy nights in the Islamic world

Most people are aware of the big events in the Islamic world, such as the fasting month of Ramazan (Ramadan) and Kurban Bayramı (Eid al Fitr), when an animal is sacrificed to Allah. Less well known are the five holy … Continue reading

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Turkish Awakening – A Personal Discovery of Modern Turkey

In her introduction, Alev Scott states that Turkish Awakening is as much about her personal discovery of the land of her mother’s birth as it is an exploration of contemporary Turkish life and politics, and she is true to her … Continue reading

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The Evil Eye in Turkey – Nazar

From new born babies to wise old grandparents, everyone in Turkey will wear a nazar boncuğu, a blue bead evil eye, at some stage in their lives. Turks believe that ill-wishers can cause harm just by looking malevolently at their … Continue reading

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Henna Night

I’ve lived in Turkey for a long time and been lucky enough to participate in lots of traditional activities. One of my favourite things to do is to join in on a kına gecesi, or henna night. This is the … Continue reading

Posted in Culture & Tradition, Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom, Women | 2 Comments

Ramazan* Dos and Don’ts

The Holy Month of Ramazan has started here in Turkey and over this thirty day period devout Muslims fast during daylight hours. This means not eating, drinking, smoking or even chewing gum, from early in the morning until the evening. … Continue reading

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The Turkish Moustache – Message in a Mo

Back in 1990, when I first came to Turkey, almost every man I met wore a moustache. The Turkish moustache was everywhere, and I assumed the range of different styles was a matter of personal choice. It wasn’t until I … Continue reading

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Turkish Kara Mizah – Black Comedy

Turkey has a long tradition of using black comedy or satire, known as Turkish kara mizah, to express opinions not readily sanctioned by those in power. Generally it is concerned with serious topics such as murder, death, illness, politics and … Continue reading

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