Category Archives: Culture & Tradition

Flowers and the Judas tree in Ottoman culture

When Mehmet the Conqueror swept into Constantinople in 1453, trees and flowers were already much adored by the city’s residents. To celebrate his victory, Mehmet posed for a miniature painting, not brandishing a sword as you might expect, but smelling … Continue reading

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Perking the Pansies by Jack Scott

Perking the Pansies by Jack Scott tells the tale of Jack and Liam, a gay couple, who move from a thriving metropolis to a small Aegean town in Turkey, expecting to find a satisfying social whirl, albeit with better weather. Instead … Continue reading

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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

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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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