Turkey

 

Culture

While it may sound as a tourism brochure cliché, Turkey is really a curious mix of the west and the east—you may swear you were in a Balkan country or in Greece when in northwestern and western parts of the country (except that Byzantine-influenced churches are substituted with Byzantine-influenced mosques), which are indeed partly inhabited by people from Balkan countries immigrated during the turmoil before, during, and after WWI, while southeastern reaches of the country has little if any cultural differences from the southern and eastern neighbors. Caucasus influences add to the mix in the northeast part of the country. It can be simply put that Turkey is the most oriental one of western nations, or, depending on the point of view, the most occidental one of eastern nations.

Talk

The sole official language of Turkey is Turkish. Turkish is an Altaic language and its closest living relatives are other Turkic languages, which are spoken in southwestern, central and northern Asia; and to a lesser degree by significant communities in the Balkans. Because Turkish is an agglutinative language, native speakers of Indo-European languages generally find it difficult to learn. Since 1928, Turkish is written in a variant of the Latin alphabet (after so many centuries of using the Arabic one, evident in many historical texts and documents) with the additions of ç/Ç, ğ/Ğ, ı/I, i/İ, ö/Ö, ş/Ş and ü/Ü, and with the exclusions of Q, W and X.

Thanks to migration, even in rural areas most villages will have at least somebody who has worked in Germany and can thus speak German. The same goes for other West-European languages like Dutch (often mistakenly called “Flemish” there) or French. Recent immigration from Balkans means there is also a possibility to come across native Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, and Albanian speakers mainly in big cities of western Turkey, but don’t count on this. English is also increasingly popular among the younger generation. The “Universities” that train pupils for a job in tourism pour out thousands of youngsters who want to practice their knowledge on the tourist, with varying degrees of fluency. Language universities produce students that nowadays are pretty good at their chosen language.

(source: Wikitravel)

 

 

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