Turkish culture is a vibrant tapestry woven with an intricate array of gestures and phrases that enrich communication and offer unique insights into the local way of life.
Each expression and motion carries cultural nuances, a bridge between tradition and modernity. These gestures and phrases evoke a sense of togetherness, connecting individuals across generations and backgrounds.
They embody the essence of Turkish communication, where every word spoken and every movement made reflects a rich tapestry of values, respect, and the intricate dance of shared experiences.
Pointing and Beckoning
Pointing with the index finger is generally considered impolite in Turkish culture. Instead, an open hand or a nod of the head is used to indicate direction. To call someone over, Turks typically extend their hand with the palm facing down and make a scratching motion with their fingers.
This is a widely recognized Turkish symbol used to ward off the “evil eye,” a superstitious belief that jealousy or envy can cause harm. The amulet is often displayed in homes, and cars, or worn as jewelry. Additionally, the phrase “Nazar değmesin” (May the evil eye stay away) is used to protect against the evil eye, a common superstition in Turkish culture.
Mashallah and Inshallah
“Mashallah” is used to express admiration or praise for something, often followed by “Inshallah,” which means “God willing.” Together, they acknowledge something positively while also humbly acknowledging that outcomes are ultimately in God’s hands. Additionally “Inshallah” can be shown with two open hands, palms pointing the sky.
Tea Spoon Cling
When stirring tea, Turks often tap the spoon against the glass or saucer, creating a distinctive sound. This signals that the tea is ready and is a polite way to indicate that someone should stop adding sugar or stirring.
Like in many cultures, linking pinky fingers is a playful way of making a promise or sealing an agreement. Additionally, with this gesture a game between two people can be started. The name of this game is “Lades”. The goal is to give an object to the other without them remembering the game. If you manage to make them take the object, you win, and the other one has to do what you told them This is a very common game between Turkish people.
Pouring Tea Gesture
When pouring tea, Turks might use a specific hand gesture the person being served tea places their hand palm down over the top of the glass, moving it slightly left and right. It’s like creating a small waving motion with the hand, as if saying “That’s enough.”
When saying goodbye, a common gesture involves placing the hand on the heart and nodding as a way of expressing a heartfelt farewell.