Just try asking for the remote from a Turkish dad when they are watching something. If looks could kill you would be in hell getting a dayak like you have never experienced. #Utanmaz
With a title like that, where do I begin? I could be here for days listing them all out. Of course please remember I say these things in jest – I love my Turkish people…. sometimes!
Here’s some problems we as Turkish people have
Not knowing when to say “I’m full”.
Not being allowed to say “I’m full”.
There are many ways you know you were raised in a Turkish house. If I listed them all I would be here forever, but here are 8 ways you know you were raised in a Turkish house.
1 – Seeing this in your Nenes hand and not on her foot would scare the life out of you:
2 – Your first experience with late night TV was ‘Tutti Frutti’.
Let’s face it, as much as we complain about them we can’t live without them. No I’m not talking about Maydonoz, I’m talking about Turkish Dizis (Soaps).
Any show that can go for 4 hours excluding ad breaks makes our nenes, annes and even us turn our phones off, open a pack of fistik and settle in for a night of drama.
Growing up seeing these dizi’s I seem to notice a pattern to all of them, and am happy to say I have worked out the formula for making a Turkish Dizi.
All you need are the following elements and you will have teyzes and yenges switching over in no time.
All you need:
1 – A gun – used or unused.
2 – A poor family in the village.
Spring is in the air and with that begins a season of Turkish weddings you are invited to where you have no idea who the bride and groom are, but you are related to them and its rude if you don’t turn up.
Firs there is the whole “they came to yours, so you have to go”, or it’s because they made the effort to bring the invite to your house (big deal)
Here’s our checklist on how you can tell you are at a Turkish wedding:
1. There are over 400 people in the same room.
Growing up a Turk in another country you quickly get used to everything that comes with it – good and bad.
Having hundreds of cousins, being told you have put on weight from your grandparents, never being able to say your full – the list goes on.
But one problem that stays with you your whole life is the problem of having a Turkish name.
Don’t get me wrong Turkish names are amazing and the best in the world (I am bias – sue me) however when it comes to the rest of the world trying to get your attention by calling your name – that’s where the problem starts.
Anyone called Ali or Mehmet probably can’t relate to this but for the other 30% of us Turks that don’t have that name, you will understand.
From the second you start school you can even tell when your name comes up on the register as your teacher will pause and really concentrate trying to get your name right.
As you get older and start working (those that are lucky to not have the family business thrown at them) then you get work mates getting your name wrong.
Here are 7 problems with having a Turkish name which I am sure you can relate to:
1. No one can pronounce your name
A pretty obvious problem that you quickly get used to. No matter where you go you will always hear various variations of your name. you hear it so much that you are more used to hearing the variations than your own name.
2. The Famous 2nd look at customs
If you have travelled anywhere apart from Turkey & Cyprus, then you will be very familiar with the famous 2nd look at customs. The immigration officer’s face when he sees a middle name like ‘Osman’ or ‘Ali’ is unforgettable.
If his eyes could speak they would say “are you related to bin laden?” All you can do is smile and act happy.
3. You have to think of an English alternative
Just accept that they will never get your name so think of an alternative .e.g.
Metin = Martin
Deniz – Dennis
Ali – Ali
4. Word association
With a name like Eray you get used to hearing about 15 alternatives so the trick I have is to create a word association to help people. Be prepared to constantly have to repeat this word association. Here’s mine:
Air & Rye = Eray
5. You always get asked “you must get annoyed when people get it wrong”?
Yes I do, and do you know what the 2nd most annoying thing is? Being asked if I get annoyed!
6. Knowing you will never get picked to come to the front of the class
In a way this isn’t a problem, it’s more of a benefit. When the teacher would call someone up randomly to the front of the class, you always knew you was ok as the teacher didn’t want to embarrass themselves by getting your name wrong.
7. Knowing you will never be able to buy one of those novelty name keyrings
It’s a sad fact but you need to just accept that you will never find one for yourself or anyone in your family unless you get it especially made.
However for some reason every time you see them for sale, something tells you to check just in case by some miracle they have started making ethnic names.
These are just a selection of problems us Turks have. If you have any others, please let me know and I will be happy to add them to the list!
How’s this for a Thursday Throwback. In the early 00s turks across the globe were given a reason to love an ad break (and god knows we have enough of them)
Cola Turka, a new type of Cola paid probably a kings ransom to have actor and comedian Chevy Chase film adverts promoting how Cola Turka makes you Turkish.
These adverts were genius and as a UK turk, it had me asking everyone I knew if they could get hold of some. I think I even got my nene to bring me a can from Kibris.
I remember the day I got a call from a friend to say that the local Turkish Food Centre had them in stock.
We rushed to buy them by the case load.
And what happened… It tasted like kedi sidik!
However they probably sold enough to pay for Chevy Chase.
Moral of the story: you can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in wheat and call it a bulgur köfte.
Here’s the classic adverts:
Something that has always baffled me as a Turkish person is how long it takes to say goodbye to someone at the front door when they are leaving.
You have the moment when someone decides to leave and they say “hade kalkalim?”
In your mind you are thinking ‘thank god’ now I can put my feet up and relax – If Only!
After you have kissed each other 15 times, told each other not to leave it so long next time, as well as have your mum run to the kitchen to put the leftover datli into a plastic container., you then have the dreaded obstacle of…. The hallway!
You then have to go over around 15 topics of conversation that you forgot to talk about while you was sitting down.
You are then stuck for at least 20 minutes while your Teyze tells you all about her bad knee and how there is a new helim dealer and that can get it £1 cheaper than your usual helim dealer (no joke, they do exist – I’ve met one).
What is it about us Turks that we can’t finish our conversation in the living room like normal people that the hallway makes us want to talk about our life story?
Maybe it’s worth turning the hallway into an actual living room and sitting by the door, that way at least you are comfortable.
What makes it worse is you finally got to sit in the infamous ‘misafir odasi’ that no one is allowed to sit in, and now you have to spend time crammed in the hallway to see the misafir off while they stand their with a bag full of leftover lokum and a spare bottle of coke.
However, what really takes the Topkek? It’s the half an hour call your mum has with the misafir when they call to tell you they got home OK!
Next time you are stuck in a hallway, set your stopwatch and let me know how long you was there for using the hashtag #MisafirProblems
Following on from the success of Daşak Ali Dayi here’s a Turkish tradition I can’t get my head around.
When us Turkish people go on holiday (if you call going back to the motherland a holiday) you’re all packed and the car is loaded but just as your about to pull away you hear a sudden scream of “waittttttttt”
At this point it’s usually a Teyze or your Anne that runs into the house and comes out with a bucket of water.
Am I thirsty? Does the car need a clean? Is there a Mangal somewhere that needs putting out?
No of course not. The water has one use only – to be thrown behind the car as you pull away for good luck!
To make matters worse you are also told the luck won’t work if you look back. So there you are, driving away with someone pouring a bottle of Evian over the car wondering how can this liquid dictate the luck I will have on my journey?
Where did this tradition come from? Who made this up? How did this come to be?
It’s been bugging me my whole life. Why can’t I look back to see my Teyze popping water like champagne over the car?
I can’t help but think its symbolic for “now your going were going to have a water fight”
I’m no expert but I think this is how this tradition came to be:
(All names have been made up to protect the innocent)
Mehmet was going on holiday one summers day and as he was leaving his nene who was washing the driveway noticed the back of the car was dirty.
She called out in a desperate attempt to catch the attention of Mehmet to warn him that the back window needed a clean, but Mehmet couldn’t hear.
What was nene to do? She had seconds to act fast or it would be too late. With seconds to spare she used what she had in her hand – a lenger (or Kova) of water she was going to use to clean the driveway.
She channeled her inner Cüneyt Arkin to generate all the strength she could to pick up the bucket and throw the water over the back of the car.
As her life flashed before her eyes the water connected with the windscreen creating a beautiful waterfall effect.
Rumours were that the water connected to perfectly you could hear an angel cry with happiness.
But where was Mehmet in all of this? he was too busy thinking about his holiday he hadn’t even noticed what was happening – oblivious to what nene had just endured.
As the car turned the corner nene took it upon herself to do a victory halay knowing her grandson would be OK.
Later that night the nenes phone rang – it was Mehmet. He landed safely and was ready to enjoy his holiday.
“I almost never made it to the airport in time nene” Mehmet explained
“Noldu olum?” Nene asked
Mehmet went onto explain that on the way to the airport a few cars ahead got into an accident causing traffic. The accident was caused because a car had a dirty back window.
BOOM: The tradition was born!
Of course this cannot be verified or confirmed as Mehmet and the nene in question later died in a freak extreme water fight incident.
Moral of the story – as long as someone is there to throw water over your car, you never have to worry about a dirty back window.
Next time we’ll discuss if certain types of water bring better luck than others. My money is on Hayat being better than Evian.
Good luck all.
This was a phrase that I learnt from a very young age, not that my family were happy. However there is something great about saying “Daşak Ali Dayi” that cannot be explained.
I have tried for years to get to the source of the phrase. Where did it come from? who invented it? and who is ‘Ali Dayi’?
Turns out quite a few turks have an Ali Dayi so it makes finding the source of the phrase quite difficult.
If you are unaware of the phrase, here’s Urban Dictionary’s definition, although it’s not quite correct: