Tuesday, October 23
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Throwing Water Behind A Car – Turkish Tradition

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.

Dirty Back window of car

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.



  1. The tradition goes further back than the invention of the car. An old family friend of Turkish descent born in the 1800s used to do this when we went on a journey. She said the water will bring you back safely

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