In this section, “Daily Life,” we are giving examples of the daily behavior of Turkish people, their style of conversation as well as some colloquial phrases, and the use of present continuous tense from a grammatical perspective.
In the survey we conducted, some of comments made on Turkish people’s daily behavior are given below.
Turkish people are:
“Very helpful and hospitable.”
“Good people as long as they’re not driving.”
“Love to talk by touching.”
“Love to ask questions about your family.”
“Love to ask direct questions about your personal life.”
“It could take a while to say goodbye.”
Of course these may not be applicable to all Turkish people; but we could say that, in general, these are pretty correct observations.
Turkish people are friendly people…
As we mentioned in the section “Introductions,” Turkish people greet each other by kissing on the cheeks if there is no formal relation. In this video, you can see that people who know each other are greeting each other by kissing, and shaking hands when they are meeting for the first time.
Turkish people like to be intimate in their daily interactions. You can observe this especially in their communications with their close acquaintances. They might show their friendliness by touching each other. While this may seem strange in some cultures, it is regarded as a normal act among Turks.
Another characteristic of Turkish people’s behavior that foreigners find strange is Turkish people’s habit of asking direct questions about your family and personal life.
These types of questions might be regarded as odd especially for Westerners, but are considered perfectly normal for Turks. We could say that this type of behavior is more commonly seen in Mediterranean and Central Asian cultures.
For Turkish people, asking such questions is a sign of importance given to the other person and their family. People, especially if they are middle aged or older, ask how your family members, your mother, father, and siblings are doing, what do they do; and fear they might come across as uninterested if they do not ask these questions. Therefore, this situation should be considered a cultural thing rather than an act of curiosity.
And the reason Turkish people ask personal questions without any reserve is that they don’t consider such questions as personal. This is why they don’t hesitate to ask questions like “Are you married? Do you have any children?” Of course, as in any other culture, these dialogues are directly related to the level of education and life style. People living in smaller towns might be more interested with other people’s lives.
One word is not enough to say goodbye!
If you witness a Turkish person talking face to face or on the phone, you might think that they’re having difficulty in ending the conversation. In fact, Turkish people believe that one farewell word is never enough to end a conversation, and most of the time, saying goodbye takes much longer than necessary. Even if they do not know them, Turkish people send their regards to each family member. For them, a quick goodbye is impolite, and they believe that it may imply a disregard for their conversation partner. To avoid such misinterpretations, they want to end their intimate conversation with an intimate goodbye, causing a long ceremony. You can also see that Turkish people behave the same way toward guests leaving their home. The farewells start at home, and continue until everybody’s at the door. Closing the door before the guests leave is considered inappropriate. In fact, many of the Turkish people accompany their guests until they are out of the building. We will talk about this in more detail in the section “Hospitality in Turkish People.”
Linguistically, the “Daily Life” section deals with the use of present continuous tense from chapter 4 as well as adverbs used with this tense structure.
In teaching Turkish as a foreign language, “present continuous tense” is among the first tenses taught at the elementary level. This is because of the usage frequency and versatility of this tense. Present continuous tense in Turkish can be used in situations for present tense, future tense and simple present tense. In this video, daily routines and activities are expressed by using present continuous tense.
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