Hospitality is one of the most distinctive features of Turks and also a national and religious duty.
Turks will accept a stranger that comes to their doorsteps as a “guest from God”. The identity, rank, position, social status of the guest does not matter nor it matters if he was invited or not. Regardless of their religion, beliefs, race or age all guests are welcomed with an equal respect and dignity. The most beautiful spot in the house is reserved as a “Guest Room” and kept ready as if a guest may come any time. The guest is hosted as a holy person.
The best and newest of everything are given to a guest. Even the poorest families have separate bed, duvet and a special table cover just for guests. It is believed that every guest that comes to a house brings his luck and fortune together with him.
Every village in Anatolia region has their common guest houses. But, the villagers still want to accommodate the guests in their own home. When a guest comes to one house, people from neighboring houses come to welcome the guest. If there are many guests in that house they invite some of them to their houses. However, the host never demands or approves this, because, it is a matter of honor. They don’t want for others say that “they left a guest outside”.
The traditional hospitality of Turks has also attracted attention of foreigners that visited the country. Here is what Comte de Marsigli, a person who became famous for introducing the Ottoman military organization to Europe, says about Turkish hospitality:
“Turks are very hospitable to all foreigners regardless their religion. People who live in the villages close to the main road and have time go out in the evenings and invite travelers to their houses. And sometimes they even argue with each other about in whose house the guest is going to stay.”
Good examples to the traditional Turkish hospitality are also seen in our times. Every year on 23 of April, children from all over the world come to celebrate the only children’s holiday in the world hold in Turkey together with Turkish children and are greeted and hosted with warm Turkish hospitality and leave the country with nice memories about Turkish hospitality.
Turkish hospitality is frequently seen not only in the private houses but, also on the streets, roads and workplaces. If you stop by in some workplace to take a breather you’ll be most probably offered at least a cup of hot tee. Those who refuse are urged not to leave with sentences like “Certainly don’t leave at least without trying our tee”.
Anatolian people are friendly, sociable and hospitable. Even if they don’t speak your language they’ll still try to understand and help you and will do everything they can to solve your problem. Along with its 10 thousand year history, remains of over 20 big civilizations, magnificent cuisine and the possibility of having all 4 seasons at once, it is the Turkish hospitality that makes turkey such a great tourist place.