The Nomadic Way Turkey is one of the safest and calm Trekking paths in Turkey and the Middle East. The local people living there is calm, serene, very hospitable, and want to help. The trekkers / Hikers of the nomadic way Turkey can collect beautiful and touching memories as well as can benefit from those peoples’ interest and caring toward themselves to resolve some little problems that they might have.
Each region in Turkey has its traditions and habits generally related to the geography that they are surrounded by. One might observe that the people living n mountains are more tough and straight forward but people in plains are calmer and negotiator. Or people of the cold places are more introverted and closed but people from hot places are more joyful and extroverted. These general rules might be valid for all of the human beings living in the Globe because we are generally shaped by the conditions we live into. But Turkey or Anatolian Peninsula is a very special country in that subject too. Turkey is an East-West oriented peninsula which always provided humans to pass from one continent to the other. Some people passed but some others stayed.
Coming back to our area, The Nomad Way – Turkey, there are “to do”s and “not to do”s while interacting with locals. Those tricks might make your journey even more enjoyable.
The people in rural areas are more tended to obey traditional social rules. Most of the time we will benefit from them. A Turkish person feels responsible to answer a salutation if he/or she is subjected. So please smile, you will see you will be returned with a bigger smile. And the locals feel shy because they are not generally subjected to foreigners as much as a tourist do. Be first so say hi, this will be a door opener for a conversation. The majority of people you will meet will be above 60 years old because generally, youngsters will be working in city or town centers. Moreover, the villages are generally with few people.
If you meet a woman in the Nomad way Turkey, do not ask her if she is married or not. She would be disturbed to say you she is alone and without any defense against potential dangers, but instead, you can ask how many children she has. In the return, she might ask you your marital status just by curiosity and to appreciate your braveness to come until the rural area on your own, without any companion.
If you are invited to the house please take away your shoes. It will be very rude to step in with shoes.
A villager can offer you some fruits to eat or can invite you for a tea party or lunch/dinner. This is a way to honor your presence next to them. Don’t refuse it, it would be as if you don’t see them as a peer but inferior to you. They will feel a bit offended. If you don’t want to eat, take one or two spoonfuls or swallow of what you are served, then stop. In this way, you will taste and they will be happy to see you trying the food they offered to you.
Do not ask the shepherds how many animals they have. This will be as if you ask the amount of their money account in the bank. And they believe also this can have an evil eye effect on the herd that they possess. Instead of this, you can ask if it is a few or a lot, but not the exact number.
Do not step in mosques with shoes. You may sleep in the mosques by the way after taking permission from the Imam. While staying in the mosque at night please respect the religious rules and do not be into too much intimacy.
When taking their photo please ask. They will generally let and be proud that somebody is curious about their lives to a degree that they take their photo. If they stay keen, include yourself and take a selfie. Please take their postal address and send a hard copy of the photo. This memory photo will be hanged to a corner of the house for years and they will treat very differently if there would be a second time.
Do not hesitate to ask for help from anybody, Turkish people are incredibly helpful, this is a case of honor for them. Do not hesitate to ask food to somebody that you see the first time. You will be served with food and tea. If you are hungry please follow the smell of bread freshly cooked in the village. For Turkish women, it is a ritual to offer freshly baked bread to the travelers.
Play with children the families will be happy about your interaction with their children, offer some souvenir type of small objects to the children. They will remember you for a long time and this is also a heart opener act in the eyes of the villagers.
Please use a lot of gestures about your situation, state of health, state of the journey, the weather, the road, etc. Please keep in mind that very few people know a foreign language in the rural area. You will see they will struggle themselves to help you as much as they understand you.