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Turkish body language
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1.       admin
757 posts
 16 Sep 2004 Thu 11:33 pm

I want to list some of the gestures used by Turkish people here. If you have anything to add, please do so and I will then sum up whatever we can accumulate here in a page of the web site.

- Kissing each other on both cheeks (actually this is touching the cheeks). This is done to greet each other, and can be done man to man, wonam to woman or man to woman. Shaking hands is also used but if you just shake hands this means you are not very close to that person. When you meet a friend, you generally kiss on both cheeks. When you se two guys hugging and kissing each other in both cheeks in Turkey, don't think they are gays
Some very religious people, hovewer, avoid any contact with the opposite sex.

- In Turkey, you can see guys (who are close friends) in more physical contact than in the western countries. It is normal to hold the hand of a friend or walk with your arm over your friend's shoulder. This does not mean you are gays, this is a sign of close friendship.

- Shaking your head to sides means "I don't get it" or "I don't know"

- Nodding your head to the front means "yes".

- Throwing your head slightly to the back while raising your eyebrows up and clicking your tongue at the same time means "no".

- Waving your hand up and down to somebody, with inside of your palm looking down means "come here"

There are many more, but I'd like you to tell the ones you know or I'll continue later

2.       admin
757 posts
 17 Sep 2004 Fri 03:29 am

There are also these offensive gestures that can be included here. One example:

- Place your thumb between your index finger and middle finger, then close your fist. If you show your fist like this to someone from Turkey, this is offensive It is almost the same as showing the middle finger.

3.       admin
757 posts
 18 Sep 2004 Sat 02:36 am

Hand kissing is also a very important and traditional gesture in Turkish culture. It is a way of greeting a person significantly older or than you. In religious holidays, for instance, children kiss the hands of their grandparents. It is also a tradition to give children kissing your hands some money on these special days. The action can be described as follows:

- The grandparent (or let's say the older person) puts his hand slightly forward, with the palm facing down. The child (if necessary, bends a little and) kisses the hand offered.

In response, the older person kisses the child on both cheeks. But this time, it is not simply touching the cheeks as you do with a friend. He kisses both cheeks with his lips

4.       husnora
2 posts
 29 Oct 2004 Fri 08:36 pm

Which hand do they kiss? Left or right?

5.       admin
757 posts
 05 Nov 2004 Fri 06:38 am

I don't think it makes a difference which hand you kiss, you actually kiss whichever is handed to you But it's generally the right hand.

6.       ali
70 posts
 21 Nov 2004 Sun 05:52 pm

In Turkish culture, while you are together with the older family members, putting one leg over the other when sitting is regarded as manner that is generally disrespectful and contemptuous. Depending on how traditional the family is, this might be a life saving hint for those who are planning to visit a Turkish friend's family especially if they want to impress them.

7.       irishdon
143 posts
 27 Nov 2004 Sat 05:03 pm

People must remember that when learning a language you should also learn something about the culture to fully understand what you saying. hakiki mu?

8.       ali
70 posts
 28 Nov 2004 Sun 06:22 am

I completely agree with you on that. You cannot think of a language independent of the culture that shapes it, fills the words with more meaning than they could have alone.

For the question phrase "hakiki mu?" you used, the correct for is "hakiki mi?" meaning "is that correct(right)?". This is an old language phrase though. People no longer use this word (hakiki = correct) any more. Instead you can use "doğru" which has the same meaning. To ask "is that right?" you can say "doğru mu?"

9.       irishdon
143 posts
 28 Nov 2004 Sun 10:37 am

tesekkùrler. I'm only starting to learn Turkish so obviously I make lots of mistakes. Iyi gùnler

10.       irishdon
143 posts
 28 Nov 2004 Sun 10:48 am

Gùnaydin! Ben Italyasyorum, ama ben Irlandadanim. In Italy, I often see foreign people use gestures which are normal in their country but in Italy are offensive. Some of these people have lived in Italy for a few years but have never really learned the Italian culture. These same people then say that they don't understand Italians!!!

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