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In Turkey, what stereotypes of Americans are common?
1.       ümitli
posts
 27 Dec 2012 Thu 05:05 am

I´m wanting to travel to Turkey, and would like to know what opinions people might automatically have about me. Americans seem to have a bad reputation in other countries. An American, I can understand why this is, and worry about my country, but am thankful for it among the imperfections. Anyways, please tell me what Americans are known for (good and/or bad). I want to be prepared, and would like to be a good example for my country. Thank you for your answers!

2.       gokuyum
5050 posts
 27 Dec 2012 Thu 06:02 am

 

Quoting ümitli

I´m wanting to travel to Turkey, and would like to know what opinions people might automatically have about me. Americans seem to have a bad reputation in other countries. An American, I can understand why this is, and worry about my country, but am thankful for it among the imperfections. Anyways, please tell me what Americans are known for (good and/or bad). I want to be prepared, and would like to be a good example for my country. Thank you for your answers!

I guess we don´t hold women responsible of their countries´ policies. We just hate the men I am just joking. I think nothing bad will happen.

 

ümitli liked this message
3.       Henry
2604 posts
 27 Dec 2012 Thu 07:10 am

 

Quoting ümitli

I´m wanting to travel to Turkey, and would like to know what opinions people might automatically have about me. Americans seem to have a bad reputation in other countries. An American, I can understand why this is, and worry about my country, but am thankful for it among the imperfections. Anyways, please tell me what Americans are known for (good and/or bad). I want to be prepared, and would like to be a good example for my country. Thank you for your answers!

I would not worry about any pre-conceptions Turks have about Americans. Generally most Turks will start forming their impressions after they have met you face to face. I have met many Americans during my travels around Turkey. Mainly students, families and young travellers, both single and in groups. All were no different to other travellers who were enjoying the tourist sites or experiencing what Turkey has to offer. Like any other tourist, market sellers assume tourists want to spend their money, and if you look interested they will try to make a sale. On the streets near major tourist sites, some enterprising Turks will engage you in conversation, to try to sell guide books, or guide services, or lead you to a shop to try to sell you something more expensive. Dress appropriately for where you are going, (especially if visiting mosques) and you will not attract more attention than any other tourist. Major cities are full of tourists, so nobody looks twice at strangers, but in rural towns people will be curious as to why you are visiting there. If you plan to stay in Turkey at length, then learning some Turkish will be helpful. However in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, and resort towns like Bodrum, Antalya, Kuşadası you can get by with no knowledge of Turkish at all. People will generally help a tourist who asks for assistance. Like everywhere you travel, be careful if travelling alone, but otherwise I wouldn´t worry about being a tourist in Turkey. (A lot of older Turks cannot differentiate between American, Canadian, Australian or other English speaking accents, so you become just another yabancı)

Turks are friendly and hospitable people, and I´m sure you will enjoy your visit to Turkey. 

 

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4.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 27 Dec 2012 Thu 10:20 am

If you plan to stay in Turkey at length, then learning some Turkish will be helpful.

 

TAMAM is the single most useful word in Turkish. With a little pactice in body language and voice intonation,  it can become a full language on its own. With suitable gestures and intonation, the word TAMAM can convey following meanings,

 

"I agree" or "OK" (tamam? would mean "Do you agree?")

"Enough" or  "stop it" (to somebody filling your plate or at the gasoline station)

"Complete" (when submitting forms to customs officer)

"It is time, let´s go" (to your friend, before an appointment with others)

"I like this one" (to a salesperson, pointing at the item of your choice, among many alternatives).

 

I would like it, if other members add to this list of possibilities.

 


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5.       stumpy
638 posts
 27 Dec 2012 Thu 04:16 pm

I found that just the effort you put in saying a few words in Turkish will change the way the Turkish people will treat you.

The main words I knew by heart was please and thank you and then domates allergic.  From there you will see your vocabulary will grow.

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6.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 27 Dec 2012 Thu 05:31 pm

I am an American who regularly travels to Turkey and have been married to a Turk for several years.  I have stayed in Turkey for several months at a time over the years and have been fortunate to have never met anyone in Turkey who was not gracious and accomodating to me as a fellow human being.  However, if you wander into a conversation with a Turk about politics you will find that they can have very harsh opinions about American policies.  Despite the possible dislike of American foreign policies most Turkish citizens want you to have a positive attitude toward their country, culture, religion and will go out of their way to show you the very best Turkey has to offer.  Take so time to learn about Turkish customs and a few Turkish words and I can almost guarantee that you will not have any problems.   

 

As far as what Americans are known for...Turkish citizens enjoy access to many American TV shows, movies, clothing, products etc...and because of Turkey´s healthy tourist industry, many Turkish people come in contact with foreigners on a regular basis.  You will find that they know MUCH more about us than we do of them.   



Edited (12/27/2012) by Elisabeth
Edited (12/27/2012) by Elisabeth

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