Developing technology, high-rise buildings, site culture, plaza life… Many changes affect social life. In the past, we hear from our elders that more intimate relationships were established in social life. They are not wrong either. Social life in Turkish society has been built on finesse and understanding for many years, especially after many subtleties applied in social life in the Ottoman Empire became a tradition. Unfortunately, these traditions have disappeared in recent years. Here are some of those traditions…
Putting Flowers in Front of Windows
Nowadays, it is impossible not to be disturbed by horn sounds and city noise. The ancients had found a way to prevent this the old-fashioned way. He put yellow flowers in front of their house and said, “There is a patient in this house. Even in this street, there is a message in front of the window.” If there is a red flower in front of the window, “There is a single girl in this house who has reached the age of wedding dress. Watch your speech and don’t swear when you’re walking by the house.
Turkish Coffee Service
Another example of how thoughtful the ancients were is the water brought with the coffee treat. If the guest drinks the water that comes with the coffee offered, it is understood that he is hungry and a meal is prepared for him. If he drank the coffee, it would be understood that he was full.
Charity stones were perhaps the most thoughtful of the traditions practiced during the Ottoman period. Charity stones are made of stone blocks with a hollow in the middle and a height of one and a half to two centimeters, usually found in the corners of mosques or mausoleums. These stones were a part of social solidarity in the Ottoman Empire and were a hope for the poor. Because the poor were afraid of begging, the rich would put their alms on these stones, the poor would come at night and get their needs from there, leaving the rest to another poor like himself.
There are also exemplary traditions applied to the month of Ramadan. For example, zimem ledger, that is, loan books, were paid by the rich. Rich people go to grocers and greengrocers in places they do not know and ask for the dhimm book. May Allah accept it,” he said. The debtor did not know who paid the debt, and the debtor did not know who paid the debt.
In every neighborhood known as the neighborhood coffeehouse, there was a coffeehouse reserved for imams, headmen and notables, which was like a club back then. Unlike today’s coffeehouses, district cafes were places where scientific, literary, historical conversations were held, even poems and verses were read, stories were told, and those who did not know benefited from those who knew.
Farewell to the guest
The toes of the shoes were placed to point to the house so that the guest who came to the house would come again when leaving. So the guest would come back and had to go but would come again.