For a healthy and friendly cooperation between people, courtesy is a must. The courtesy which means to be polite, thoughtful and respectful in relationships is a subject to be watched out in each field of life. In many areas of life such as meeting, salutation, speaking, visit, eating, sitting, walking, etc., giving importance to rules of courtesy ensures that you are respected and liked by people. Turkish people also try to be mindful of rule of courtesy and adopt courteous people.
Then, let us look at some important rules of courtesy which are required to be noticed in communicating with people in Turkey.
Rules of Meeting and Speaking
There exist some rules to be noted in meeting with people in Turkey known with its hospitality. Although it changes as per some districts, both sides also shake hands during meeting across the country. Handshaking is made with single hand. Some women prefer not to shake hands. It is required to respect this preference. In general, it is waited that woman thrusts out hand. Unless senior thrust out hand, younger one should avoid of extending his/her hand. In greeting in Turkey, you should only shake hands with the persons to whom you have no sincerity. However, you can touch your cheeks each other with the persons you are very close to them. Especially touching cheeks with your fellow is found more appropriate. When you enter in a new environment too, introducing yourself will be proper pursuant to rules of courtesy.
Do not forget to salute
As a requirement of rules of courtesy in Turkey, you should address the persons who are not very close as you not u. It is anticipated that you give response to the salute given you. When Turkish people see each other or make entrance to an environment, they salute to a large extent. “Hello”, Hi, Selamun Aleyküm, Good morning, good evening” are most encountered types of greeting.
After meeting, in general, it is told “nice to meet you”. When someone introduces you with another person, standing up if possible, when you sit down would be a polite behaviour.
Be attentive to your speaking speed
In speaking, try to speak in normal speed. If opposite party could not understand things you said, repeat your words more slowly. When you do not understand what opposite party mentions, ask for him/her to repeat his/her words.
As is the case with nearly each culture, when some pay a compliment for you, it is expected from you to thank him/her.
Pay attention not to interrupt while two persons talk. When you interrupt someone unintentionally, apologizing would be convenient. In coughing, attempt to close your mouth with a handkerchief or napkin. Again, following sneezing, it would be better to wipe your mouth region with a napkin. If environment is eligible, in such case, going to the bathroom would be a good attitude.
In eating at different cultures of the world, various tools may be used. In Turkey, mostly fork, spoon and knife are preferred. Generally before person who is oldest in table starts eating, eating is not commenced. Even though food is over, it is required not to leave table. We recommend you to avoid of such behaviours. Trying to clean teeth with toothpicks, pointed objects or your nail while eating do not conform to rules of courtesy. If you are required to use toothpick in any case, you should show attention to do it alone.
Belching both at dining table and in daily life is not approved. If you need such thing, doing it alone would be better. You should be careful about not to eat to fast or too slow. Being in harmony with other people at table would be very good.
Smoking cigarette in eating is not regarded as a suitable behaviour. But after end of eating, you should ask permit from those who are present at table. Some persons may be troubled with cigarette smoke. Therefore, we suggest you to smoke your cigarette in an open space.
Rules of Visit and Being a Guest
In Turkish culture that guest coming house is never refused, sense of “Unexpected guest” is dominant, you should formerly inform the person you want to visit before. It would be good to participate in places where you are invited but if you fail to participate, again, you should try to inform before. Going in time to meetings is important. If you are late, you should report by phone. In cases you are late, apologizing from other party would be a polite behaviour.
Going with clean and appropriate clothing to the place you will arrive is significant. If your shoes are muddy, it would be very good at least to wipe muds. Not to bother people, you should strive to get rid of foul breath and smell of sweat. Having a shower and spraying deodorant before meeting will be proper. When you go to a house or workplace, you should sit on the place shown to you. Complying with this rule especially in job interview is more important. Sprawling is not welcomed in Turkish society. Pay attention not to sprawl especially in official environments and public transport vehicles. You should leave the house at which you are a guest at an appropriate hour. For example, if one your friends invite you for dinner at 7, 10.30 is a convenient hour to leave.
Rules for Visit of Patients
Sense of “visit of patient is made short” is valid in Turkey. Since patients need to be listened abundantly, it is thought in this way not to disturb them.
While you are beside patient, the subjects to depress him/her should not be mentioned. It may any subject like policy, agenda, sport, work, etc.
If patient is in intensive care unit, visiting relatives of patient would be proper behaviour. After duration for visit of patient ceases, leaving room by expressing your get well wishes would be a convenient attitude again.