The blue eye (Nazar Boncuk):
The Nazar Boncuk (Arabic: look, see or attention) is a kind of talisman in the form of a teardrop-shaped blue eye. The belief in its power is omnipresent in Turkey and can therefore be found everywhere, whether in apartments, shops or outside on the shopping streets. According to the Turkish popular belief, the blue eye is supposed to protect babies and children, animals, vehicles and everything valuable and beautiful from the evil eye. Bad envy is responsible for the “evil eye”.
In Turkey, traditional mocha is more than just a hot drink. For many, it is an attitude to life. The production of mocha is probably the oldest and most traditional method of making coffee. The correct name for the brown, caffeinated hot drink is actually Turkish coffee. The coffee is ground as finely as possible and the result is more like coffee dust than coffee powder. If you want to prepare Turkish coffee, you also need certain utensils. The most important thing is the small infusion jug made of stainless steel or copper, which is called “Ibrik” or “Cezve”. The coffee specialty is drunk from mocha cups that hold about as much as espresso cups. All of the coffee is poured into the cup, but not everything is drunk.
The coffee grounds remain on the floor. However, this can still be used, for example for the famous coffee grounds reading.
Turkish coffee is usually accompanied by sweet pastries such as baklava, dates or figs. They harmonize perfectly with the strong mocha taste, also want to be enjoyed in peace and are traditionally always there. Of course it also works with “Turkish Delights”.
Coffee is usually made with sugar in Turkey.
Great importance is attached to serenity and slowness, both in the preparation and in the consumption of Turkish coffee. The coffee is drunk in peace.
Here in our blog you will find more information about Turkish coffee.”
The henna evening for women (Kina Gecesi) is a Turkish ritual before the wedding. On this evening the hen-party is said goodbye to the bride. Usually take part in the celebration itself only women participate, with the henna procedure the groom is then brought in. There is dancing and eating until the part where the henna is applied. The bride is now exchanging the evening dress for a traditional, mostly red robe and a red silk scarf over her head. The guests form a circle around the bride and groom. The henna, which was previously decorated with candles on a tray, is now held dancing over the newlyweds. Mostly this is done by family members or close friends of the bride. Then sad songs are sung to make the bride cry because she is now leaving home.”
A Turkish wedding is everything, but under no circumstances simple. It is not uncommon for more than 300 guests to be present at the celebration. There are many Turkish wedding customs and traditions that are still taken very seriously even at modern weddings. In Turkey, a wedding is always a lavish festival that can last for several days. Turkish culture defines a wedding ceremony as a social event that is of great importance. This is reflected in many points. It is not only celebrated, drunk and eaten – the bride and groom must also take many traditional steps before they are finally married.”.
Turkish bath / hammam:
A hammam is a steam bath in which a special bathing ceremony is held. The focus is on relaxation through steam and a subsequent massage with soap foam. Hamams were originally public bathrooms that were built in the Islamic region in the Middle Ages. The traditional Turkish ritual is still used there for personal hygiene, cleaning and interpersonal communication. Oriental steam baths are now widespread all over the world.
We have already written an article about our hamam in Club Kastalia. Have a look: ‘’ CLUB KASTALIA HAMMAM AND SPA ’’.
Many experts call Turkish cuisine the most diverse in the world. Above all, the numerous spices and herbs that are responsible for the unique taste and fragrance of the dishes make Turkish cuisine what it is today. With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish cuisine also spread. Due to distant travels and wars, foreign exotic spices and previously foreign ingredients became known in the Turkish area and a wide variety of specialties were refined and further created. In addition to fresh vegetables, lamb, veal, beef, chicken, but also some seafood and fish play a major role.
Check out our blog post ‘’ TURKISH SPECIALTIES FROM THE CLUB KASTALIA RESTAURANT ’’ for more information on Turkish cuisine.”.
Turkish Tea (Çay):
Turkish tea is the national drink of Turkey and has been grown in the province of Rize, on the Black Sea, for hundreds of years. The black tea is mostly sold as loose tea. In Turkey, tea is offered on almost every occasion. They have the traditional Turkish tea houses in every small village. They chat all day long, drink Turkish tea and play board games. Tea is also offered after the meal, as in the restaurant.
In Turkey, tea is part of the national culture, which is reflected in its presence in everyday life.
Ayran is a sour, buttermilk-like drink, in which yoghurt is mixed with water in a ratio of 2: 1 until it is foamy. Then it is salted and best enjoyed cold. Ayran is often served with hot food, because the fat in the drink binds the hot substances in the mouth. Ayran is also a popular drink after meat.
Raki is a national drink in Turkey, but also widespread beyond its national borders. , Raki is a spirit made from raisins, grapes and anise. However, anise is only added after the distillation, which gives the whole drink its special aroma. Basically, you can drink pure raki or with the addition of some water. Due to the milky cloudiness that arises when diluting raki with water, raki is also colloquially referred to as lion’s milk (in Turkish “Aslan sütü”). Raki is also a popular drink with fish.
The snack is named after its method of preparation, because doner kebab is translated as “rotating meat”. Despite the typical preparation, the variant available in German cities differs significantly from the Turkish original. In Turkey, no flatbread is used, but pide, which is rolled together. Doner kebab is a meat skewer with large slices of meat seasoned in marinade. The crispy meat is the main ingredient of the typical doner kebab. The origin of the doner kebab has not yet been clarified, because the vertical cooking method and combination with flatbread came up at different times in different places around the world. The original Turkish dish was only with lamb and mutton, meanwhile poultry, beef and veal are also common outside of Turkey for doner kebabs. Most kebab stalls serve pide kebabs, which means toasted meat wrapped in pide bread.
Simit is a ring-shaped sesame ring made of yeast dough with sesame seeds on a golden brown crust. Its origins go back about 500 years to the Ottoman Empire. At that time, the pastry was also widely used in the Balkans. So the sesame ring in Greece is called Koulouri, in Bulgaria and Macedonia it is called Gewrek and in Serbia it is called Devrek. In the Izmir region, the Turkish Simit is also known as Gevrek, which literally means “crispy”. In addition to the bakeries, the Simit can be bought fresh on the streets, especially from mobile Simit sellers, and is a very popular snack at any time of the day. Whether on the way to work in the morning, for a glass of Çay or at breakfast with cheese and olives. Its original taste can be seen when it tastes slightly sweet, not too soft on the inside and not too dry on the outside. Simit is the Turkish answer to the German pretzel and so during the Ottoman period they were a substitute meal for the soldiers even during Ramadan, when they were on duty after sunset.