HandsOnTurkish blog

News and articles relating to Turkish business and culture as well as project updates

Visiting a Turkish Hammam

Turkish baths: places for socialising, relaxing and purifying body and soul Turkish baths, called hammams (Turkish: hamam), became popular in Turkey in the 7th century and are an export of the Roman Empire. They were places of cleanliness, for purifying body and soul....

Verbal nouns in Turkish

In the dictionary, all verbs in Turkish end with the stem -mek or -mak, according to vowel harmony. To make a verbal noun out of a verb, we usually take off the -mek or -mak, and add -me or -ma – in effect merely removing the k at the end. So yüzmek is to swim, but...

The Present Tense in Turkish

There are two main present tenses in Turkish: -iyor and -er/ir. -İyor is a present continuous tense, like “is doing”. The -İ changes according to vowel harmony but the o never changes, so all additional vowels added onto -iyor harmonise on that basis. Okuyor. –...

Surprising facts about Turkish Delight

What is Turkish Delight? Turkish delight or lokum is a family of confections  They consist of small, fragrant cubes of jelly, traditionally flavoured with rosewater, orange flower water or lemon juice and dusted with icing sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of...

Expressing ability and inability in Turkish

To change a verb to indicate ability or inability, add -ebil or -eme respectively before the tense ending. The -i in -ebil does not change in accordance with vowel harmony, so all additional elements harmonise on -i. However, -eme can become -ama in accordance with...

Three Language Learning Hacks

Learning a language is one of the most fascinating endeavours you can undertake, enabling you to delve into the intricacies of human communication and allowing you to interact with far-off peoples and cultures. However, let’s face it, this can also be a most...

Expressing possession in Turkish (Part 2)

Please make sure you have read Part 1 of Expressing possession in Turkish. A different form of expressing possession in Turkish comes when a noun is used to modify another noun. In that case, the third person possessive marker on the first noun is dropped, but the...

Expressing possession in Turkish (Part 1)

Possession in English is dealt with in two ways: you can say “the Queen of England” or “England’s Queen”. In Turkish, both these would be translated in the same way: “İngiltere’nin kraliçesi”. Unlike in the English “England’s Queen”, where only the person or thing...

Which past tense to use in Turkish? -miş versus -di

The main division between past tenses in English is according to when the events happened in relation to the frame of discussion. In Turkish, however, the main division between the past tenses is according to the relationship of the teller to the information provided....

Turkish Language: Consonant Harmony

There are two types of consonant harmony in the Turkish language. For the first, you should remember the phrase fıstıkçı Şahap, which literally means Şahap the nut-seller. This apparent nonsense is useful because it contains all the “hard” consonants in Turkish: f   s...

Turkey’s economic growth overtakes China’s

According to the German news magazine Der Speigel, Turkey's economic growth has overtaken that of China. After a dip in growth due to the coup attempt in 2016, Turkey's economy grew even faster in the past year than China's. The Turkish economy grew in 2017 year on...

Turkish language: Vowel harmony (Part 2)

This blog article is a follow-up on Vowel Harmony (Part 1), so please make sure you read Part 1, otherwise this blog article will not make sense. To put it all together, we can use a string of suffixes long beloved of Turkish teachers and a tongue-twister it is worth...

Business Etiquette in Turkey. Do’s and dont’s

When first arriving at the office of a prospective business partner in Turkey, why not bring a small gift? It will be very well received, especially if it is something that represents your culture or what your business does. When meeting new business partners for the...

Did you know….. some lesser known facts about Turkey

Here are some facts about Turkey that you might not have heard before. Turkish cuisine Almost every city in the country has its own cuisine. It might be worth checking what local specialities there are before visiting in order to prepare your responses if your host...