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More Misconceptions About Turkey

8th July 2015

We've already looked at some of the common misconceptions people have regarding Turkey ranging from the belief that Turkey is an Islamic state to things like polygamy being legal. If you have even a basic knowledge of Turkey you'll likely know that these aren't true but unsurprisingly many people will take what they've heard as fact leading to many mistaken beliefs.

Turkey's been featured in the news more often recently with some alarming misreports about tourists safety, so it's understandable if your friends and family might be worried about your safety if you tell them you're planning a holiday to Turkey. However while their concerns may come from a good place, it doesn't mean their beliefs are true.

Many countries tend to suffer misrepresentation in foreign media from time to time or simply fall victim to long held stereotypes becoming accepted as fact. But rest assured while some of these misconceptions may be thought of as the truth by many you can be sure they aren't, so let's take a look at some more common misconceptions about Turkey.

Turkey is Small

Let's start with a more harmless misconception, yes it may seem strange if you've ever looked at Turkey on a map or globe but surprisingly many people think Turkey is quite small. Others why not believing Turkey to be a small country will mistakenly believe countries like France and Germany are bigger when they're aren't.

Turkey is in fact the 37th largest country in the world, so if you're one of those people who think you can easily drive around the country in day think again.

Turkish people hate Americans

Turkey isn't alone in this one I've heard all sort of variants like the English hate Americans, the French hate Americans and so on. However this is a misconception I've noticed a lot of my friends (both American and otherwise) have mistakenly thought to be true. Now while I can't make blanket statements about everyone in Turkey on the whole American tourists will have nothing to fear visiting Turkey.

The Turkish people are well known for being friendly and welcoming to tourists no matter where they are from. And many Turkish people seem to be fans of American entertainment, American television shows like Mad Men and the comedy How I Met Your Mother have quite the following in Turkey. Plus American pop star Lady Gaga played a sold out concert in Istanbul just last year.

Turkish people all speak Arabic

Another by-product of the mistaken belief that Turkey is an Islamic state, is the misconception some people hold over the Turkish language. Some don't know of its existence and mistakenly believe the Turkish people in fact speak Arabic, while the two languages share some similarities it may surprise you to know the the Turkish language is in fact closer to languages like Korean and Japanese.

Now some Turkish people will no doubt speak Arabic (just like some English, French, American ect people will no doubt speak Arabic) but it will likely be a second language. And while you may be see signs printed in Arabic they will also likely be printed in other languages like English and of course Turkish.

It's all a big Desert

Another popular alternative to this is that people all ride about on camels. Due to Turkey's proximity to the Middle East many people mistakenly believe it's all one big desert, with some merchants stands dotted around. Well those people are in for a shock, Turkey offers a diverse range of landscape from forests, to mountains and the cool sands of the beach.

Another off shot from this is that since Turkey is a desert it's nothing but hot and humid during the day all year round. While Turkey is in fact on the same latitude as New York and yes you can experience all four seasons in Turkey, it's not all just one long summer.



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