Cultural Exchange Between Turkey and Middle East

Cultural Exchange Between Turkey and Middle East
  • Son Güncellenme: 07/09/2021

Turkey is considered one among the Middle East countries as both a good model and a successful combination of democracy and Islam. Moreover, Turkey’s peace supporting act in the region and its mediation role in the Israel-Palestine problem make a good impression on the Middle East countries. In time, there is always a cultural exchange between Turkey and Middle East countries.

The development and spread of mass media made culture a commodity produced and marketed. Some examples of cultural exchange between Turkey and Middle East countries are listed below.

  • Turkish television series are exported abroad since 1981. Affecting by the political situations, the Middle East community’s interest in Turkish television series increased. Along with the cultural exchange between Middle East countries and Turkey, other sectors are also taking advantage of it. For example, tourists that come to Turkey want to visit the places where the television series are filmed or they even want to stay at these places and purchase a house nearby. Also, decoration, clothing and jewelry choices of the Turkish television series watcher foreigners are shaped in the light of leading actors’ and actresses’ styles. Arabic people saw the secular regime in everyday life via the Turkish television series.
  • Language is another cultural exchange between Turkey and Middle East countries that Turkey is not the giver. For example, all of the religious words in the Turkish language have come from Persian.
  • All of the countries that believe in Islam including the Middle East countries and Turkey, celebrate the Ramadan festival, after the last day of fasting.
  • Names: Turkish names are highly influenced by Arabic names. Islamic culture also influenced the name choices. Some Turkish families give their children two names; one of them is modern and the other one is a name which takes place in Quran such as; Ömer, Yusuf, Muhammed, Ahmet, Hamza, Ali, İbrahim, İsmail, Fatma, Ayşe, Sümeyye, Nur.
  • Foods: Eating halal food, there are so many similar foods on both sides. For example; za’atar (zahter), baba ganoush (babagannuş), baklava, kebab, bamia (bamya), halva (helva), knafeh (künefe), labneh (labne), musakah (musakka). One difference between Turkish and Arabic cuisine is, Arabic meals are much spicier than Turkish ones.
  • Decoration: In Islamic belief, the evil eye does exist and one should avoid it. The evil eye belief integrates with the folklore of all traditional Middle Eastern societies, including Turkey.


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