Greetings in Turkey

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Common Greetings

The greeting model in Turkey is not different from Canadian one. When two people strangers or friends encounter, they greet each other by shaking hands and asking ‘Nasilsiniz? (How are you?) or Merhaba (Hello). A common response to ‘Nasilsiniz’ is ‘iyiyim, tesekkur ederim’ (fine, thank you). The model described above is for peers. Additionally, peers also greet each other like French people that they say to each other Selam (Salute). Moreover, when one person greet an older person, right hand of older person may be kissed and touched to the forehead to show respect. When leaving, people say ‘Hoscakal’ (Stay well), they add ‘Gorusuruz’ (see you later), and they end up conversation with ‘Kendine iyi bak’ (take care) or Bye-bye.

Greeting individuals

If one wants to join to a small group, she/he needs to greet everyone individually. He can use the words ‘Hanimefendi’ (miss) or ‘Beyefendi’ (sir) for calling peer or younger people if he does not know the name. These pronouns are used with names as following Ismail bey or Leyla hanim. However, when the time comes to greet an older person informally, the pronouns are changed, and ‘Abla’ is used to adress older females, and ‘Abi’ is used to address older males. In daily conversation, younger people call older ones’ name with the abi or abla pronouns such as Fatma abla or Ismail abi. Those terms respectively mean big sister and big brother. Finally, when greeting someone much older, one uses the term Teyze (Aunt) and Amca (Uncle) following the first name.

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