Why Do People Become Addcited to Turkey

Why do people become addicted to Turkey? What creates that addiction? Is it just a great place to holiday? For many its just a holiday for others it goes further to actually living in Turkey full time. For some they buy holiday homes and spend as many weeks of the year in Turkey as they can.

Some have become addicted to travelling the lengths and breadths of Turkey and writing about their journeys and others like me and my other fellow bloggers want to write about Turkey and all it has to offer.

But what is so amazing about Turkey, why does it draw people in a never let them go….


To be honest, each individual will have a different story and a different reason for their love of all that is Turkey.

I remember the first time I visited Turkey, I had been through a bad break up and my friend who’s parents had fallen in love with Turkey many years before had a holiday apartment in a little place called Turgutreis on the Bodrum Peninsula. Well it was little when they first visited, not so much now.

I had no idea about Turkey, not one bit of information about the place, couldn’t have told you the capital (which is??), no idea what the people were like or what the food was, never mind where on earth it was. Let alone where the Bodrum Peninsula was and in fact that it was even called that.

All I knew was someone had offered me a cheap holiday and chance to put the past behind me.

I stepped off the plane and the first thing that hit me was the heat, then the strange language and then the beauty driving along the road to the airport, the moon was huge in the sky like you could reach out and touch it and it hung over the sea sending light across little towns and fields and the strange worded signs as you passed by.

I fell in love right then and there my soul told me I was home.

And then the addiction set in………..

So what is it, what’s this addiction.

Turkish people are so welcoming and friendly, not just the seasonal workers, but hospitality is a huge part of life in Turkey and you will almost always be welcome. They will make you feel like their friend in minutes. They will welcome you with open arms into their homes and no matter their circumstances, will not let you go without giving you Çay and food.

The ancient deep set culture, that sometimes does drive you insane, but there is something wonderful about the strength of their culture and how it bonds each one together. Their sense of community and family is something which I love and also hate at times. I sometimes feel the British culture is slipping away yet in Turkey they hold on tight to it, rightly or wrongly, there is something wonderful about it.

The history, the history is layers and layers of ancient and modern history, so many people have lived on the land that is now Turkey, the country is covered in ancient ruins. Once a powerful empire that stretched across continents and is the only country that is both in Europe and in Asia. There is always something new to learn about the history or some old relic or ruing to discover, that often leave you amazed.

The food, well you can’t have a list of addictions without mentioning the amazing Turkish food. I love Turkish food, the sweet and almost sickly at times baklava, to the amazing savory dishes, to wonderful fish, and of course Turkish delight. Not to mention the wonderful fresh season fruit and veg sold at the weekly markets in ever town. To each regions specialty foods, and different type of kofte (meatball) in every corner what’s not to love. And you have tasted kebab till you’ve tasted the many Turkish kebabs.

Wonderful beaches, that line the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, not to forget those on the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea. Endless sunshine and heat in the summer, and cool to freezing cold winters which offers skiing and snow sports.

Not to mention some of the amazing areas of Turkey, like Istanbul so soaked in history and spanning two continents. To the ancient caves of Cappadocia, where you can stay in a cave hotel and visit the fairy towers, travel by horseback or fly in the sky in a hot air balloon. To the amazing Iznik where the first council of Nicea was formed. The ancient trail of the Silk Road which passes through Turkey. The Lycian Way were many a hiker has walked the exhausting road to discover the history of the Lycans.

Turkey has something to offer for everyone, (I am starting to sound like an advert) but it really does.

But I think it goes deeper than that, there is something that calls to the soul of many, it’s something unexplained, that gets hold of you and doesn’t let go. For many it is the warmth of people, for some it is the beautiful history and for a few like me it can be the love of a good man….

I may not be living in Turkey just now, but the country is my home, not my second home, but my home, it’s a place I love with all my heart, a place I feel at peace in. I may not be there just now but part of me always will be and I know I will live there again soon.

I will never forget my first sight of Turkey and how it made me feel. I don’t think I want to unearth the deep secret that binds so many to the country. I like the mystery and perhaps that’s is what it is, the deep ancient mystery that lies across the country like a blanket.

When did you first fall in Love with Turkey, why do you think you became addicted?

© 2016, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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7 Responses to “Why Do People Become Addcited to Turkey”

  1. 13th January 2016

    Laura Chiriac Reply

    This is exactly how İ feel about Turkey too. İ have no one there yet, but İ definitely left my heart there in October 2014. İt was my first time in Turkey, in İstanbul and İ fall in love from the first second. İ love the people, the food, the history, the places, the thrills İ got on my spines when İ heard the call for the prayer. İstanbul was the first place in the world for me where İ felt totally free and at peace with myself and the world. But as you said, there are not enough words to explain all the feelings, the mystery is better when it comes to İstanbul.

  2. 13th January 2016

    Kim Reply

    Kerry, I really appreciate you writing this, because it makes me see things the way another person does, because I run the risk of becoming blind to all the wonders of Turkey because I am involved in my own day to day stuff. Sometimes it’s important to stop and really see how lucky I am to have this experience of living in such a fascinating place.

    Addiction wouldn’t be the word. But, because it’s a crossroads and made up of some many different peoples and elements, it is my experience to not feel like an alien or somehow “unwelcome” IN COMPARISON to many other places I know.

    What never fails to stun me about Turkey is one particular attitude of the Turkish people: as a whole, they see an outsider as “another human being” even though they:
    *stare at me like it’s going out of style,
    *have a different concept of what constitutes good manners (cough),
    *have a narrow outlook towards many, many things like equality, difference ,normality etc., and are —
    *just a little too nationalistic for my tastes. Of course these are generalisations.
    But despite these perceived pitfalls, their welcome and helpfulness is very beautiful, and it’s so beautiful I can’t describe how it makes me feel sometimes.
    To feel accepted even in a place where I don’t belong.
    To be welcomed and treated kindly even though I am “too different” for them to understand.
    Usually people are not always kind to what they do not understand.
    Turkey is not like this: the culture is GENEROSITY itself.

    What I feel Turkey does have, is a very special mystique. The longer I live here, the more I feel it.
    I don’t mean I feel “romantic” about it. It just has so much to offer.

    I have heard that some African countries and some parts of south and east Asia (especially India) also have this genuine and warm vein running through their cultures. African nations and India have old, old civilizations, too, just like Turkey. Perhaps this is the reason.

    The food is not something I’d say I’m addicted to, although I can enjoy it. It’s a bit samey-samey. Turkish cooking is often too dry, and could use some more herbs and spices.
    I wish the cooks and chefs would experiment a bit more, be a bit more open-minded.
    I have to say I truly miss the varied delicious flavours of Indian and Caribbean cooking. However, I have a feeling that if I travelled more inside Turkey, I would find some wonderful cooking and tastes that I wouldn’t forget.

  3. 14th January 2016

    Kev Stables Reply

    I visited Turkey ten years ago to see my brother and his wife who had holidayed there two years before. Before they got on a plane to go home from that first visit, they had bought land and had plans to have their first house built in Dalyan.
    After our first visit (Turkey had never been on my list of places to visit), my wife and myself felt the “pull” .
    We visited regularly and felt more at home each time we went. We found our own house six years ago and used all our holidays from work to visit.
    We were lucky to retire early in Sept. 2014 and made the decision to move to Turkey in April 2015 for a year to see how things go. Although my wife still has some uncertain thoughts about staying, we have been welcomed to Dalyan by the locals and ex. Pats alike. No matter what happens with us, I will always see Dalyan as home. A beautiful part of the world with more than enough to stimulate whatever you want to do.

  4. 29th January 2016

    Brenda Reply

    Hello All, I have enjoyed reading all your Comments. I have never been to Turkey. My partner is from there and we are planning to sell up and move to Turkey. I will be a complete life change for me. I am Australian and that is all I have ever known. I am both extremely excited and extremely nervous . I have not heard a bad word of the Turkish people and there hospitality. I look forward to this place of wonder being my home.

  5. 3rd March 2016

    Judy Reply

    We had seen this ‘grey lump’ across the sea when staying in Rhodes. Our first holiday without children and we went to investigate the lump which was Marmaris. That was in 1995 and we have been returning annually, sometimes twice a year, ever since. We love Istanbul; visited many times but there is always something new to find. The Lycian coast is our other favourite; the people, the history, the geology, etc, etc. Just love the country and the people.

    • 4th March 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Lovely story Judy. The Lycian Coast is a new love of mine having moved to Demre just over a year ago. The history is just fascinating.

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