Top 10 Reasons for Learning the Turkish Language
10. It helps you learn the Turkish culture, which
‘represents a continuum that bridges past and present,’ a mix of cultures that, ‘instead of producing cultural
homogenization, resulted in many shades of grey as the traditional Muslim cultures of Anatolia collided with
(or had imposed upon them) the cosmopolitan modernity of Istanbul and the wider West.’ Yeah, even Wikipedia
has loads to say.
9. There are plenty of things to buy and a lot of haggling to do in Istanbul, where East meets
West geographically and culturally.
8. Know why Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Best Director award at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival) and Fatih Akin (Best Screenplay award at the 2007 Cannes)
have been getting international critical acclaim for their films. Watch them without the English
7. Read the postmodern novels of Turkey’s first Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Orhan Pamuk, in the language
he loves. This should whet your appetite: Turkish ultra-nationalists burned copies of Pamuk’s books over a
statement he made regarding the mass killings of Armenians and Kurds in the Ottoman Empire.
6. Find your way around Turkey easily when it hosts the 2010 FIBA (Basketball) World
Championship. Perhaps you can show LeBron James around too if Mehmet Okur, Detroit Pistons’ towering Turk, is
5. Know some cool things to say while watching the ‘oiled wrestling’ tournament in Kırkpınar,
the ‘oldest continuously-running, sanctioned sporting competition in the world, taking place every year since
4. You want to know what local rockers are yelling about in RockIstanbul, Rock’n Coke and other
international rock festivals in Turkey.
3. Tell that Starbucks barista why Turkish coffee is better than his, and pepper your
explanation with Turkish words and phrases to sound credible enough.
2. How do you like your kebab? You have to tell the Turkish chef if you’re more into onions
than garlic or if you like your kebab loaded with hot pepper because it works like Viagra for you.
1. Turkish language learning turns you into a chick (or hunk) magnet. That Spartan chick Helen
liked listening to Paris speak, she decided to go with him to Troy, where they spoke a language similar to