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How Azerbaijanis, Kazakhs and Kurds live in Turkey and what traditions they observe
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29.07.2019

How Azerbaijanis, Kazakhs and Kurds live in Turkey and what traditions they observe

Asem Utepova, 34 years old, hometown ― Almaty, housewife



About life in Turkey

In 2009 my husband and I moved to Turkey. My husband is an ethnic Kazakh, who was born and raised in Turkey. After moving, we were supported by the husband's relatives, so there were no difficulties.

I learned Turkish from TV shows and books. The language is similar to Kazakh, so I understood what people say.

I am raising our children. We have two kids, and they already go to school, swimming and gymnastics. In Kazakhstan, children are more independent, themselves go to school and sections. Here children are transported by parents or a special service.

Turkey has almost all natural entertainment. If you want some winter, you can go to the Uludag Mountains and skiing; or welcome to Antalya if you want the sun, the sea and the beach.

People in Turkey are sunny and kind always will help. The atmosphere of the country is full of warmth and friendship, hospitality and comfort.

I live in Istanbul, and I like the way animals are treated here. Lots of cats and dogs can be seen on the streets and in the yards. They are healthy, have vaccinations, regularly checked by a veterinarian, and locals take care of them.

My favourite place in Istanbul is the Sultanahmet district. The historic centre of the city.

On similarities and differences

In many ways, Turkish and Kazakh traditions are similar, but there are also significant differences.

Wedding ceremonies and celebrations are different. The Turks arrange a wedding only for the newlyweds, all expenses are paid by the groom's family. Traditionally, the family saves money for a wedding from early childhood. All money and gold gifts are given to the newlyweds. A Turkish wedding is a profitable event for young people.

Turks are a patriotic people, and their life is inextricably linked with the life of the country. Every Turk is proud of his homeland. Turks deeply respect people who love and honour their homeland.

Turks are a patriotic people, and their life is inextricably linked with the life of the country


In Turkey, I started to pay attention to the preservation of Kazakh traditions. I speak Kazakh, teach children their native language.

We often hold meetings of Kazakhs ― play dombra, sing national songs, cook beshbarmak and other traditional dishes. Support each other.

Turks called the Kazakhs as "real Turks". The reason is the legend that the modern Turks moved from the territory of present-day Turkestan, but in the process of the warrior, their ancestry was united with the Arab tribes.

The Turks are as hospitable and good-natured as the Kazakhs. They are always welcome the guest, ready to help at any moment, without expecting anything in return.


Orhan Yıldız, 33 years old, hometown ― Bingöl, Turkey, farmer



About life in Turkey

Kurds for centuries live in Turkey. We lived on this land long before the Turkish tribes came.

As a child, I moved to Istanbul, lived there for 21 years. Three years ago I returned to my hometown, now I'm engaged in farming and cattle breeding.

Istanbul is a big province with a huge number of people. In the city constant traffic jams and bustle, lack of greenery — hard to find a place to relax and enjoy the silence. Life in Istanbul is expensive, and the climate leaves much to be desired.

The ancient history of the city is the main advantage for architecture lovers


However, Istanbul is a city of opportunities. There you can find a good job and unlock the potential. The ancient history of the city is the main advantage for architecture lovers.

Favourite places in Istanbul ― Bosphorus, Anatolian Coast, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia. I often walked around Bağdat Caddesi, Ortaköy и Beşiktaş streets.


My hometown is in the countryside. I live in a small quiet village, a lot of greenery around and I feel the connection with nature. There's less entertainment, but I feel free. We grow fruits and vegetables, cook cheese and other dairy products.

On similarities and differences

Turkey is a multinational country. Therefore, there is a mixture of different cultures, and each region has its character.

Kurds pay attention to family values. Our families are much bigger than Turkish ones and our family relations are stronger.

We have similarities in food, and Kurds also often eat meat and flour dishes.

We try to stick to tradition. The way of life is changing not only because of the influence of the Turks but also because of Western culture.


Nasim Abiyev, 32 years old, hometown ― Ankara, lawyer



About life in Turkey

My great-grandfather moved to Turkey in the 1940s. Many relatives live here.

I was born and raised in Ankara. I proudly call myself a citizen of Turkey, but I always say I am Azerbaijani.

Turkey is a beautiful country with conditions not only for citizens but also for foreigners. Turkey has a loyal policy towards expats. The country entered the TOP-10 countries for expats.

The country is famous for its beautiful nature. In Turkey, you can see almost everything ― mountains, sea, deserts, forests and lakes. Climatic conditions are diverse, everyone will find a suitable region.

Ankara is a big city where the main political and business events take place. As a lawyer in Ankara, I have the opportunity to get acquainted with all the bills at once and build new strategies of action.

Also, the city is attractive to tourists. Millions of people from different countries come to see Ataturk Mausoleum, Aslanhane Mosque, Ankara Palas.

Salman Street is a favourite place in the city. I like to feel the rhythm and life of the city.

On similarities and differences

Azerbaijanis have been living in Turkey for many years. Our peoples are brothers, and we have the same ancestors. The mentality of Azerbaijanis in Turkey is similar to the Turks.

In big cities, the boundaries between the culture of the nations erased, we become citizens of the world


In big cities, the boundaries between the culture of the nations erased, we become citizens of the world. You can see differences and similarities in remote provinces, small towns and villages.

The most striking and conservative holiday is a wedding. An Azerbaijani wedding takes place in several stages:

― prior notice

― small matchmaking

― matchmaking

― little engagement

― celebratory feast.

Not all stages preserved, but most of the Azerbaijanis adhere to traditions.

Azerbaijanis and Turks are hospitable and kind people. A guest for us is a sacred person who brings joy to the house. Therefore, we welcome travellers with honour and respect.