whichever country you come from, whatever language you speak,
you are god’s guest.”
When you come visiting Turkey, no matter which place in special, you will be overwhelmed by a kind of hospitality you never experienced before. The people will go out of their way to assist and help you, wherever they can. During my stay in Istanbul I experienced that hospitality, which is a cornerstone of the Turkish way of life, many times, and learned to love it as one of the best things in Turkey.
In Istanbul, you do not just have the “hospitality” of the men in the shops of Grand Bazar, who want to sell their products to you or, if you are a woman, want to marry you the moment they see you – you also have this honest and sincere care about you, without any self-interest. I once was given free meal from a salesman in a restaurant, because I got lost in the streets of Istanbul and asked for the way back. I was accompanied by a kind man, who waited at the same bus station and recognized that I totally don’t know how to go home – he got on the bus with me, showed me the right way and got back to “his” station on his own, after I got there safe. There were two boys who saw that I don’t know where the sight is I wanted to go; they made sure that I’ll reach my goal and totally didn’t care about their own plans they had for that afternoon. A very old man with a crutch once stood up for me in the metrobus and offered his seat. Every day in Istanbul offered surprises for me, regarding the endless hospitality of the people. I never expected that much, when I came to this city – I was overwhelmed by the people and their selfless behavior many times.
I always wanted to give something back as a thank-you, but all of the people didn’t want me too, it was just natural for them.
On the one side all of these things felt very good and warm, I was happy about every single caring person and totally sure that nothing can happen to me in this big city, because there would always be someone to help me out.
Otherwise it’s kind of strange for someone who grew up in Germany – which is not even famous for its helping and nice people. You are used to do things on your own, decide for yourself and find solutions for your problems on your own. Therefore, when you come to Turkey, you have to adjust to being “forced into your fortune” and to not decide what’s the best for you on your own, because Turkish people are sure that you do not. They know.
So let go every German control about things and just relax and enjoy – they will take care of you.