Dating and Marriage customs | TURKEY
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Dating and marriage customs


Traditional wedding and interlocked wedding rings

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  Turkish marriages today still have many of their traditional roots, but they all can differ greatly based on several different factors. When marrying with a Turkish man, the region plays a part in the type of marriage ceremony to be expected, the religion itself and intensity of belief in the religion the Turkish husband subscribes to is also very important in determining the type of wedding to be held. Turkish wedding tradition for traditional marriages dictates that the typical age for marriage for Turkish men is between 17 and 22, and for women it is between 17 and 20. The age difference between husband and wife can be 3 – 5 years depending on tradition.

Turkish wedding traditions can have guidelines depending upon widows or widowers, the care of a deceased family member’s family by remarriage, and there have been instances in the past of siblings marrying one another, but this no longer happens in today’s society. Marrying with a Turkish man depends strongly on the culture he is from. The culture makes a large difference in the type of marriage ceremony and how the bride is courted. Turkish wedding traditions also include some marriages where husband and wife are determined after they are born, and there are some marriages still where a sister-in-law may step in as wife for a sister who is deceased. Traditionally, marriages lasted 40 days and 40 nights, but have been reduced in most cases to 3 regardless of the religion or culture.

Turkey as a country is secular with every person having the freedom of religion due to no official religion being chosen, but 99% of people in Turkey are Muslim. The other 1% are comprised of individuals practicing Christianity and Judaism but have declined since early in the year 2000. Marriage is considered one of the most important unions in Islam, and what happens at a Turkish Muslim wedding ceremony is both beautiful and spiritual. Turkish wedding customs still follow some of the customary Muslim practices. Talking to Turkish men if the woman is also Turkish and neither of them are Westernized does not involve dating. There are occasions where Turkish couples can meet, such as at school or work, but when talking to Turkish men, they do not date. Another example of what happens at a Turkish Muslim wedding ceremony is the way the bride and groom dress at the ceremony. They have adopted Westernized styles of dressing including tuxedos and white Turkish wedding dresses.

  Turkish wedding rings are used during the ceremony and are also called puzzle rings. Traditional Turkish wedding rings consist of four, six, eight or twelve interlocking rings that require a mechanical puzzle to put together. The purpose for these rings is that if a spouse cheats, they must take off the ring and the ring must be reassembled in order for the wearer to put it back on. More contemporary puzzle rings have three, five or seven interlocking rings.

Wedding etiquette depends on how traditional or modern the wedding is. If the wedding is conservative or traditional, women should wear long sleeves to cover their arms and long dresses or skirts to cover their legs and ankles. Wedding etiquette for men is to dress in a formal shirt and pants the same as in a Western wedding. Turkish wedding customs involve men and women being on separate sides of the room but are allowed to dance in one another’s presence, unlike traditional Turkish wedding customs that dictate separate rooms for men and women. Turkish wedding dresses are white with a veil and head covering, much like Western counterparts.


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