Why Learn Turkish ?
The Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, Byzantium Empire, beautiful Cappadocia, skiing, sandy beaches, amazing landscape… Endless history and culture. Whatever culture or taste appeals to you, Turkey promises to keep you fascinated.
The Turkish language, with its Roman script, is the perfect key to opening up the Middle East and even further flung eastern lands and languages. Yet, you do not meet many people, even independent travellers, who have committed to learning Turkish. Have you ever thought why so many foreigners live in Turkey and learn Turkish ?
So Many People Speak Turkish
Turkish is spoken with surprising regularity by the 80,000,000+ inhabitants of the country despite a diverse makeup of Turks, Armenians, and Kurds, just to name a few ethnic groups in the country. You can safely travel Turkey’s 8,000 kilometres of Black Sea coast and notice no differences other than a change in accent.
There are also plenty of speakers of Turkish outside of the country. In Bulgaria, it is said that almost 10% of the entire population is ethnically Turkish. Macedonia, Germany, Britain and many other countries have very significant Turkish speaking populations. If you live in a capital city anywhere in the world there is a good chance that the friendly person in your local kebab restaurant is Turkish.
Turkey Has Everything You Want
This is a huge understatement. Without wanting to sound like I am affiliated with the Turkish tourist board, you can keep yourself entertained here for decades. Consider:
Turkish History: There are elements here from every stage of history. From the Biblical account of the Garden of Eden (cited as being located near the modern city of Van), to the expansion of the Ottoman empire, to the influence of Islam in the Middle East. The smallest amount of research can lead to a very rewarding trip.
Nature: Do you like hot beaches, sunshine and resort facilities? Tick. Do you prefer mountain trekking and lush, humid greenery that drops down into the Black Sea? Tick. Do you like skiing? Tick. Do you like… Yes, Turkey is one of those countries that strangely has all these things in one place.
Cost of living: Okay, if you are earning Lira you may wish to cover your ears or eyes right now, however, the currency fluctuations during the summer of 2018 have meant that for those earning stronger currencies, a brief visit to Turkey for language immersion has suddenly become extremely cheap.
Turkish People Are Super Friendly
Hospitality is as much part of the culture as cricket is to the British. People seem honour bound to go out of their way to help you even if you are in the very early stages of learning a language. Perhaps because Turkish is not historically a regularly learned language by tourists, Turks seem to take every word you learn as a personal compliment and beam with happiness even at the end of a beginner’s stuttered sentence. They will then make you dinner and introduce you to about a dozen relatives.