Turkey (Istanbul)

Universality Time (Quantification):
Use the military time. Anectode: Use 24-hour watches.
For instance, if we are referring to “measurement of time” :
Religious holidays are important in determining time.

Universality Space (Concepts of Boundaries): Personal space is not important. Common place in interaction at work.  Public transportation enforces to the elimination of personal space.
Anecdote: Hugging and kissing on the cheeks is traditional. Families live in small apartments. Siblings share bedrooms.
“Dolmus”, a transportation system, is very “close quarters”. Dolmus is a minibus, with 8 seats and 8 people sit next to each other. It can be a very friendly environment.

Universality Action  (Recording Systematization): Oral communication is more common in Turkey. “Gossiping” is an active part of communication, however in Istanbul, again due to fast paced life style, the amount of oral communication is limited.
On another note, the customs, traditions, and story telling is very common.
Fiction and poetry are also common.
Anectode: Gossiping is very common in Turkey. Quickest form of communication.

Point of References Time (Laws and Rules): Religious holidays are taken into consideration. Istanbul, since it is a fast paced, metropolitan place, the “time” spent with close friends are limited.
Anectode: Sound from the minaret, 5 times/day determines most people’s daily routine.
Most people arrange their time, schedule, events (i.e., weddings) based on the religious holidays.
In terms of “value of time”: In a party or a dinner gathering: There is no “cutoff” time.
Around religious holidays: Business people don’t expect people who are on vacation to respond to work emails (unlike US).  Dinner can go forever; don’t eat fast food, don’t for “convience”

Point of References Space (Descriptions):
Psychological Space: Social and warm however due to fast lifestyle and metropolitan city life, the interactions are limited.
Boundries: Hugging and kissing on the cheeks is traditional. Anectode: respect to elderly, kissing the hand of the elderly is very important

Point of References Action (Formal vs. Non- Formal Reality): People are more important than rules and laws, even in a fast paced environment.
Anectode: one may proceed without any written agreement.
As far as technology, in Turkey, the technology has been dominating people’s lives more and more, everyday. For instance, when i was growing up, we didnot even have a television in our house until I was nine years old. Today, my parents have 2 televisions with over 120 satellite cable channels. In some homes, there are “little movie” theaters and technology seems to determine people’s idea of entertainment, whereas when I was growing up, the family, food and music used to determine people’s idea of entertainment.

Structuring Time (Future Orientation):
Anecdote: In Turkey, the people, in a historical sense, live in the present and the future. For instance, the founder of Turks, Ataturk created the Turkish alphabet (a latin alphabet) in 1928 and this eliminated access to the historical documents which were written in Ottoman language (combination of Arabic/Farsi). In Turkey, some people do complain about not being able to have access to these historical documents, whereas some people completely ignore the ties to the Ottoman Empire, as if the Turks weren’t part of the Ottoman Empire.

Structuring Space (Planning): Land Management: The protection of nature is not considered as much. Residential and commercial buildings are constructed, a lot, in order to meet with the demand of the rapidly increasing population.
Anectode: There are no (or limited) public parks.
Another anecdote is the “gecekondu” we have in Turkey: In Turkish, gece means “at night” and kondu means “placed” (from the verb konmak, “to settle” or “to be placed”); thus the term gecekondu comes to mean “placed (built) overnight”. And bölgemeans a “zone”, “district” or even “region”, so a gecekondu bölgesi is a “suddenly built-up neighborhood.

Structuring Action (Rationality):
Plans are made: in relation to work schedule; then the schedule of the family and close friends. Weekends are for family, especially Sundays.
People rely on their immediate family. There is always the comfort of knowing that one can, no matter what happens, return to his/her family home (i.e., loss of work, divorce)