Greece and Turkey are countries that are very different, but also very similar. There are some things that their cultures disagree on while other things are considered common knowledge between the two societies. In the more rural regions of the two countries there are still rituals and traditions being practiced that both countries share. So, why are these two countries similar?
Historically, both countries believed in the curse of the evil eye. In both countries the curse is slightly different and the means of protecting yourself and others from it are also different, but it's fascinating to see such a belief so strongly ingrained in two different cultures. Both Turkey and Greece have a tradition of using rituals, talismans and charms to ward off the evil eye and these protective symbols can be found in antique fabrics and furniture as well as some architecture. The Turkish talisman to protect against the evil eye, the nazar, can even be found in certain regions of Greece and is lingering evidence of the Ottoman Empire's legacy.
Another similarity between Greece and Turkey is their coffee recipe. A particular type of coffee that entails simmering ground coffee beans in a pot that originated in Turkey is still served in Greece today with the exactly same recipe but a different name. After tensions rose between the two countries the Greeks felt they couldn't continue to indulge in a drink that originated in an enemy country, so instead of getting rid of the rich, delicious coffee they simply changed the name. If you were to order Greek coffee in Greece you would actually receive Turkish coffee.
Tradition is where you'll find most of the similarities between the two countries, and one of the most traditional events in both cultures is, of course, weddings. Weddings in Turkey and Greece have a lot of similarities and you can find in them traditions that originated from the same rituals. One such element where this is most evident is in traditional wedding dances. The Kalamatiano from Greece and the Halay from Turkey are both incredibly similar dances. In these dances, participants form a line and hold hands. The two people on the ends of the line twirl handkerchiefs while the dancers step and skip in synchronised rhythm. It's clear to see that these dances either originated from one specific dance or were heavily influenced. Wedding food in Turkey and Greece also tend to be quite similar. There are a lot of dishes that are shared between the two countries, such as Baklava and rolled grape leaves, but one of the main differences between the foods is that Turkish cuisine takes influences from other surrounding countries. During the reign of the Ottoman Empire Turkey influenced and was influenced in turn, so a lot of countries within that region share similar cultures and foods with slight variations.
Overall, there are a lot of similarities between Greece and Turkey, especially in terms of culture. Both Greeks and Turks are family oriented and hospitable. Tensions between Greece and Turkey are nothing like the used to be and a lot of Greek men and women are even going to Turkey to get Longevita Hair Transplants. Both countries are rich in tradition and their similarities as well as their differences show how complex and fascinating their history is.