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Is a cucumber salatalik or aggouri?

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Is a cucumber salatalik or aggouri?

Postby cannedmoose » Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:18 pm

A recent letter published in George Lanitis' column. Are TCs really perceived by mainland Turks as rude? In English at least I've found the TCs I've met to be extremely polite.

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Is a cucumber salatalik or aggouri

Elizabeth Mehmet is a linguistics student brought up in the UK and she discusses here differences that exist between Turkish Cypriot and the Turkish they speak in Turkey.

As a linguist student, of Turkish-Cypriot heritage born in Cyprus and reared in the UK, I have noticed a change in relations with Turkish-Cypriots and Turks partly due to language. Mainland Turks constantly complain that we speak "Kaba Turkce", that we are too direct and too open. Apparently we shouldn`t say "hiyar" we should say "salatalik-how ridiculous! A cucumber is a cucumber. This is how many Cypriot Turks view this. Similarly Turkish-Cypriots say ? Senin kocan? (Your husband) to the annoyance of Turks, who consider it a tad informal. They claim that one should say ? Esiniz?.

Recently I stayed with a Turkeli friend in Istanbul, who introduced me to some of her friends I had never met before. They ceased the opportunity to enlist a farrago of complaints at how rude Turkish-Cypriots were to them when they visited Northern Cyprus. One lady told me when pondering whether to purchase an item in a shop, the lady was asked ?do you want it or don?t you?? I have heard similar complaints from Turks here.

Turkish-Cypriot directness in communication with mainlanders regularly causes misunderstandings. Unable to make things understood through context and unable to read context, the Cypriot-Turks express themselves verbally it seems.

Turkish-Cypriots speak in a friendly tone in rather short, clear, sober sentences lacking any form of politeness or courtesy. "Be ma bu kahve guydan cikacak?" (waiting for coffee).

Turkish-Cypriots are very straightforward, different from Mainland Turks, who like to circumvent issues. For example: if you're not very well dressed, in Turkey, people would try to tell you in a polite way. 'Maybe you would look better if you'd change', they would say. Turkish-Cypriot people would say, "What has happened to your hair, you look like a terrorist on a wanted poster?"

If a Turkish-Cypriot doesn't like something, he says so. In many ways this directness is much better, as you know from the beginning what people are thinking. Sometimes it can look rude, that's the negative side, but it can also be a sign of how close you are regarded as a friend. You are expected to reciprocate, this is viewed as both helpful

We Turkish-Cypriots I have sensed are distrustful of very polite conversations, afraid that an unpleasant message may be hidden which they are unable to detect.

Being very nice may awaken the suspicion that one is in need of a special favour. Politeness may also cause irritation as it is considered a waste of time by some.

Elisabeth Mehmet
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Postby brother » Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:44 pm

I read this column as well and imo what they are doing is saying that the turks hide behind subtle hints and messages where as the tc just say it as is, i would rather be straight forward than beat about the bush.
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Postby insan » Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:02 pm

Elisabeth Mehmet's judgement on this issue is so superficial. It's not the mainland Turks that constantly complain that we speak "Kaba Turkce". They are the people of modern cities that have more "advanced" lingual and cultural values. They complain about the same things for the mainland Turks that live in less developed rural areas, too.

According to those mainland Turks who have more "advanced" lingual and cultural values;

Hiyar is a slang word connotes someone blockhead or stupid. Though once upon a time, the ancestors of those "modern" mainland Turks called it hiyar, too. The origin of the word is Ottomanish and means freedom of movement, philanropist. I don't know when salatalik was proposed in replace of hiyar by Turkish Language Society and it was widely accepted by mainland turks but the fact is that TC Turkish has still mostly been under influence of Ottoman Turkish and early Turkish.


Some of the old words TCs still use and accentuation of TCs(but not only TCs, all other Turks such as those live in rural areas of Turkey, Azeris of Azebaijan, Turkmens of Iraq etc) sound impolite and rough to "modern" Turks of Turkey who are mostly the veterans of "modern" cities and advanced guards of "modern" life.
Last edited by insan on Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby turkcyp » Tue Mar 15, 2005 6:11 pm

Trust me even TCs start speaking indirect once they get accustomed to city living. The difference here is not TCs vs. mainlanders, it is urbanites vs. rural people.

The same kind of differences even existed among TC society on the island, on a much subtler scale. Have you never realized the Turkish spoken in Nicosia and the Turkish spoken in the villages. Old people used to call the difference "Seher Turkcesi vs. koy Turkcesi"....

And sometimes it may be better to be indirect so that you do not sound rude. It may sound superficial to many but it sounds sophisticated to me. For example I realize how my dialect changes depending on who I talk to. I would never used the term "hiyar" when I am talking to somebody educated or in a formal occasion, be it mainlander or TC.
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Postby insan » Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:26 am

The same kind of differences even existed among TC society on the island, on a much subtler scale. Have you never realized the Turkish spoken in Nicosia and the Turkish spoken in the villages. Old people used to call the difference "Seher Turkcesi vs. koy Turkcesi"....



It should be
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"şeherli gonuşmasıynan köylü gonuşması"
:D
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Postby devil » Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:44 pm

If I were you, I'd not give George Lanitis any publicity.

He is already quite capable of giving himself enough publicity, with his bragging, his name-dropping, his know-all attitude, his corrupt use of journalism to sell Ruinart champagne and wines from the Maison du Vin etc. He is, in my opinion, a totally unwholesome character and I'm sorry he lives so close to me. And he cannot even spell Lannate (R) right, although he makes a big fuss about the spelling of transposed Greek names.
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Postby sk » Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:03 pm

who is george lanitis?and where did he write this article?
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Postby brother » Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:10 pm

I think he is in 'cyprus weekly' online paper, check it out.
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Postby cannedmoose » Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:56 pm

devil wrote:If I were you, I'd not give George Lanitis any publicity.


I didn't quote his name to give him publicity Devil, if you have a personal issue with Lanitis, that's your business, it shouldn't prevent citing his column where appropriate.
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Postby magikthrill » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:58 pm

I find the article very interesting. I was always curious about the differences between Turkish Turkish and TC Turkish. However, it seems that the writer is making generalisations because I am sure you will find people in Greece who will comment about GCs in the same way but its not the everyone. Of course GCs dont speak differently from Greeks when they are conversing with them but still.
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