Turkish quotes, sayings, proverbs and idioms explained

Turkish Quotes from Pre-History to the Modern

Turkish culture has a very long history of producing wise and thought-provoking quotes that have been passed down from generation to generation.

These quotes are a window into the unique cultural and historical context of Turkey and offer a glimpse into the values, beliefs, and aspirations of its people.

From the profound insights of Sufi poets to the witty observations of everyday life, Turkish Quotes Proverbs, Sayings & Idioms are a treasure trove of wisdom that continues to inspire and captivate people to this day.

In this article, we’ll take a journey through the history of Turkish quotes and explore the cultural significance of some of the most famous sayings. We’ll also provide a selection of quotes that you can use for inspiration, motivation, or simply to reflect on the beauty of life.

The Timeless Wisdom of Sufi Poets

Sufism is an ancient mystical tradition that has been a significant part of Turkish culture for centuries. It is a spiritual path that seeks to transcend the limitations of the self and achieve a state of oneness with the divine. Sufi poets have been instrumental in transmitting the teachings of Sufism through their writing, and their poems and quotes are still widely revered today.

Some of the most famous Turkish Sufi poets include Rumi, Yunus Emre, and Haci Bektas Veli. These poets are renowned for their profound insights into the nature of existence and the human experience, and their quotes continue to inspire people around the world.

Here are a few examples of Sufi quotes that reflect the wisdom of this ancient tradition:

  • “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Rumi
  • “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi
  • “The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” – Yunus Emre
Turkish Quotes from Ataturk

Insightful & Observational Turkish Quotes of Everyday Life

Turkish quotes are not just limited to the wisdom of Sufi poets.

There are also many witty and insightful observations about everyday life that reflect the unique cultural and historical context of Turkey.

These quotes offer a glimpse into the hopes, fears, and aspirations of the Turkish people, and they continue to resonate with people around the world.

Some of the most famous Turkish quotes about everyday life include:

  • “A good friend is a treasure; a bad friend is a burden.”
  • “You can’t escape from your destiny, but you can shape it.”
  • “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”

Fun Fact?

Sufism is a mystic body of religious practice, but the word Sufi itself actually refers to the traditional clothing worn by Sufis. Originally Sufis wore wollen cloaks, and in Arabic, the word Sufi actually means “man of wool

Inspirational Turkish Quotes for Every Occasion

Whether you’re looking for motivation, inspiration, or simply a beautiful way to reflect on life, Turkish quotes have something to offer.

These sayings are a testament to the timeless wisdom of the Turkish people, and they can be used to uplift and encourage us in our daily lives.

Here are a few examples of Turkish quotes that can be used for inspiration:

  • “A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
  • “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Turkish Quotes featuring an image of Pamukkale

Our List of the 40 Best Turkish Quotes We Know Of!

Top 10 Turkish Quotes

These Turkish quotes are a treasure trove of both wit and humor and are as quirky as the Turkish people themselves. . So sit back, relax, and enjoy the wit and wisdom of Turkey with these ten famous Turkish quotes (along with their authors and meanings):

  1. The true guide in life is knowledge – Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi – Hayatta en hakiki mürşit ilimdir
  2. Everything has a price, what is earned by paying the price is worth more – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – Her şeyin bir bedeli var, bedelini ödeyerek kazanılan şeyin kıymeti daha çoktur
  3. The world is a big test, people are the questions – Aziz Nesin – Dünya çok büyük bir sınav yeri, insanlar da sınavın soruları
  4. A strong character is someone who trusts in themselves even when they are weak – Orhan Pamuk – Güçlü bir karakter, zayıf düştüğünde de kendine güvenen bir insandır
  5. The more people learn in life, the more meaning their life will have – Sabahattin Ali – İnsanlar hayatta ne kadar çok şey öğrenirse, o kadar çok hayatının anlamı olur
  6. Life is about being happy with what it gives you, no matter what it gives you – Necip Fazıl Kısakürek – Hayat, sana ne verirse ver, sana verdiğiyle mutlu olmanın yoludur
  7. Do as many good things as you can, because when people forget about you, the only thing they will remember is the good you have done – Ali Şeriati – Yapabildiğin kadar iyi şeyler yap, insanlar seni unutunca hatırlanacak tek şey yapmış olduğun iyiliklerdir
  8. Success is constantly redefining oneself – Nuri Demirağ – Başarı, sürekli olarak kendini yeniden tanımlamaktır
  9. Life is an equal opportunity for all of us. However, what we will do and how successful we will be depends entirely on us –  Adnan Oktar – Hayat, hepimiz için eşit şans verilmiş bir fırsattır. Ancak ne yapacağımız, ne kadar başarılı olacağımız, tamamen bize bağlıdıry
  10. Success is a journey in life and everyone has their own path – Türkan Saylan – Başarı, hayatın bir yolculuğudur veherkesin kendine göre bir yolu vardır

Top 10 Turkish Proverbs

Part of the country’s cultural heritage these famous Turkish proverbs are commonly used expressions passed down from generation to generation. It’s not really possible to attribute these proverbs to a specific person as they are considered to be a collective wisdom of the Turkish people. Proverbs often reflect the values, beliefs, and experiences of a particular culture, and Turkish proverbs are no exception. They are an integral part of the country’s language and provide insight into Turkish culture and beliefs. Here are our ten favorites.

  1. Look to your own head, and the dust on your own feet – Bak başına, kendi ayaklarının tozu
  2. Hands join hands, but hearts don’t – El ele verir, gönül gönüle vermez
  3. We need shadow to see the sun – Güneşi görmek için gölgeye ihtiyacımız var
  4. Every door opens, and you go in the door that opens – Her kapı açılır, açılan kapıya girer
  5. People should be like trees, with strong roots and flexible branches – İnsanlar ağaç gibi olmalı, kökleri sağlam, dalları esnek
  6. The heart may break, but life goes on – Kalbin kırılır ama, yaşamaya devam eder
  7. Words come from the mouth, but deeds are seen with clarity – Konuşma ağızdan çıkar, işler açıklıkla görülür
  8. No matter how smart you are, if your mouth stays open, you look that much foolish – Ne kadar zeki olursan ol, ağzın açık kalırsa o kadar aptal gibisin
  9. Words fly away, but writing remains – Söz uçar, yazı kalır
  10. The one who wants to do finds a way, the one who wants to find finds a way to be found -Yapmak isteyen bulur yolunu, bulmak isteyen bulunur

Top 10 Turkish Idioms

Turkish Idioms are a rich part of the country’s language and cultural heritage. They express ideas and emotions in a unique and creative way, and are often used in daily conversation. Idioms reflect the values, beliefs and experiences of the Turkish people and provide insight into their way of life. They are an important aspect of the country’s cultural identity and offer a colorful and imaginative expression of the language. You’ll be surprised at how many of these you already know Here’s our top ten!

  1. To put your foot down – Ayağını denk almak – To take a firm stand on something
  2. To change hats according to the situation – İçinde bulunduğun duruma göre şapka değiştirmek – To be adaptable
  3. To put your hand under the stone – Elini taşın altına koymak – To work hard
  4. The head is in trouble – Başı belada – To  be in a difficult situation
  5. Fine calculation is profitable – İnce hesap kârlı çıkar – Attention to detail pays off
  6. Profitable things are done slowly – Yavaş yavaş kârlı işler yapılır – slow and steady wins the race
  7. To say what comes to your mouth – Ağzına geleni söylemek – to speak without thinking
  8. To stretch your foot according to your blanket – Ayağını yorganına göre uzatmak – Again to be adaptable to your circumstances
  9. A head that’s its own boss – Başına buyruk bir kafa – An independent and obstinate person
  10. To fight for bread – Ekmek kavgası yapmak – To fight for survival

Top 10 Turkish Sayings

Turkish sayings offer a glimpse into the country’s values. They are part of its oral tradition, conveying wisdom and lessons passed down through generations. Some are old, some more recent but all offer valuable insights and deepen the understanding of Turkish culture. Here is a top ten list of well-known Turkish sayings along with the names of the people they are believed to have come from.

  1. Try to do things right, even if you know you can’t – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – Bir şeyi doğru yapmaya çalış, yapamayacağını bile bile
  2. You can’t get to a hard place by an easy way – Büyük İskender – Kolay yoldan zor yere varılmaz
  3. Life is not as easy as you imagine, but it’s not as hard either – Sabahattin Ali – Hayat, hayal ettiğin kadar kolay değildir, ama o kadar da zor değildir
  4. Everyone has their own way – Türkan Saylan – Herkesin kendine göre bir yolu vardır
  5. The best thing about life is that you can do what you want – Orhan Pamuk – Hayatın en güzel yanı, yapmak istediğin şeyi yapabilmendir
  6. There is a time for everything, and everything has its time – Yusuf Has Hacip – Her şeyin bir zamanı, her zamanın bir şeyi vardır.
  7. The secret to success is to work continuously – Recep Tayyip Erdogan – Başarının sırrı, sürekli çalışmaktır
  8. Success is realizing what you imagine – Suat Hayri Ürgüplü – Başarı, hayal ettiğin şeyi gerçekleştirmektir
  9. Success is having confidence in oneself – Hüseyin Naci – Başarı, kendine güvenmektir
  10. The meaning of life is to add value to yourself and others – Aziz Nesin – Hayatın anlamı, kendine ve başkalarına değer katmaktır

Did You Know?

An IDIOM is a set of words that carry a figurative or non-literal meaning that cannot be inferred from the meanings of the individual words. While some idioms originally had literal meanings, they have evolved over time and their current meaning cannot be deduced by examining their individual words. Examples: “Piece of Cake” or ” Break a Leg”

Turkish Quotes | Our Thoughts

Turkish quotes are a rich and diverse collection of wisdom and insight that continue to inspire and captivate Turkish people, but are in fact, poignant for all peoples of the earth.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration, motivation, or simply a beautiful way to reflect on life, these 40 Turkish quotes surely have something to offer.

We hope you enjoyed this journey through the history of Turkish quotes and appreciated uncovering some of the timeless wisdom of this ancient civilization through some of its most well known quotes, proverbs, sayings and idioms.

Do you like them? Do you know any other Turkish Quotes you think we should add to our list?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the form at the bottom of our About Us Page

Cheers everyone and thanks for reading!

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What Is The Significance Of Turkish Quotes?

Turkish quotes are a window into the cultural and historical context of Turkey. They reflect the values, beliefs, and aspirations of the Turkish people and offer a glimpse into the wisdom and insight of this ancient civilization. These quotes continue to inspire and captivate people around the world, and they are a testament to the timeless wisdom of Turkish culture.

Who Are Some Of The Most Famous Turkish Poets and Thinkers?

Some of the most famous Turkish poets and thinkers include Rumi, Yunus Emre, Haci Bektas Veli, and many others. These individuals are renowned for their profound insights and thought-provoking writing, and their quotes continue to inspire people around the world.

What Are Some Of The Themes That Are Common In Turkish Quotes?

Some of the themes that are common in Turkish quotes include the nature of existence, the human experience, love, happiness, destiny, and many others. These themes reflect the values, beliefs, and aspirations of the Turkish people and offer a glimpse into the timeless wisdom of Turkish culture.

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