Tea and coffe bar
Mahya Kahve Evi (Mahya Coffee House), Dicle sokak 2a (In Ofis, just off the main street where buses run from bus station to city center), (firstname.lastname@example.org). Open till late at night. This coffeehouse, name of which means "mosque lamp made of coloured glass", has over 70 varieties of coffee and a nice interior. The owners and customers are very friendly and easygoing.
Do's and Dont's
Cultural Do’s and Don’ts Do:
(U) Do be prepared for people to smoke in different venues.
(U) Do expect that in many Kurdish households seating is arranged on the floor.
(U) Do give women the opportunity to avoid physical contact with men. Handshakes between the sexes may be allowed; a two-handed handshake is especially welcoming.
(U) Do be respectful and express gratitude for Kurdish hospitality and generosity.
(U) Do bring a small gift to your Kurdish host. An offering of fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, pastries, and even cigarettes (for males only) will be welcomed. Avoid offering a gift that draws attention to your relative wealth.
(U) Do repeat your offer of a gift two or three times until your host accepts. Kurds may initially refuse to accept gifts.
(U) Don’t pay undue attention to a person of the opposite sex even if he is a guest.
(U) Don’t shake a woman’s hand (if you are male) unless she first offers it to you.
(U) Don’t refer to any Kurds as a dog or a mother of a dog. Dogs are reviled in Kurdish culture.
- It is considered rude for a host to not offer a guest something to eat and drink. This custom holds to unexpected visitors as well. It is polite to accept your host’s offer.
(U) Don’t offend your host by refusing to enter a room first. Kurdish culture has a rank system where the oldest or highest-ranking person socially enters a room first; women are usually among the last to enter.
(U) Don't admire something in a Kurdish household unless you are prepared to accept it. To do so is a guarantee that you will be presented with the item. It is impossible to graciously refuse a gift, especially after admiring the object. Although reciprocation is not required, it is usually polite to try to offer something of equal value in return at a later point.
A tip for the waitress or taxidriver?
In Afrin or Aleppo it is up to you to give tips to the waitress in a restaurant (if he/she was friendly and helpfull and the food was good of cours). They need the tips to live since the wage is very little.
In bars and café's some people give a tip, others don't.The servers will appreciate it if you do.
It is common to give the taxidriver a tip. Only if they were nice and friendly, of course!
Never give a tip if someone asks for it.The amount of the tip is not specific you decide how much to tip.:-)
Bargaining or haggling
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Be aware that haggling down the price of any thing you buy,The seller,vendor mostly raise the price because the vendor knows very well the buyer will try to haggle it down. It is part of the culture,cloth,taking a taxi,souveniurs,even the hotel price...etc from 20% to 40%.Do your best ;)
I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Osman Baydemir, the Mayor of Diyarbakir. A formidable challenge indeed, in these days, and it was my honor to have a glimpse of the political life of that city.
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