Family Structure and Daily Life
Favorite thing: Big family structure influences the houses’ plan. The oldest man is chief of family. Children is under sovereignty of their father. This custom ensures living together of family. This big family is like a factory. Boys have to live with their family for comfort and good living. Girls get married and go to bride-groom’s house. Accoding to custom, everbody gets married from Safranbolu. Big family consists of mother, father, boys, brides, uncle, aunts and grandchilds.
There is also a foreign girl in big family. Women and men are two apart community and they symbolize “ Haremlik and Selamlik” ( woman/ man sections) Each community has room at home and these rooms were disagned like indepent house. Generally, everybody has two children in Safranbolu and if family is rich, they have two houses. One of them is in “ Çarsi”(Market) and the other is in “ Baglar”.( vineyard) The chief of family and his wife gets up early and they prepare breakfast. Adult men go to the mosque and when they come back to home, everybody together has breakfast. Breakfast includes tarhanasoup, yayim,grape molasses and walnut. After breakfast men go to their shop, garden and field.
Women stay at home for housework. Houses of Safranbolu are big so there are a lot of housework at home. You can’t see big table for lunch at home. Women finish housework and then they start to work for dinner. Dinner is early and after dinner, men go to coffeehouse. People migrate to summer houses in summer and they store vegetable, fruit and food for winter. They come back to their winter houses in Çarsi ( Market ) in winter.
Favorite thing: Bottom drawer of bride is taken to bride groom’s house on Monday. Bride’s bridal dress, ornaments and henna is taken to bride’s house from bride grooms house. Bride goes to the bath on Tuesday and it is also “best man night” on Tuesday night. Best man (sagdiç) is choosen from relatives of bride or bride-groom. Wednesday is henna day. Bride’s clothes are bought by bride’s family. Candles and henna is also bought by bride-groom’s family.At the end of the henna night, bride dances with her friends. After dancing, bride’s head is covered with white scarf.
Old and young women, weared “Bindalli”, turn around of bride and there is a tray with candle on their hand. Women sing “Kabem” kind of religious song during the activity. Religious song finish and then bride sit down. Bride’s hands are gloatted by young girl and new bride. Everybody sings the lulbaby which is called as “Yükdibi” and tells obstacle to take tip.
Favorite thing: After “ kiz görme”( encounter), “kiz isteme” ( ask permission) and “nisan”(engagement), which are kind of custom.before wedding, the day of the wedding is decided. People decide that the wedding is not organized between two religious festival (Ramazan and Kurban) and it is organize when people have more vegetable and fruit. Meals are prepared one week ago. Best wedding menu is thin dough, baklava, patty, pie, meat, okra and stuffed vegetables. Wedding is continued for a week.
Favorite thing: The Hodja prays and then bride-groom enters to the room. Bride, waiting in the room, doesn’t talk. Bride-goom has to give money to see bride’s face (yüzgörümlüðü) Bride and bride-groom eat baklava brought from bride’s house.
On friday, “ semet” is done. “semet” is a kind of wedding custom. Wheat, sugar and money is put bride’s hand. Bride dances with her relatives and she scatters wheat, sugar and money for abundance. After the dance finish, everybody advises bride and the abstacles is spoken.
3 days later after “semet”, bride, bride-groom and relatives go to the bride’s house. They also go to the bride-groom’s house one week later and wedding finish.
Favorite thing: Boy has to be 1,3,5,7 years old for circumcision. Preparation is begun expecially in summer. Clothes are bought, meals are cooked. Boy wears his special clothes and he rides horse. Hands of old peoples are kissed and boy takes his gifts like golden,silver. Amusement is organized in the cireumcision night. After circumcision, relatives of boy organize religions ceramony. While religions ceromony , boy lies down his bed. After religions festival, bükme, kiren sherbet and baklava is served to guests
Traditions : Birth
Favorite thing: Everybody has 1 doughter and 1 boy in Safranbolu. Trousseau of baby is prepared by mother of girl. Relatives organise a baby ceremony called as “ninni”. Baby is swaddled by blue swaddling clothes. While the ceremony, Hodja takes baby and everybody sings religious songs. After ceremony, people offer somethings to guests.
Tourist Information Booth
Favorite thing: At the old town's center or plaza, just beside the KAZDAÐLIOÐLU MOSQUE, there is a small tourist info booth where you could get a map of the area. All sights in Safranbolu are walk-able.
The woman at the Info Booth is very helpful, will explain to you (in the map) the highlights of the area.
Map is free, so go get one!
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Friendly Policeman in Safranbolu
Favorite thing: I saw him at Carsi's main square. When I went out again at noon, this policeman approached me and asked me if I needed any help, in any case, he will just be around to give assistance in anyway. Cool.
In fact, he saw me at least 3 or 4 times – the whole town is walkable - and everytime, he would talk to me and ask if he could may be of any assistance. Eager to be of assistance.
When I was about to leave Safranbolu and waiting for the bus at the main square to take me to Kirankoy to catch my bus for Istanbul, there he was again, at last he was able to provide huge help. There was no bus yet, so a friend of his around with a car offered to take me to Kirankoy – truly nice chaps. Reminds me of that Reese Witherspoon and Toby McGuire black&white movie, forgot the title, where people in the whole town are unadulterated and everyone’s nice and wholesome.
The more remote a town in Turkey is, I noticed, the more the people are friendlier. And yes, I remember, the police’s name is Ade (Salute to you... you are truly Safranbolu’s Finest! A town’s pride.).
In case you meet him up along your path in Safranbolu (am pretty sure you’ll bump into him around the town’s main square), please send my warmest regards. June.B
Fondest memory: Friendly people, serene place.
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SAFRANBOLU - I can highly...
Favorite thing: SAFRANBOLU - I can highly recommend getting lost in Safranbolu...every street or alleyway is full of old houses, each more beautiful than the last, and as you will get lost whether you want to or not, you might as well enjoy it, so leave the map in your hotel. Safranbolu is very laid back, so does it really matter if you don't know exactly which house is which, and where that alleyway leads to?!! You'll find mosques, an ancient khan or two, an art gallery in a restored house, a castle park, sweet shops, old-time cafes, craftesmen at work in their workshops, donkeys munching on fruit stalls in the market....so just go and get lost!!!!
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