Turkic wedding traditions


Marriage among relatives was possible in the past unless they were breastfed by the same woman. When a girl’s brother died the widowed sister-in-law had to marry her single or widower brother-in-law (Levirate)so that the inheritance of the deceased could be promoted later in life. It was also possible for a sister to marry her deceased sister’s husband (Sororate).

There was another old popular wedding tradition in Turkey- beşik kertme (known among Armenians as bashikartma)when newborn children of two families were meant to get married with each other when they grew up.

Another unusual wedding tradition was called ‘iç güveysi’ where a man settled in bride’s house when either he was unable to pay a dowry to wife’s parents or the bride did not have a brother.

In a ‘Berder’ wedding two families married their daughters and sons to the same family to somehow compensate dowry expenses.

Polygamy is still practiced in Turkey’s some regions.


A man’s relatives and friends help him to kidnap a girl based on a previously analysed plan. When the man brings the girl to his house she crosses the doorstep with a white kerchief on her head as a sign of virginity. The boys’ parents and relatives scatter ‘chachyla’ (traditional bread), sweets and fruits over the newly-welcomed sister-in-law wishing her and the groom happiness and success. Later on, she bows in front of them and enters the house. The bride has to sit behind curtains for three days until a priest comes and blesses the marriage according to Muslim traditions. During the three days women and girls come to see the bride giving her money and a new kerchief.

Tatarstan (in Russia)

Newly-wed Tatars’ (do not confuse with Crimean Tatars) holiday lasts for a few days first off in the bride’s house and then the groom’s. The Muslim marriage is held in a mosque where the bride cannot show her hair, whole body, hands or even neck or else she can wear a hat and a scarf. However, the bride may show her hands and face, but will have to cover hair. As to the groom he can wear a suit of black, blue or any other colors and mandatorily a skullcap.

A Tatar bride collects her dowry since adolescence. The ransom should be paid before or at the wedding day in full by the groom in the form of gold jewelery, winter and summer clothes, linens, dishes and money.

Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in Nikah celebrations- Islamic weddings. Gulbadam is a wedding cake filled with meat, rice, cottage cheese and raisins. The bride prepares Chak-chak which is a traditional Tatar sweetness made from fried dough and honey (much like we prepare the pastry ‘ant-hill’).

Kyrgyz wedding-Customs & Traditions- Culture- Kyrgyzstan-Kyrgyzstan. Retrieved from http://www.kyrgyzjer.com/en/kg/section27/section1/3278.html
Tatar wedding: customs and rituals, ceremony Nikah.(October 2, 2016). Retrieved from http://articlewedding.com/wedding-preparations/traditions/tatar-wedding.html
Wedding traditions. Retrieved from http://www.turkishculture.org/lifestyles/ceremonies-536.htm


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