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Hookah smoking in Turkey: history, traditions, legislation and features


09.05.2019

History of hookah smoking in Turkey

Many historians still cannot find a common opinion about the emergence of a hookah. Some argue that the device was first discovered on the territory of the Indians of America, while others say the origin of the nargile in the East. Indeed, the first hookahs were discovered in the region of India, but then they had a completely different shape. Modern historians argue that it was the Ottoman nomads who made the hookah the way we used to observe it today.

Therefore, many believe that Turkey is the ancestor of hookahs. This is not so, but still the modern types of models came just from the Ottoman masters. Therefore, partly Turkey can be considered, if not the founder of hookahs, then the founder of the hookah culture.

Hookah also came to Europe just from Turkey, as well as to the territory of the CIS countries. Tourists began to go on vacation and try a hookah. The attitude of many towards this device is different, but nevertheless many took the “wonderful device” with them as a souvenir. So the culture of hookah smoking began to develop in Russia, Ukraine, and other CIS countries, as well as Europe. However, it differs from Turkish traditions.

Interestingly, the hookah was popular from the 17th to the 19th century, but then it was almost completely replaced by cigarettes. But since the 90s of the last century, when a stream of tourists poured into the country, the Turks began to use hookahs again, returning Ottoman traditions. Therefore, in the cities you will find a large number of shops that sell hookahs.

The culture of smoking a hookah in Turkey: local traditions and features

Turkey gave many tourists the first impressions of the hookah, and helped to develop this culture around the world. However, the Turks themselves adhere to other traditions of smoking. Here are the main cultural features:

- We are used to a wide range of tobacco flavors for hookah. In Turkey, the locals do not really like different flavors. As a rule, they can use either flavorless tobacco in general or light neutral flavors like apple, watermelon or melon. It is unlikely that you will meet a Turk there enjoying a cocktail from a mix of 2-4 tobaccos.

- Basically, the Turks smoke hookah in the evening and at night. This is probably due to the heat, during which it is difficult to enjoy fragrant smoke. Therefore, in the evening, all institutions are crowded.

- The Turks are convinced that hookah smoking teaches patience, so during the process of enjoying the smoke you are unlikely to notice skirmishes, loud conversations.

- In Turkey, residents love to enjoy hookah alone. They plunge into their thoughts, relax and meditate. If you meet such a person, do not distract him from thoughts.

- Turkey categorically does not recognize alcohol along with hookah. In no institution will you be served alcohol if you ordered a hookah. Of course, tourists make exceptions, as they say, “just business”. But locals consider it an insult to a hookah if it is used with alcohol.

- If you were invited to smoke a hookah in Turkey, the refusal will greatly offend the person who made such an offer. The interlocutor offers to join in a sign of trust and friendship.

- In our culture it is customary to smoke one hookah for a large company. In Turkey, often every person at the table has his own hookah.

- Locals really appreciate communication and a pleasant pastime. There they smoke hookah constantly, one ends - they hammer another. Many believe that it does not harm health, and even vice versa. After all, a person has time to think, relax, and relax. In addition, a pleasant company always complements this process.

These are the main features of the hookah culture in Turkey. Of course, one could talk about the peculiarities of driving hookah, which is significantly different from our method, about the tobaccos that the Turks smoke and about many other things. But it is better to go to Turkey and try the local hookah, learn about local traditions and enjoy the old smoking process.

Hookah bars in Turkey

In Turkey, a huge number of hookah bars and institutions where you can order fragrant nargile. But at the same time, the choice of tobaccos, and even the models of hookahs themselves, is not large. Therefore, all establishments offer uniform tastes. However, there are advantages. The cost of smoking a hookah in Turkey is quite low. But most models use ceramic bowls, which means that tobacco burns out pretty quickly. Do not hope that you get to smoke a hookah and a half hours. If he does not burn out in 40-50 minutes, then that's great.

In almost every institution along the promenade there is a hookah. Here are a few basic hookahs that have become famous and attract Russian-speaking tourists:

  1. The institution, which is located in Alanya. It has a fairly large terrace and good hookahs. A small cost of hookahs, a lot of space, but unfortunately, the selection of products is small. The institution does not specialize in hookahs, but provides them as additional entertainment.
  2. Ehl-i Keyf Nargile Caf. This is a full hookah, which is located 5 minutes from the center in Alanya. It has a large hall, a spacious area, but most importantly, a large assortment of tobaccos and models of hookahs. Here, not only tourists relax, but also locals after a hard day.
  3. Hookah cafe in Konakli. This is a small tourist village with many hotels. Across the street from the main bazaar of the village is this institution, it is impossible to miss. It serves delicious hookahs in different bowls, the assortment of tastes also pleases.
  4. Tophan district in Istanbul. This is a very popular area, and there are a large number of establishments serving hookah. If you come to rest in this city, be sure to visit the area to visit several institutions. Tasty and interesting hookahs are guaranteed.

In general, hookah in Turkey can be smoked at any hotel. And this is not a bad place, it is better to order it in a trusted place than somewhere in the local market. At least you will be sure of the quality of tobacco. Well, or visit the places indicated above, they are checked by many tourists, and turned out to be very attractive.

Also, do not forget about the rules of conduct. You can not light a cigarette from hookah coals, this is the highest sign of disrespect. Hookah should be placed on the floor, in Turkey it is not customary to install it on the table. Do not talk too loudly, hookah, this is a kind of meditation for the Turks, so do not distract them.

Popular Turkish brands of hookahs

In the country where the hookah is considered a national treasure, there can not but exist industries that make these devices. There are a lot of them, from large companies to private small workshops. Let's look at the most famous brands of hookahs of Turkish origin:

- Elmas Nargile. Production of these models began in 1972. The brand is widely known throughout the world, especially in demand among collectors. Manufacturers make classic hookahs, preserving traditional patterns and style. The flask is decorated with ornaments. But the main feature of the models is production. They are made by hand, even today, craftsmen from brass and copper create stylish authentic hookahs.

- Demirkan Nargile. A popular Turkish manufacturer that produces authentic hookahs. However, unlike the previous company, the creators make modern models. Often they are delivered to the foreign market, of excellent quality, and are popular.

- El Nefes. The manufacturing company produces a small number of hookahs, so their models have become in demand and popular. They make a kind of hybrid. From classic models, they take an authentic look, but the functionality uses a modern one. Therefore, hookahs have a light pleasant traction, easy to care for, but look like real old Turkish models.

- Nargile Toplum. This is a company that makes budget hookahs, but at the same time maintains decent quality. They are common throughout the world, including Russia.

Despite the huge number of hookah manufacturing companies, most of them have no brand. They are unknown to the masses, but are popular because they combine important qualities for a hookah: appearance, quality of smoking, value. If all these parameters are decent, then the hookah will be in demand.

Famous Turkish Tobacco Brands

Of course, such a country cannot exist without tobacco. Despite the fact that the Turks themselves do not like different tastes, in some establishments, in addition to double apple and peppermint, they can offer nothing at all, Turkey produces famous brands of tobaccos. Some of them are probably known to you, in addition, they are now standing on a shelf. So, the most popular tobaccos from Turkey:

- This Turkish brand has captured the love of millions of connoisseurs of dense smoke. It is inexpensive, tobacco is quite high quality, but most importantly, a very wide range allows you to choose almost any flavor to every connoisseur of smoke. The taste of the tobacco is natural, the tobacco itself is not strong, suitable for both beginners and lovers of thick smoke. A large amount of glycerin in tobacco provides high smoke.

- Another popular brand made in Turkey. At the same time, European flavors are used, as well as raw materials. Average heat resistance allows you to perfectly reveal the taste, tobacco smoky, not strong. The range is wide enough, in addition to the classic fruit and berry tastes, Adalia offers unusual mixes.

- A less popular brand, but still worthy. Tobacco is produced by the same company as Shcherbetli, which is already credible. The characteristics of both brands are similar, with the exception of the flavor line and strength. This tobacco is stronger, and the lineup is not too wide. But every aroma is rich and memorable. Its cost is small, and the quality is decent. Be sure to try it.

These are the main Turkish tobacco brands that we find. Going to Turkey, you will surely find a ton of other tobaccos. Do not buy them in large quantities, first try on the spot. In addition, you still can not take away more than 250 g of tobacco for hookah per person.

Turkish law on hookahs

Turkish authorities have long introduced a law banning cigarette smoking in a public place. But this did not concern hookahs. Over time, the laws changed a little, and now smoking a hookah in a public place was only possible for adults. Although before that, any person could smoke a hookah, and this did not raise questions.

However, the Turkish authorities went even further and began to prohibit the centuries-old tradition of smoking a hookah. In particular, it is now impossible to enjoy aromatic thick smoke in a public place. Many institutions simply closed because they could not get the necessary license.

Today, many entrepreneurs are struggling to repeal this law. But to smoke already in the park, on the coast or even in a cafe that does not have the appropriate documents, it will not work.

Where to buy hookah in Turkey

You can buy a hookah in Turkey at almost every step. Go to any market, and you will find a lot of scarves offering devices. But there are a number of nuances. First, it’s worth knowing in advance whether it is possible to export hookah from Turkey to your country. Often tourists make this mistake, and are not interested. Secondly, avoid souvenir shops. Here you buy a hookah at 2, or even 3 times more expensive than in a regular store.

In Turkey, you can buy a real Turkish hookah, but how to understand that this is not a fake? Yes, almost nothing. Pay attention to the valve. It should not be, a real Turkish hookah does not have a valve, the Chinese will certainly be equipped with it. Turkish hookahs are also made under the inner cup. Therefore, you should immediately buy a couple with you. Or you can buy a cup for hookah in our store.

Pay attention to the external condition of the hookah. It should not be flimsy. Many companies make decorative hookahs, they are not intended for smoking, but only for beauty. The seller can easily fool you. In a normal hookah, the mine is made of brass and copper, it is massive, it connects well with the bulb. It is optimal to take a high hookah, from 70 cm to 1 meter.

How much is a hookah in Turkey? Expensively, the seller can easily break up the price of 70-100 euros. But then the feature of Turkish markets begins. If you can’t bargain, don’t go shopping here. But if you can trade the price, then the seller reduces the cost of the hookah up to 10-20 euros. This is the real value of hookah in Turkey. Of course, if it is made by hand, then its cost can reach 40 euros, but not 100, as will be indicated at the beginning.

In general, there is no need to go to Turkey for a hookah. You can buy a good Turkish hookah without leaving your home. Our store offers a large assortment of real Turkish hookahs, there are no fakes, adequate real prices and a guarantee. Therefore, look at the catalog on the website, add the Turkish hookah to the basket and place an order.

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