The Homeland of the Old Turks
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The Homeland of the Old Turks



1 kg flour
6 c milk or yogurt
4-5 eggs
2-3 T sugar
¼ t baking soda
Salt and oil

Beat the eggs and sugar well in a 2-3 liter bowl. Add the milk or yogurt, salt and baking powder. Add flour and mix well.

Drop the dough ladle by ladle into hot oil and fry on both sides till browned.



1 kg flour
2 eggs
1 t salt
1 kg ground meat
Pepper to taste
2 large onions, grated
Meat broth

Mix flour and eggs with enough warm water to make a dough, let rest. Roll out pieces of dough into noodle thickness with a rolling pin. Cut with a demitasse cup or similar sized cutter.

Katlama: Make a dough with flour, butter, eggs, and baking powder, roll out the dough with oil, fold and roll again, cut and fry in oil.

Bükken: Roll an unleavened dough to about 4 inch rounds, fill with potato or meat, fold and seal the edges, and bake in the oven.

Beliş: Make a dough, roll into two rounds. Place the first in a pan, fill with meat, fish, fruit etc., cover with the second round and bake.

İkmek: Bread, made from wheat, rye or other flour.

Katık (Yogurt): Whole milk is boiled then cooled to lukewarm. A starter from older yogurt is added to the milk, mixed will and covered with a wool blanket. It must not be disturbed while culturing. If the room is not too cold, it will be done in 6-8 hours.

Kestik: Yogurt made from skim milk.

Kabartma: Kabartma is made from leavened dough. It may be made in various shapes. It may be made in a dry, lightly oiled or well oiled frying pan, cooked in the oven, or in a pot on the stovetop.

Kazan Kabartması (Kazan-style Kabartma):  Make a leavened sweet egg dough, knead and divide into pieces 50-60 gr each. Stretch into rounds 1-1.5 cm thick with the fingers, and let rise. When they rise, fry in hot oil. Serve hot, topped with jam if desired.

Butka: A dish made with rice, millet, potatoes and semolina.

During the Republican Period, ethnography and folklore research continued unabated. On January 18, 1959, the National Ministry of Education, General Administration of Historical Works and Museums, with a circular numbered 621-128, directed its attention more seriously towards the issues of Ethnography and Folklore. With the goal of benefiting from those working in both fields, it established an Ethnography and Folklore Commission in every district, headed by the National Ministry of Education. The Commission was also founded within the Bureau of Education and Training. This Commission conducted a survey throughout Anatolia on Turkish foods. The answers were collected in the Ethnography Museum and emerged as the book “Foods of Anatolia and Turkish Cuisine,” edited by Hamit Zübeyr Koşay and Akile Ülkü. The work proved very popular and was soon sold out, becoming one of the leading books on the subject of Turkish food.

The Book’s Table of Contents contains the following headers:

Turkish Cuisine
Kitchen Arrangement
Mealtimes and Food-Related Subjects
Preparation for the Winter
Meat dishes
Fried Sishes and Fish dishes
Kebabs and Köfte
Stuffed Vegetables
Miscellaneous Dishes

On the subject of food names, the Turkish Language Association published a 28-page dictionary-style article on “Food Names in Colloquial Turkish,” in this author’s book, “Nemeth Armağanı.”

In addition, “Turkish Folklore Studies” magazine, published by the late İhsan Hıncer, contains articles on the names of Anatolian foods by Prof. Dr. Ahmet Süheyl Ünver, Mehmet Önder, Mehmet Ali Kâğıtçı, Celalettin Kişmir, Hasan Özbaş, Nevzat Gözaydın, Saim Sakaoğlu, Selçuk Es, M.Kemal Özergin, Gündüz Artan, Osman Saygı and other scholars.

In addition, Feyzi Halıcı, president of the Konya Tourism Association, has been holding Turkish cooking contests for years.

I would also like take this occasion to remind readers of an extraordinary display in the lounge of the Marmara Hotel as a result of the Turkish Cuisine Symposium.

Here, I have presented just a small bit of the culinary ocean of our forefathers, who had adopted the philosophy of “Bir lokma, bir hırka” or “one bite of food, one cloak,” meaning that life should be lived with the minimum of physical consumption.  It is not at all easy to fit all of the foods of a nation that has spread from Vienna to the Great Wall of China, from the Urals the Gulf of Basra. I thank the committee of this symposium for its initiative in examining this aspect of Turkish culture.

Bibliography / Footnotes

1. I wrote about the Selçuk period foods herise and  tutmaç as well as the bread bazlamaç in the 16-18th issues of Anıt magazine, published in Konya.
2. The Selçukname of Yazıcı Alı, p. 587.
3. Hüseyin Kazım Kadri, Tıirk Lııgati, Vol. 1, p. 695.
4. I have not yet determined how the foods referred to as dane and muza’fer were made. We know that what they called zerde was a dessert made with rice and colored/flavored with saffron. Hüseyin Kazım Kadri, Tiirk Lugati, Vol. 2, p. 953.
5. Age. Vol. 4, 51, 311 and Burhan-, Kati’ Translation, s. 410.
6. 6 Selçukname of Yazicızade Ali, p.587.
7. Age., p. 587
8. Ahmed Vefik Paşa, Lehce-i Osmani, Vol. 2, p. 432; Ahteri-i Kehr, p. 1108; Hüseyin Kazım Kadri, Türk Lugati, Vol. 4, p. 543.
9. Mesnevi-i Şerif-Ankaravi Şerhi, Vol. 4, p. 177. The dates on which the Mesnevi-i Şerif was begun and completed are not precisely known. There is a note that the second volume was begun in the year 662, month of Recep. Age., Vol. 2, p. 6.
10. Mesnevi-i Şerif-Ankaravi Şerhi, Vol. 4, p. 218.
11. Mesnevi-i Şerif Ankaravi Şerhi, Vol. 4, p. 222.
12. Mendkıbü’l – Arif’s translations, printed copy, Vol. 1, p. 193,195; Türk Tarilı Kurumu Belleteni, Vol. 19, p. 389.
13. p. 200.
14. Türk Efnografya Dergisi, No. 1, p. 73-76.
15. Hüseyin Kazırn Kadri, Türk Lugatı, Vol. 2 , p. 952.
16. Lehce-i Osmanî, Vol. 2, p. 925; Hüseyin Kazım Kadri, Türk Lugati, Vol. 3, p. 832; Kamus-ı Türkî, p. 1082.
17. Türkçe Sözlük, TDK, Second edition, p. 399.
18. M. Baha, Türkçe Lugat, p. 162.
19. Kamus-ı Türkî’, p. 308.
20. “I want three bazlamaç made from the dough of nur (divine light), and a bowl of the aş of  heaven.” Divan of Sııltanı Veled, printed copy, p. 359.
In some areas of our country, especially in the villages of Boyabat, a dish made by breaking eggs into boiling water and served with garlic-infused yogurt is also called borani.
21. 21 Hüseyin Kazım Kadri, Türk Lııgati, Vol. 2, p. 561.
22. Lehce-i Osmanî, Vol. 1, p. 527.
23. Lehce-i Osmanî, Vol. 2, p. 1238.
24. In an earlier article, I made mention of the following dishes: 1. Herise, 2. Tutmaç (Anıt magazine, p. 16). Tutmaç is also appears in the Mesnevi-i Şerif: XXXX
25. Selçukname of Yazıcızade Ali, p. 587.
26. Mesnevi-i Şerif Ankaravi Şerhi, Vol. 4, p. 352.
27. Kitabü’l- Evamirü’I-Alaiye fi’I-Umüri’l-Alaiye, Exact copy by the Turkish History Association, p. 63-64-65 and translation by İbn-i Bibi, p. 35-36.
28. Hüseyin Kazım Kadri, Türk Lugatı. Vol. 2, p. 31.
29. Mesnevi-i Şerif, Ankaravi Şerhi, Vol. 4, p. 369.
32. Yazıcızade Selçuknamesi, p. 587.
31. Sanat Ansiklopedisi, Vol. 2, p. 1886.
32. Sanat Ansiklopedisi, Vol. 4. p. 174
33. Among the trays, bowls, plates and platters made of copper are some examples with inscriptions, motifs and extremely meticulous ornamentation. See: Türk Etnografya Dergisi, No. 1, p.

For more information, see: 
Zsuza Kakuk, Türk İşgali Sırasında Macarcaya Geçen Kültür Sözleri, Studia-Turco-Hungarica C:I:V, Lorand Eötvös Üniversitesi yayınları, 1977
Türk Dünyası El Kitabı, Türk Kültürünü Araştırma Enstitüsü Yayınları, Ankara, 1976
Laslo Rasonyi, Tarihte Türklük, Türk Kültürünü Araştırma Enstitüsü Yayınları, Ankara, 1976
Laslo Rasonyi, Tunadaki Köprüler, Budapest, 1981
E.D. Phillips, The Royal Hordes: Nomad Peoples the Steppes, Hames And Hudson, London, 1965
In the closing session of the V. National Turkology Conference, Prof. Nejat Diyarbakırlı gave a wonderful 2.5-hour presentation of a month-long trip to China, during which he provided information on the Emperors’ graves at the Great Wall of China.
Laslo Rasonyi, Tarihte Türklük, 5. 65-67.
A.g.e., S. 95.
For more information, see: Türk Dünyası El Kitabı, TKAE, Ankara, 1976.


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