Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tea in Turkey

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Tea in Turkey

Article excerpt

According to a popular Turkish folk saying, "Conversation without tea is like a night sky without the moon." Indeed, today Turks consume more tea than coffee. "It's become an integral part of our social lives," Pelin Aylangan told guests attending the ATADC teachers' workshop at the Turkish Embassy on Nov. 5. Sipping traditional Turkish black tea, guests listened to Aylangan's comprehensive presentation on the country's tea culture in the early days of the Turkish Republic.

After several failed attempts, she said, in 1938 tea cultivation in Rize, located in the eastern Black Sea region, became successful. Since at that time men in the area had relocated to larger towns to find work, the job of growing tea fell to the local women. "The interesting thing about the tea industry in Turkey was that its success depended on Turkish women," she said.

In the 19th century, Tatars from Crimea introduced samovars to Turkey's Black Sea region. …

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