Updated date:

22 Ancient Turkish Proverbs to Understand Today's World

Misbah loves to write on different topics. She loves to read and share quotes, sayings and poetry

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey

Turkey is a fascinating country, full of culture, mysteries, and popular wisdom. Country of incredible landscapes, great archaeological sites, charming towns, and historic cities, and delicious gastronomy, which was one of the most important empires of antiquity. The Ottoman Empire has managed to preserve its popular proverbs and sayings, small sketches of wisdom that can still help us understand the world today.

I have compiled the most beautiful, intelligent, and worth knowing proverbs of the Turkish region. Get to know them.

The best Turkish proverbs and their meaning

  • The death of another does not save us

The evil that can affect another will not make us do better, even if that other is the one who is affecting us. This Turkish proverb appeal for compassion and respect for others.

  • A lover is one who, running in the snow, leaves no traces of his footsteps

Sometimes love is carried on in silence and it is precisely that leisurely and calm love that ultimately survives.

  • Work breeds prosperity

This Turkish proverb makes it very clear, the only way to achieve prosperity in life is with a lot of effort and tenacity. The more you work, the more prosperous you will be.

  • Wish well be good

A popular Turkish saying that teaches the importance of maintaining good feelings towards others. Wishing the other good makes us good people.

  • Love is like a nest of sparrows that, once destroyed, can no longer be rebuilt

A realistic Turkish proverb that shows the truth about relationships. When a relationship is destroyed, it is practically impossible to rebuild it, so it is better to take care of it every day and not let it deteriorate

  • There are two things that cannot be stared at: the sun and death.

Everything else, we can face it and there are no excuses for not continuing on, regardless of where we are.

  • Good words will open iron gates

The power of the word is infinite. If what you want is to achieve something, the best way to do it is with good words full of affection and respect.

  • Pick up a needle and prick yourself (to see how it hurts) before you prick others

This one is my favorite, Before hurting others, it is important to ask yourself if what you are going to say or are going to do with others. How you would feel if happens to you. This Turkish proverb is a great life lesson.

  • Two captains sink a ship

Although group work is always valued and can bear many fruits, this Turkish proverb is not so clear, since its teaching refers to times when it is better that there is only one leader. What do you think of this popular saying? Do you agree? In Urdu we have a similar one, translated as "a person who is sailing on two ships at the same time will sink." I found this Urdu one to be very authentic.

  • Who you don't keep seeing, you will lose it

Many friends cease to be precise because little by little they move away and stop seeing each other. Never stop visiting and caring for the people you love if you want them to stay in your life.

  • You should be the master of those who don't love you and the slave of those who love you.

Although this proverb is a bit drastic, the truth is that transferred to modern life today, what it means is that it is important to leave behind and not fall into dependence on people who do not love you or do not know how to love you.

  • Love is a spring flower between two people that develop in summer and does not fade in winter

True love does not fade, it endures the disagreements of life and blooms every spring. Lovely Turkish proverb, right?

  • All misfortune is a lesson

When something bad happens to you in life, it is better to take it as a lesson so that you can learn from it and move on. Never forget it.

  • Man is harder than iron, stronger than a bull, and more fragile than a rose

Human complexity is described in this wise Turkish saying. Behind our strength is a beautiful weakness that can emerge at any time. This one is very deep.

  • There is no mountain without fog, in the same way, that there is no man of merit without slander

Sometimes success inevitably happens by having to endure envy and slander, but that is nothing more than a consequence that will finally pass.

  • The fly is small, but it is big enough to make us sick

As this Turkish proverb says, it is better to be safe than sorry, so always remember to take care of yourself, no matter how small the pain you may seem, be it physical or emotional.

  • Patience is the key to paradise

Being patient in life opens many doors so that happiness and our goals can be achieved. This Turkish proverb is absolutely right, right?

  • If skill could be gained by looking, a dog would be a butcher

A popular Turkish saying that talks about the importance of gaining experience by practicing hard and with perseverance. We have to get down to work if we want to achieve our dreams.

  • It's not embarrassing to ask, it's embarrassing not to know

Exactly! What a great reason this Turkish proverb has. So now you know, the next time you're embarrassed to ask something, remember this saying.

  • Many ants kill a camel

According to this proverb, I would say, even if you are a minority but are united. You can conquer everything you want. As unity is strength.

Bird on tree branch

Bird on tree branch

  • The bird that sings at the wrong time will die

This proverb means that you must know when to talk and when to avoid it as sometimes talking the right thing at the wrong time can create problems for us.

  • A fighter is never defeated if he does not tire of fighting again

This one is a very strong proverb. No matter the defeats you suffer in life if, you keep fighting you will always be a fighter and capable of getting ahead. So, we should never give up even if we lose.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh

Comments

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

Priya Barua, thanks a lot for your kind comments. I am glad you liked it. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate that.

Stay happy and safe

Sending Blessings

Priya Barua on May 21, 2021:

This is quite an amazing article you shared with us. The second proverb, about love, was one that resonated most with me.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 21, 2021:

No worries, Gyanendra. I am glad you liked it.

Blessings and Peace

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 21, 2021:

Misbah, Sorry technical glitch. This coomenteant be for article about Maher Zain who keeps you inspired.

Thank you

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 20, 2021:

Masbah, Your article itself is awesone and inspiring for me You have made me understand how inspiration works through your words.

Personally, I've never heard of Maher Zain. Because I hardly listen to the music these days.

You have shared about him to me and the world

So, I've listen to his song on this article itself. Surely, I will listen to more of his songs on the youtube later on

It would be wonderful to activate my mind through his songs in this lockdown period in Kathmandu.

Thank you

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 20, 2021:

Thanks a lot for the information, cmoneyspinner1tf

Blessings and Peace

Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on May 20, 2021:

I have joined so many of these social blogging communities that I have lost count. I still have an account at MyLot and I sign in every now and then; but I am no longer as active as I used to be. In fact, I have deleted some of my posts because they were not getting any interaction. I took those posts, added a little bit more detail, and either posted the content at one of my blogs or in an article writing community.

MyLot does not penalize you if you deleted your content. Nor do they back track and take away anybody's earnings. I imagine that would be too much trouble for them. But the fact that I can delete and repurpose my content, and republish it elsewhere is a real PLUS for me.

I have joined a few other communities after joining MyLot and I am more active because the earnings are better. These platforms, however, pay in cryptocurrency or have their own form of virtual currency. They have a mechanism for exchanging the digital currency for traditional fiat currency (US dollars) so I can request payment via PayPal. This is working out well for me!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 18, 2021:

Hi Devika,

Turkey is a fascinating country, full of culture, mysteries, and popular wisdom. very famous for its Ottoman empire known as khilafat e Usmania

Thanks for your kind comments

Blessings and Love

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 17, 2021:

Misbah I was not familiars with Turkey culture and this brings light to the subject.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 17, 2021:

Thanks a lot for the kind words, Mary. I too love to study about Turkish culture and history. I have few more articles regarding the history of Turkey and the ottoman empire. If you wish to read them. Gratitude

Stay happy and healthy

Blessings and Peace

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 17, 2021:

I loved my visit to Turkey and have a strong admiration for its culture. I love these quotes and would love to read more of Turkish Literature.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 17, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind words, Devika. I am pleased to know you like to learn proverbs from different cultures. Much gratitude, dear friend

Blessings and Peace

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 17, 2021:

Hi Misbah I like to learn of proverbs in other cultures and this is a great thought from you. You shared lovely photos and a unique hub indeed!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 17, 2021:

Thanks for your lovely comment, Linda. I am so glad to know that you liked the idea of sharing these Turkish proverbs and found them useful. They are words of wisdom. Much gratitude, dear friend

Blessings and lots of Love

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 16, 2021:

I love your idea of sharing and explaining proverbs, especially ones that some people may not know. You’ve created an interesting and useful article.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 16, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind words, Gyanendra. I am glad you liked them. Much appreciated

Blessings and Peace

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 16, 2021:

Misbah,

I love the proverbs you have beatufully decorated in your fabulous article. Ameen.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 15, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind words, Peggy. I am so glad to know that you liked these Turkish Proverbs.

Blessings and Love

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 15, 2021:

There is a lot of wisdom in these Turkish Proverbs! Thanks for sharing them with us.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 15, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Ravi. You chose a wise proverb. Yes we should keep on learning from everything. It's not embarrassing to ask but it is embarrassing not to know. These Turkish proverbs are very old and wise. I am glad you liked them.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend.

Stay safe.

Blessings and Peace

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 15, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your beautiful words of wisdom, Lorna. I respect you for your beautiful and kind words. I am so glad to know you liked them. Much Gratitude.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Stay safe

Peace and Blessings

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 15, 2021:

Thanks for your kind response, Moon. I am glad you liked them. Stay blessed dear sister. Take care

Have a lovely weekend

Blessings and love

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on May 15, 2021:

A wonderful collections of proverbs Misbah. Each proverb is so profound and converys such a powerful meaning over time immemorial. My favorite is "It's not embarrassing to ask, it's embarrassing not to know". Thanks for sharing.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 15, 2021:

Chitra Di, Thank you so much for your lovely reply. I'm glad you liked 'em. Yes, these proverbs are really words of wisdom. Thank you so much for the Eid greetings, Eid Mubarak to you as well. God bless you always.

Much Love. Gratitude Di. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Blessings and Peace always

Lorna Lamon on May 15, 2021:

A wonderful collection of Turkish proverbs Misbah, full of life's wisdom. Understanding other cultures is the best way to build bridges and bring the world closer together. I enjoyed reading your explanations which was an education in themselves.

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on May 15, 2021:

A fabulous piece of writing, Misbah. Thanks for sharing these Proverbs with us.

Stay blessed...

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 15, 2021:

Thank you so much for your lovely reply, Vidya. I'm glad you liked 'em. Yes, these proverbs are extremely profound and significant. Learning about other cultures undoubtedly enhances our knowledge. We should always learn good things from everywhere. A lot of gratitude, my dear friend.

Have a blissful weekend.

Blessings and Love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 15, 2021:

Thanks a lot for the appreciation, Tobe. I am so glad you enjoyed reading them. Happy weekend!!

Blessings and Peace

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 15, 2021:

Great article about the Turkish proverbs! These are words of wisdom and you did a good job by explaining them!

Thank you for sharing and Happy Eid to you and your family!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 15, 2021:

Thanks a lot, Brenda. Yes, that one is my favorite too. Maybe if we can try to taste our words and actions before doing/speaking them, we wouldn't do half of them. We should care about other's feelings and shouldn't hurt other's sentiments.

Thanks for reading. I am glad you found this to be interesting.

Much Love. Gratitude, dear friend

Blessings and Peace

VIDYA D SAGAR on May 14, 2021:

Beautiful article Misbah. I loved reading it. The proverbs are deep and meaningful. The pictures are also nice. It is always interesting to learn about other cultures. Thanks for sharing. Stay blessed

Peace Tobe Dike from Delta State, Nigeria. on May 14, 2021:

Educative..you put them together so well and it was such a good read....thanks for sharing, Misbah.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 14, 2021:

Misbah,

These are very interesting.

My favorite

Pick up a needle and prick yourself (to see how it hurts) before you prick others

You are so right that we should stop & listen to our own words before speaking...as well as our own actions .

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 14, 2021:

Mr. Bill, I am Glad to know that you loved it. Thanks for sharing that you love to learn things about different cultures. Thank you so much for your kind and generous comment. Highly appreciated, Sir

Wishing you a joyful and peaceful weekend

Blessings and Peace always

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 14, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Pamela.I am glad to know you liked these proverbs. Yes, the patience one is lovely. Much appreciated

Blessings and love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from The World of Poets on May 14, 2021:

Thanks a lot, Liz. I am glad you liked them. Yes, these Turkish proverbs are beautiful and worth knowing.

I am glad you liked the proverbs and the explanation as well. Much Appreciated

Gratitude, dear friend

Blessings and love

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 14, 2021:

I love articles like this one because I learn things about different cultures. For that I thank you! Loved the article, loved the proverbs.

Have a brilliantly happy weekend, and blessings to you always

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 14, 2021:

This is an interesting article, Misbah. There is so much wisdom in those sayings. I liked all of them, but I think the one about patience is so true. This is a very well-written article, and I enjoyed reading it.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 14, 2021:

You have compiled an interesting list of Turkish sayings. Many have deeper meanings, which you explain well.

Related Articles