Family & Kinship in Turkey

Family and kinship are extraordinarily important values of culture and heritage in Turkey. Kinship, family ties, and spirituality are regarded with utmost value in Turkish society. Family union has been long cherished since the early days of Turkey. The close-knit social structure of the family remains strong, even amid political turmoil today. Since the mid 1900s, social changes have affected family dynamics. The cornerstone of day to day life in Turkey is always family, being the first place Turkish people turn to when in need of support.

Traditionally, Turks were divided into familial clans that would provide support and defense for each other. They would depend on one another for life and prosperity of the whole family. The size and structure of Turkish households vary throughout the country. Most households in urban regions consist of families that are nuclear, with the average number of children for a couple being two. In more rural regions there are households that are more dependent on their extended family that may have up to twelve children, which reflects traditional clans.

Views on religion, marriage, children, gender roles, and living circumstances are contrasting for urban and rural regions in Turkey. There is an age hierarchy set in place where the eldest sibling takes on the responsibility of being the caretaker for the younger children if the parents are absent. Family is the backbone of the Turkish society based on Islamic values of love and loyalty.

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