Welcome to the place where civilizations meet! Welcome to the Balkans! By observing every aspect of people’s lives in the Balkans, Turkey’s cultural influence is hard to miss.
Going back through history, you’ll notice that five centuries long Turkish domination left the mark on cuisine, culture, music, language and even gestures in many Balkan countries. If you visited Greece, you couldn’t miss the strong Turkish influence in food and not to try ‘their’ “baklava” and “moussaka”, while sightseeing through many other Balkan countries will make you think twice whether you’re in Turkey or some other country. When we talk about Balkan music, we must admit you that almost all music hits are adaptations of Turkish songs.
The Turkish influence in the Balkans can be seen not only in these aspects but also in the aspect of religion. For example, Serbian Muslims from the region of Sandžak still keep Turkish tradition and their way of living. Women from this part of Serbia wear ‘hijab’ while men strictly respect all Islamic rules. Going through Bosnia, you’ll also see different ways of living- both Islamic and Christian. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, perfectly reflects the history and Turkish architecture, while Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, attracts tourists to visit marvelous Turkish fortress “Kalemegdan”. Since Kalemegdan is located in the heart of the city, it’s impossible to miss this breathtaking place. And…yes! The word ‘Kalemegdan’ is derivated from the Turkish language also. We guess that you also didn’t know that Belgrade had 114 Mosques while being under their boot. Serbian language and especially Bosnian has more than 3.000 Turkish words. Words like jok- no, sarma-Turkish dish, dzezva-coffee pot, kapija- gate, burek, baklava, fildzan- coffee mug, chorba-soup, can be heard on every corner.
Maybe you wouldn’t believe us, but thanks to the Turks, Europeans today enjoy the World’s most famous morning drink- coffee! It came to Europe after the Battle of Mohacs (1526) in the Kingdom of Hungary when Suleiman the Magnificent took the win against the Hungarian army guided by Louis II (Hungarian-Lajos II). When the group of Hungarian parliamentarians went to sign a contract of peace, an unpleasant surprise was waiting for them.
How the coffee became popular?
As Turks were famous (and they’re still famous) as great hosts, they decided to serve a traditional black domestic coffee to their guests. Since Hungarians haven’t tried anything like that before, the Turkish coffee wasn’t anything else than an awful ‘black soup’ and a great humiliation. Fortunately, people have become crazy for this drink, so today Europeans can enjoy the scent and taste of this drink every day.