On one of her trips to Turkey, a Russian traveler decided to explore a mysterious phenomenon that attracted her attention – men's cafes. The news that women were banned from entering these establishments, known as kahvehane (“coffee shop”), aroused her curiosity. Is there more than just a male society behind this ban?
Tribute to tradition
Going in search of answers, the compatriot was able to get inside the “male world” and saw what was hidden behind the doors of these mysterious establishments. She spoke about her results in a blog on the Zen platform. Despite access restrictions for women, men's cafes have a long history dating back to Ottoman times. They appeared during the reign of the Sultan the Magnificent in the 16th century. At that time, for the Turks, kahvehane became a kind of men's clubs, where they sought rest from everyday hustle and bustle, sharing their joys and worries. Preserving their uniqueness and originality over the centuries, these places still unite men who want to spend time in the company of like-minded people and discuss a variety of topics.
Over a cup of coffee: what happens in men's cafes?< /strong>
The author, having visited one of these establishments, learned that inside kahvehane there is little to do with what a person who grew up in Western culture can think of: there are no drunken parties, striptease or dancing. Turkish men gather in these cafes to talk about politics, football, their neighbors and even their women. The author noted that Turks are known for gossiping and easily spend hours discussing various topics.
Drinks and games: How time passes in men's cafes
At kahvehan you can enjoy a variety of drinks such as tea, coffee, cola and water, and for a special occasion, beer or raki. The establishments hold card, lotto or backgammon tournaments, during which you can see emotional outbursts, loud conversations and lively discussions. During the day, pensioners enjoy the local atmosphere, and by evening, the place fills up with middle-aged people and young people. At this time, hookah is added to drinks.
Magic moments of football
One of the features of men's cafes is their transformation into sports bars during the broadcasts of important football matches. The Turks are famous for their love of football, and on such evenings, men's cafes become platforms for those who like to watch the game of athletes. The owners of the establishments try to organize broadcasts even in the absence of a TV, so as not to miss a single important moment. “On such evenings in men's cafes, there is nowhere for an apple to fall, and the cries of “Go-o-o-l!” from there can be heard even in the next block,” the author specified.
Why women have no place in men's cafes?
Although there are no formal restrictions for women to visit men's cafes, Turkish women prefer to gather in other establishments, for example, in pastry shops. Such places give them the opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and chat in a cozy atmosphere. In addition, for those who want to have fun together with wine and dancing, in Turkey there are special restaurants called meyhane (meyhane), where you can spend a fun evening in the company of women.
Hospitality for tourists: impressions and opportunities
Kahvehane establishments welcome foreign tourists and female tourists. Having visited the men's cafe, the author enjoyed spending the evening in Alanya, enjoying the atmosphere and taste of Turkish coffee. There, she did not become a victim of annoying harassment or obsessive acquaintances, since all the visitors to the cafe were busy talking and playing. Kahvehane gave her the opportunity to plunge into Turkish exoticism, enjoy folk music and feel the atmosphere of the past.
At the same time, the author acknowledged that men's cafes are not a daily place to visit, she noted that there are many other establishments in Turkey and entertainment, which can be a great alternative for spending free time.
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