The way people walk in Turkey is actually one of my pet peeves. (I have a whole menagerie of pet peeves, in fact) The annoying slowness, the abrupt stopping, the standing in the high traffic areas to have a family reunion, the telephone shouters, the ones that are crossing the flow, the ones that do not understand that there is flow at all, and finally the groups that can only walk shoulder to shoulder on sidewalks and expect you to take the gutter. Oh, don't get me started! :)
The Turkish man run is quite amusing too if only you could capture that. For some reason most of them from boyhood up, run like my mother runs in high heels, with their arms straight down in front of them, swinging from side to side.There is another Turkish man walk too, where a smallish man tries to maximise his body space by holding his arms about 6 cm from his body on either side as he swaggers along.Of course I am sure my own run and walk are not exactly stylish either but it is so cathartic to poke fun at others!
Hee! The small man walk is hilarious. I often wonder if they're aware of affecting that mighty swagger.Nomad, I share that pet peeve. Add to it people who congregate on stairs to sit and chat, and people who stop in doorways to chat and get huffy with you for trying to pass through the doorway.I'm less peevish about the walking thing once I'm out of crowded places though, where the strolling and stopping and wide groups don't matter so much. I kind of like it that going for a nice walk walk is a common enough activity to warrant its own single-word verb. I just wish that people out on their nice walks might try a little harder to show even a minimal awareness of other people around them.
I wonder why I don't do that hands behind the back style. You are right, people do do that here and I hadn't really noticed. Perhaps it is really a Mediterranean thing and my Black Sea family didn't do it often enough when I was growing up? Anyway, this post gave me an idea. I often take walks from Harbiye to Tunel at night and get bothered by guys who want to befriend (and rob?) foreigners or get them to go to the places they work for. I could never figure out why they think I am foreign but armed with this walking style info/insight I performed an experiment last night. It wasn't comfortable for me to do the hands behind my back style, so I tried Rebecca's 6cm style on the guys who wait outside the strip joints in Elmadag. It didn't quite work, but it did change their behaviour. Usually the guy gives his spiel in English and I say 'Turkum' and that's that (the cabbies there may laugh at the guy if I let him say his long piece or I may get an 'afedersin abi' etc.) This time, after I said 'Turkum' the guy said 'oh Turks are welcome too, the entertainment is first rate' or something like that. So, I figure, either that establishment is now under Mevlevi management or my new walking style somehow made me a mark despite my nationality. Please do keep these observations coming. I don't know about the other Turks but I like them. It is always interesting to notice how many things are so familiar to us that we don't realize they are distinctive.  As in "come, come, whoever you are ..." which, come to think of it, might also be suitable for a related sort of establishment though it'll probably take a generation before such crass puns with sayings of holy-ish figures can be safely attempted here.
Hee! What a great experiment, Bülent. Please post any further reports...
I am a bit worried about myself. I caught myself walking around my classroom today with my hands behind my back. I teach mainly males and have somehow 'caught' the Turkish man walk!
In the High Courts of Edinburgh and Glasgow this is the recognised walking posture of advocates(QCs)as they ruminate between cases. They march up and down quite briskly though.
Even done briskly, it is indeed a very meditative style of walking. Hell, even LE manages to look like he's contemplating the larger issues.
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