Hookah was invented in medieval Iran and quickly spread throughout the Muslim world, from Indochina to Morocco. Hookah is a smoking device that allows you to filter and cool inhaled smoke.
In Turkey, hookah is a part of life and an ancient tradition of Turkey. During the period of the Ottoman Empire, the sultans used hookahs to smoke opium, and today the Turks mostly smoke either strong Turkish tobacco or flavored fruit. As a rule, the locals are going to smoke a hookah closer to the night, at dusk.
It is such a kind of very lazy and relaxing pastime, accompanied by talking about life. Turks say that hookah smoking has nothing to do with the useless and harmful smoking of cigarettes. When you smoke hookah – they say, you have time to think, enjoy the moment. In addition, hookah teaches you patience and allows you to communicate in a good company.
In hookah cafes, which a huge number in Turkey, as a rule, do not drink alcohol, hookah is smoked with Turkish coffee or apple tea. Here, a cozy atmosphere, visitors speak quietly, so that the rustle of someone’s newspaper or sounds characteristic of the game of backgammon or dominoes can be heard. And all this is accompanied by a melodic, soft and lulling gurgle of hookahs.
The small cities of the Aegean coast and Cappadocia are great places for such an authentic experience.
When local residents offer to smoke hookah with them, they express their location and trust. Refusing an invitation is bad form, so even if you do not smoke, share this ritual, enjoying the relaxing atmosphere, the magical smell of tobacco and watching one of the most common traditions of Turkey.
Buy a hookah as a gift and souvenir, you can almost everywhere in Turkey. The only recommendation is to avoid souvenir shops – it is better to buy hookahs and tobacco in local markets.