Traditionally, the köy odasi (people's house) has
been the centre of social life in villages throughout Turkey. Only the men of the
village frequent the köy odasi. Women participate in family gatherings,
but do not usually go out in public. At the köy odasi, men play backgammon,
drink tea and smoke "hubble bubble" pipes.
The halkevi is a community centre where recreational activities are offered, such as swimming, volleyball and basketball. Many universities, banks, companies and large organizations provide recreational facilities and holiday resorts for their employees and families. They also sponsor sports teams, which play against each other.
|A Turkish tradition is the steam bath or hammam. Hammams have been in existence for hundreds of years. Men and women attend at different times. Attendants provide a treatment consisting of dry heat, moist heat, cold water and massage. This treatment is believed to stimulate the body and improve health. Hammams are also social centres, where people can talk in a relaxed setting.||
Turkish wrestling or kirkpinar, is a favourite sport.
In the traditional form of Turkish wrestling, the players wear leather pants and
cover their bodies with olive oil to make it more difficult for their opponents
to tackle them. Every summer, more than a thousand wrestlers participate in a
three-day competition in Edirne in Thrace.
Turks are very enthusiastic about soccer. There are 16 major soccer clubs in the country and dozens of smaller clubs. Teams such as Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe have competed in the European Cup competitions.
Turkish people enjoy archery, volleyball, basketball,
mountaineering, fencing, skiing, rowing, table-tennis, karate, swimming and car
racing. These activities are usually sponsored by one of the Turkish sports clubs.
Some youth sports clubs are linked with official organizations, such as the Armed
Turkey sent 89 athletes to the 1996 Olympics. One of them, Naim Suleymanoglu, became the first weightlifter in history to win three gold medals. Turks also won gold medals for wrestling and a silver medal in the boxing competition.