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Although it is dying out in the towns, folk dance is still a vibrant tradition in Turkish villages, as you will realise if you attend a

 traditional wedding.


Folk dance can be divided into several broad categories, including the bar from Erzurum / Bayburt area, the horon from the Black Sea and the zeybek from the west. Although originally a dance of central, south and Southeastern Anatolia, the halay, led by a dancer waving a handkerchief (or paper tissue), can be seen all over the country, especially at weddings and in meyhanes ( taverns) in Istanbul when everyone has downed one rakı (aniseed - flavored grape brandy) too many. But it may well be the horon that you most remember, since it involves the men getting down and indulging in all Manor of dramatic kicking, Cossack-style.for a quick test of these and other dances, pop along to the folk dance shows in Istanbul. They may be touristy but they are also fun.


The Sema (dervish ceremony) if the whirling dervishes is an amazing experience in Turkey.


Belly dancing may not have originated in Turkey but Turks have mastered the art. Although belly dancers are frequently seen at weddings and incredibly, at many end-of-year company parties, your best chance of seeing a decent belly dancer is at one of the folk shows in Istanbul