Turkish Proverbs

Enjoy dozens of witty and insightful Turkish proverbs and idioms that have been passed down from one generation to the next for hundreds of years!

  • A knife-wound heals, but a tongue wound festers.
  • A man is judged by his work.
  • In a flat country, a hillock thinks itself a mountain.
  • Who buys cheap, buys dear.
  • For every wise man, there is one still wiser.
  • If you give him cloth, he’ll ask for the lining.
  • An illness comes by the pound and goes away by the ounce.
  • He who borrows, gets sorrows.
  • No matter how tall a tree grows, its leaves always fall to the ground.
  • A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.
  • If you are an anvil, be patient; if you are a hammer, be strong.
  • A good man will appear when talked about.
  • With patience, mulberry leaves become satin.
  • The sage speaks of what he sees; the fool, of what he hears.
  • Stretch your feet according to your blanket.
  • A wise man remembers his friends at all times; a fool, only when he has need of them.
  • It is easier to make a camel jump a ditch than to make a fool listen to reason.
  • A full purse is one’s best companion.
  • A heavy stone is not easily moved.
  • Two cocks won’t crow on the same dunghill.
  • Whoever speaks evil to you of others will speak evil of you to others.
  • One can never repay one’s debt to one’s mother.
  • God has created us brothers but has given us separate purses.
  • The rich man’s wealth tires the poor man’s jaw.
  • Kind words will unlock an iron door.
  • Patience is bitter, but it bears sweet fruit.
  • A neighbor’s hen looks as big as a goose, and his wife as young as a girl.
  • A heart in love with beauty never grows old.
  • If a dog’s prayers were answered, bones would rain from the sky.
  • Thorns and roses grow on the same tree.
  • Work as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow.
  • Do what your teacher says but not what he does.
  • Everybody is a lord in their own home.
  • Roses grow where a teacher hits.
  • It is easy to catch a serpent with someone else’s hand.
  • Ability has no school.
  • A fool dreams of wealth; a wise man, of happiness.
  • A wise man does his own work.
  • Gold doesn’t rust on the ground, and rocks don’t get soaked in the rain.
  • Better a wise foe than a foolish friend.
  • There is an uphill for every downhill, and a downhill for every uphill.
  • A kind word warms a man through three winters.
  • Whoever digs a pit for his neighbor should dig it his own size.
  • Do not dock the donkey’s tail in a crowd: some will say it’s too long, others it’s too short.
  • Every sheep is hung by its own leg.
  • Better a calf of one’s own than a jointly owned cow.
  • God finds a low branch for the bird that cannot fly.
  • A lion sleeps in the heart of every brave man.
  • Part with your head but not with your secret.
  • Those who know, do not talk; those who talk, do not know.

For thousands more proverbs and words of wisdom, collected from over 40 countries, check out Proverbs from Around the World!

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