Christmas Gift Ideas With A Flavour Of Turkey – It’s That Time Of Year

Are we all feeling festive yet? We’re going to be putting our Christmas tree up over the next couple of days to get ourselves really into the spirit – but we’ve made the mince for the mince pies, the chutney’s all jarred up and we’ve allowed ourselves a little indulgent evening (or two) of homemade mulled wine, too. We bought a poinsettia ages ago (they’re sold for Republic Day at the end of October in Turkey as they were Atatürk’s favourite flower) so that’s been making the room a tad more festive, too.

Turkish Christmas Gifts Ideas

A little part of our Christmas decorations

So, now all that’s left is some last minute shopping for Turkish Christmas gifts. We like to do bits of shopping, but if you’ve seen our Turkish Christmas gifts lists in the past, you’ll know we also like to make our own gifts, too. So, if you’ve got people in your world who love Turkey as much as you do…or if you’re trying to convince them to love Turkey as much as you do…or even if you just want to treat yourself to some Turkish goodies, here are a few ideas for Turkish Christmas gifts.

Turkish Christmas Gift Ideas For You

First of all, let’s hit the kitchen and pull a few ideas from there…

Turkish Christmas Gifts For People Who Enjoy Cooking

Lots of people love to try and replicate the meals they enjoyed whilst they were in Turkey, whether in restaurants or the home of Turkish friends and family. Turkey has one of the world’s most varied cuisines and there are loads of recipe books out there celebrating traditional dishes, regional foods and modern dishes designed by today’s top Turkish chefs. You just can’t beat a colourful cookery book packed with images and recipes that take you on a Turkish journey right from your own kitchen. Here are just a few suggestions for Turkish Christmas gifts for any of your friends and family who enjoy cooking:

We (successfully) follow and adapt a lot of recipes from The Sultan’s Kitchen but we do have a bit of an addiction for cookery books (our shelves are packed with them) so our cookery book wishlist doesn’t end there. Ghillie Basan is on our radar with The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking and Classic Turkish Cooking.

But, with oodles of 5-star reviews and loads of Turkish regional recipes, this book looks like a great Turkish Christmas gift.

Well, we’ll certainly be treating ourselves to it at some point, anyway…

Turkish Christmas Gifts For Food Lovers

Turkish foodie gift ideas are on our Christmas list every year, because, if you’re anything like us, you’ll know people who love their Turkish food but have absolutely no desire to make their own. We always like to make some goodies for Barry’s mum…and ourselves, too…for over Christmas and beyond.

Homemade Christmas Chutney

Well, we had to have a little festivity on our chutney photo

Not really Turkish, but, using seasonal Turkish ingredients from the market, we’ve already gone to the effort of making chutney. Although it’s best left to mature over time, it’s still not too late to make your own chutney…you can enjoy it with cheeses and cold meats over Christmas and well into the New Year, then. Pickled red cabbage, hummus and spicy muhammara also make thoughtful Turkish Christmas gifts – dress them in a pretty jar and you’re away.

And what’s a Turkish-themed Christmas gift list without Turkish Delight – or ‘lokum’ to give it its correct name – eh? Either as a gift or for nibbles out on the table on Christmas Day, this Turkish Delight Compendium with 10 different varieties should impress!

Book Flights & Hotel Rooms As Turkish Christmas Gifts

Well, if you do know someone who loves Turkey (including yourself!) what better Turkish Christmas gifts could there be than treating them to a holiday there, or at least contributing towards that trip?

Hotel Nena, Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Find a great deal for yourself or loved ones on hotel rooms in Turkey

Check out flight prices on our flights comparison page or take a look at our hotel price comparison page for hotels all over Turkey so that you can get a great deal. And, for the non-browsers among you, you can also go direct to – which has probably the biggest selection of hotels in the country – to book accommodation at some of the best rates. It’s also possible to book villas through these days, too.

Turkey Guidebooks As Turkish Christmas Gifts

If you’re already a seasoned visitor to Turkey, you’ll know things don’t stand still for too long around these parts. Either for yourself or for your travelling buddies, get background info on your chosen travel destinations with the latest editions of Lonely Planet Turkey, The Rough Guide to Turkey…or what about this guide book for an alternative…

We mention ‘Istanbul and the Turkish Coast‘ because author, Leeann Murphy, lives in Istanbul but visits Fethiye on occasion so we’ve met her as she’s friends with some of our friends. On the day we met her, she handed us this book as a gift – in the Fethiye section of the book, she mentions our blog as a source for great info. Thanks a lot, Leeann! We should point out that other inland places are covered, as well as Istanbul and the coast, and it’s a good size for carrying around. Not too bulky for travellers.

Turkish Christmas Gifts For Other Bookworms

Well, while were covering books, let’s just say a big congratulations to Jack Scott of Perking The Pansies. First, he wrote the memoirs, Perking The Pansies and then the sequel, Turkey Street, about his and husband Liam’s sojourn in Bodrum. Both books are great reads and Turkey Street was awarded Runner-Up in the 2015 Rainbow Book Awards. Great news! (but winner would have been better, obviously!)

Atulya K. Bingham also wrote Ayşe’s Trail which we were asked to review and we loved it. A great read! And, for good old whodunnit reads, I’ve delved into the Barbara Nadel collection of Inspector Ikmen novels. Classic detective tales set in Istanbul – a fun, easy read with a bit of gore and grit and she has a great knowledge of Istanbul, too. The first in the series is Belshazzar’s Daughter…and if you get hooked, like me, there’s another 16 in the series to go at to keep you occupied.

And we can’t not mention Turkey’s Nobel Prize winning author, Orhan Pamuk. Snow and The Black Book are on our bookshelves and have been read. If you love an easy page turner of a book that doesn’t mash your head, then Orhan Pamuk doesn’t really help you on that score. He doesn’t help you at all on that score, actually! But, occasionally, when you’re up for delving into complex characters in equally complex situations – that’s when Orhan Pamuk is a rewarding read.

The easiest Orhan Pamuk read – and it’s a fascinating read, too – is his ‘Istanbul: Memories and the City.’ Orhan Pamuk is from Istanbul and this is a type of memoir; a memoir of his younger life and of his city. Istanbul fans will love this book.

Turkish Christmas Gifts For History & Culture Lovers 

Founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, has been the subject of various biographies. We’ve read Andrew Mango’s acclaimed Ataturk which gives so much insight into the man who was a true visionary. Next on the list to read is the very popular, Atatürk: The Rebirth of A Nation.

And, for context as to how Atatürk and his followers came create the Turkish Republic, The Fall of The Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East should help you out there. As well as the modern history of Turkey, getting lost in the world of the Ottomans is easy to do. Caroline Finkel will carry you through six and a bit mesmerising centuries of the Ottoman Empire in Osman’s Dream. There’s nothing tedious about this book (I’ve read it) and what’s great is, when you’re in mosques and historic buildings around Istanbul and Turkey, you know you’re stepping into the world that belonged to the sultans.

Turkish Christmas Gifts For Film Fans

We’re huge, long time fans of photographer and film director Nuri Bilgi Ceylan. If you’re a film fan, you’ll know he won Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for Winter Sleep. We’re yet to watch this film but we have seen Once Upon A Time In Anatolia, Uzak (Distant) and Iklimler (Climates).

You’re seeing the big photo above as a result of a quick discussion between me and Barry and we decided (quickly and indecisively) that this is our favourite Nuri Bilgi Ceylan film…but I’m soooo torn. So, yeah, we’re biased when it comes to these films. When he accepted his 2008 Cannes Film Festival ward, there’s debate as to whether he said, “I dedicate this award to my lovely and beautiful country,” or, “I dedicate this award to my lonely and beautiful country.” Whichever the case, both sentiments are reflected so beautifully in his films.

Turkish Christmas Gifts For Music Fans

No apologies for including this again – this music documentary really deserved much more recognition than it actually received. It introduced us to so much music (of all types) and so many artists – and, in the documentary, you’ll see certain sectors of Istanbul life, too.

Amongst other artists, it’s thanks to this film that we were so excited to go and watch Baba Zula when they played in Kayaköy this summer. It’s also the reason why we’ve watched the Turkish rock band Duman live so many times too.

And, as we mentioned Nuri Bilgi Ceylan in the section above, we should say, too, that Crossing The Bridge is directed by Turkish German director, Fatih Akin, himself a Cannes award winner for film, The Edge of Heaven.

Turkish Christmas Gift Shopping In Fethiye

Yeah, as well as sending people Turkish Christmas gifts online, we’ll be doing some shopping around Fethiye in the usual high street shops, in Erasta shopping centre, and we’ll also be no doubt bobbing into the Fethiyespor Store for little stocking fillers. Can’t see us not getting some little festive goodies from Baba Fırın, either…

If you’re like us and haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, good luck! Hope you find some easy ideas for Turkey fans on our list. Happy shopping, wherever and however you end up completing it…


  1. Wow! I’m in great company. Thank you! 😀

  2. Oh my. Now I want every single one of those books. 🙂 What excellent recommendations! I’m not even remotely ready for the holidays, but that’s OK. We’ll get there one of these days. 🙂

  3. Great suggestions, I’m going to borrow your list and address it to Santa.

  4. Merry Christmas TFL! Hope you folks are doing well.

  5. Scotslass says:

    I really enjoy your website and stories of life in Turkey, along with incredible recipes which are so easy to prepare, and living in the Middle East, I can easily find most ingredients.
    I have 3 Turkish cookbooks on my kitchen shelf. By Der Haroutunian, Algar and Eren , I am not too bothered whether cookbooks have pictures or not, and i am looking for your advice on choosing a book that could be classified as a complete cookbook, covering lesser-known recipes. Hope you can help ! Fiona.

    • Hi Scotslass, Thanks a lot for your comment and apologies for taking a while to reply. Glad you like the recipes – a part from some of the desserts, Turkish food is often easy to prepare. 🙂 Unfortunately, we’re not too sure on Turkish cookery books with lesser known recipes. Any recipes we know like that have usually been shared with us by Turkish friends. We like the Algar book because of the history and explanations in the introduction. Turkish Delights (above) is recommended by lots of people. That’s going to be our next Turkish cookery book purchase – not sure if the recipes are lesser known or not, sorry.

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