Turkish Folk Dances

Folk dance tradition in Turkey is very popular and common among people. It is surprisingly interesting due to the fact that every folk dance is different in each region of the country. No matter the changes, each dance is performed with amazing style of clothes, elegancy and rhythm. The tradition of folk dance is often performed on many occasions such as weddings, festivals or celebrations held in open spaces and national festivities. The dances reflect the developmental side of the religion people believe in. Let’s take a look at the most popular Turkish folk dances.


Hailing from Aegean, in this dance men wear very colourful clothes to show their courage and represent the heroes of the past. Zeybek dance is performed in a variety of forms and has a lot of tempos to adapt to. It is not always a fast or slow dance; the speed might change multiple times during the performance. The dance is carried out not only by a 1 or 2 persons but sometimes by a whole group.


It might not seem like a typical folk dance with its rhythm and measurements, but it comes from Turkey and despite the differences, it is one of the staple dances. Dancers dressed in black and silver, perform the dance Black Sea (another name for Horon dance) in groups. Dancers join their arms together and dance to the rhythm and vibrations coming from a violin played for the occasion.


Halay traditional Turkish dance is popular in the Eastern and Southeastern sides of the country. It is greatly loved and audiences at the performances go crazy when dancers step on the dance floor. The simplicity of the performance is regarded as symbolic and resembles true brilliance of the folk. It is a dance you must see if you are keen to identify traditional Turkish folk.


Another folk dance that originally comes from the Eastern side of Turkey. The dance is a no secret to the public due to it often being performed in public spaces and festivals. It is very interesting because of the different styles of folk music implemented into the whole performance – it changes often during the different stages of the dance.

Kilic Kalkan

The dance itself has a valuable story behind it. It represents a conquest of the city of the Ottoman Empire. Kilic Kalkan has a strict rule: the only people who are allowed to perform it are men. Their attire has to be resemble the battle of Ottoman and they dance to the sound of swords and shields being broken.


This folk dance is associated with weddings due to the rhythm and melody. It helps the bride and groom to have their first dance, and for guests to celebrate the marriage of their beloved ones. The performance’s structure is fast pace, which in turn represents the region’s style of living.

Safe to say, there are plenty more lesser known or maybe even slightly more mysterious dances in Turkish tradition, but these are the ones that could be more accessible to tourists who want to engage in the culture.

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