The Formidable Facial Hair of the Turks
Although the glory days of the Turkish mustache might have exited with the Ottomans, Istanbul is still a Mecca of facial hair. Turkish men have the innate ability to grow a lustrous beard, and most emerge from the womb with a thick baby-stache already plastered across their upper lip. That, my friend, is a fact.
In the USA, mustaches are a trend that comes and goes. They were standard in the late 1800s and enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970s and ’80s. Magnum PI, anyone? Ravishing Rick Rude? And after a couple decades of suffering in the corners of uncoolness, they’ve been making a comeback among American trendsetters.
But in Turkey, mustaches never go of style. Why should they? The Turks are world-renowned for their amazing facial hair. After careful and meticulous research (glancing up from my computer and looking around the bar), I’d estimate that at least two-thirds of Turkish guys sport some sort of beard, mustache or goatee. I’m a big fan of good-looking facial hair, and have never seen so much of it as in Istanbul.
Always eager to blend into our new environments, both Jürgen and I tried growing beards, with inadequate results. Oh well, we’re not Turkish. We have an excuse. But woe be the Turk who can grow no stache! How can he even be trusted? It sounds ridiculous, but this is a serious issue here, and many hair-challenged Turks have even turned to modern medical science for mustache implants.
Of course, the ability to grow such great facial hair is really just an extension of the Turkish man’s ability to grow hair, period. For both your sake and our own, we’ll cut this article short before getting into a detailed description of the glories of Turkish back rugs.