Turkish proverbs

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Proverbs from all Turkish speaking parts of the world.


  • Acele işe şeytan karışır.
    • English equivalent: Haste makes waste.
    • Gölpınarlı (1977). Tasavvuf'tan deyimler ve atasözleri. p. 9. 
  • Al elmaya taş atan çok olur.
    • English equivalent: No enemies is a sign that fortune has forgotten you.
    • "Heh, heh... Thanks... You're nice. Umm... Can I ask... a question? The right thing... What is it? I wonder... If you do the right thing... Does it really make... everybody...happy?"
    • Said by Child wearing Gyorg's mask in Majora's Mask (2000), directed by Eiji Aonuma
    • Yurtbaşı (1993). Dictionary of Turkish Proverbs. p. 78. ISBN 9759570300. 
  • Altın kılıç her kapıyı açar.
    • English equivalent: Money opens all doors except those to heaven.
    • Yengec Ile Kizi. p. 49. ISBN 9758275747. 
  • Ateş olmayan yerden duman çıkmaz.
    • English equivalent: No smoke without fire.
    • Aydın, Nurhan (2007). Finansal Yönetim. p. 192. ISBN 9750601971. 


  • Babası oğluna bir bağ bağışlamış, oğul babaya bir salkım üzüm vermemiş.
    • the father bequeathed a vineyard to his son, but the son denied his father even a bunch of grapes.
    • The father donated a vineyard to his son, the son didn't give a single bunch of grapes to the father.
    • Note: Used when a person does something ungrateful and selfish to another person who made good deeds for him.
    • Sakaoğlu, Saim (2003). 101 Türk efsanesi. p. 200. ISBN 975338467X. 
  • Baban nasılsa oğlu da öyledir.
    • English equivalent: Like father, like son.
    • "Sons may look and behave like their fathers. This is due to inheritance and the example observed closely and daily."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. p. 170. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Bir vurmakla ağaç devrilmez.
    • English equivalent: A tree won't fall with a single blow.
    • "A difficult task, e. g. removing a person or group from a strong position, or changing established ideas cannot be done quickly. It can be achieved gradually, by small steps, a little at a time."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. p. 252. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 
  • Bilmemek değil, öğrenmemek ayıptır.
    • English equivalent: There is no shame in not knowing something; the shame is in not being willing to learn.
    • Aksoy, Ömer Asım (1993). Atasözleri ve Deyimler Sözlüğü. p. 87. 


  • Çıkmayan candan umit kesilmez.
    • English equivalent: Hope springs eternal.
    • Yetiş, Kâzım (1993). Türkçenin nakısları: atasözleri, deyimler, tekerlemeler, bilmeceler (Edition 31 of Kubbealtı neşriyâtı ed.). p. 241. 


  • Demir tavında dövülür.
    • You should hammer your iron when it's glowing hot.
    • English equivalent: Strike while the iron is hot.
    • Çobanoğlu, Özkul (2004). Türk dünyası ortak atasözleri sözlüğü. Atatürk Kültür Merkezi Başkanlığı. p. 204. 
  • Dost kara günde belli olur.
    • A friend is known on black (i. e bad days).
    • English equivalent: A friend in need is a friend indeed.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. p. 159. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 


  • Armut dibine düşer.
    • English equivalent: The apple does not fall far from the tree.
    • "Children observe daily and — in their behaviour — often follow the example of their parents."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. p. 259. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 


  • Gözden uzak olan gönülden de uzak olur.
    • English equivalent: Out of sight, out of mind.
    • Out of sight ,out of hearth
    • Arslanoğlu, Kaan (2007). Öteki Kayıp Volym 510 of İthaki Yayınları. p. 84. ISBN 9752733220. 
  • Gülü seven, dikenine katlanır.
    • English equivalent: the one who loves a rose, should put up with the thorns.
    • Steuerwald, Karl (1974). Deutsch-türkisches Wörterbuch: Almanca-Türkc̦e sözlük (2 ed.). p. 1. ISBN 3447015845. 
  • Güneşte yanmayan gölgenin kıymetini bilmez.
    • unless one gets a sunburn, one may not appreciate the shade
    • English equivalent: He knows good best who has experienced evil.
    • Millı̂ Folklor Araştırma Dairesi, Turkey. II. Milletlerarası Türk Folklor Kongresi bildirileri: cilt. Halk edebiyatı. p. 204. 


  • Havlayan köpek ısırmaz.
  • Herkes kendi yıldızının demircisi.
    • English equivalent: Every man is the smith of his own fortune.
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. p. 388. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 


  • Isıracak köpek dişini göstermez.
    • English equivalent: The biting dog does not show it's teeth.
    • Kemal, Orhan (1976). Hanımın çiftliği: roman. p. 307. 
  • İt ürür, kervan yürür.
    • English equivalent: The dogs bark, but the caravan passes on.
    • "Whatever must be misrepresented, to be ridiculed, is praised. Ridicule - a fool's first and last argument. The ridiculous is what fools remember longest. Deists, in general, attack Christianity by ridicule. This is their most powerful, and perhaps their most successful weapon. All persons can laugh, but all cannot reason. This mode of attacking Christianity answers purposes which can be effected in no other way: for ridicule is unanswerable. Who can refute a sneer? It is independent of proof, reason, or argument; and may as well be used against facts as against falsehood."
    • Charles Simmons, Laconic Manual and Brief Remarker (1852)
    • Lalesi, Kar. p. 162. 
  • İyi bașlamak yarı bitirmektir.
    • English equivalent: Well begun, is half done.
    • "Starting properly ensures the speedy completion of a process. A beginning is often blocked by one or more obstacles (potential barriers), the removal of which may ensure the smooth course of the process."
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). European Proverbs in 55 languages. p. 228. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 


  • Ne Arap'ın zekeri, ne Şam'ın şekeri.
    • Neither the Arab's penis, nor sweets of Damascus.
    • English equivalent: Want none of it/that
  • Ne ekersen onu biçersin.
    • English equivalent: What you reap, is what you sow.
    • Slaughter, Karin (2006). Büyü Gibi Volume 435 of İthaki yayınları: Edebiyat ; 351. p. 245. ISBN 9752732313. 


  • Sabır acıdır, meyvesi tatlıdır.
    • English equivalent: Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
    • Çobanoğlu, Özkul. Türk dünyası ortak atasözleri sözlüğü. p. 412. 


  • Yuvarlanan taş yosun tutmaz.
    • English equivalent: A rolling stone gathers no moss.
    • "There are a Set of People that are of such restless Temper, that before they are well settled in one Habitation, always dip into another. Such Persons fall under the Doom of this Proverb, which is design’d to fix the Volatility of their Tempers, by laying before them the ill Consequences of such fickleness."
    • Divers Proverbs, Nathan Bailey, 1721 [1]
    • Paczolay, Gyula (1997). "14". European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese. p. 100. ISBN 1-875943-44-7. 


  • Zorla güzellik olmaz.
    • Forced beauty won't do.
    • English equivalent: Forced love and self-made colors do not last.
    • "Love is like a lost fart. If you have to force it, it's probably shit.”
    • Stephen K. Amos, I Used to Say My Mother Was Shirley Bassey (2012)
    • Beyaz Üstüne Eflatun v. 7.12. p. 340.