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Turkish Tobacco Tütün or Oriental Tobacco

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Turkish Tobacco Tütün Oriental Tobacco

Good Turkish tobacco, called tütün or Oriental Tobacco, is sold out of large sacks in just about every market in Turkey. I usually do not smoke cigarettes, but after being offered one with a glass of tea by man that I met in Sanliurfa the other day, I was sold.

Pure, unprocessed Turkish tobacco is good. I promptly went to the market in Sanliurfa and bought a big bag just for the fun of it.

For only two Turkish Lira – $1.25 – I was able to buy this much tobacco:


Turkish tobacco, as it is sold in Turkey, still has lots of little seeds in it. This seems to be a very raw form of tobacco, and smokes very lightly. There does not seem to be a lot of tar or even that much nicotine in it, and it does not leave the same aftertaste or smell of factory processed cigarette tobacco.


Tobacco is sold in the markets of Turkey from large plastic sacks, and is incredibly cheap. This tobacco stand has a Palestinian flag on it with “Intifada” written across it. I did not mention to this vendor that Chaya is Jewish, but it is my impression that he would have greeted her with hospitality all the same.

“Tobacco originated in the Americas and was introduced to the Ottoman Turks by the Spanish. The Turks over time developed their own method of growing and using tobacco. It was first grown in Macedonia. And even though Greece and Bulgaria still grow the same seed, it is still considered Turkish tobacco because the seed was developed during Turkish rule.” – Wikipedia Turkish Tobacco


Tobacco seller in Bursa, Turkey.


Large sacks of Turkish tobacco being sold in a market. The stalls that sell this tobacco often also sell cheap smoking pipes and cigarette rolling machines. I asked one of the tobacco vendors if people here really smoke this cigarette tobacco with a pipe, and he nodded his head in the affirmative as if I were some sort of fool. I harbor very thick doubts that this would work out very well.

Turkish Tobacco Tütün Oriental Tobacco

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Filed under: Middle East, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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