Turks_love_kidsPlanning a family vacation in Turkey? Then get ready for a spoil-fest. Turkish people absolutely adore children (çocuklar, choh-jook-LAHR) and will go out of their way to accommodate families, especially those with a baby (bebek, BEH-bek) or a young child (çocuk, choh-JOOK). Walk into any Turkish restaurant, café or tea garden (çay bahçesi, CHEYE-bah-CHEzee) with your infant or toddler in tow and you’ll see what I mean.

In a matter of minutes, the wait staff will be cooing over your child.

Then, before you know it, your ankle-biter will be snatched up in someone’s arms and paraded around the premises, finally disappearing out of your sight.

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But don’t worry. Your wee one will eventually reappear – and with a huge smile on her face from all the attention she’s gotten from the wait staff and the other patrons.

In the meantime, you can enjoy a few kid-free moments a la Turka.

Justine Ickes, a contributing writer for Washington Parent, writes about travel, culture, parenting and people making a difference.