Turkish has three words for uncle: “Amca”, “Dayı”, “Enişte”; and three for aunt: “Hala”, “Teyze”, “Yenge”. Here is how to use them.

Let’s start with the parents: “Baba” means father and “Anne” means mother. Father’s brother is “Amca”, mother’s brother is “Dayı”. An uncle not related by blood is “Enişte”. Father’s sister is “Hala”, mother’s sister is “Teyze”. An aunt not related by blood is “Yenge”.

Turkish words for parents' siblings and their spouses Turkish words for parents’ siblings and their spouses.

In all but formal circumstances, it is common to address considerably older strangers as “Amca” (uncle) or “Teyze” (aunt). However, I was once referred to as “Enişte” — probably due to the fact that I’m a foreigner and therefore I belong to the large family of all Turks by marriage, not by blood.