Çebiti: The Traditional Dance of Turkey

Turkey is a country known for its rich culture and vibrant traditions. One of the most beloved traditions in Turkey is the folk dance known as çebiti. This lively and energetic dance has been passed down through generations and continues to be an important part of Turkish celebrations and gatherings. In this article, we will explore the history, significance, and steps of çebiti, as well as answer some frequently asked questions about this traditional dance.

History of Çebiti

The origins of çebiti can be traced back to the Anatolian region of Turkey, where it was first performed by villagers as a way to celebrate harvests and other important events. Over time, the dance spread to different regions of Turkey and became a popular form of entertainment at weddings, festivals, and other social gatherings.

Significance of Çebiti

Çebiti is more than just a dance; it is a representation of Turkish culture and identity. The word “çebiti” comes from the Turkish word “çevik,” which means agile or nimble. This reflects the fast-paced and dynamic nature of the dance, as well as the agility and strength required to perform it.

In addition, çebiti is also a symbol of community and togetherness. It is often performed in a group, with dancers holding hands and moving in sync with each other. This represents the strong bonds and unity within Turkish communities.

Steps of Çebiti

Çebiti is a lively and energetic dance that involves quick footwork and graceful arm movements. Here are the basic steps of the dance:

1. Starting Position

The dance begins with all the dancers standing in a circle, facing each other and holding hands. The leader of the dance, known as “çebit,” stands in the center of the circle.

2. Basic Step

The basic step of çebiti involves a series of small hops and steps, with the dancers moving in a circular motion around the çebit. The arms are held out to the sides, with the palms facing down.

3. Arm Movements

As the dancers move in a circle, they also perform graceful arm movements. This can include raising and lowering the arms, twisting them in different directions, and clapping.

4. Changing Directions

At certain points during the dance, the direction of the circle may change. This is signaled by the çebit, who will call out “çevir” (meaning “turn”) and lead the dancers in a new direction.

5. Finishing Position

The dance ends with all the dancers coming back to their original starting position, still holding hands in a circle. The çebit then performs a final flourish before the dance is complete.

Traditional Costumes for Çebiti

Just like any other traditional dance, çebiti has its own unique costumes that add to the beauty and charm of the performance. The costumes are typically colorful and vibrant, with intricate designs and patterns. Men usually wear loose-fitting pants and vests, while women wear long skirts and blouses with elaborate headscarves. These costumes not only reflect the cultural heritage of Turkey but also add to the visual appeal of the dance.

FAQs about Çebiti

What is the meaning of the word “çebiti”?

The word “çebiti” comes from the Turkish word “çevik,” which means agile or nimble.

Is çebiti only performed in Turkey?

While çebiti originated in Turkey, it is also performed in other countries with a significant Turkish population, such as Greece and Bulgaria.

Can anyone learn to dance çebiti?

Yes, anyone can learn to dance çebiti. It may take some practice to master the steps, but with dedication and determination, anyone can become a skilled çebiti dancer.

Is çebiti only performed at special events?

While çebiti is often performed at weddings, festivals, and other celebrations, it can also be enjoyed as a form of recreational dance.

Are there different variations of çebiti?

Yes, there are different variations of çebiti, with each region of Turkey having its own unique style and steps.


In conclusion, çebiti is not just a traditional dance, but a representation of Turkish culture and community. Its lively and energetic movements, along with its colorful costumes, make it a joy to watch and participate in. By learning about the history and significance of çebiti, we can gain a deeper appreciation for this beloved tradition of Turkey. So next time you attend a Turkish celebration, don’t be afraid to join in on the fun and dance the night away with çebiti !