“A Turk goes to the doctor and he says, “Doctor, whenever I drink tea, my eye hurts.”  The doctor does all the tests and examinations and finds nothing and tells him that he’s ok and to go home.  He comes back again, and again he says whenever he drinks tea, he has the same problem.  So the doctor says, “Let’s do another test and see what happens.”  He pours him a cup of tea.  The Turk pours some sugar in his tea, he stirs it, and he starts drinking the tea with the teaspoon in the cup.  The doctor realizes that every time he takes a sip, the teaspoon pokes his eye.”

My father also told me this joke.  He learned this one at a dinner party with some family friends.  Like the previous piece, this illustrates the typical stereotype of the Turks from the Azerbaijan region.  This genre of jokes is normally told in an intimate setting.  The person telling the joke usually knows his audience so that he does not offend anyone; people do not usually go up to someone they just met five minutes ago and tell these jokes.

I have actually seen these jokes be told at parties where there is a large gathering.  I have noted that when people start these jokes, they often start off with “I knew this Turk once” and they sometimes add in names or specific details.  Everybody knows that it is a joke once it ends, but the familiarity gives a sense of reality and truth to the audience.  Sometimes I feel tricked when I here these jokes; a couple of times I actually thought that this Turkish man existed and the performer was retelling an actual story.   It would take me a while to realize that it is a joke and all made up, perhaps since, at the time, I was not familiar with them and was not expecting them to be actual jokes.