Turkish Ouds are different from Arabic instruments in size and sound. Turkish Ouds are tuned a whole tone higher than the Arabic Oud, giving it a much brighter and clearer sound. Turkish Ouds are generally smaller than Arabic Ouds, making them lighter and easier to hold. Because of this, beginner players generally choose Turkish Ouds to start learning on. When it comes to the top of the Oud, the part which has the most effect on the sound, Turkish ouds utilize Spruce wood. However, on Arabic Ouds, you will typically see the use of Cedarwood giving a more of warm sound.
In the last 15 years, there’s a clear shift in modern high-class Turkish Ouds, to see the use of Cedarwood as a top. A few pretty big names (Faruk, Baris, and others) are using it. And it has been proving itself to be a key selling point also. Usually in Turkey, the Oud is quite plain in design and definitely does not include the levels of intricate decorative designs that the Ouds in Syria or Egypt include. An interesting fact: Turkish Ouds are also used by musicians in Greece.