Does the '' E '' letter in Turkish sounds more like an English '' A '' ?
Normally, it is like the English "E" in words like "bet, set, men".
However, if it comes before R, L, M, N in the same syllable, then it is like the English "A" in words like "bad, sad, man".
So, for instance, in the word "Kertenkele" (reptile), the syllables are: ker-ten-ke-le. So the first two Es are like the English A because they're followed by R and N; the other two Es are regular closed E. In pseudo-IPA, we could write it as: kærtænkele.
Correct! Note that there are some exceptions, like the monosyllabic words '"el" (hand; other people) and "renk" (color). (There may be dialectal variation here, but these exceptions hold for many speakers.)
"Kertenkele" is an excellent example.
Also note that when suffixes are added to a word, they may change its syllable structure:
For example, marking syllables with periods, the second syllable in "gü.zel" (pretty) has the /æ/ sound.
But in "gü.ze.lim" (I'm pretty) the E no longer precedes an L in the same syllable, and so it is pronounced like any old E in Turkish.
Both of the E sounds in "gü.zel.ler" (they are pretty) on the other hand, become /æ/.
Note that Wikipedia has approachable and relatively thorough entries for every sound in the International Phonetic Alphabet. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-open_front_unrounded_vowel)