Yes it is. But it's used less as a direct color and more as a metaphoric color or tone giver. Like you said, "dark." It generally only means "black" in a metaphoric sense.
So I could say "siyah toprak" which means black dirt. But if I said "kara toprak" it implies a rich, fertile blackness to the earth. If I say "siyah bayrak" I'm just talking about a flag that's black, but if I say "kara bayrak" it has more emotional and poetic overtones, like maybe a pirate's flag.
So I wouldn't say "kara ayakkabilar" for black shoes normally, though I might use the word to describe dark toned hues as opposed to light ones.
Other similar words to this:
kırmızı = RED but al = crimson, poetically
beyaz = WHITE but ak = pure stainless white, poetically
Thanks, brilliantly detailed and informative. btw in Turkmenish "ag" (=ak) simply means "white". "gizil" is also equivalent of "kirmizi".
Funny and amazing to see one's own language, for a change, got changed over history and distance, resulting in something similar like that of American English, Latin Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese.
I'm actually a Turkmen, and Turkish is its linguistic generation with lots of borrowed words from Persian, and Arabic, which is also came from Persian (= Farsi; like saying "Deutsch" instead of "German"), as Persian itself was highly influenced in vocabulary by Arabic; all began with Seljuk Turks who were just beginning to settle in Antonia, and were already highly influenced by Persian culture, due to decades of contact with people of the plateau.
I heard that in eastern Turkey people do pronounce the ğ (it depends, sometimes written form doesn't relate to the word's origin; sometimes it only has a grammatical purpose). Technically, that's how "original" Turkish language "should" work. the g also somehow evolved to k, and I don't know the exact linguistic reasons, and Turkish had many ups and downs in vocabulary preference among its nobility and their educated people in its Ottoman's history, but anyway all has happened for their convenience in the end. It's amazing; what "gara" is to "kara" is like what "honour" is to "honor" ... and "crisps" to "chips" perhaps.
Sorry if I took your comment literally, I couldn't resist the urge to elaborate my astonishment about this lovely language. :)
"We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." ~Carl Sagan
isn't "the man is wearing a black shoe" and "the man wears a black shoe" the same in Turkish?