How to behave with Turkey

How to behave with Turkey
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16 Marzo 2017
Categoria: Marketing Internazionale
Paese:  Turchia

Turkey is a famous, rich and huge country in doing business. It is a connected country with a powerful manufacturing economy. In Turkey there are many opportunities to do business.

All the world knows few things about Turkey, some are right and some are false. The most popular error is about the capital of Turkey, the majority of people think that Istanbul as the capital of Turkey instead Ankara is the capital of the country.

Knowing about how much they drink tea or smoke is not enough to do business with them because they are very serious on international business.

Business relationships in this country exist between people, not necessarily between companies. Even when you have won your local business partners’ friendship and trust, they will not necessarily trust others from your company.

Many people in Turkey still do not speak English very well. It is best to find a translator and ask for an interpreter to be present at your meetings.

To create contacts with potential partners in Turkey is important to bear a few things in mind. They are relationship people so it is better to use intermediaries to start having relation.

Don’t rely on emails, they are impersonal and won’t be treated with priority. Get on the phone and speak to people.


Turkey is a secular state with no official religion, but the majority of Turkish is Muslim and we have to say Turkish society is highly influenced by Islam, so organize your appointments and meetings around each of the five daily prayer times.

You should not schedule any appointments during Ramadan or during July and August, since these are the most common annual holiday periods for Turkish business people.

When meeting people, shake hands firmly. If you are in a meeting with a woman (or if you are a woman meeting a man) see if she extends her hand first.

The Turkish way to signal ‘no’ is by raising the eyebrows, sometimes together with a “tsk” sound and a backward tilt of the head. A slight bow of the head traditionally means ‘yes’.

Wait for people to switch to first names. When working with professionals like lawyers, doctors, etc. then most of them have their own titles that should also be used.

Greet the most senior person first, and then greet everyone else in the room individually. Introductions are accompanied by firm handshakes using the right hand.
Turks love to talk.

If you are looking for a topic of conversation, you can’t go wrong with football. They are football mad.

If you do business in Turkey, expect a lot of food, tea and coffee. They love to entertain and it’s a central part of the culture to look after guests.

It’s important to know the protocol over who pays the bill – Turkish culture demands the host always pays; if they didn’t it would be a loss of face. Don’t ask to share the bill but insisting you pay will make you look good.

Decisions are made slowly, especially if you have no relationship with the decision maker(s). Initially, you may meet less senior members of a company first. Make sure you impress them, as they are your key to a successful outcome and being recommended to the boss.

Most companies tend to be very hierarchical, and people expect to work within clearly established lines of authority. Many of Turkey’s businesses are still family-owned.


Business dress is conservative. Wearing a suit and tie on business meeting is common in Turkey. Similarly, women should wear smart professional outfits.

In the summer, and especially in the cities of Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara the weather is very hot and humid. It is acceptable to just wear a shirt with trousers without wearing a tie.


Business cards in Turkey are exchanged without formal ritual, use both hands to exchange cards. For doing business with Turks, it is better a business card translated into Turkish one side.

Fonte: a cura di Exportiamo, di Morvarid Mahmoodabadi,


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