Recommendations for the business traveler to Turkey
Are you going on a business trip to Turkey? Then it is wise to properly prepare your visit, not just content-wise, but also regarding cultural differences. On this page you can read how to do this.
Turkey is a major player on the international market. Every year, large amounts of trade and services are exchanged between Turkey and other countries, to the tune of billions of pounds. Because of this, Turkey is a popular destination for business trips.
Business etiquette in Turkey
The initial approach of business trips in Turkey is often quite formal. Shake hands both on arrival as well as when leaving and don’t skip anybody. When meeting for the first time, It is common courtesy to introduce yourself with your title last name. As a man it might occur that a woman does not offer her hand very convincingly, this can quickly be seen as too intimate. It is customary not to talk about business right away, but to first speak about general matters. Getting to properly know each other is very customary in Turkey and is generally valued more than in western countries. Your business relation will indicate when it’s time to get to business.
During business talks it is not unusual to pick up the phone, this is not viewed as impolite. Refusing offered drinks often can be, as can pointing at people. The political situation is a sensitive subject, avoiding it won’t do any harm. As people get to know each other better, contact between men in private can become more intimate than you might be used to. A good business relation might stand closer to you, limiting your personal space. Are you being taken out to eat? A formal thank you and a counter offer are greatly appreciated. Are you invited to a business relation at their home? A gift is greatly appreciated, but preferably no alcohol.
Transportation inside Turkey
Transportation within Turkish cities is generally well organized. The most efficient method of transportation that are not well acquainted with the concerning city is the taxi. You can just ride on the meter, arranging a price is not necessary. Trams, metros, ferries and minivans (dolmus) are also great for business transportation, while at the same time offering a view into Turkish culture.
Tips for business success in Turkey
- Learn a few Turkish words and use them every now and then
- Confirm an appointment shortly before time
- Arrive at your business appointment on time
- Exchange business cards during each business meeting
- Invest time in garnering trust
- Have any contracts checked by a specialist in Turkish law
- Only sign contracts that are in English
- Know the location of the embassy in Ankara
- Apply for an e-visa Turkey before departure, this is mandatory