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Living in Turkey

Immigration to any country has always been associated with concerns and worries, the main reason being the difference in the culture of the country of origin and the country of destination. Turkey is no exception to this rule, and it is obvious that those who intend to immigrate to Turkey have concerns about the cultural differences between Turkey and their country. For this reason, in order to reduce the worries of people seeking to immigrate to Turkey, in this article we will examine different aspects of living in Turkey.


Turkish people are very hot-blooded and hospitable. That is why many immigrants live in Turkey without any problems.

The official and common language in Turkey is Istanbul Turkish. People rarely speak other languages. Therefore, we recommend that you learn Turkish before migrating to Turkey, because otherwise, you will feel isolated, life in Turkey will be difficult for you and you will not be able to enjoy living in Turkey enough. In the past, a tiny percentage of Turks spoke a foreign language, but today this rate has increased, and young people speak English and some other languages ​​such as Arabic, Persian, Russian and German. However, before immigrating to Turkey, it is strongly recommended that you learn the Istanbul Turkish language to an acceptable level so that you do not have any problems in daily affairs such as shopping, renting a house, and so on.


Names in Turkish include one or more first names and a surname. After marriage, women can use their father’s last name and their husband’s last name.

It is common for calling a man to say his name first, then the word “Bey”, and for a woman to say her name first, then the word “Hanim”, for respect. For example, “Hakan Bey” and “Aynur Hanim”. If you do not know the person’s name (for example, in a telephone conversation), you can use the general word “Efendim” to address them.  If a person has a professional title (for example, a doctor), use his title to address them. For example, “Dr. Bey” and “Dr. Hanim”.

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Turkey is a Eurasian country, 97% of which is in Asia and 3% in Europe. Of course, this percentage is different for Istanbul, the economic capital of Turkey. About 65% of Istanbul is located in Europe. Given this, it is clear why many consider Turkey to be the crossroads of East and West, both geographically and culturally.

Despite the fact that about 97% of the Turkish people are Muslims, a small number of them perform their daily prayers every day and go to the mosque. Regardless of the European and Asian divisions, there are many cultural differences in Turkey. For example, the culture of the people in the eastern parts of Turkey is more similar to the foreign neighbors (Iran, Syria, and Iraq) than the culture of Istanbul and Antalya. People in these areas are more inclined to Islamic traditions and culture.

Work & Business

The amount of foreign investment in Turkey is very high so that about 90% of large companies (including banks, stores, gas stations, etc.) are owned by foreigners; Although their name is Turkish.

The Turks are known for their diligence. Common working hours in government offices are 8 to 17 and in private organizations 9 to 18.

In some traditional areas of Turkey, it is not appropriate for a woman to shake hands with a man. If you are a man who has come to Turkey for business and is meeting a woman, wait for the woman to shake hands with you; If you are a woman, it is up to you to decide whether or not to shake hands with men.

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It is polite to use two hands to exchange business cards. If you do a lot of business in Turkey, it is best to have one side of your business card in Turkish.

It is usually inappropriate to give a gift in a business relationship.  Turks are proud that bribery has been significantly reduced in their country. If you want to make a gift, avoid buying expensive gifts, souvenirs from your country can be a good gift option.


Turks enjoy spending time in restaurants and cafes and take the opportunity to have fun, chat, and expand business relationships. According to Turkish customs, the host always pays for the food.

Going Dutch and paying the bill by the guest is not common in Turkey. Although it is polite to ask for paying a bill, you do not have the right to pay it. The best thing to do is to invite your opponent to a restaurant a few days later.

It is customary to bring a small gift such as some sweets or a decorative item such as a vase when you are invited to a private home. If you are a foreigner, the souvenir of your country can also be a good gift.

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