Get a 40% off forever discount with the ready, set, speak sale! Ends soon!
Get a 40% off forever discount with the ready, set, speak sale! Ends soon! Blog
Learn Turkish with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Living in Turkey' Category

A Brief Overview of Turkish Culture and Traditions


Turkey is a country straight from the depths of history, with empires dating back 4000 years. The course of time and events has introduced Turkey to a range of peoples and cultures, lending this great country a rich culture full of unique traditions and customs.

In this lesson, you’re going to learn all about Turkish culture and traditions. We promise this will be a very colorful, out-of-the-ordinary experience for you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Core Values
  2. Ethnicity and Religion
  3. Traditions in the Flow of Life
  4. Social and Business Life
  5. Handcrafts and Art
  6. Traditional Turkish Holidays
  7. Other Cultural Highlights
  8. Final Thoughts

1. Core Values

I believe every culture promotes core values such as honesty, justice, fairness, equality, and so on. However, most of these values are dependent upon the conscience, one’s inner person—there will always be people who stick to these values and those who don’t. Of course, these are only exceptions to the rule.

In addition to these common core values, there are others that may be unique within a country or central to its identity.

For example, elderly people have a special place in Turkish people’s lives and are treated with great respect. The concept of family is considered sacred and neighborliness is very important. Relations with neighbors are so close and sincere that it’s very common for a neighbor to knock on another’s door and ask if they have a cup of sugar or flour to give him or her. 

In Turkish culture, hospitality is another distinguished value. Especially in rural areas, the host or hostess will share their last slice of bread with a stranger. They love offering food and drinks to friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and even strangers. They also love to help people in need, whether individually or as a nation. When a disaster happens somewhere, people start donating money, sending equipment, and so on, without hesitation.

Most Turkish women are obsessed with the cleanliness of their houses. They have to be clean all the time. If you ever visit a Turkish home, don’t forget to take your shoes off. Most families will expect you to do so!

There is a strong sense of patriotism in the country. This shouldn’t be a surprise, since we have a great role model: Atatürk, one of the best leaders of all time. Turks always try to be loyal to their historical heritage.

The Turkish flag and the national anthem are highly respected. The flag is never put on the floor or the ground and whenever the national anthem is sung somewhere, people passing by will stop, stand by attention, sing along, and continue on their way when it’s over.

The Turkish Flag

2. Ethnicity and Religion

Turkish culture and customs are largely influenced by the country’s ethnic diversity, as well as the strong religious nature of the Turkish people. Take a look.

A- Ethnicity

Considering that Turkish history goes back thousands of years—and that the Ottoman Empire, which controlled Southeastern Europe, some parts of Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa, played a role in recent history—it’s not surprising that Turkey is home to many ethnicities. 75% of its population consists of Turks, 18% consists of Kurds, and the remaining 17% consists of other ethnic groups, which include:

  • Afghans
  • Albanians
  • Arabs
  • Armenians
  • Australians
  • Azerbaijanis
  • Bosniaks
  • Bulgarians
  • Circassians
  • Crimean Tatars
  • Dutch
  • Georgians
  • Germans
  • Greeks
  • Iranians
  • Kazakhs
  • Kyrgyz
  • Levantines
  • Russians
  • Serbs
  • Turkmens
  • Uzbeks 

There have been many marriages between Turks and these ethnic groups. Therefore, some aspects of these different cultures have become intertwined with the fibers of traditional Turkish culture.

B- Religion

99% of the country is Muslim. Christianity, Judaism, Yezidism, and others make up the remaining 1%.

The diversity of ethnic groups and religions play an important role in our culture. This cultural diversity in Turkey has led Turkish people to have more respect for other cultures, traditions, religions, and ideas.

    → Does this topic interest you? Then head over to our Religion vocabulary list to learn the names of different religions in Turkish!

3. Traditions in the Flow of Life

There are several Turkish traditions regarding major life events. Let’s take a look at how the Turkish treat such events as marriage, birth, and death.

A- Marriage

In the past, marriage was considered sacred and arranged marriages were popular. However, due to the increasing number of divorces, this sacred view of marriage is questionable these days. As for arranged marriages, they may still be popular in smaller cities or rural areas but not so much in big cities.

There are formalities to go through before one can get married.

First of all, the groom and his family have to visit the bride’s family to receive permission for the marriage. They bring flowers and a box or bowl of chocolate, and the bride makes them Turkish coffee. Then, the groom’s father or an elderly male from the family asks the bride’s father if he would approve the marriage. 

The answer is “Yes” most of the time, unless it’s an arranged marriage. In that case, the answer may be “We will think about it,” because in an arranged marriage, the bride’s family may not know the groom and his family. Because the proposal might have been somebody’s recommendation or referral, the father might need time to check on the groom before deciding whether to approve the marriage or not.

If the answer is “Yes,” then it’s considered a “promise” and “promise rings” are put on the fingers of the couple by somebody from the bride’s family. This is followed by an engagement ceremony at a later date.

The trousseau concept is also popular in Turkish culture. The trousseau is usually exhibited to the guests for a few days in the bride’s home and then about a week prior to the wedding, it’s taken from there to the groom’s house.

Bridal Bath

There is an ancient tradition called “bridal bath” (gelin hamamı), which is not that common these days, though it may still be performed in some parts of Turkey. According to this tradition, the bride and her female relatives and friends go to a Turkish bath (Türk hamamı). The bride sits in a higher position while her maidens walk in a circle around her carrying candles. They sing and spend the day there.

Henna Night

This is usually held the night before the wedding. It’s kind of like a bachelorette party, also celebrated by the bride and her female relatives and friends. It’s usually held at the bride’s parents’ house, though some people prefer to rent a place if they plan to invite quite a number of people. 

You may be wondering what it has to do with “henna.” Well, henna is applied to the bride’s hands and guests who are eager to have it will also put henna on their palms.


In Turkish culture, wedding traditions vary based on region. Here, I’ll only talk about the most common ones. 

On the wedding day, the car for the soon-to-be newlyweds is decorated. The groom, along with his family, goes to the bride’s house to pick her up. This event is usually accompanied by a few instrumentalists playing the drum and the zurna. 

The solemnization of the marriage can be performed at one of the municipality’s wedding halls with guests. After that, there can be a dinner party or an after-dinner party someplace else. Or, both the solemnization and party can be at a venue other than a wedding hall. 

After the couple is announced as husband and wife, there is a gift-giving ceremony. Guests give gold coins, gold bracelets, and other types of jewelry as a gift to the couple.

B- Birth

As in other cultures, Turkish culture perceives birth as an event for joyous celebration. After the baby is born, people come to see the baby and bring presents or gold coins that have a blue or pink bow attached to them. Close family members also bring presents and gold bracelets for the mother.

C- Death

If the deceased person is Muslim, the first farewell will take place in a mosque. Then, people go to the cemetery for the burial. Those who go to the cemetery are invited to the house of the person who died and are offered lunch or dinner depending on the time of day. Neighbors, family members, and acquaintances bring food to the family who suffered the loss.

4. Social and Business Life

What does the average day look like in Turkish society? Here’s some practical information on what to expect from day-to-day social interactions and work life in Turkey.

A- Social Life

Turkish people are social and they love doing things together. Because the Turkish enjoy sharing life’s experiences with others, you’ll often find large groups of people out hiking, dining, or engaging in any number of activities. This is especially true in the summertime. This is when you can see a lot of people socializing at cafes, restaurants, and bars until late hours, even during the week.

Turks require less personal space than most people do. So if a Turk stands close to you while conversing, don’t be surprised.

B- Business Life

Business relationships are usually formal. Turks prefer to work with people they know and trust. Therefore, if you need to do business with a Turkish company, you need to establish a good relationship with them.

If you’re having a meeting with Turkish people, make sure not to use their first names. Rather, call them Mr. X or Ms. Y. Furthermore, men should wear a suit and tie; women should also wear a professional-looking outfit. Especially in smaller cities, you need to be careful about what you wear as some places are conservative.

Several Business People Dressed in Formal Business Attire

Here are a few other aspects to note about Turkish work culture:

    ★ Decision-making can be slow sometimes
    ★ Family owned and run businesses are usually more conservative
    ★ Turkish people love negotiating, not only in business, but also individually when shopping

If you plan on working in Turkey, you will need some basic vocabulary down first. To get a head start, you can visit our vocabulary lists on Jobs / Work and The Workplace

5. Handcrafts and Art

After food, perhaps one of the most exciting things about Turkish culture for tourists is the vast array of artforms to view. Let’s briefly look at the most popular types of handcrafts and art forms in Turkey! 

A- Handcrafts

Throughout history, Turkish people have learned to create many different handcrafts. Here are a few that have sprouted from the cultural diversity in Turkey:

  • Carpet and rug weaving
  • Mother of pearl inlaid
  • Filigree
  • Ceramics and tiles
  • Pottery-making
  • Marbling (ebru)
  • Calligraphy
  • Coppersmithing
  • Miniature work
  • Glass work
  • Embroidery
  • Leather tanning
  • Meerschaum
  • Xylography

B- Art

Turkey has world-renowned artists in almost every branch of art. For example: 

Yasar Kemal is a famous author whose novels have been translated into numerous languages. Orhan Pamuk is a Nobel Prize-winning author. Nuri Bilge Ceylan is a world-renowned movie director who has many awards. Tan Sağtürk is an internationally acknowledged dancer. 

Here are some other artists who are well-known globally: 

    ★ Fazıl Say (pianist and composer)
    ★ Genco Erkal (stage actor)
    ★ İdil Biret (pianist)
    ★ Güher-Süher Pekinel (pianist)
    ★ Abidin Dino (artist and painter)

someone forming a pottery bowl

6. Traditional Turkish Holidays

Like in other cultures, holidays are a huge part of the Turkish culture and lifestyle. Turkish people celebrate two types of holidays: national and religious.

A- National Holidays

There are several national holidays in Turkey throughout the year, including:

  • Republic Day (October 29)
  • Youth and Sports Day (May 19)
  • National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (April 23)
  • Victory Day (August 30)

During the national holidays, all official offices are closed and the cities are decorated with Turkish flags. You can also see flags hanging from the windows and balconies of houses and offices.

B- Religious Holidays

There are two moveable religious holidays every year.


Ramadan is the month when Muslims fast for thirty days, between the sunrise and the sunset of each day. A three-day holiday follows the month of Ramadan. During this holiday, people visit other family members, friends, etc. Younger ones kiss older ones’ right hand and then put it on their own foreheads; this is a symbol of respect. Candy, chocolate, and Turkish coffee are offered to visitors, and children are given money as allowance.

The Feast of Sacrifice

This holiday is four days long. Most households, if they can afford it financially, sacrifice an animal (usually a sheep) in a special ritual. The meat is shared with relatives and neighbors, with one third of the meat usually given to those who are in need. In addition to these special traditions, the same features of the Ramadan holiday apply to this one.

7. Other Cultural Highlights

To conclude, let’s go over a few more Turkish culture characteristics you should be familiar with before visiting the country!  

A- Food and Beverages

Turkey’s food culture is a major component of both daily life and special occasions. I’m sure you’re already well aware of the grand reputation Turkish cuisine has made for itself, so I’ll only list some of the most outstanding food and drink items here. But if you would like to know more about Turkish food, you can visit our lesson “How is the Turkish Food?

  • Döner kebap. This is seasoned meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie.
  • Yaprak sarma. This consists of grape leaves stuffed with spicy rice or spicy ground meat. 
  • Baklava. This famous Turkish dessert is something that I highly recommend.

As for beverages, rakı is an alcoholic beverage which is consumed quite a bit in Turkey. It is similar to ouzo. 

Another thing I should mention is that Turkish tea culture is alive and well! Turkish people drink tea many times a day, and anytime of day!

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is another big part of the culture. It’s usually preferred after meals. While talking about Turkish coffee, I must also mention coffee cup reading: usually, when women get together and drink coffee, they ask each other to do the cup reading. It’s a lot of fun to make sense of the shapes formed from the coffee grout.

B- Gestures

Turkish people use quite a number of gestures. Let me just give you a few examples:

1. If a person puts his/her fingers together with the thumb and moves the hand back and forth, it means “good” or “delicious.”

2. Raising the chin up, sometimes with the eyebrows up, means “no.”

3. If a person holds his/her hand next to his/her head and moves the hand like they’re unscrewing a light bulb, then he/she is calling someone “crazy.”

C- Superstitions

Here are just a few Turkish superstitions:

1. Turkish people are usually concerned about being coveted. However, people believe that a blue bead called nazar boncuğu protects them from ‘evil eyes.’ These beads are used in homes, offices, and cars, and are also used as a decorative object. Furthermore, they are used on earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other forms of jewelry.

Evil Eye

2. Some people believe seeing a black cat brings bad luck.

3. Some think a broken mirror brings seven years of bad luck.

8. Final Thoughts

In this lesson, you learned a variety of useful Turkish culture facts. But there’s a lot more to know!

To get a better grasp of the Turkish language and culture, visit We provide numerous audio recordings, tons of vocabulary lists, and other free resources including a Turkish-English dictionary for easy reference.

By signing up for a Premium PLUS account, you can also take advantage of our MyTeacher service. You’ll be able to study and practice with your own private tutor, who will give you assignments, answer questions, and help you improve your pronunciation.

Download the app for free and use it wherever you are.

Before you go, let us know in the comments how Turkish culture compares to that in your country. We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish

Ultimate Guide to Talking about Time in Turkish


Time is a significant part of our lives. Whether you’re a tourist, a non-native student, a businessman/businesswoman, or a resident in Turkey, you’ll need to talk about time in Turkish at some point. This is inevitable because our entire life revolves around time.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Time Format Used in Turkey
  2. How to Ask the Time in Turkish
  3. Time Past the Hour
  4. Time Half Past the Hour
  5. Time to the Hour
  6. More Time-Related Words
  7. Time Proverbs and Sayings about Time in Turkish
  8. Conclusion: How TurkishClass101 Can Help You Master Turkish

1. Time Format Used in Turkey


You need to learn about the time format used in Turkey before learning how to say “What time is it?” in Turkish, don’t you? 

Actually, Turkey uses both the twelve-hour clock and the twenty-four-hour clock (military time). In daily life, when having informal conversations, people use the twelve-hour clock. However, the following words are added to clarify whether the mentioned time is a.m. or p.m. in Turkish:

  • Sabah – “Morning”
  • Öğleden sonra – “Afternoon”
  • Akşam – “Evening”
  • Gece – “Night”

Later, after we explain how to say “What time is it?” in Turkish, we’ll give you some examples of how exactly these words are used in context.

Turkey uses the twenty-four-hour clock system as well. However, it’s mostly used by airlines, transportation companies, press, and the media. In other words, this format is typically preferred in formal situations.

2. How to Ask the Time in Turkish

You definitely need to know how to ask about time in Turkish when:

–       using any means of transportation

–       traveling

–       you have a business meeting

–       you have a class or an exam

–       you’re in a race or any other kind of sports activity

–       you have a reservation or an appointment in Turkey

Man Checking Watch at Airport

Of course, there may also be other cases where you need to ask “What is the time?” in Turkish.

Are you ready to ask the time in the Turkish language? If yes, let’s start!

  • Saat – “Hour” or “Clock”
  • Kaç – “How many?”
  • Saat kaç? – “What time is it?” (Informal way of asking)
  • Saatiniz kaç? – “What time is it?” (Formal way of asking)
  • Afedersiniz saat kaç acaba? – “Excuse me; I wonder what time it is.” (Formal and more polite)

Undoubtedly, you also need to know the numbers to be able to tell the time in Turkish. Once you’ve gone over our number resource, check out this quick breakdown of how telling time in Turkish works:

  • Saat dört.      – “It is four o’clock.”
  • Saat dokuz.   – “It is nine o’clock.”
  • Saat on bir.  – “It is eleven o’clock.”

Now, let’s try to use the words mentioned above to refer to a.m. and p.m. in Turkish:

  • Sabah beş – “Five a.m.” (Five in the morning)
  • Öğleden sonra iki – “Two p.m.” (Two in the afternoon)
  • Akşam yedi – “Seven p.m.” (Seven in the evening)
  • Gece iki – “Two a.m.” (Two in the morning—in Turkish, it’s two at night)

For better understanding, here are some complete sentences using these words:

  • Sabah beşten beri ayaktayım. – “I’ve been up since five a.m. (five in the morning).”
  • Öğleden sonra ikide gideceğim. – “I will go at two p.m. (two in the afternoon.”
  • Eşim akşam yedide gelecek. – “My husband will come at seven p.m. (seven in the evening).”
  • Gece ikide yattım. – “I went to bed at two a.m. (two in the morning).”

3. Time Past the Hour

Improve Listening

When you want to talk about the time past the hour, such as “five past nine,” you say the hour first, followed by a suffix.

–   If the hour ends with a vowel, then it takes a buffer, -y, then a suffix, either or -i.

–   If the hour ends with a consonant, then it takes one of the following suffixes based on the Turkish vowel harmony rules:

-i, -ı, -u, or.

Then you can add the minutes followed by the word “past.” Unlike English, in Turkish, the past form of the verb “to pass” isn’t used; the present continuous form of the verb is used.

Here are some examples to help this make more sense:

  • Saat onu beş geçiyor. – “It’s five past ten.” (suffix -u is used)
  • Saat yediyi yirmi geçiyor. – “It’s twenty past seven.” (buffer -y and suffix -i are used)
  • Geçmek – “To pass”
  • Geçiyor – “Passing”

1- Quarter past

When you want to say “quarter past,” the same rules apply, except that çeyrek (“quarter”) is used where the minutes are placed. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Saat onbiri çeyrek geçiyor.  – “It’s a quarter past eleven.” (suffix -i is used)
  • Saat altıyı çeyrek geçiyor.     – “It’s a quarter past six.” (buffer -y and suffix are used)

4. Time Half Past the Hour

Basic Questions

Saying “half past the hour” in Turkish is as simple as saying the whole hour because you don’t need to worry about a buffer or a suffix. You just need to add the word for “half,” after saying the hour. This is how to say it:

  • Saat iki buçuk. – “It’s half past two.”
  • Saat on buçuk. – “It’s half past ten.”
  • Buçuk – “Half”

However, there’s one more thing about “half past the hour” you need to know. If you want to say “half past twelve,” then there’s one more way of expressing it in Turkish, which is more common than the way mentioned above.

  • Saat yarım. – “It’s half past twelve.”
  • Yarım – “Half”

5. Time to the Hour

To tell the time to the hour, the hour comes first, followed by:

  • The buffer, -y, then a suffix, either -e or -a, if the hour ends with a vowel.
  • A suffix, either -e or -a, if the hour ends with a consonant.

Then add the minute and the word that corresponds to “to.”

  • Saat yediye on var. – “It’s ten to seven.” (buffer -y and suffix -e are used)
  • Saat dokuza beş var. – “It’s five to nine.” (suffix -a is used)
  • Var – “There is/there are” (used for “to”)

1- Quarter to

When you want to say “quarter to,” the above rules apply, except that çeyrek (“quarter”) is used where the minutes are placed. Here are a couple of examples for you:

  • Saat on ikiye çeyrek var. – “It’s a quarter to twelve.” (buffer -y and suffix -e are used)
  • Saat üçe çeyrek var. – “It’s a quarter to three.” (suffix -e is used)

6. More Time-Related Words

Now that we’ve covered how to tell time in Turkish, let’s go over other words related to time in the Turkish language.

Now, Tomorrow, and Yesterday on Signs
  • Zaman/vakit – “Time”
  • Dakika – “Minute”
  • Saniye – “Second”
  • Öğlen – “Noon”
  • Gece yarısı – “Midnight”
  • Şimdi – “Now”
  • Bugün – “Today”
  • Dün – “Yesterday”
  • Yarın – “Tomorrow”
  • Gün – “Day”
  • Hafta – “Week”
  • Ay – “Month”
  • Yıl – “Year”
  • Asır/yüzyıl – “Century”
  • Önce – “Before” / “Ago”
  • Sonra – “After”
  • Hemen şimdi – “Right now”
  • Şu an/şu anda – “Currently”
  • Aynı zamanda – “At the same time”
  • Mümkün olan en kısa zamanda – “As soon as possible”
  • Yakında – “Soon”
  • Uzun zamandır – “For a long time”
  • Birazdan – “In a little while”

Let’s use some of these time-related words in sentences:

  • O, beş dakika önce buradaydı. – “She/he was here five minutes ago.”
  • Toplantıdan önce kahve içtim. – “I drank coffee before the meeting.”
  • Dersten sonra konsere gideceğim. – “I will go to the concert after the class.”
  • Bugün okula gitmeyeceğim. – “I won’t go to school today.”
  • Bu yıl İtalya’ya gideceğim. – “I will go to Italy this year.”
  • Şu an çalışmıyorum. – “Currently, I am not working.”
  • Yakında orada olacağım. – “I will be there soon.”
  • Onu hemen şimdi arıyorum. – “I am calling her/him right now.”
  • Seni uzun zamandır görmedim. – “I haven’t seen you for a long time.”
  • Mümkün olan en kısa zamanda geleceğim. – “I will come as soon as possible.”

Months and days are also related to time. However, we won’t cover them in this article. You can learn the Turkish words for them by reading our article named How to Read Dates.

13th of the Month

You can also check our dictionary if you need to look up other words.

7. Time Proverbs and Sayings about Time in Turkish

Like all other languages, there are proverbs and sayings about time in Turkish as well. You have the answer to the question “How do you say what time is it in Turkish?”, so now it’s time to meet these commonly used Turkish time expressions:

  • Vakit nakittir. – “Time is money.” (It means that wasting time or delaying something costs money.)
  • Zaman uçup gider. – “Time flies.” (It means time passes amazingly quickly.)
  • Zaman herşeyin ilacıdır. – “Time heals all wounds.” (It means that as the time passes, disappointments and heartaches go away gradually.)
  • Zaman geçmek bilmiyor. – “Time hangs heavy on hands.” (It means that time seems to pass slowly.)
  • Nefes alacak zamanım yok. – “I don’t have time to catch my breath.” (It means “I am very busy.”)
  • Başımı kaşıyacak vaktim yok. – “I don’t have time to catch my breath.” (It also means “I am very 
  • busy.” Both this expression and the one above can be used interchangeably.)

Which of these time expressions in Turkish is your favorite, and why? 

8. Conclusion: How TurkishClass101 Can Help You Master Turkish

As you can see, it’s not that complicated to learn to say “What is the time?” in Turkish or to answer the question yourself.  As long as you learn the rules explained above, you can easily tell the time in Turkish. Of course, practicing as much as possible will facilitate the learning process for you.

Cursor Near Web Address

We think learning about time for Turkish beginners is easy now!  Do you know why? Please check out our website and see for yourself how simple the learning process can be with TurkishClass101! 

But before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about telling time in Turkish. More comfortable, or is there still something you’re having a hard time with? We look forward to hearing from you! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Turkish

Best Guide on Asking for Directions in Turkish – 2019 Review


Nowadays, nearly everyone has a GPS or some sort of navigation app. But it’s still important to know how to ask for directions in Turkish because locals can give you valuable information about shortcuts that could save you time. Plus, it’s a good excuse for small talk and practicing speaking in the target language. Not to mention the fact that you can’t always rely on having a good internet connection or GPS signal! You may end up relying on your directions in Turkish vocabulary more often than you think…and directions in Turkish lessons like this one are a great place to start.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Basic Question Form: “….. Nerede?”
  2. Cardinal Directions in Turkish
  3. Major City Directions in Turkish
  4. Getting Places – How to Ask and Give Directions in Turkish
  5. Most Common Turkish Directions – How to Understand Them
  6. Asking for Directions in Turkish on the Street – Urban Terminology
  7. Points of Reference for Giving Directions in Turkish
  8. Dialogue Playouts
  9. How to Thank Someone for Giving Directions in Turkish Words
  10. The Not-So-Helpful Direction-Giver
  11. Continue to Learn About Directions in Turkish

1. Basic Question Form: “….. Nerede?”

Person Giving Tourist Directions

Turkish is a straightforward, easy-to-learn language. Grammatically, it’s very consistent, meaning you don’t need to worry about irregularities in the language. Learning about basic directions in the Turkish language is a cinch.

The first phrase you need to know is: “(location) nerede? meaning “Where is [location]?”

It’s that easy. Just add any place you need to find before the word nerede and you’re good to go, literally!

Here are some examples:

  • (Basic sentence) 

Kapalıçarşı nerede? 

“Where is Kapalıçarşı – the Grand Bazaar?”

  • (Advanced/polite sentence) 

Pardon, Kapalıçarşı nerede, acaba? 

“Pardon me, where is Kapalıçarşı?”

As you can see, adding a pardon or “pardon me” to the beginning of a sentence, and ending with an acaba meaning “I wonder,” will make you sound polite.

2. Cardinal Directions in Turkish

Cardinal Directions

Let’s start with how to say “map” in Turkish. Harita (literally meaning “map” when translated) can be used to refer to traditional printed maps as well as digital ones. The English word “navigation” has been adapted into Turkish as navigasyon. “Application/app” can be used in Turkish, as well as the Turkish word for it which is uygulama. Most people will understand the English terms used for such technology. A “navigation app” would be navigasyon app or navigasyon uygulamasi.

Although Turkish people don’t readily refer to cardinal directions, it’s still good to know them just in case. Turks usually refer to places according to their proximity to other places: forty minutes after you pass a certain city, or five minutes down the road. Words used for direction in the Turkish language are usually related to position rather than geographical direction. 

Here are the basic cardinal directions in Turkish:

  • Kuzey  “North”
  • Güney  “South”
  • Batı      “West”
  • Doğu    “East”

1- Where is Turkey on the Map?

Map of Turkey

Before we go any further, let’s talk a bit about the location of Turkey and its most popular cities, to get a sense of direction from the start. Turkey is located between Asia and Europe, and it’s referred to as Asia Minor. To its north is the Black Sea and to its south is the Medditerranean. The Aegean lies on its western coast, while the east and southeastern parts of Turkey share borders with Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Russia.

There are seven regions in Turkey which are named by their geographical location. Here, we’ve also listed some major cities found within these regions: 

  1. The Marmara Region (İstanbul; Edirne)
  2. Aegean Region (İzmir; Efes; Muğla)
  3. Mediterranean (Antalya; Kaş; Kemer)
  4. Black Sea Region (Sinop; Trabzon; Rize)
  5. Central Anatolia Region (Ankara; Eskişehir; Kayseri)
  6. Eastern Anatolia Region (Erzurum; Erzincan; Ağrı)
  7. Southeastern Anatolia Region (Diyarbakır; Gaziantep; Urfa)

You may want to ask which region a city is in. There are plenty of tourist attractions in each one of these regions, although the Marmara Region and the coastal Aegean and Meditteranean regions are the most popular. If you’re curious, you can also learn more about the geographical regions of Turkey.

Mount Ararat – Example of Landmarks in the Eastern Region

2- Talking about Directions on a Map

İzmir is in the western part of Turkey; Turkey is to the east of Greece; Kuşadası is on the southern side of İzmir.

 So, for example, to ask if Antalya is in the northern or southern part of Turkey, you would say:

Antalya nerede? Kuzeyde mi, güneyde mi? meaning “Where is Antalya? In the North or South?”


İzmir nerede? Türkiye’nin batısında mı? meaning  “Where is Izmir? Is it in the western part of Turkey?”

3- Combinations of Cardinal Directions in Turkish 

When someone’s giving directions in Turkish, phrases involving a combination of cardinal directions may come up. Here are some examples of things you may hear:

  • Kuzeydoğu (northeast)  

Çanakkale Türkiye’nin kuzeydoğusundadır. 

“Çanakkale is in the northeastern part of Turkey.”

  • Güneydoğu (southeast)

Adana Türkiye’nin güneydoğusundadır.   

“Adana is in the southeastern part of Turkey.”

  • Güneybatı (southwest)

Manisa Türkiye’nin güneybatısındadır.    

“Manisa is in the southwestern part of Turkey.”

  • Kuzeybatı  (northwest)

Şile Türkiye’nin kuzeybatısındadır.          

“Sile is in the northwestern part of Turkey.”

3. Major City Directions in Turkish


Let’s do a little exercise. Ankara, Antalya, and Istanbul are some of the major cities and centers of interest for tourists. See if you can figure out which of the three cities mentioned above is being described in these sentences. The answers are at the end of the article, but don’t scroll down yet!

1. Türkiye’nin güneyinde bir şehirdir. “This is a city in the south of Turkey.”

2. Türkiye’nin batısındadır.                 “It is in the western part.”

3. Türkiye’nin ortasındadır.                 “It is in the central part of Turkey.”


4. Getting Places – How to Ask and Give Directions in Turkish

Train Routes

Most likely, you won’t have your personal car with you on vacation. You’ll either be taken around in a tour bus or left to your own devices, such as walking and/or public transport. Here are some examples of how to ask the best way to get somewhere. After all, why learn Turkish directions if you don’t know how to apply them?

Notice that, especially in large metropolitan cities like Istanbul, there may be more than one way to get somewhere (for example, by metro, ferry, or bus).

1-  How to Get to Ephesus

Image of Ephesus for Dialogue Playout

A family on tour would like to visit Ephesus while they’re in the Aegean region. But they don’t have enough time to take the “Blue Cruise” tour. They just want to go directly to Ephesus by land. The lady takes matters into her own hands and asks the hotel manager for directions:


Affedersiniz…Biz Efes’e gitmek istiyoruz. 

“Excuse me…we want to go to Ephesus.”


Tabii, hemen Mavi tura yazdıralim sizi. 

“Of course, let’s sign you up for the Blue Cruise right away.”


Hayır, hayır. O kadar zamanımız yok. Karadan nasıl gideriz? 

“No, no. We don’t have that much time. How can we get there by land?”


Tabii, anlatayım…Önce bir taksi tutup gara gidin. Oradan Efes yazan otobüslerden birine binin. 

“Of course, I can direct you…firstly, take a taxi cab to the terminal. Get on a bus that has Ephesus written on it.”





Son durakta inin. Orada bir park olacak, onun arkasında hemen. 

“Get off at the last stop. There is a park there, it is right behind that.”


Teşekkür ederim. 

Thank you.”

5. Most Common Turkish Directions – How to Understand Them


If a Turkish person starts giving you directions, make sure to follow his/her hand gestures along with the words. Like most Mediteranean people, the Turks rely a lot on hand movements to convey a message. It might help you keep the directions in your mind if you see the route played out, too.

In addition to the phrases above, keep in mind the landmarks and common places we covered earlier. Better still, have these written down as you’ll probably hear these phrases a lot. A little pocket dictionary will also come in handy.

6. Asking for Directions in Turkish on the Street – Urban Terminology

Asking for Directions

While in Turkey, whether you’re visiting or staying for a longer time, you most likely won’t need a car. Public transport is common in Turkey, and busses and ferries are usually crowded.

As a pedestrian, you’ll need to know some basic urban terminology, such as the Turkish word for traffic light (trafik lambası), pedestrian crossing (yaya geçidi), newsstand (büfe)…etc. Here are some samples with dialogue you’re likely to hear from day-to-day.

  • Pardon, yaya geçidi nerede acaba?  

“Pardon me, where is the pedestrian crossing, I wonder?”

  • Büfe nerede?  

“Where is the newsstand?”

  • Trafik lambası nerede?

“Where are the traffic lights?”

7. Points of Reference for Giving Directions in Turkish

Because Turkish people will often give you directions in reference to another place or landmark, it will be helpful to know a few of these commonly used phrases. Here are some words used while giving directions, with some samples of these phrases used in sentences along wıth location words:

  • arkasında “Behind” in Turkish
  • önünde “In front of” in Turkish
  • sağda “To the right” in Turkish
  • solda “To the left” in Turkish
  • köşede “At the corner” in Turkish
  • Durak (bus stop)

Duraktan sonra sağa dön

“Turn right after the bus stop.”

  • Bina (building)

Binanın arkasında. 

“Behind the building.”

  • İstasyon (train station)

İstasyonun karşısında. 

“Across from the train station.”

  • Banka (bank)

Bankanın önünde

“In front of the bank.”

  • Park (park)

Parkın içinden geç, sola dön

“Go through the park, then turn left.”

  • Meydan (city square)

Meydanın öbür tarafında. 

“On the other side of the city square.”

  • Belediye binası (city municipal)

Belediye binasını geç, üçüncü bina.

“It’s the third building after you pass the city municipal building.”

  • Postane (post office)

Postane hemen köşede. 

“The post office is right on the corner.”

8. Dialogue Playouts

1- By foot: 


Pardon, Ayasofya’ya nasıl giderim?  

“How can I get to Hagia Sophia?”

Man on street: 

Düz git, sonra sola dön.  

“Go straight, then turn left.”

2- By bus: 


Affedersiniz, Efes’e nasıl giderim? 

“Excuse me, how can I get to Ephesus?”

Local lady: 

510 numaralı otobüse bin. Meydanda in. Kaçırmazsın. 

“Get on the 510. Get off at the square. You can’t miss it.”

3- Multiple transportation: 


Bakar mısınız? Buradan İzmir’e nasıl giderim? 

“Could I have your attention / Excuse me? How do I get to Izmir from here?”

Man at ticket booth: 

670 numarali otobüse bin. Limanda in. Oradan İzmir yazan bir vapura bin. 

“Get on the 670. Get off at the pier. Get on a ferry that has İzmir written on it.”

9. How to Thank Someone for Giving Directions in Turkish Words

Basic Questions

A general teşekkür ederim meaning “thank you”  is sufficient. But if you would like to add a “you have been very helpful” or “thanks for the information,” here are some phrases you can use: 

  • Yardımlarınız için teşekkür ederim!

“Thanks for the help!”

  • Çok yardımcı oldunuz!

“You have been very helpful!”

  • Çok sağ olun./ Çok teşekkür ederim. 

“Thank you very much.”

Body language: You can press your hand (open) against your heart to symbolize a heartfelt thank you or express your gratitude. Eyvallah is another traditional way to say a heartfelt thank you. It means 

“I thank God first, then you.”

10. The Not-So-Helpful Direction-Giver

Hand Pointing

Turkish people (especially males) are addicted to giving directions. This may seem like a plus, but beware of the extra-enthusiastic or not-so-sure individuals. They’ll usually make up a route just to seem helpful, or they’ll give you too many details about how you can avoid the bridge traffic (Bosphorus bridge) and reach your destination in miraculous time. These are all well-intended suggestions (for sure); just use your best judgement when in doubt. Thank them and ask someone else for a second opinion!

11. Continue to Learn About Directions in Turkish

TurkishClass101 Advertisement

Turkey is a lovely place to visit. Make sure you know how to get from A to B before you venture out. 

Why not learn a few phrases to make your holiday a more enjoyable and well-planned one? Visit 

TurkishClass101 for more direction words and phrases to use on your visit. Keep up the good work!
Before you go, let us know in the comments how confident you feel about directions in Turkish now! Is there anything you’re still having a hard time with in your directions in Turkish language-learning? We look forward to hearing from you!  

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Turkish

Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Turkish


What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Turkey for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish
Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Turkish? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Turkish, here at TurkishClass101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – doğumgünü

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Turkish friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Turkish, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Turkish is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

Doğum günün kutlu olsun

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Turkish! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – Almak

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Turkish etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – emekli olmak

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Turkey, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – mezuniyet

When attending a graduation ceremony in Turkey, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Turkish you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – terfi

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – yıl dönümü

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Turkish.

7- Funeral – cenaze

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Turkey, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – gezmek

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Turkish immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – mezun olmak

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Turkey afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – evlilik

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – taşınmak

I love Turkey, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – doğmak

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Turkish?

13- Get a job – iş bulmak

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Turkey – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Turkish introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Turkish?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – ölmek

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – Ev

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Turkey for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – iş

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – doğum

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Turkey?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – nişanlanmak

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Turkey is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Turkish?

19- Marry – evlenmek

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Turkish?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Turkey, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Turkish phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, TurkishClass101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at TurkishClass101:

  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Turkish with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Turkish dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about TurkishClass101…!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Turkish teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Turkish word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Turkish level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in TurkishClass101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Turkish.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish

Talk About the Weather in Turkish Like a Native


Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Turkish acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

TurkishClass101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Turkish

Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Turkey
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. TurkishClass101 can prepare you for any season.

1. Talking about the weather in Turkey

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Turkish weather – just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- The rain is falling on the street – Yağmur sokağa yağıyor.

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Turkish experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything – Kar herşeyi kapladı.

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud – kabarık bulut

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass – Su bardakta dondu.

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding – Bu şiddetli yağmur ani sele neden olabilir.

If you’re visiting Turkey in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Turkish weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood – sel

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit – Tayfun vurdu.

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing – Yelkenle gitmeden önce hava raporunu kontrol edin.

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds – Bugünkü hava, zaman zaman bulutlu ve güneşli.

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Turkey! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- A rainy day – yağmurlu bir gün

Remember when you said you’d save the Turkish podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow – manzaralı gökkuşağı

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Turkey. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous – Şimşek çakmaları güzel olabilir ama aynı zamanda tehlikelidir.

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- 25 degrees Celsius – Yirmi beş santigrat derece

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Turkish term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- Seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit – yetmiş yedi Fahrenayt derece

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this phrase in Turkish in case one of your companions develops a raging fever.

15- A clear sky – Açık gökyüzü

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots – not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle – hafif çisi

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Turkey. You could go to the mall and watch a Turkish film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature – sıcaklık

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though – it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid – nemli

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry – Düşük nemli hava çok kuru hissedilir.

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Turkish friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong – Rüzgar gerçekten şiddetli.

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- It’s windy outside – Dışarısı rüzgarlı

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing – Islak yollar sıcaklık sıfırın altına düştüğünde buzlanır.

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy – Bugün hava çok bunaltıcı

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog – sis

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane – kasırga

Your new Turkish friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Turkey.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Killer tornado – Büyük hortum

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today – Bugün hava bulutlu.

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Turkey will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Turkish to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures – dondurucu sıcaklıkların atında

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Turkish winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill is how cold it really feels outside – Hissedilen sıcaklık, dışarıda hissedilen gerçek sıcaklıktır

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is. Not all your Turkish friends will know that, though, so learn this Turkish phrase to sound really smart!

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius – Su sıcaklık sıfır santigratın altına düştüğünde donar.

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair – find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up – açılması için beklemek

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Turkish Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat – aşırı sıcaktan kaçınmak

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost – sabah kırağısı

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower – sağanak yağmur

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold – Akşamüzeri hava bulutlanmaya başlayacak ve soğuk olacak.

When I hear this on the Turkish weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Severe thunderstorm – Şiddetli fırtına

Keep an eye on the Turkish weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window – Camda buz oluştu

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water – that should work!

38- Large hailstones – Büyük dolu taneleri

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now – especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Rolling thunder – şiddetli gök gürültüsü

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet – Dolu

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Turkish!

2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Turkish friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Turkish spring words!

Spring Vocabulary

3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Turkey there are many ways to enjoy the summer – it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Turkish songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Turkish summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand

4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Turkish landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Turkey.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Turkish autumn words.

Autumn Phrases

5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow

6. TurkishClass101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Turkey, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Turkish street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Turkish weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? TurkishClass101 is here to help!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Turkish

A New Language: Turkish Slang for Texting and the Web


Have you ever heard of “Turkish bird language?” If you have, please note that I’m not talking about Turkish whistling language, which farmers use. When I was a kid, my friends and I used to talk in a bird language, putting “ge, ga, gi, gu, gö, gü” after each syllable. It wouldn’t have sounded like Turkish to a foreigner learning the language.

Nowadays, Turkish slang for the internet is very popular. And guess what? When you read these words and expressions, you might think they don’t sound like Turkish either. They remind me of the good old days! You need to know about these slang words and abbreviations to figure out this new language!

Let’s start with regular Turkish slang words and then continue with internet and text slang.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Talking Online in Turkish

Table of Contents

  1. What is Slang?
  2. Turkish Internet/Text Slang
  3. Sample Turkish Internet Slang Phrases
  4. Go Beyond Turkish Slang

1. What is Slang?

Computer Words

Essentially, slang is a more informal and playful way of using a given language. It’s often very different from how people usually speak or write in that language.

1- Why is it used?

People, especially the young generation, use slang a lot because they think:

  • It’s fun and witty.
  • It’s friendlier.
  • It expresses nuances better than formal language.
  • It communicates more quickly.
  • Parents and others won’t understand what they’re talking about.
  • It’s understood within a certain group.
  • It shows that they belong to a certain group.

2- What is internet or text slang?

These days, nearly everyone has a smartphone, so the internet, social media usage, and text messaging are very popular. They became the most common channels for chatting.

Young people use abbreviations, acronyms, and slang words when chatting. By using these special characters, they type faster and save time. Even though the older people think it’s nonsense, younger people think it’s cool!

People of many different disciplines have been studying and discussing internet and text slang as a social topic. Some psychologists think it leads to a lazier generation who will look for shortcuts in other areas of their lives. Linguists think it’s unnecessary and it ruins languages.

3- How is internet or text slang different?

Internet and text slang and the slang we use in daily life are alike in the sense that they may both include swear words. However, internet and text slang consists of abbreviations, acronyms, symbols, and characters not usually found in the spoken word.

2. Turkish Internet/Text Slang

Computer Sentences

Everything we discussed above also relates to Turkish slang. In this article, I will talk about Turkish internet words and Turkish text slang words, and will provide translations for you. Daily slang in Turkish will be covered in another article, and for the purpose of this article, I won’t mention Turkish internet slang swear words, either. (You can refer to Wikibooks if you’re curious about this topic.)

Turkish internet slang phrases include:

  • Slang words
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Characters that stand for emotions/emoticons

Slang Words

Some Turkish slang words are also used in Turkish internet slang phrases and as Turkish text slang words. Here are some examples:

  • Bro:
    • This is the short form of the word “brother” in English. It’s used as “friend.”
  • Mal:
    • This word in Turkish means “goods” or “estate.” However, in slang, it means “stupid” or “idiot.”
  • Cool:
    • This Turkish slang term comes from English. It’s used with its original English meaning.
  • Efso:
    • This is the short form of the word efsane in Turkish. It means “legend.”
  • Popi:
    • This word is used for the word popüler in Turkish, which means “popular” in English.
  • Ponçik:
    • This is a word that doesn’t exist in Turkish. Boys and girls call each other ponçik, which basically means “nice” or “cute.”
  • Sayko:
    • When the word “psycho” in English is pronounced, it’s written as sayko in Turkish. It’s used with the same meaning in English.
  • Ciciş:
    • This refers to somebody who is “nice and sweet.”
  • Kanka / Kanks / Kanki / Panpa:
    • All of these words are used to say “buddy.”
  • Kıro / Kro:
    • Both of these words mean “yokel.”
  • Cringe:
    • This is used to express embarrassment on behalf of somebody else.
  • Challenge yapmak:
    • This Turkish texting slang means “to call out.”
  • Like atmak:
    • This one is used to express the act of liking something on Facebook.
  • Sahiplemek:
    • This means that two people are compatible with each other.
  • Trip atmak:
    • This means “to attitudinize.”
  • Trollemek:
    • This one means “to create trouble.”
  • Keklemek:
    • This word is “to deceive.”
  • İfşalamak:
    • This one means “to reveal.”
  • Abrvtns and Acrnyms:
    • This means “abbreviations” and “acronyms.”

Now, here comes the fun part, if you like to solve puzzles!

Abbreviation Puzzle

Usually, three-letter abbreviations are used to shorten words. In most cases, vowels are omitted and sometimes acronyms are used.

Refer to the table of abbreviated Turkish slang expressions below to see the commonly used abbreviations and acronyms when texting. If you’d like to test yourself, you can easily close the second column!

Abbreviation/Acronym Turkish English
Slm Selam Hi
Mrb Merhaba Hello
Nbr Ne haber? What’s up?
Nslsn Nasılsın? How are you?
Nrd Neredesin? Where are you?
Nzmn Ne zaman? When?
Tmm / Tm / Ok / Okey / Oki Tamam OK
Tbr Tebrikler. Congratulations.
Tşk Teşekkürler. Thank you.
Kib Kendine iyi bak. Take care.
Grşz Görüşürüz. See you.
Hg Hayırlı günler. Have a good day.
Inş İnşallah Hopefully
Muck / Mck / Mujk Öpüyorum. Kisses
Ss Seni seviyorum. I love you.
Sçs Seni çok seviyorum. I love you very much.
Ajkm / Aşkm Aşkım My love
Cnm Canım My soul
Tnşlm Tanışalım. Let’s get to know each other.
Abv Allah belanı versin. God damn you.
Aeo Allaha emanet ol. Literal translation: Be entrusted to God. (Used when saying bye)
Bgn Bugün Today
Yrn Yarın Tomorrow
E Evet Yes
H Hayır No
Dm Usually, this is the abbreviation used by those who want to send/receive private messages. Direct message
By / Bb Güle güle Bye / Bye bye
Knk Kanka / Dostum Buddy / My friend
Ayn Aynen Exactly
Mük Mükemmel Perfect
Arv Allah rahatlık versin Literal translation: Hope God gives comfort.

It’s used when someone is going to sleep, sort of like “Goodnight, have a nice sleep.”

Gt Geri takip Follow back
Kt Karşılıklı takip Follow mutually

I wonder how well you did guessing the shortened words!

Internet Slang

Some Turkish people, especially those who speak English, might also use the following acronyms that are commonly used in English:

  • LOL: Laugh out loud
  • Bff: Best friends forever
  • Np: No problem
  • OMG: Oh my God!
  • Thx: Thanks

Characters That Stand for Emoticons

There are so many emoticons/emojis that can be used these days. However, in the past, we used to use some characters that stood for emotions. Some people still use them, especially those who are middle-aged.

Happy and Unhappy Faces

Here are the most frequently used ones:

: ) or : -) Smiley or happy face
:))) or :)) Very happy
: ( or 🙁 Unhappy
😀 Laughing
; ) or ;‑) Wink
😛 Tongue sticking out
@}->– or @}‑;‑’‑‑‑ or @>‑‑>‑‑ Rose

3. Sample Turkish Internet Slang Phrases

Texting Slang

Let’s look at some Turkish slang phrases in action and have a little more fun. 🙂

Person Text message Proper Turkish English
1 mrb aşkm 🙂 nslsn? Merhaba aşkım, nasılsın? Hello my love, how are you?
2 iim, sen? İyiyim, ya sen? I’m fine and you?
1 İi, tşk İyiyim teşekkürler. I’m fine, thanks.
2 nzmn gidiosun? Ne zaman gidiyorsun? When are you going?
1 yrn Yarın Tomorrow.
2 Özlicem. kib Özleyeceğim. Kendine iyi bak. I’ll miss you. Take care.
1 Sen de. sçs Sen de. Seni çok seviyorum. You, too. I love you very much.
2 Sçs, muck Seni çok seviyorum. Öpüyorum. I love you very much. Kisses.
1 muck Öpüyorum. Kisses.

Wow, did you count how many words they saved when texting? It’s incredible!

Texting Is Fun!

I don’t use a lot of abbreviations when I’m texting. Therefore, it’s a little difficult for me to create different examples. Here’s another one that I got from this website:

Person Text message Proper Turkish English
1 Nbr knk? Knsr vr glcn mi? st 23:30 da Ne haber, kanka? Konser var, gelecek misin? Saat 23:30’da. What’s up, buddy? There is a concert. Will you come? It’s at 23:30.
2 Nrd knk? Where is it, kanka? Where is it, buddy?
3 Stdyumda Stadyumda. It’s at the stadium.
4 Oki. glcm Tamam. Gelicem. OK. I will come.

You can click here to see more examples.

4. Go Beyond Turkish Slang

I’m sure this article will prevent you from falling behind in understanding Turkish internet slang phrases and Turkish text slang words in your daily life. However, please don’t forget that you’ll need proper Turkish, especially at work, school, or in formal meetings or gatherings. Turkish internet words won’t help you much when you need to communicate in formal Turkish.

TurkishClass101 will help you build a strong grammar infrastructure and improve your vocabulary. We have tons of vocabulary lists with audio recordings, and free resources including a dictionary you can easily refer to.

You can also download the app for free and use it wherever you are.

Don’t forget that there’s also MyTeacher, which is a Premium PLUS service of TurkishClass101 that you can use to practice with a private teacher.

As usual, we can’t wait to hear your feedback about your experience with the services offered at TurkishClass101!

Before you go, let us know in the comments what the most popular slang words and phrases are in your own language. We’re curious!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Talking Online in Turkish

How to Find a Job in Turkey


Are you an expat in Turkey? Or maybe you’re just an adventurous soul looking to live in this beautiful country? If so, you’re in for an exciting—but also challenging—experience. For one, you’ll definitely need a job.

I can hear you saying, “Hmm, finding a job! It’s already difficult to find one as a citizen. I can’t imagine searching for one as a foreigner.” You don’t need to worry too much, though. As long as you know where and how to search for your dream job, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

In this article, we’ll provide you with all the info you’ll need on how to find a job in Turkey for foreigners.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. What kind of jobs are available for foreigners?
  2. Ways to search for a job in Turkey
  3. Work Permit
  4. Get a better job by learning Turkish with TurkishClass101

1. What kind of jobs are available for foreigners?

Let’s start by discussing what jobs are available in Turkey for foreigners and in which cities you might want to look for job openings. 

When you think of Turkey, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Istanbul. While this is one of the most populous cities in the nation, there are plenty of other cities you can shoot for during your job search. So why not broaden your horizons and discover other spectacular places in Turkey?

Below are the different types of jobs and their general requirements for foreigners. Work permit requirements for each category will be covered under the heading “Work Permit.”

Six People Dressed in Different Types of Work Uniforms

A- Teaching jobs

Because English is the second language of Turkey, there are a lot of English teaching and ESL positions at private schools from kindergartens to universities. There are also German, Italian, and French teaching schools, but these are located in bigger cities and are unfortunately fewer in number than English teaching schools.

For English speakers, jobs in Turkey teaching English are probably the highest in demand.

A Woman Teaching Words Written on a Blackboard

So, what are the requirements for getting a teaching job in Turkey? You’ll need…

  • …fluency in English or another language, and the ability to speak at a native level. (It’s even better if you’re a native speaker.)
  • …a bachelor’s degree in any field.
  • …a TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate (minimum 120 hours online course certification).
  • …a couple of years of language teaching experience.

Some universities also have positions for teaching subjects other than English. However, these positions require higher levels of qualifications. You should have a master’s degree or a PhD in the subject. Of course, you should also be fluent in English.

B- Tourism-related jobs

Turkey’s history dates back 4000 years. The country is home to many historical sites and unique architectural pieces, and it’s surrounded by three major seas. The Aegian and Mediterranean coasts are especially full of resorts. In addition, Turkey is known for its variety of natural formations and its thermal healing waters. Combined, these factors draw in a lot of tourists each year! 

It should come as no surprise, then, that the tourism industry offers many job opportunities for foreigners (especially in the summertime). These are usually positions within a hotel or travel company. Usually, the only requirement is to be fluent in a certain language such as English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, or Russian.

A Woman Pointing Her Finger to Somewhere on a Globe

C- Internships

It’s possible to find internships in bigger cities where many international or multinational companies exist. These opportunities may be short-term, like for the summer period or even a full year.

You’ll need to check with the consulates or embassies of your country to see whether internships are being offered at the moment. To apply for an internship in Turkey, you must be enrolled in a degree program in a college; you’ll also need to get an internship visa from a Turkish embassy or consulate in your own country. Finally, you’ll need to submit some documents (such as a letter from the employer, your transcripts, etc.). If you’re living in Turkey and have a residence permit, the procedure will be easier.

D- Nanny/housecare/elderly care jobs

Nannies who speak English are also popular in Turkey. Wealthy Turkish families like for their children to learn English at an early age, so they often hire English-speaking nannies.

Some people prefer to have foreigners for house care and elderly care because it might be difficult to find Turkish people who will stay with families 24/7 to offer this type of service. That said, caregivers from Turkic countries are usually preferred; because their languages are close to Turkish, they learn the Turkish language more quickly.

E- Others

Of course, there are other types of jobs you can find. These include things like management, marketing, sales, translation, or other technical jobs offered to foreigners by international or multinational companies located throughout Turkey.

F- Establishing your own business

As a foreigner, you might be interested in establishing your own business in Turkey. However, you need to know that it won’t be as easy as it would be in your own country.

If you’ve worked legally without interruption for at least five years in Turkey, you can get an independent work permit to become self-employed. 

There are two ways of working for yourself:

1. You can set up a company owned by yourself (or by you and other people), but then you also have to work for the company.

2. Instead of setting up a business entity, you can have a tax-registered business in your own name.

2. Ways to search for a job in Turkey

There are many ways of job-hunting in Turkey:

A- Networking

Networking is always a good way to find a job. The more connections you have, the greater your chances are of landing the job you want. If someone you know informs you about a job opening—even better, if they refer you—you’ll have an advantage. Make sure to get help from all the connections you have.

B- Turkish websites

There are some Turkish websites you can use for job-hunting. You can register for these websites, add your CV, and set up job alerts based on your qualifications or what you’re looking for. If you don’t know Turkish, you might need help from a Turkish friend (or Google Translate) as these sites are in Turkish:

C- Other websites

Here are other websites you can check to find a job in Turkey:

  • LinkedIn: As you know, LinkedIn is a huge networking platform for professionals, which helps in building connections and finding jobs. You can also apply to jobs in Turkey via LinkedIn. 
  • Learn4Good: This is a very useful website to search for jobs in Turkey. You can also use it to search for jobs in other locations.
  • iAgora: You can find internships and jobs in Turkey via this website.
  • You can find teaching jobs with the help of this website.
  • ESL Cafe: This site offers international teaching jobs.
  • This website is a good one for finding internships in Turkey.
  • Go Overseas: This is another good one for internship searchers.

D- Newspapers

Some job openings are published in Turkish newspapers. However, you need to understand written Turkish in order to read them.

Finding a Job in the Newspaper

E- Headhunters

There are also headhunters you can contact. Here is a list for you:

  • Manpower
  • Adecco
  • Randstad
  • Michael Page

F- In-person applications

You can always visit HR departments of international or multinational companies or private schools in person.

3. Work Permit

Now that you have a better idea of the types of jobs in Turkey for foreigners and how to find them, you need to know that foreigners working in Turkey require a valid work permit. Anyone working illegally will be fined and can even be deported. Here’s some detailed information about the work permits.

Work Visa

A- General info

A work permit is issued by the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS). A foreigner who has entered Turkey as a tourist is not eligible for work permits. A work permit can be obtained in two ways:

  1. If the applicant is in Turkey and he/she has already obtained a residence permit that still has at least six months of validity, a work visa application and the required documents can be sent within Turkey.
  2. A work visa application and the required documents need to be sent to the Turkish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country if he/she hasn’t arrived in Turkey yet. 

In both cases, during the meantime, the employer should also send the required documents to the MLSS. The MLSS processes the application within ninety days.

When the application is approved, the applicant must go to a Turkish embassy in person to have the work visa stamped into his/her passport. If the applicant has applied from inside Turkey, then the permit can be received from the MLSS office in Ankara.

B- Independent work permit

As mentioned above, an independent work permit is for self-employment. If a foreigner has lived in Turkey for at least five years, he/she can apply for an independent permit. A business plan needs to be submitted during the application. Also, the applicant must present how this entrepreneur’s work will contribute to the Turkish economy.

C- Residence permit

If a foreigner wants to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, he/she needs to apply for a residence permit. If his/her visa expires during his/her stay and if his/her stay exceeds 90 days, he/she must apply for a residence permit with the local authorities.

Below are the different types of residence permit:

  • short-term residence permit
  • long-term residence permit
  • student residence permit
  • family residence permit
  • humanitarian residence permit
  • victim of human trafficking residence permit

Residence permits are valid for anywhere between 6 months and 5 years, depending on the type of permit and the reason for the application. 

4. Get a better job by learning Turkish with TurkishClass101

In this article, we explained how to find a job in Turkey for foreigners and went into some detail about the process. If you check all of the resources mentioned throughout the article, we’re sure you’ll find a job before you know it! That said, learning to speak Turkish is the best way to put your best foot forward and increase your chances of quickly landing a better job. 

So why lose any more time? Bookmark TurkishClass101 now and start benefiting from our numerous learning materials. Audio recordings, video lessons, vocabulary lists, and free resources (like this dictionary) are just a snapshot of what you’ll find here! 

Don’t forget that, with a Premium PLUS account, you can start using our MyTeacher service. This will allow you to practice the language with a personal tutor and work on personalized assignments to expedite your progress. Your teacher can, for example, help you master the essential business Turkish you’ll need before applying for a job. 

Download the app for free and start learning today! 

Before you go: What are your thoughts on working in Turkey? If you’ve already found yourself a job here, do you have any tips for other aspirants? We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Turkish