Get up to 35% Off With The Summer Sale. Hurry! Ends Soon!
Get up to 35% Off With The Summer Sale. Hurry! Ends Soon! Blog
Learn Turkish with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Turkish Culture' Category

Turkish Animal Names and Related Vocabulary


Are you an animal lover? 

If so, today is your lucky day! 

In this article, we’ll teach you the names of different animals in the Turkish language. We have divided the animals by category as follows: 

  • Pets
  • Farm animals
  • Wild animals
  • Sea animals
  • Bugs and insects
  • Birds
  • Reptiles and amphibians

In addition, we’ll teach you what to call the body parts of animals, some relevant verbs, and even a few interesting idioms that mention animals. 

But first things first: The word for “animal” in Turkish is hayvan

The fact that the Turkish word is totally different from its English counterpart might have scared you, but don’t worry! Many animal names are written identically in Turkish as they are in English. For example: hamster, iguana, jaguar, koala, panda, tarantula, and zebra.  

There are also some animals whose Turkish spelling is very close to its English spelling. Are you ready for a test? Let’s see if you can guess which animals these are: leopar, panter, pelikan, penguen, pirana, and piton

I bet you passed the test. But just in case, here are the answers: leopard, panther, pelican, penguin, piranha, and python.

Now, it’s time to move ahead to our list of animal names in Turkish! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Pets (Evcil Hayvanlar)
  2. Farm Animals (Çiftlik Hayvanları)
  3. Wild Animals (Vahşi Hayvanlar)
  4. Sea Animals (Deniz Hayvanları)
  5. Bugs & Insects (Böcekler & Haşarat)
  6. Birds
  7. Reptiles & Amphibians
  8. Body Parts of Animals
  9. Animal-Related Idioms and Slang Expressions
  10. Animal-Related Verbs
  11. Learn More About the Turkish Language with TurkishClass101

1. Pets (Evcil Hayvanlar)

The most popular pet animals in Turkey are cats, dogs, birds, and fish. There are also some families that prefer to have hamsters, turtles, or rabbits at home.

Here are the names of some common pets in Turkish:



2. Farm Animals (Çiftlik Hayvanları)

Like other countries, Turkey is home to a range of farm animals. They are bred for their meat, milk, eggs, skin, and wool. Most of the livestock in Turkey can be found in the Aegean and Marmara regions, as well as in Central and Eastern Anatolia. 

Here are the names of common farm animals in Turkish:


3. Wild Animals (Vahşi Hayvanlar)

Below are the names of wild animals that we most often find in zoos. However, I’m sure that some people get to see them in the highlands, woods, or rural areas. 



4. Sea Animals (Deniz Hayvanları)

Turkey is surrounded by seawater on its three sides and has around 8333 kilometers (5178 miles) of shoreline. Due to the country’s geographic location, we have a booming fishing industry! 200 fish species live in the Sea of Marmara, 247 in the Black Sea, 300 in the Aegean Sea, and 500 in the Mediterranean. Of these, about 100 fish species are of particular economic value for Turkey. 

Let’s see some of the sea animal names in Turkish:

Deniz atı“Seahorse”
Istakoz “Lobster”
Köpek balığı“Shark”
Yengeç “Crab”

5. Bugs & Insects (Böcekler & Haşarat)

While insects are not within the scope of my expertise, I did a little research on the topic before writing this article. I learned that there’s a bug museum in Istanbul where a range of different bugs have been preserved and kept on display since 1937. If you’re interested in bugs, you might want to check out the museum if you ever get the chance to visit Turkey!


Now, let’s learn the Turkish words for the most common bugs and insects:

Arı “Bee”
Ateş böceği“Firefly”
İpek böceği“Silk worm”
Uğur böceği“Ladybug”

6. Birds

Turkey’s different climate zones are suitable for the survival of many different species of birds. There are about 515 bird species in Turkey, and about a quarter of them are migratory birds that arrive in Turkey during the winter months.


Here are the Turkish names for the most popular birds:

Ağaç kakan“Woodpecker”

7. Reptiles & Amphibians

I’m learning more and more as I go! Did you know there are 120 reptile species in Turkey? 

One popular example is the Caretta Carettas sea turtles, which make their home in Iztuzu Beach in Dalyan. Because they’re in danger of extinction, the beach is under protection. It’s closed at certain hours, May through August, during which period the sea turtles lay their eggs. You can visit the Caretta Carettas without approaching their conservation areas. It’s a unique experience!

Below are the names of some reptiles in Turkish:



8. Body Parts of Animals

Now that you know several Turkish animal names, you should learn what to call their unique body parts. This will be especially helpful if you have a pet of your own or if you’d like to describe a recent animal encounter!

Filin hortumu“Trunk”
Kuş tüyü“Feather”

9. Animal-Related Idioms and Slang Expressions

This is the part I love. I enjoy learning the idioms and slang expressions of foreign languages, and I always find it interesting how different languages come up with their own unique idioms.

I’m curious if you’ll also find the following Turkish idioms and slang terms interesting, creative, and fun. Make sure to let us know your favorite one(s) in the comments! 

TurkishLiterallyEnglish Equivalent
İnekİnek means “cow.” However, Turkish people also call asocial, hardworking students inek.Nerd
Kuş beyinliIt’s translated as “bird-brained,” and it’s used in reference to stupid people. Bird-brain
Devede kulakThis one is translated as “ear on the camel.” It refers to a very small part/amount of something.A drop in the bucket
Keçi gibi inatçıIt’s translated as “stubborn as a goat.” As it implies, it’s used in reference to people who are very persistent.Stubborn as a mule
Tilki gibi kurnazIt’s translated as “cunning as a fox.” It refers to shrewd people. Cunning as a fox
Besle kargayı oysun gözünüIt’s translated as “Feed the crow, and he will carve your eyes.” It refers to a situation where someone helps you, and then you hurt them in return. In other words, a situation where you are ungrateful for the help you’ve received.Bite the hand that feeds you
Dut yemiş bülbüle dönmekIt’s translated as “to become a nightingale who has eaten a mulberry.” It means to be silent or speechless.To be tongue-tied
Keçileri kaçırmakIt’s translated as “slipping the goats.” It refers to losing one’s mind.Lose one’s mind
Kedi köpek gibi kavga etmekThis one means “to fight like a cat and a dog.” You get the idea. Go at each other tooth and nail
Kurt gibi acıkmakIt’s translated as “to be hungry as a wolf.” To be as hungry as a horse
Tavşana kaç, tazıya tut demekThis one means “to say ‘run away’ to the rabbit and to catch the greyhound.” It refers to acting hypocritically. In other words, to speak or act differently depending on who you’re around. Run with the hares and hunt with the hounds
Sudan çıkmış balık gibi olmakIt’s translated as “to be like a fish out of water.” It means that you’re uncomfortable or nervous in a new environment.To be like a fish out of water

10. Animal-Related Verbs

Finally, let’s look at some useful verbs that are related to animals: 

Aşılamak“To vaccinate”
Beslemek“To feed”
Dörtnala koşmak “To gallop”
Eğitmek“To train”
Evcilleştirmek“To tame”
Havlamak“To bark”
Isırmak “To bite”
Kişnemek“To neigh”
Kükremek“To roar”
Miyavlamak“To meow”
Sevmek/okşamak“To pet”
Tırmalamak“To claw”
Vızıldamak“To buzz”
Yalamak “To lick”

You can also visit our website to learn the sounds that animals make in Turkish! 

11. Learn More About the Turkish Language with TurkishClass101

You now have a sizable Turkish animal vocabulary list you can refer back to anytime. Did we forget to include the name of your favorite animal? Please let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you! 

To continue learning Turkish and improving your skills, create your free lifetime account today on Start benefiting from our numerous video and audio lessons, vocabulary lists, blog posts, and other free resources, and never look back! Our Premium PLUS students also have access to our MyTeacher service, which allows you to study and practice 1-on-1 with your own private teacher. What’s more, you can download the app for free and start studying wherever you are.

Last but not least, please continue to provide us with feedback about all the resources provided at!

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

Commonly Used Turkish Love Phrases


Love is one of the most profound feelings one can experience, and one of the best. They say that it even has its own language. We can certainly imply our love for someone through a glance or a gesture, but it’s best expressed with words. Because we cannot read each other’s minds, verbalizing our feelings and acknowledging those whom we value is essential for a solid relationship. In addition, it’s always best to use sincere words and phrases rather than fancy, exaggerated ones. 

If a Turk has caught your eye or stolen your heart, you might be wondering: 

How do I say “I love you,” in Turkish

After reading this article, you’ll be more than prepared to express your love in Turkish at every stage of your relationship. 

Let’s start with the Turkish word for love:

  • “Love” – Aşk / Sevgi

Now, let’s proceed with our guide to Turkish love phrases and other sweet, romantic words.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Showing your interest
  2. Are you in a relationship now?
  3. Your special moment and beyond…
  4. Turkish terms of endearment
  5. Popular love quotes in Turkish
  6. Discover more about the Turkish language with TurkishClass101

1. Showing your interest 

Let’s say you’ve just met someone you really like. You want to get to know them and maybe even have a date. How can you show the lucky guy or girl what you think about them? 

It’s difficult to find the right words to say to someone you don’t know, especially if you’re speaking in another language. To help you express yourself correctly and leave a good impression, we’ve compiled plenty of useful examples in Turkish for you below. Good luck!

A Man and Woman Shaking Each Other’s Hands at a Bar

First impression

A- Compliments

One of the best ways to show your interest during a first meeting is to offer him or her a compliment. Most people enjoy being complimented, as long as the words are sincere. Of course, you must also mind your tone and gestures!

Let’s start with the different ways you can say “compliment” in Turkish:

  • “Compliment” – İltifat / Övgü / Kompliman

Below are some Turkish compliments you can use to show admiration for the physical appearance of someone you like. Please note that the informal “you” is used in the sample sentences all throughout the article.

Çok güzelsin. You are very beautiful.
Çok yakışıklısın.  You are very handsome.
Çok güzel gözlerin var.You have beautiful eyes.
Gülüşün ne kadar güzel.  Your smile is beautiful.
Saçların çok güzel.  Your hair is very beautiful.

If you would like to learn even more compliments for different circumstances, you can refer to my article Learn the Top Turkish Compliments for Any Situation on 

B- Trying to get a date?

So, you’ve managed to get their attention and now it’s time to get a date. You need to use the right phrases to be successful at landing your first—or second, or third—meeting with this person. Here are some phrases you can use to ask him or her out:

Seni tekrar görmek isterim.I’d like to see you again.
Seni tekrar görebilir miyim?Can I see you again?
Hafta sonu ne yapıyorsun?What are you doing on the weekend?
Yarın akşam yemeğe çıkabilir miyiz?Can we go out to dinner tomorrow night?
Telefon numaranı alabilir miyim?Can I have your phone number?

A Napkin with the Words Call Me! Written on It, along with a Phone Number

Giving your phone number to him/her

2. Are you in a relationship now?

Once you’ve taken things a step further by making your relationship official, you can start using different Turkish love phrases to let your partner know your true feelings for him/her.

A- You like him/her!

As your relationship grows and you spend more time with the person, your feelings are likely to grow stronger. Here are a few different phrases you can use to express these deepening feelings to your partner: 

Seni çok beğeniyorum.I like you very much.
Seni özlüyorum.  I miss you.
Hep seni düşünüyorum.I’m always thinking about you.
Seni düşünmeden duramıyorum.I can’t stop thinking about you.

B- You have fallen in love!

There’s no hiding it: You’re in love and up in the clouds! 

You want to tell your beloved how you feel about him/her at every opportunity. Below are some sweet love expressions in Turkish you can use to share your feelings. 

Seni seviyorum!I love you!
Seni bütün kalbimle seviyorum.I love you with all my heart.
Sana aşık oldum.I’ve fallen in love with you.
Sana deli oluyorum.I’m crazy about you.
Sen benim hayatımın anlamısın.You are the meaning of my life.

Two hHands Forming a Heart Shape against the Setting Sun

I love you!

3. Your special moment and beyond…

Here comes that exciting moment and (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime event: proposing marriage! 

First, let me tell you what “marriage proposal” is in Turkish:

  • “Marriage proposal” – Evlenme teklifi / Evlilik teklifi

So, how can you propose in Turkish? What else can you say at this stage of your relationship, and afterwards? Below are a few different phrases you should consider. I wish you good luck and happiness!

Benimle evlenir misin?Will you marry me?
İyi günde kötü günde, hastalıkta sağlıkta benimle olur musun?Would you be with me in good times and in bad times, in sickness and in health?
Seninle yaşlanmak istiyorum.I want to age with you.
Hemen nişanlanalım.Let’s get engaged immediately.
Senden çocuklarım olsun istiyorum.I’d like to have kids with you.

A Man Proposing to a Woman

Marriage proposal

4. Turkish terms of endearment

Terms of endearment please us greatly, and we use these terms for not only our significant other but also our friends and family. Here are some frequently used Turkish love words to give you some inspiration:

AşkımMy love
SevgilimMy darling
HayatımMy life
CanımMy sweetheart
TatlımMy sweetie
BebeğimMy baby
BitanemMy only one
MeleğimMy angel
Ruh eşim / ikizimMy soulmate

A Married Couple with Three Children Celebrating a Holiday

Love is everywhere

5. Popular love quotes in Turkish

Over the centuries, a lot has been said about love. There are many books, poems, stories, articles, and myths on the topic…not to mention a good number of quotes. Some of these quotes are anonymous, some are put forward by famous people, and some are used so frequently that they’ve become proverbs. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used love quotes in Turkish.

A- Common quotes

Quotes are usually motivational and inspirational, especially the ones about love. I hope you enjoy reading through the following love quotes in Turkish, many of which you can hear in daily life:

Quote in TurkishTranslation in English
Gözler kalbin aynasıdır.The eyes are the windows of the soul.

Literally: Eyes are the mirror of the heart.
Aşkın gözü kördür.Love is blind.

Literally: Eyes of love are blind.
Aşk ateşten gömlektir.Love is a bed of nails.

Literally: Love is a shirt made of fire.
Aşk ağlatır, dert söyletir.Literally: Love makes you cry, trouble makes you talk.
Aşk yaşanır, anlatılmaz.Literally: Love is lived, not explained.
Sevgi paylaştıkça artar.Love increases when shared.

B- Quotes from Rumi

Whenever I use Turkish quotes in my articles, I make sure to include some Rumi quotes as well. This is because his quotes always have profound meanings, make us think, and help us gain a different point of view on some topics.

Rumi was a poet, theologian, scholar, and Sufi mystic; he is considered the symbol of peace and tolerance.

Here are some of his quotes on love. I hope you gain as much insight from them as I have!

Quote in TurkishTranslation in English
Aşk sayıya sığmaz, ölçüye gelmez sevgidir.Love is an endearment that doesn’t fit into numbers and measurements.
Aşığın hastalığı bütün hastalıklardan ayrıdır.The disease of the lover is different from all diseases.
Aşk sandığın kadar değil, yandığın kadardır.Love is not as much as you think, it’s as much as you are burnt.
Aşk, öyle engin bir denizdir ki, ne başlangıcı ne de sonu vardır. Love is such a vast sea that it has neither beginning nor end.
Bırаkаcаğın еli hiç tutmа, tutаcаğın еli isе hiç bırаkmа. Sаhtе sеvgililеrе gül olmаktаnsа, gеrçеk sеvgililеrе ԁikеn ol.Don’t ever hold the hand you will leave, don’t ever leave the hand you will hold. Instead of being a rose to fake lovers, be a thorn to real lovers.

6. Discover more about the Turkish language with TurkishClass101

In this article, you’ve learned… 

  • …how to say “I love you,” in Turkish.
  • …how to express love in Turkish using a variety of words and phrases.
  • …several beautiful quotes about love in Turkish to really spice things up. 

Which of these love phrases, endearment terms, or quotes is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! 

If you’d like to learn even more Turkish, bookmark We have numerous audio recordings, vocabulary lists, and free resources you can refer to. With a Premium PLUS account, you’ll also have access to our MyTeacher service, which allows you to learn and practice 1-on-1 with your own teacher. Are you always on the go? Then you can download the TurkishClass101 app for free and use it wherever you are.

Last but not least, please continue to provide us with feedback about all the resources provided at We love hearing from you!

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

Why learn the Turkish language? Here are 10 great reasons.


Learning any language comes with added benefits, from improved brain functionality to broader career opportunities. 

But considering the many world languages you have to choose from, why study Turkish in particular?

Whether you already have a motivation of your own or have no idea how to answer this question, believe me when I say that there are more great reasons to learn this language than you might think. 

In this article, I’ll discuss 10 compelling reasons why you should learn Turkish. To further motivate you, I’ll even talk about why this language isn’t that difficult to learn! 

Let’s dive in.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. There are many Turkish speakers across the globe.
  2. Turkish is one of the requirements for global business.
  3. You’ll be able to study in Turkey or join an exchange program.
  4. Do you enjoy learning about different cultures?
  5. Do you love history?
  6. Are you a nature-lover?
  7. Interested in architecture and handcrafts?
  8. Are you into international cuisine?
  9. Are you a people person?
  10. Are you addicted to Turkish series and movies?
  11. Why is Turkish Easy to Learn?
  12. Discover More About Turkish on

1. There are many Turkish speakers across the globe.

Turkish is among the 15 most widely spoken first languages in the world. It’s spoken by about 75 million people as their first language and by about 15 million as their second language. The vast majority of Turkish speakers are in Turkey, though the language has also been given official status in some other countries. These include:

  • Northern Cyprus
  • 38 municipalities of Kosovo
  • 2 municipalities of Republic of Macedonia
  • Kirkuk Governorate in Iraq

Turkish speakers can also be found in some of the countries that were within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire in the past. Those countries are: 

  • Iraq
  • Bulgaria
  • Greece
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Serbia

Additionally, there are Turkish-speaking communities in Germany, France, the U.K., the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, and the U.S.A.

Wouldn’t you enjoy learning a language that’s spoken by so many people?

Furthermore, Turkish belongs to a language family that includes thirty Turkic languages. These languages have a lot of similarities, so learning Turkish will help you build a strong foundation for languages such as: 

  • Kazakh
  • Kyrgyz
  • Tatar
  • Uzbek
  • Uighur

These Turkic languages are spoken in strategically important regions like the Caucasus, the Balkans, China, and the former Soviet Union. 

2. Turkish is one of the requirements for global business.

The world is getting smaller with globalization, isn’t it? 

While globalization certainly covers international business, it goes so much farther than that. Not only are goods, services, and resources exchanged between countries, but so are intangible things such as culture, beliefs, and ideas. Also keep in mind that connections are made not only geographically, but also virtually.

Beyond import, export, and production, there’s a key element of international business that favors speakers of second and third languages: marketing! This is because, when you learn a foreign language, you’re also learning about the culture and history behind it—and this is key when it comes to presenting products and information in other countries. 

All of this to say: Turkey is a major player in the world of international business. If you plan on doing business globally, there’s a high chance you’ll need to know Turkish. In addition, knowing at least the basics of the language can help you find a job here locally and give you a headstart in the hiring process.


3. You’ll be able to study in Turkey or join an exchange program.

Do you plan on studying in Turkey? If so, you’ll need to speak at least a little Turkish. 

The U.S. Department of State offers exchange programs for American citizens who want to develop their personal growth via educational and cultural programs. 

If you’ll be in Turkey with one of these programs, odds are you’ll be attending English-language classes and staying with an English-speaking host family. Still, you’ll need to speak Turkish to a certain extent to carry out daily activities like shopping, socializing, etc. Furthermore, studying the language can help you get a deeper understanding of the culture.

Years ago when I was in the U.S., I tutored a handful of air force officers who were going to work in Ankara for a while, as well as a young student who was going to visit Turkey through a student exchange program. The student was very smart and eager to learn Turkish. I tutored him for about an hour a week for five months. You know what? Two months after he had arrived in Turkey, he called me speaking in Turkish! I couldn’t believe it, and it was a very emotional moment for me. He was speaking Turkish fluently and answering every single question I asked him. He had a little accent, but I was still very proud of him.

Believe me: You can also learn Turkish easily. Make sure to use TurkishClass101 to expedite your learning progress!

4. Do you enjoy learning about different cultures?

Do you want to embrace different cultures? Do you want to figure out how to talk to people from different backgrounds?

If you enjoy studying different cultures, Turkish culture is probably a good one to spend time on. Turkey has a deep, rich, and interesting culture with a history dating back 4000 years and many recorded interactions with different ethnicities.

If you know the language, then you can do research, read sources in Turkish, and travel to Turkey. This will help you explore the culture in greater depth.

5. Do you love history?

As I mentioned above, Turkish history is over 4000 years old and it tells the story of many empires. There are countless sources regarding the history of Turkey available in the original language, so knowing Turkish would allow you access to them and make it possible to perform deeper research.

How about seeing traces of the country’s history in their original locations? Another great reason to learn Turkish is that it will make your travels here go much smoother, so you can visit the country and see a variety of remnants from thousands of years ago: 

  • Historical places
  • Antique cities
  • Tools
  • Utensils
  • Weapons
  • Coins
  • Tombs
  • Statues
  • Structures 

Did you know that two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are in Turkey? These are the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and Temple of Artemis.

6. Are you a nature-lover?

Do you love nature and take every opportunity to explore natural beauties all around the world?

As mentioned in the previous point, learning Turkish will allow you to visit Turkey with far fewer difficulties. This means you’ll be able to view all sorts of natural beauties unique to the country. To give you just a few examples: 

  • The fairy chimneys in Cappadocia, which were formed by wind erosions
  • Travertine terraces in Pamukkale
  • Ölüdeniz in Fethiye
  • Butterfly Valley
  • The waterfalls in Antalya 

Another benefit of knowing Turkish in this context is that you’ll better understand how some of these were formed.


7. Interested in architecture and handcrafts?

Are you into the art, science, and history behind designing buildings? Are you impressed with the historical buildings made thousands of years ago with little technology and under primitive conditions?

Turkey is a great place to observe many structures of ancient history. You can see many mosques, churches, madrasas, caravanserais, bridges, palaces, castles, fountains, etc., that were built by the architects of ancient times.

Even if you can’t visit Turkey, knowing the language would allow you to read about the architectural details of these structures from original sources in Turkish.

Topkapi Palace

On the other hand, if you love learning about different types of handcrafts, you can study (and perhaps experience firsthand) the variety of handcrafts the Turkish people learned to perform throughout history. These include things like: 

  • 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

Learning Turkish would allow you to study both the architecture and the handcrafts of Turkey in as much detail as you’d like! 

8. Are you into international cuisine?

If you’re really into international food, then you must be aware of the reputation Turkish cuisine (which has been influenced by the Ottoman Empire) has made for itself. It’s known, in particular, for its variety and incredible flavors.

Another reason to learn Turkish, then, is that it will make traditional Turkish recipes more accessible to you and allow you to order food in Turkey with greater ease.

Turkish Food

9. Are you a people person?

If you enjoy interacting with other people, especially those from different cultures, Turkish people should be one of your first choices. They’re known to be very friendly, talkative, helpful, and hospitable.

However, keep in mind that some Turkish people speak English and others do not. Therefore, in order to meet and communicate with a lot of Turkish people, you should consider learning at least a little Turkish. 

10. Are you addicted to Turkish series and movies?

In the past decade, Turkish series and movies have grown in popularity. I have many friends from other countries who never miss an episode of certain Turkish series and ask me a lot of questions about them. If you’re anything like them, why don’t you start learning the Turkish language? Doing so will allow you to watch and listen to different forms of Turkish media in their original tones and language.

Watching TV

11. Why is Turkish Easy to Learn?

Now that we’ve discussed why to learn Turkish, there’s one more topic we should cover: Is Turkish easy to learn? 

Well, Turkish grammar is a bit different from that of English, which intimidates some new learners. But overall, Turkish isn’t as difficult as you might think. 

Let’s see why:

  • Turkish uses the Latin alphabet. This is the alphabet used by the majority of languages worldwide, so you won’t have to learn completely from scratch. There might be additional letters or some letters that are missing when compared to some other languages that use this alphabet; you’ll just need to learn the pronunciation of any unfamiliar letters.
  • There are no accents in Turkish. This is different from languages like French, where you have to remember whether the accent mark is to the left or to the right.
  • Turkish has no grammatical gender.
  • The word order in Turkish is flexible. The typical order is SOV (Subject-Object-Verb), which is different from English, but changing the order does not change the meaning of the sentence. If you put an object or a verb at the beginning of a sentence, for example, only the word you’re emphasizing will change. Therefore, in most circumstances, changing the word order is not a huge deal. 
  • There are many rules, but there are also very few exceptions. Therefore, if you learn the rules, mastering Turkish will be a piece of cake for you!
  • There are many online resources. TurkishClass101 is the best resource to find everything you need.

12. Discover More About Turkish on

In this article, we talked about why you should learn Turkish and gave you some examples of why this language really isn’t that hard to learn. 

Have we inspired you to start (or continue) learning Turkish? 

If so, bookmark, where you can find numerous audio recordings, tons of vocabulary lists, and an array of free resources (including this Turkish dictionary you can refer to). It’s our goal to help you get a better grasp of the Turkish language and culture in the fastest and most fun way possible. 

Don’t forget that there’s also MyTeacher, a Premium PLUS service of TurkishClass101 that allows you to study and practice with a private tutor. 

You can download the TurkishClass101 app for free and use it wherever you are. 

Happy learning!

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

The Top 30 Inspirational and Motivational Turkish Proverbs


I believe proverbs are an important part of any culture. Though we don’t know under what circumstances or by whom they were put forward, they have been passed down from one generation of people to another. They serve to teach us life lessons while showing us different points of view. 

As a learner of the Turkish language, you’ll greatly benefit from studying Turkish proverbs and sayings. Doing so will expand your vocabulary, help you better understand the inner workings of the language, and provide you with insight into the core values and traditions of Turkish culture

In this article, you’ll learn thirty inspirational and motivational Turkish proverbs with their English translations. We’ve categorized them by topic, so feel free to skim through and find a topic or theme that interests you!

    → By the way, to spice up your Turkish conversations even more, you may want to brush up on these Essential Idioms That Will Make You Sound Like a Native Speaker!

      Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
      1. Turkish Proverbs About Time
      2. Turkish Proverbs About Hope
      3. Turkish Proverbs About Friendship
      4. Turkish Proverbs About Happiness
      5. Turkish Proverbs About Trust
      6. Turkish Proverbs About Money
      7. Turkish Proverbs About Wisdom
      8. Miscellaneous Proverbs
      9. Learn More with TurkishClass101!

      1. Turkish Proverbs About Time

      Time is many things to us. It’s full of opportunity, it’s always running out, there’s never quite enough of it, and we’re always looking for the best ways to spend the time we do have. With this in mind, here are some Turkish proverbs about time: 

        1TurkishZaman her şeyin ilacıdır.
      LiterallyTime is the medicine of everything.
      Equivalent in EnglishTime is the best medicine.
      As time passes, all the troubles we experience are forgotten or the sorrow we feel decreases.


      Üzülme, bugünler de geçecek; zaman her şeyin ilacıdır.

      “Don’t worry, these days will be over, too; time is the best medicine.”

        2TurkishSakla samanı, gelir zamanı.
      LiterallySave the hay, its time will come.
      Equivalent in EnglishKeep a thing seven years and you’ll find a use for it.
      If you hold onto something you have for long enough, it will eventually become useful.


      İyi ki kızımın bebek arabasını saklamışım, şimdi senin çok işine yarayacak. Eee, sakla samanı gelir zamanı.

      “Fortunately, I saved my daughter’s stroller. It will be very useful for you now. See, keep a thing for seven years and you’ll find a use for it.”  

        3TurkishVakit nakittir.
      LiterallyTime is cash.
      Equivalent in EnglishTime is money.
      This proverb emphasizes that time is a valuable resource.


      Bir an önce işe gitmeliyim. Eee, ne de olsa vakit nakittir.

      “I have to go to work as soon as possible. Well, after all, time is money.”  

        4TurkishBugünün işini yarına bırakma.
      LiterallyDon’t leave today’s work for tomorrow.
      Equivalent in EnglishNever put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
      This one emphasizes that one should not delay doing something that can be done today. 


      Ödevimi yarın yaparım deyince babam bugünün işini yarına bırakma dedi.

      “When I said I would do my homework tomorrow, my father said ‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.’ “

        5TurkishSona kalan dona kalır.
      LiterallyThe one who stays the last, is left for the frost.
      Equivalent in EnglishThe devil takes the hindmost.
      The people who lag behind will either lose or not have any benefits.


      Ali amca çocuklara şeker veriyor, koşun; sona kalan dona kalır.

      “Uncle Ali is giving candy to the children, run; the devil takes the hindmost.”

        6TurkishErken kalkan yol alır.
      LiterallyThe one who gets up early proceeds.
      Equivalent in EnglishThe early bird catches the worm.
      This proverb advises that if someone does something immediately (or before anyone else), he/she will have an advantage.


      Daha 5 saatlik yolumuz var, artık yola çıksak iyi olur. Ne de olsa, erken kalkan yol alır.

      “We have five more hours to go, we’d better get going. After all, the early bird catches the worm.”

      A Businessman Checking His Watch

      2. Turkish Proverbs About Hope

      We could all use some uplifting words now and then, especially when we’re at our lowest point. Whether you or a loved one needs some encouragement, these two Turkish proverbs about hope will deliver! 

        7TurkishÇıkmadık candan umut kesilmez.
      LiterallyIf the person didn’t die, there is still hope.
      Equivalent in EnglishWhile there’s life, there’s hope.
      If something didn’t fail completely, there is still a chance to save it.


      Üzülme, son aday henüz açıklanmadı. Çıkmadın candan umut kesilmez.

      “Don’t worry, the last candidate has not been announced yet. While there’s life, there’s hope.”

        8TurkishGün doğmadan neler doğar.
      LiterallyBefore the sun rises, a lot of things rise.
      Equivalent in EnglishTomorrow is another day.
      A person should never lose hope, because nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow.


      Öyle hemen umudunu kaybetme. Gün doğmadan neler doğar.

      “Don’t lose your hope. Tomorrow is another day.”

      3. Turkish Proverbs About Friendship

      A true friendship is one of the most precious things a person can experience—and a fake or weak friendship can be one of the worst things! The following Turkish proverbs about friendship offer advice on how to choose friends wisely and how to be a good friend yourself. 

        9TurkishBana arkadaşını söyle sana kim olduğunu söyleyeyim.
      LiterallyTell me who your friend is, I will tell you who you are.
      Equivalent in EnglishTell me who you go with, and I’ll tell you who you are.
      This proverb means that a person’s friends are a reflection of who he/she is.


      John o gruba girdiğinden beri her gün kavga ediyor. Eee, ne demişler ‘Bana arkadaşını söyle sana kim olduğunu söyleyeyim.’

      “Since John got into that group, he’s been fighting every day. Well, they say, ‘Tell me who you go with, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ ”  

        10TurkishDost kara günde belli olur.
      LiterallyA real friend is understood on a bad day.
      Equivalent in EnglishA friend in need is a friend indeed.
      A person who stays by your side during difficult times is someone you can really rely on.


      İflas ettiğinden beri Mary dışında hiçbir arkadaşı yanında değil.  Eee, dost kara günde belli olur.

      “Since she went bankrupt, none of her friends are with her except for Mary. Well, a friend in need is a friend indeed.”

      Three Old Ladies and an Old Man Laughing While Playing Cards

        11TurkishDost acı söyler.
      LiterallyReal friend talks bitter.
      A real friend always tells the truth—including when their friend is wrong—even if it hurts.


      Kusura bakma bu olayda sen hatalısın; dost acı söyler.

      “Sorry, in this case you are wrong; real friend talks bitter.”

      4. Turkish Proverbs About Happiness

      We all desire happiness, but there are days when it seems impossible to find. Below are a couple of Turkish proverbs about happiness that provide insight on the topic. 

        12TurkishKutlu gün doğuşundan bellidir.
      LiterallyA happy day is known from the way of the sunrise.
      The affairs that will lead to happy and good results manifest themselves from the beginning.


      Başından beri her şey o kadar iyi gitti ki, işi senin alacağını biliyordum. Büyüklerin dediği gibi: ‘Kutlu gün doğuşundan bellidir.’

      “Everything went so well from the start that I knew you would get the job. As the elderly say: ‘A happy day is known from the way of the sunrise.’ “

        13TurkishUlu ağacın gürültüsü dal ile, mutlu evin yakışığı döl ile.
      LiterallyThe noise of the great tree with the twig, the light of the happy house with the offspring.
      Just as a tree grows by branching, the happiness of a family is reinforced by the children it raises.


      Onlar çok kalabalık bir aile. Eee, ne de olsa Ulu ağacın gürültüsü dal ile, mutlu evin yakışığı döl ile.

      “They are a very crowded family. Well, after all, the noise of the great tree with the twig, the light of the happy house with the offspring.”

      A Father and His Two Children in a Field

      5. Turkish Proverbs About Trust

      Knowing who (or what) to trust is an important skill to have, but it can also be one of the most difficult things to determine. To give you a bit of advice on the matter, here are a couple of Turkish proverbs about trust. 

        14TurkishGüvenme varlığa, düşersin darlığa.
      LiterallyDon’t trust wealth, you would fall into poverty.
      People should not be extravagant with their spending if they have a lot of money. If they don’t manage their money properly, they can find themselves in poverty. 


      Paranı çarçur etme; ne derler ‘Güvenme varlığa, düşersin darlığa.’

      “Don’t waste your money; they say, ‘Don’t trust wealth, you would fall into poverty.’ “

        15TurkishGüvenme dostuna, saman doldurur postuna.
      LiterallyDo not trust your friend, he/she will fill your skin with hay.
      This proverb implies that before you trust someone, you should test him/her. If you trust someone blindly, he/she might deceive you.

      Sen herkese çok güveniyorsun. Şu atasözünü hiç duymadın mı? ‘Güvenme dostuna, saman doldurur postuna.’

      “You trust everyone very much. Have you ever heard of this proverb? ‘Do not trust your friend, he/she will fill your skin with hay.’ “

      6. Turkish Proverbs About Money

      As we all know, every language has plenty of quotes and proverbs about money and how to use it wisely. Below are some famous Turkish proverbs about money.

        16TurkishParayı veren düdüğü çalar.
      LiterallyThe one who gives the money blows the whistle.
      Equivalent in EnglishHe who pays the piper calls the tune.
      The one who pays for something is the one who has a say in related matters.


      Sen de ona para verseydin, sana da dondurma getirirdi; parayı veren düdüğü çalar.

      “If you had given him money, he would have brought you ice cream, too; who pays the piper calls the tune.”  

        17TurkishPara parayı çeker.
      LiterallyMoney draws money.
      Equivalent in EnglishThem as has, gits.
      If someone has money, he/she can make more money with it since money brings more advantages and opportunities.


      Jane lotoyu tutturmuş. Eee para parayı çeker.

      “Jane has won the lottery. Well, them as has, gits.” 

        18TurkishEkmek aslanın ağzında.
      LiterallyBread is in the mouth of the lion.
      Equivalent in EnglishMoney doesn’t grow on trees.
      This proverb means that it’s not easy to earn money; it requires a lot of effort.


      Paranı çarçur etmemelisin. Malum, ekmek aslanın ağzında.

      “You shouldn’t waste your money. As you know, bread is in the mouth of the lion.”

        19TurkishPara ile imanın kimde olduğu bilinmez.
      LiterallyIt’s not known who has money or faith.
      Faith is something within the heart of a person, so we don’t know who really has faith in God. Likewise, we really don’t know how much money a person has.


      Joe amcanın 10 milyon dolar miras bırakmasına çok şaşırdım. Para ile imanın kimde olduğu bilinmez.

      “I was surprised that Uncle Joe left a legacy of ten million dollars. It’s not known who has money or faith.” 

        20TurkishPara insana dil, elbise insana yol öğretir.
      LiterallyMoney teaches man a language, clothes teach the way.
      Your wealth and position determine your place in society, and can give you more or less prestige than others.


      O adamı lotoyu kazanana dek hiç kimse sevmezdi. Şimdi etrafında bir sürü insan var. Eee, para insana dil, elbise insana yol öğretir.

      “Nobody liked that man until he won the lottery. Now there are a lot of people around him. Well, money teaches man a language, clothes teach the way.”

      Several Hundred Dollar Bills

      7. Turkish Proverbs About Wisdom

      Wisdom is another concept that people in every culture talk a lot about. Below are a few great Turkish proverbs that offer general words of wisdom for many of life’s circumstances. 

        21TurkishAkıl akıldan üstündür.
      LiterallyOne mind is better than another one.
      Equivalent in EnglishTwo heads are better than one.
      We can’t know it all. It’s good to ask for other people’s opinions, because they may have better ideas than we do. 


      Sana da sorayım. Ne de olsa akıl akıldan üstündür. Sence ona nasıl davranmalıyım? 

      “Let me ask you as well. After all, two heads are better than one. How do you think I should treat him/her?”

        22TurkishAkıl yaşta değil baştadır.
      LiterallyWisdom isn’t at age, it’s on the head.
      Equivalent in EnglishWisdom doesn’t come with age.
      A person doesn’t need to be old in order to think wisely, or to realize what’s going on. Using one’s brain and learning from experience leads to wisdom. Therefore, a person is not wise just because they’re old; a person who is young may also be wise.


      Çok genç ve tecrübesiz olmasına rağmen durumu iyi idare etti. Ne de olsa, akıl yaşta değil baştadır. 

      “Although he is very young and inexperienced, he managed the situation well. After all, wisdom doesn’t come with age.”

        23TurkishAkla gelmeyen başa gelir.
      LiterallyThe one that doesn’t come to mind, happens.
      Equivalent in EnglishThe unexpected always happens.
      We shouldn’t forget that things can happen, even if we don’t expect or foresee them.


      Kapının önünde zili tamir ediyordum. Kapı açık diye anahtarımı almadım. Bir rüzgar esti, kapı kapandı. Akla gelmeyen başa geliyor.

       “I was fixing the bell in front of the door. I didn’t get my key because the door was open. The wind blew, the door got closed. The unexpected always happens.”

      Image of a Human Brain with Strings of Light, Symbolizing Neural Connections

        24TurkishAkıllı düşmandan değil; salak dosttan kork.
      LiterallyBe afraid of a stupid friend, not of a smart enemy.
      People who act thoughtlessly, do not see the truth, and cannot see the consequences of the words they say, may unknowingly harm their friends—even if they have good intentions. On the other hand, we can anticipate and predict what a smart enemy can do and take precautions. 


      En iyi arkadaşım patavatsızca konuşup, beni zor durumda bıraktı. Akıllı düşmandan değil; salak dosttan kork.

      “My friend talked thoughtlessly and put me in a difficult situation. Be afraid of a stupid friend, not of a smart enemy.”  

        25TurkishCahile söz anlatmak, deveye hendek atlatmaktan güçtür.
      LiterallyIt is more difficult to speak to an ignorant person than to get a camel over a ditch.
      Equivalent in EnglishLike getting blood from a turnip.
      This proverb means that it’s impossible to explain something to an ignorant person.


      Hepimiz en az üç kez anlattık ama anlamadı. Cahile söz anlatmak, deveye hendek atlatmaktan güç.

      “All of us told him at least three times, but he didn’t understand. It’s like getting blood from a turnip.”

      8. Miscellaneous Proverbs

      To wrap up, let’s look at some of the best Turkish proverbs on a variety of other concepts! 

        26TurkishOlacakla öleceğe çare yoktur.
      LiterallyThere is no cure for the things that will happen or the person that will die.
      Equivalent in EnglishWhatever will be, will be.
      We can’t control everything. Whatever is meant or predetermined to take place will take place.


      O kadar uğraştım ama yine de olmadı. Anladım ki olacakla öleceğe çare yok.

      “I tried so hard, but it still didn’t happen. I realized that whatever will be, will be.” 

        27TurkishLafla peynir gemisi yürümez.
      LiterallyThe cheese ship doesn’t move with words.
      Equivalent in EnglishActions speak louder than words.
      This one means that nothing happens when we only talk about it; action is needed. In other words, what you do is more important than what you say.


      O hep konuşuyor, hiçbir şey yaptığı yok ama lafla da peynir gemisi yürümez. 

      “He/she always talks, he/she does nothing, but actions speak louder than words.” 

        28TurkishKomşunun tavuğu komşuya kaz görünür.
      LiterallyThe neighbor’s chicken seems like a goose to the neighbor.
      Equivalent in EnglishThe grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
      This proverb means that what other people have always seems better than what we have.


      Sally Jen’in elbisesini çok beğendi. Halbuki aynısı onda da var. Komşunun tavuğu komşuya kaz görünür.

      “Sally liked Jen’s dress very much. However, she has the same dress. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”  

        29TurkishSütten ağzı yanan yoğurdu üfleyerek yer.
      LiterallyThe one who is burnt by the milk, eats yogurt by blowing on it.
      Equivalent in EnglishOnce burnt, twice shy.
      If someone has had an unpleasant experience in the past, they become more cautious.


      O hemen David’in evlenme teklifini kabul etmek istemiyor. Eee, sütten ağzı yanan yoğurdu üfleyerek yer.

      “He doesn’t want to accept David’s marriage proposal right away. Well, once burnt, twice shy.” 

        30TurkishAltın pas tutmaz.
      LiterallyGold doesn’t get rusted.
      Nobody can dishonor someone who is honorable and dignified.


      O ne derse desin, herkes beni biliyor. Altın pas tutmaz.

      “No matter what he/she says, everyone knows me. Gold does not get rusted.”  

      9. Learn More with TurkishClass101!

      In this article, we went over a bunch of Turkish proverbs with their English translations. Now you can impress your Turkish friends, colleagues, or even your boss by using these popular Turkish proverbs at the right moment. 

      Would you like to continue your Turkish studies in the fastest, easiest, and most fun way possible? Then bookmark! We provide numerous video and audio lessons, tons of vocabulary lists, and a number of free resources (such as this Turkish dictionary), all designed to help you get a better grasp of the language. We also provide the MyTeacher service for Premium PLUS members; this service allows you to work and practice one-on-one with your own personal language tutor. 

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

      Happy learning! 

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

Istanbul Travel Guide: The Best Places to Visit in Istanbul


Hello, everyone! Are you all ready for a tour of Istanbul? I’m your Istanbul travel guide, and as your guide, I can guarantee that every single one of you will find an activity you’re interested in. 

Do you love history or architecture? Are you a nature-lover? Are you traveling just to enjoy the beautiful scenery? Do you like partying and nightlife? Are you into shopping? Do you enjoy trying different cuisines? 

Even if you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you’ll be able to find your every point of interest in Istanbul. 

It’s a magical city where you’ll…

  • …find yourself in the middle of a fascinating history.
  • …be fascinated by the architecture dating back centuries.
  • …become speechless because of the marvelous scenery.
  • …taste the best food in the world.
  • …be able to buy authentic items, spices, etc.
  • …see its other face at night and enjoy the lively atmosphere at a nightclub.

Have we given you enough reasons to visit Istanbul? Great! Read on to learn everything you need to know before packing your bags.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. All About Istanbul!
  2. 10 Must-See Places in Istanbul
  3. Turkish Survival Phrases for Travelers
  4. Learn More with TurkishClass101!

All About Istanbul!

The Turkish City of Istanbul

General Information

To kick off our Istanbul visit guide, here’s some general information you should know about the city before packing your bags.

  • Istanbul is located in northwestern Turkey in the Marmara region
  • With 15.5 million residents, it’s the most populous city in Turkey and in all of Europe. 
  • It has a surface area of 2063 sq. mi (roughly 5343 sq. km).
  • It’s a transcontinental city because the Bosphorus connects the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea. The Bosphorus also divides the city into two sides: European/Thracian and Asian/Anatolian.
  • Istanbul is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its history goes back to about 2500 years ago. It has had many different names over the span of its history, two of which were Byzantium and Constantinople.
  • It has served as the capital of four different empires: the Roman Empire between the years of 330-395, the Byzantine Empire between the years of 395-1204 and 1261-1453, the Latin Empire between 1204-1261, and finally the Ottoman Empire between 1453-1922.
  • Most people think that Istanbul is still the capital of Turkey, but this is not true; Ankara is the current capital of Turkey.
  • Istanbul has microclimates because of its size and various topographies. Furthermore, it’s inclusive of two different seas. It has oceanic and humid subtropical climates in the north part of the city and on the Bosphorus coast. It has Mediterranean climate in the south part of the city and on the Marmara Sea. 
  • While talking about climate, I can hear you asking, “What is the best time to visit Istanbul?” Perfect question. The best time to visit Istanbul is from March to May or from September to November, because the weather conditions are milder in those months.
  • Istanbul is the center of trade and industry in the country due to its strategic location. It’s at an intersection of land and sea routes, which definitely keeps the trade and industry alive. Istanbul is the leading city of Turkey not only economically, but also historically and culturally.
  • Istanbul has the highest number of English-speaking people in Turkey. You won’t have any communication problems in most hotels, restaurants, or shops. Places like Sultanahmet, Spice Bazaar, and Grand Bazaar have guides who speak English (and a few other languages).

Istanbul Travel Tips

Here are some essential tips on how to visit Istanbul—and how to prepare beforehand—for the best possible experience. 

  • You must have a visa to visit Istanbul. It’s not a complicated process; you can apply for an e-visa.
  • Make sure to have your passport with you at all times.
  • Turkey’s currency is the Turkish Lira. There are exchange bureaus within the city, primarily at popular touristic areas. However, in order to get into the city from the airport, you’ll need some cash. Although you won’t get the best rates at the airport, you might want to exchange a small amount there.
  • If you plan to visit Istanbul in winter, you might want to bring a small umbrella with you.
  • Make sure to have a camera. I know we all have smartphones that have cameras, but you might prefer a more professional one that will help you immortalize the moment.
  • Last but not least, I need to answer the most commonly asked question: “Is Istanbul safe to travel to?” Yes, Istanbul is mostly safe for travelers, but there are a few areas you need to stay away from (especially at night). Also, watch out for pickpockets at places like Taksim Square, Sultanahmet, the Grand Bazaar, and the Spice Bazaar.

10 Must-See Places in Istanbul

Because there are so many unique sights and experiences in Istanbul, it can be difficult to know which places you should prioritize during your stay. In this section, we’ll introduce you to the very best places to visit in Istanbul. Let’s get to it! 

1 – Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya Camii)

Hagia Sophia was built in 537 during the reign of the Roman Emperor Justinian I. He employed the talent of Greek geometers to design the place, which was meant to serve as a Christian cathedral. However, in 1453, Mehmet the Conqueror had the cathedral converted into a mosque.

This work of art was the inspiration for other mosques, including: 

  • The Blue Mosque
  • The Suleymaniye Mosque
  • The Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex
  • The Rustem Pasha Mosque

It was restored a couple of times over the years.

Hagia Sophia

In 1931, the mosque became closed off to the public before reopening as a museum in 1935. This reopening was accomplished via the efforts of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. 

According to the statistics provided by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Hagia Sophia was Turkey’s most-visited tourist place in 2015 and 2019. It was also placed on World Monuments Watch in 1996 and 1998.

In 2006, it became forbidden to use the Hagia Sophia as a place of worship, either as a mosque or a church. A small room was reserved for the Christian and Muslim staff to use as a prayer room.

There has been a lot of pressure from other world countries to convert it back to a church. Contrary to this, a new decision has very recently been made by the Council of Ministers to revert it to a mosque. It’s been said that the mosaics in the building will be preserved, but they will be covered with curtains, carpets, etc. during the prayers. It has also been declared that the doors of Hagia Sophia will always remain open to all Muslims and non-Muslims.

After this change, UNESCO will be re-evaluating the status of Hagia Sophia, which was on the World Heritage List.

2 – Topkapi Palace (Topkapı Sarayı)

Topkapi Palace is the palace where the Ottoman Empire was managed for about 400 of its 600 years. It’s also where the sultans lived and could accommodate about 4000 people at a time. Mehmet the Conqueror ordered its construction and it was built in 1478.

It was first used as a museum in 1924. When first established, it was on an area of approximately 700,000 m²; it now has an area of only 80,000 m².

It consists of hundreds of rooms and chambers, some of which are not open to visitors. A couple of the most interesting parts that are open to the public include the Ottoman Imperial Harem (where the sultan’s family would spend the day) and the treasury where the Spoonmaker’s Diamond and the Topkapi Dagger are displayed. 

The palace has many amazing Islamic art pieces, hand-painted tiles, splendidly decorated rooms, and safeguarded towers. Is that all? Of course not! You’ll also find Ottoman garments, weapons, miniatures, and Islamic relics on display. Also, don’t forget to see the illuminated manuscripts (such as the Topkapi manuscript).

The palace is located within the Historic Areas of Istanbul, which was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1985.

3 – Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı)

This is the largest ancient cistern in Istanbul, and it’s located 490 feet (150 meters) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the European side of Istanbul. It was built in the sixth century by the order of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. There was previously a basilica located here, hence the name Basilica Cistern

As one of the most fascinating museums in Istanbul, the Basilica Cistern has a ceiling supported by 336 marble columns and today has little water because it’s open to the public. There are two Medusa heads used as the bases of two columns. One head is sideways and the other one is upside-down. There’s no written record concerning these two Medusa heads.

The cistern is not only used as a museum, but also hosts many national and international events.

It was used as a location in the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love and was also featured in other movies. Furthermore, it was the subject of Dan Brown’s novel, Inferno.

Just a reminder: If you have asthma, it might not be suitable for you to visit this wonderful place due to the high humidity.

4 – Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)

The Blue Mosque was built between the years of 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Ahmet I. It’s located next to Hagia Sophia and is regarded as the last great mosque of the classical era.

It contains the tomb of Ahmet, a madrasah (a word which refers to any kind of educational institution), and a hospice. It’s called the Blue Mosque because its interior walls are decorated with hand-painted blue tiles. It has five major domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes.

The Blue Mosque

Its upper area is adorned with 20,000 hand-painted glazed ceramic tiles with sixty different tulip designs. The lower areas have 200 stained glass windows that are illuminated.

Many of the lamps inside the Blue Mosque were coated with gold and gems, but all of those items have either been taken out or stolen.

Pope Benedict XVI visited this mosque in 2006. It was considered an important event because this was only the second time in history that a pope visited an Islamic place of worship.

5 – Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent (Süleymaniye Camii)

This mosque was ordered to be built by the Ottoman sultan Suleyman. Built at the highest end of the city to aggrandize the sultan, it was completed in 1557 by Mimar Sinan—the best engineer and architect of the time.

It has four minarets with ten galleries, representing that Suleyman the Magnificent was the tenth sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

It’s actually a complex that also has religious and cultural structures. Originally, it had the mosque, a hospital, public baths (hamam), a primary school, four Qur’an schools, a medical college, a Caravanserai, and a public kitchen where the poor people were served food. Many of these structures still exist, though the public kitchen is now a well-known restaurant and the hospital is the Turkish Army’s factory. Outside the mosque, you’ll also find the tomb of Mimar Sinan.

6 – Yedikule Fortress (Yedikule Zindanları or Yedikule Hisarı)

Yedikule Fortress means “Fortress of the Seven Towers.”

The Byzantine Emperor Theodosius wanted to welcome his visitors (kings, etc.) elegantly, so he wanted a Golden Gate to be built. His son, who inherited the throne after the death of Theodosius, had four towers built and had them combined with the Golden Gate.

After the conquest of Istanbul, three more towers were built at the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Every one of these towers has a name.

Unfortunately, only some of the fortresses still exist today. There are about seventeen pieces (cannonballs, marble columns, etc.) displayed outdoors.

7 – The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)

Built in 1348 as Christea Turris (Tower of Christ in Latin), this is a high, cylindrical medieval stone tower that is cone-capped. It was the city’s tallest structure when it was built.

It underwent several restorations before becoming open to the public in 1960. 

There are two elevators you can take to the upper levels, where there’s a restaurant and a café. The panoramic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from here is spectacular. There’s also a nightclub where you can watch a Turkish show and have a great time.

8 – Cruise the Bosphorus

If you would like to see more of Istanbul, you can have a cruise on the Bosphorus. Boats leave in the mornings and go toward the Black Sea. You can have your lunch at Anadolu Kavagi before walking up the hill to Yoros Castle for an amazing view. Just relax and enjoy the beauty of Istanbul!

The Bosphorus

9 – Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı)

The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets the world over, and one of the oldest. As a matter of fact, it’s considered the first shopping mall in the world. Today, it’s one of the most famous attractions in Istanbul. It includes 61 covered streets, more than 4000 shops, and 26,000 employees.

The Grand Bazaar

Its construction began not long after the conquest of Istanbul, in an attempt to revive the city’s economy. 

For the past couple of years, the Grand Bazaar has been undergoing restoration. 

10 – Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı)

The Spice Bazaar is the second most popular covered shopping area after the Grand Bazaar. You can buy Turkish delight, dried fruits, nuts, herbs, olives, and different kinds of spices. It now has a total of 85 shops in it. 

There’s also a mosque called New Mosque (Yeni Camii) next to the bazaar. You might want to visit it while you’re in the area, so you can admire its tile-work and gold leaves.


It’s impossible to talk about every point of attraction in Istanbul in just one article. But I did want to mention a few more places to visit in Istanbul if you have time: 

  • The Chora Church (Kariye Museum)
  • Rustem Pasha Mosque
  • Eyup Sultan Mosque
  • Fatih Mosque
  • The Hippodrome
  • Dolmabahçe Palace
  • Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
  • Carpet Museum
  • Pera Museum

In addition to these, you should also visit Ortakoy (a popular neighborhood) and Istiklal Street (a famous street of Istanbul).

Dolmabahçe Palace

Turkish Survival Phrases for Travelers

Here are a few words and phrases that will help you communicate with locals while you visit Istanbul.

Thank you.Teşekkür ederim.
Excuse me.Afedersiniz.
Do you speak English?İngilizce biliyor musunuz?
Can you help me?Bana yardım edebilir misiniz?
I don’t understand you.Sizi anlamıyorum.
Where is the restroom?Tuvalet nerede?
How much is this?Bu ne kadar?

Learn More with TurkishClass101!

I hope this Istanbul travel guide gave you a much better idea of what to expect from this beautiful city and which spots you should definitely see. However, there’s still a lot more to know about the city, country, culture, and language!

You can get practical information on all these things by visiting We provide numerous audio recordings, tons of vocabulary lists, and free resources (including a Turkish-English dictionary you can refer to). In addition, our Premium PLUS members have access to MyTeacher—a feature that allows you to learn and practice with your very own personal tutor. 

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

By the way, which of these Istanbul locations are you most interested in seeing, and why? We look forward to hearing from you!

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

Are There Any English Words Used in Turkish?


When we’re learning a new language, it’s always a relief to find out that our target language uses a bunch of words from our native tongue.

The good news for you is that there are plenty of English words used in Turkish! Memorizing these words can give you a huge vocabulary boost with very little effort on your part and make the Turkish language seem a little less daunting. 

In this article, you’ll learn about the most common English words in Turkish as well as the language phenomenon known as Turklish. We’ll even introduce you to several English words borrowed from Turkish to show you how deep the vocabulary exchange is between these two languages. 

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to Turklish
  2. English Loanwords in Turkish
  3. English Words of Turkic Origin
  4. Words with Similar Spelling / Pronunciation (But Different Meanings)
  5. Famous People, Franchise, and Movie Names in Turkish
  6. Learn More with TurkishClass101!

Introduction to Turklish 

Although we will mainly talk about loanwords in this article, we’ll start by introducing you to the concept of Turklish (Türkilizce). This refers to native Turkish speakers using a mixture of Turkish and English words when speaking.

As we all know, English is the dominant language in almost all aspects of life, from science to technology. Hollywood movies have undoubtedly played a role in spreading the influence of English even farther.

There are around two million Turkish people living and studying in English-speaking countries such as the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. These people often use a combination of Turkish and English when communicating with each other—a phenomenon that came to be known as Turklish in 1994. Furthermore, it’s common for Turks who also speak English to use Turklish in corporate or international companies in Turkey.

Turklish at Work

Of course, Turkish linguists are opposed to the use of Turklish. They say it ruins the Turkish language and that people, especially those who use this new language hybrid within Turkey, do so just to evoke admiration and to sound more knowledgeable than they really are.

Here are a few examples of Turklish:

  • Check etmek              –       To check
  • Feedback vermek      –       To give feedback
  • Cool görünmek          –       To look cool
  • Download etmek        –       To download
  • Spoiler vermek           –       To give away a spoiler
  • Mail göndermek         –       To send mail
  • Print etmek                  –       To print
  • Save etmek                 –       To save
  • Login olmak                –       To login
  • Logout olmak              –       To logout
  • Register olmak           –       To register
  • Password’ü unutmak   –       To forget password
  • Post etmek                  –       To post


English Loanwords in Turkish

With the progress of technology and the growing popularity of social media, the use of English seems inevitable—even in countries where English is not an official language. 

Aside from Turklish phrases like those mentioned above, there are also borrowed English words in the Turkish language that retain their original (or a similar) meaning and spelling. But while these words may look similar on paper, they’re normally pronounced according to Turkish phonology

A lot of Turkish people (especially the younger generations) love to use these loanwords. Some might even do so because they think it will make them sound cool. However, linguists are not very happy about this situation.

Can you guess what any of these loanwords are? Let’s take a look. 

Loanwords spelled exactly the same way

The list of English loanwords in Turkish is pretty long. The examples below have exactly the same meaning and spelling as their English counterparts, but the majority of them are pronounced differently. 

Please note that on our list, you may also notice a few words that are not originally English—such as sauna (Finnish) and yoga (Sanskrit)—but which have become an integral part of the language over time. 


Loanwords spelled differently

Below is a list of English words in the Turkish language with slightly different spellings than their English counterparts. 


English Words of Turkic Origin

Now, let’s see the other side of the coin! This language exchange has gone in both directions, and there are several English words from Turkish. 

Here are some Turkish words in the English language that have exactly the same meaning in both languages:

Aga/Agha AğaDoner KebabDöner KebapPastramiPastırma
BalkanBalkanKhanHanShish KebabŞiş Kebap


Words with Similar Spelling / Pronunciation (But Different Meanings)

Now let’s cover another interesting concept: words that are spelled or pronounced the same way in English and Turkish, but have completely different meanings. Learning these might help you remember certain Turkish words more easily!

Same Spelling, Different Meanings

The only thing these words have in common is that they’re spelled the same way in both languages. Other than that, their pronunciation (in most cases) and their meanings are different.

English/TurkishMeaning in TurkishEnglish/TurkishMeaning in Turkish
English/TurkishMeaning in TurkishEnglish/TurkishMeaning in Turkish

Same Pronunciation, Different Meanings

The following words are pronounced the same way, but have different meanings and spellings:

EnglishTurkishMeaning in TurkishEnglishTurkishMeaning in Turkish
CutKatFloor/LayerTapeTeypStereo/Cassette Recorder
EnglishTurkishMeaning in TurkishEnglishTurkishMeaning in Turkish

Famous People, Franchise, and Movie Names in Turkish

All proper names are written in Turkish just as they are in English, though they may be pronounced differently. Examples include: 

Brand Names

  • Nike
  • Skechers
  • Nine West
  • Calvin Klein
  • Levi’s

Food Chains

  • McDonald’s 
  • Burger King
  • Subway
  • Starbucks
  • Arby’s


  • Johnny Depp
  • Julia Roberts
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Halle Berry


Series and movie names, however, are usually translated into Turkish. This is probably for commercial reasons, as marketers try to come up with Turkish names that will appeal to the culture and draw more attention so they can get higher ratings and make more money.

Here are some examples you might find interesting:

Name of the movieTranslated into Turkish 
Mission ImpossibleGörevimiz Tehlike (Our Mission is Danger)
Two for the Money Kirli Para (Dirty Money)
A Beautiful Mind Akıl Oyunları (Games of the Mind)
Rush Hour Bitirim İkili (Crack Couple)
Sliding DoorsRastlantının Böylesi (Such a Coincidence)
Name of the movieTranslated into Turkish 
Sweet November Kasım’da Aşk Başkadır (Love is Different in November)
Good Will Hunting Can Dostum (My Best Friend)
Suicide Squad Gerçek Kötüler (Real Villains)


Learn More with TurkishClass101!

Now that you’ve learned all of these English words used in Turkish, we hope that learning the language won’t be so daunting for you anymore. To make your language learning process even smoother and more worry-free, continue exploring

We provide an array of practical learning materials, including numerous audio recordings, tons of vocabulary lists, and free resources (including our Turkish-English dictionary). It’s our aim to help you master the language and get a feel for the culture.

Don’t forget that you can also sign up for a Premium PLUS account to use our MyTeacher service, which will allow you to learn and practice with a private teacher.

Best of all, you can download the app for free and use it wherever you are.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if any of the words on our list surprised you or if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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

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

A Tasty Guide to Traditional Turkish Food


If you’re interested in different flavors and after some really delicious food, then you must be aware of Turkish food’s reputation as one of the tastiest cuisines worldwide.

Turkish cuisine is influenced by the Ottoman Empire. It’s known for its variety and its amazing flavor, and the foods you can expect to find varies based on region. While some regions have their own unique dishes, there are plenty of cases where those same dishes are made with different ingredients (or even different techniques) in other regions.

In this article, we’ll cover several Turkish foods that are worth tasting as well as a simple recipe you might want to try at home. Keep in mind that due to the cultural richness of Turkish cuisine, it’s impossible to mention all of the traditional Turkish foods here. You should consider finding a good Turkish cuisine restaurant near you to see—and try!—an even greater variety of dishes.

Are you ready to hear about all the mouthwatering food that awaits you?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Let's Cook in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. The 5 Best Turkish Foods to Try
  2. A Typical Turkish Breakfast
  3. Delicious Turkish Pastries
  4. Kebabs and Meat Dishes
  5. A Variety of Appetizers
  6. Vegetable Dishes
  7. Yummy Desserts
  8. Food-Related Vocabulary
  9. A Delicious Turkish Food Recipe
  10. Final Thoughts

1. The 5 Best Turkish Foods to Try

I had to think hard about what to include here—not because there aren’t many good foods to pick from, but because there are so many wonderful Turkish cuisine dishes out there!

A- Mantı

This is the specialty of Central Turkey, and it’s originally from a city called Kayseri. 

Mantı is like miniature ravioli stuffed with meat, but it tastes a bit different. It consists of small boiled handmade dumplings filled with ground meat. It’s served topped with yogurt, garlic, chili powder, and melted butter. Some people prefer to add ground sumac and dried mint, as well.

B- Döner Kebap

This consists of seasoned meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie (also called a rotating spit). Actually, döner means “rotates.” The meat is sliced into long, thin strips and can be served in different forms:

  • Served on a plate on top of sliced pita bread with melted butter over it.
  • Served on a plate on top of sliced pita bread with tomato sauce, yogurt, and melted butter over it. This is called İskender Kebap.
  • Wrapped in a lavash with tomatoes, lettuce, and onion. This is called dürüm.

Photo by Shoestring, under CC BY-SA 4.0

C- Yaprak Sarma

Sarma means “wrapping,” and this popular Turkish dish is basically grape leaves stuffed with spicy rice or spicy ground meat. The rice version is cooked with olive oil and served cold, while the ground meat version is served hot. It’s usually accompanied by yogurt at the table.

Preparation of yaprak sarma takes quite a bit of time, but it’s definitely worth it.

D- Çiğ Köfte

Çiğ köfte consists of spicy patties made of ground beef, fine ground bulgur, onion, pepper, tomato paste, spices, and herbs. The vegetarian version is made without meat. This dish is popular in the southern part of Turkey.

E- Künefe

This is a very rich dessert. Fortunately, it’s pretty difficult to make at home, so it’s not something you can eat all the time!

It’s made of shredded pastry dough (bread crumbs) and cheese, then topped with pistachio nuts.

2. A Typical Turkish Breakfast

Now, here comes my favorite meal. Would you like to join me in setting the table for breakfast?

Turkish Breakfast

Let’s open the fridge and take out the following:

  • Butter
  • Cheese 
    • There are three preferred types of Turkish cheese: white (feta) cheese, tulum cheese, and kaşar cheese.
  • Olives 
    • Black and/or green olives can be found at most Turkish breakfast tables.
  • Tomatoes and cucumbers
  • Jam 
    • Most people make their jams at home. You can’t imagine the variety of jams we have: sour cherry, peach, apricot, orange, strawberry, quince, fig, bergamot…we even have watermelon, walnut, eggplant, and rose jams!
  • Eggs 
    • They can be boiled, omelet-style, or menemen. Menemen is basically scrambled eggs cooked lightly with tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

Bread—usually toasted or freshly baked—is another popular Turkish food for breakfast, though some people prefer different pastries. For example, simit (round dough covered with sesame seeds) and poğaça (containing cheese, olives, potatoes, etc.) are two other common pastries in Turkey.

Another ‘must’ at the table: Tea. Tea is definitely a huge part of Turkish food culture!

3. Delicious Turkish Pastries

Here are some Turkish pastries most people have a hard time saying no to:

A- Börek

Börek is the generic name for pastries made with yufka, which is like filo dough. 

This pastry is made up of thin layers of dough. The yufka for börek can be handmade or bought from a Turkish food market. Börek can have different ingredients in it (such as cheese, ground meat, spinach, or potatoes) and it can also come in different shapes (rolled, layered, etc.). Depending on its form, its ingredients, and the way it’s baked, it might have different names. For example:

  • sigara böreği
  • çiğ börek
  • su böreği
  • kol böreği 

This pastry can be served during any meal, as a snack, or at tea time.

B- Gözleme

First, a lavash bread is made. Then, fillings such as cheese, spinach, ground meat, and potatoes are placed on it and the bread is folded over the filling. It’s then baked on a large metal sheet, called a sac.

C- Pide

Pide is made of dough and filled with cheese, ground meat, or small cubes of seasoned meat. Some people describe it as being boat-shaped, which is a good way to picture it. This pastry is usually eaten in a restaurant, not made at home. 

D- Lahmacun

This is thin dough covered with a layer of spiced ground meat, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Again, this is something we usually eat at a restaurant.


E- Katmer

Katmer is a rolled-out dough which can be sweet or salty depending on its filling.

4. Kebabs and Meat Dishes

Do you enjoy the succulent flavors of meat dishes? If so, here are some foods in Turkey you absolutely need to try! 

A- Kebabs

Attention meat-lovers: Get ready for all of these delicious kebabs.

There are many different types of kebabs, originating from all over Turkey. Each type is made with meat, but the similarities end there. The seasonings, cooking methods, and non-meat ingredients all differ, and they can come in various shapes. Here are the most popular ones:

  • Adana kebap
  • Beyti
  • Çağ kebabı
  • Çöp şiş
  • Kağıt kebabı
  • Orman kebabı
  • Talaş kebabı
  • Tandır kebabı
  • Tas kebabı
  • Urfa kebabı 

B- Meatballs

“Meatball” is köfte in Turkish. Meatballs are made of ground meat, and there are several unique varieties named after their city of origin. For example: 

  • İzmir köfte
  • Manisa köfte
  • İnegöl köfte

Other types of meatballs include:

  • Kasap köftesi
  • Dalyan köfte
  • Misket köfte 

C- Veggies with Meat

Here are a few Turkish dishes that contain a hearty dose of veggies along with the tasty meat. 


This consists of baked eggplants filled with ground meat, seasonings, and parsley, then covered in a tomato sauce.

Hünkar beğendi

This dish was inherited from the Ottoman Empire. It’s basically soft, marinated lamb cubes served on top of an eggplant, which is pureed with butter and melted kashar cheese.

Etli dolma

Dolma is a dish where vegetables such as bell peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and zucchinis are stuffed. They may also be stuffed with spicy rice or ground meat. This is another dish inherited from the Ottoman Empire.

Etli taze fasulye

This is basically green beans cooked with tomato paste, ground meat, and onions.

And that’s not all! There are plenty of Turkish meat-and-veggie dishes you can try. Just search online for some Turkish food recipes to discover more dishes like these.

5. A Variety of Appetizers

“Appetizer” is meze in Turkish, and Turkish cuisine features a very rich appetizer selection. I’ll mention just a few of them here. 

  • Acılı ezme: Made with mashed tomato with hot spices, onion, and green herbs
  • Patlıcan salatası: Made with roasted eggplants, yogurt, and garlic
  • Fava: Made with fava beans
  • Kısır: Made with fine ground bulgur, tomato paste, onion, parsley, garlic, sour pomegranate juice, and spices
  • Piyaz: Made with white beans, onions, and vinegar
  • Cevizli biber: Made with red peppers, onions, pepper paste, and walnut

6. Vegetable Dishes

Vegetarians, are you still with me? Don’t miss out on these yummy veggie dishes.

Let me start with a very generic recipe. There’s a general term used to describe vegetables cooked with olive oil: zeytinyağlılar. To make this, green beans, peas, zucchinis, and kidney beans are cooked with tomatoes, onions, and olive oil. It’s served cold.

Now, let me list some more Turkish food for vegetarians:

  • Baklalı enginar: Made with artichokes and fava beans; usually made in the summer
  • Pırasa yemeği: Made with leeks, carrots, and rice
  • Borani: Made with spinach, onions, yogurt, and garlic

7. Yummy Desserts

Now, here comes my favorite topic: delicious desserts!

A- Baklava

Baklava is probably the most popular and internationally recognized Turkish dessert. It’s made with handmade filo dough and consists of several layers. It contains chopped walnuts or pistachios, as well as syrup.

B- Güllaç

The history of güllaç goes back to the Ottoman Empire, and it’s usually served during Ramadan. It consists of thin and large dough layers, which are soaked in milk and rose water, and served with walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

C- Kazandibi

This is like a milk pudding, but the bottom part of it is burnt. This is another dessert inherited from the Ottoman Empire.

D- Aşure

This one is like a dense, sweet soup. It contains boiled beans, wheat, dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon, chestnuts, and rose water. There’s a legend about this dessert, according to which it was made for the first time on Noah’s Ark with seven different ingredients.


8. Food-Related Vocabulary

After learning about so many dishes, how about diving into a little Turkish food vocabulary? 

A- Talking About Food

  • En sevdiğim yemek köftedir. (“My favorite food is meatballs.”)
  • Ben maydanoz sevmem. (“I don’t like parsley.”)
  • Ben vejeteryanım. (“I’m a vegetarian.”)
  • Çileğe alerjim var. (“I’m allergic to strawberries.”)
  • Karnım acıktı. / Ben açım. (“I’m hungry.”)
  • Karnım tok. / Ben tokum. (“I’m full.”)
  • Açlıktan ölüyorum. (“I’m starving.”)

B- Terms for Cooking

Here are some words used during food preparation! 


  • Pişirmek (“To cook”)
  • Fırında pişirmek (“To bake”)
  • Kızartmak (“To fry”)
  • Kesmek (“To cut”)
  • Dilimlemek (“To slice”)
  • Soymak (“To peel”)
  • Doğramak (“To chop”)
  • Rendelemek (“To grate”)
  • Karıştırmak (“To mix”)


  • Et (“Meat”)
  • Sebze (“Vegetable”)
  • Meyve (“Fruit”)
  • Yağ (“Oil”)
  • Su (“Water”)
  • Tuz (“Salt”)
  • Baharat (“Spice”)
  • Un (“Flour”)
  • Şeker (“Sugar”)


  • Çatal (“Fork”)
  • Kaşık (“Spoon”)
  • Bıçak (“Knife”)
  • Tencere (“Cooking pot”)
  • Tava (“Frying pan”)
  • Ocak (“Range”)
  • Fırın (“Oven”)


C- How to Order at a Restaurant

Finally, here’s how to order Turkish food at a restaurant:

  • Menüyü görebilir miyim? (“May I see the menu?”)
  • Ne önerirsiniz? (“What would you recommend?”)
  • Su alabilir miyim lütfen? (“May I have water, please?”)
  • Bu sos acı mı? (“Is this sauce spicy?”)

9. A Delicious Turkish Food Recipe

Hold on now, here comes a simple recipe for you to try making at home!

Let’s make a quick appetizer called havuçlu meze:


  • 4 medium carrots (peeled and grated)
  • 500g yogurt
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic (peeled and grated)
  • ¼ bunch dill (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Salt (eyeball it)


1. First, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and then add the grated carrots.

2. Sauté them on medium heat until they soften.

3. Then add salt and stir.

4. Remove it from the range and let it cool.

5. Mix garlic and yogurt.

6. When the grated carrots are cooled, add your garlic yogurt and dill to it. Mix it altogether.

7. You can decorate it with parsley leaves before serving.

10. Final Thoughts

In this article, you learned about traditional Turkish food and some practical food-related vocabulary. 

Which Turkish food do you want to try most, and why? Have you already tried some of the foods we mentioned? We look forward to hearing from you! 

To get a better grasp of the Turkish language and culture, explore and take advantage of our numerous audio and video lessons, themed vocabulary lists, and free resources (including this dictionary). If you have a Premium PLUS account, you can also learn and practice with a personal tutor using our MyTeacher service! And don’t forget to download the app for free so you can study anywhere, anytime. 

Until next time, happy eating!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Let's Cook in Turkish

Well-Known Turkish Quotes That Learners Should Know


I don’t know how you feel, but quotes always make me excited, no matter their country of origin. They open my eyes and my heart. It’s intriguing to ponder what people lived and experienced, whether good or bad, that inspired their words of wisdom! Some of these quotes inspire us, some motivate us, some make us think, and some teach us something!

We believe that quotes can also give you greater insight into a country’s language and culture. 

Are you ready to discover some great Turkish quotes with me? In this article, we’ll look at several Turkish quotes with translations in English, as well as some popular quotes from other languages translated into Turkish. This will give you the best of both worlds! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Trust
  2. Quotes About Hope
  3. Quotes About Time
  4. Quotes About Knowledge and Ignorance
  5. Quotes About Money
  6. Quotes About Other Topics
  7. Rumi Quotes in Turkish
  8. Learn More With TurkishClass101

1. Quotes About Trust

What does trust mean to you? Here are some Turkish trust quotes to help you gain cultural insight into how the Turkish perceive it. 

   1Quote in TurkishKadınlar beğenince değil, güvenince âşık olur. 
Literal Translation in EnglishWomen fall in love when they trust, not when they like.
 This is an anonymous quote which shows the importance of trust for women. 
Quote in Turkish
Bir ölümün bir de kaybolan güvenin telafisi yok bu dünyada.
Literal Translation in English“There is no compensation for either death or lost trust in this world.”
 This is another anonymous quote. It implies that losing trust in someone is as bad as death; just as trust cannot be recovered, neither can death be cured.  
   3Quote in Turkishİşin içine bir kere güvensizlik girdi mi, hiç bir şey eskisi gibi olmuyor.
Literal Translation in English“When there is distrust, nothing is as it was in the past.”
This is another anonymous quote. It means that distrust damages relationships.

2. Quotes About Hope

Feeling discouraged or afraid of the future? Maybe one of these Turkish quotes about hope will motivate you to keep moving forward!


   4Quote in TurkishEn geveze kuş ümittir. Kalbimizde hiç susmaz.
Literal Translation in English“The most talkative bird is hope. It never stops in our hearts.”
This is a quote by Cenap Şahabettin, who was a Turkish writer and poet. It means that our hearts are full of hope.
   5Quote in TurkishHer kışın bir baharı, her gecenin bir sabahı vardır.
Literal Translation in English“Every winter has its spring and every night has its morning.”
This is a quote by Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, who was an Ottoman scholar and the founder of the Nurism movement.

Corresponding quote in English: “Every cloud has a silver lining.” 
   6Quote in TurkishTünelin ucunda ışık görünmese bile, ışık varmış gibi yürümek ve ışığın görüneceğine inanmak gerekir.
Literal Translation in English“Even if there is no light at the end of the tunnel, it is necessary to walk as if there is light and believe that the light will appear.”
This quote is by Amin Maalouf, who was a Lebanese-born French author. This quote encourages you to be hopeful even in hopeless situations.

3. Quotes About Time

Time plays an important role in our lives. The following Turkish quotes on life focus on the concept of time and how it applies to us.

   7Quote in TurkishBoş zaman yoktur, boşa geçen zaman vardır.
Literal Translation in English“There is no free time, there is wasted time.”
This is a quote by Tagore, who was a Bengali poet, short-story writer, playwright, essayist, painter, and composer. This quote points out the fact that making good use of our time is important.
   8Quote in TurkishBir insanın bir insana verebileceği en güzel hediye, ona ayırabileceği zamandır.
Literal Translation in English“The best gift a person can give to a person is the time he/she can devote to him/her.”
This is a quote by Dale Carnegie, who was an American writer and lecturer. It reminds us how valuable it is to spend time with our loved ones.


4. Quotes About Knowledge and Ignorance


The world over, great thinkers have much to say regarding knowledge and ignorance. Following are some quotes in Turkish that touch on these topics.

   9Quote in TurkishBildiğim tek şey hiçbir şey bilmediğimdir. 
Literal Translation in English“All I know is that I know nothing.”
This deep quote is from the Greek philosopher Socrates. It tells us that no matter how much we know, there is always much more to learn, and we should never stop searching and learning.
   10Quote in TurkishCahile söz anlatmak, köre renk tarifi gibidir.
Literal Translation in English“To persuade an ignorant is like describing colors to a blind person.”
This is a quote from İmam Evzai, who was a scholar and writer. The quote implies that it’s very difficult to deal with ignorant people.
   11Quote in TurkishDünyada her kötülük, daima cehaletten gelir.
Literal Translation in English“Every evil in the world always comes from ignorance.”
This quote is from Albert Camus, who was a French Algerian philosopher, author, and journalist. It emphasizes how bad and dangerous ignorance is.
   12Quote in TurkishEylem halindeki cehaletten, daha korkunç bir şey olamaz.
Literal Translation in English“Nothing is scarier than ignorance in action.”
 This is a quote by Goethe, who was a German poet, novelist, playwright, critic, theatre director, scientist, and statesman. This quote also underlines the danger of ignorance.
   13Quote in TurkishCehalet, gönüllü talihsizliktir. 
Literal Translation in English“Ignorance is voluntary misfortune.”
This is a quote from De Segur, who was a French general and historian. With this quote, he meant that people choose to be ignorant, and that it’s a bad choice because it leads to misfortune.

5. Quotes About Money

Money is a crucial element of modern life, making it essential to manage it well. Here are a couple of quotes about money to shed some light on the topic.

Quotes about Money
   14Quote in TurkishPara iyi bir hizmetçi, kötü bir efendidir.
Literal Translation in English“Money is a great servant, but a bad master.”
This is a quote from Francis Bacon, who was an English philosopher and statesman. In saying it, he meant that those who know how to use and manage their money are those who make their money work for them. If people are not good masters of their money, then their money will start controlling them.
   15Quote in Turkishİnsanın kazandığı paradan değil, paranın kazandığı insandan korkulur.
Literal Translation in English“It’s not to be scared of the money that man earns, but the man who is earned by money.”
This quote is from Necip Fazıl Kısakürek, who was a Turkish novelist, playwright, poet, and Islamist ideologue. If someone is making money by spending some effort, that’s good; but if he or she is being bought by money, then it’s dangerous.

6. Quotes About Other Topics

Below are a few more Turkish quotes about life that didn’t quite fit into the other categories. Enjoy!

   16Quote in TurkishBiz ayrı dünyaların insanlarıyız.
Literal Translation in English“We are from different worlds.”
This quote has been used in many Turkish movies, usually between two lovers. It’s also used as a joke between friends in daily life.
   17Quote in TurkishAçıklamalarla zamanınızı boşa harcamayın: insanlar sadece duymak istediklerini duyarlar.
Literal Translation in English“Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear.”
This is a quote from Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He wanted to point out that some people are prejudiced, egocentric, and not open to new ideas or thoughts; if they’re not willing to listen, no matter what, they won’t hear you.
   18Quote in TurkishSevelim, sevilelim, bu dünya kimseye kalmaz.
Literal Translation in English“Let’s love, be loved, this world shall be left to no one.”
This is by Yunus Emre, a poet and mystic who had a considerable impact on Turkish literature. He had great poems and quotes about love and human destiny. With this quote, he emphasized the fact that life is short and nobody is permanent in the world; he suggested not wasting the limited time we have and to love each other instead.
   19Quote in TurkishHerkesin haksız olması, senin haklı olduğunu göstermez. 
Literal Translation in English“The fact that everyone is wrong does not show that you are right.”
Some people say this quote belongs to Aristotle, and some say it belongs to Camus. Based on my internet research, it seems to be anonymous. 

This is a quote to awaken those who always consider themselves right.
   20Quote in TurkishHerkes kalbinin ekmeğini yer. 
Literal Translation in English“Everyone eats the bread of his/her bread.”
Corresponding quote in English: “One reaps what one sows.” 

This is a quote used by Seda Sayan, a Turkish singer and actress.
   21Quote in Turkishİmkânın sınırını görmek için imkânsızı denemek lazım. 
Literal Translation in English“It’s necessary to try the impossible, to see the limitations of the possibility.”
This quote is from Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who was one of the well-known sultans in the Ottoman Empire and the Conqueror of Istanbul. 

This is a very motivational quote about not giving up.

7. Rumi Quotes in Turkish

Some of the most famous Turkish quotes are those from Rumi, a poet, theologian, scholar, and Sufi mystic. He influenced many cultures, and today he’s considered a symbol of peace and tolerance.

I personally think that each and every one of his quotes is very valuable, but I’ll only include a few for the sake of this article. 

I’m curious to know if you’ve also found these Rumi quotes in Turkish inspiring and motivational. Let me know in the comments!

   22Quote in Turkishİyi dostu olanın aynaya gereksinimi yoktur.
Literal Translation in English“The one who has a good friend does not need a mirror.” 
The meaning of this quote is a little deeper than it sounds. If your friend is good, you don’t need a mirror to see your imperfections. He or she will warn you about your imperfections and help you overcome them.
   23Quote in TurkishYa olduğun gibi görün, ya göründüğün gibi ol.
Literal Translation in English“Either look as you are or be as you look.”
This quote is about being yourself and being honest about who you are.
   24Quote in TurkishBilmez misin ki cevap vermemek de cevaptır. 
Literal Translation in English“Don’t you know that not answering is also the answer?”
Sometimes silence means a lot. This quote suggests being wise with how you use your silence and your words.
   25Quote in TurkishNe kadar bilirsen bil, söylediklerin karşındakilerin anlayabileceği kadardır.
Literal Translation in English“No matter how much you know, what you say is as much as anyone can understand.” 
When communicating with others, we should consider the knowledge and experience of the other person and try to be as clear as possible. Otherwise, the knowledge we have won’t be conveyed or get us to the point.
   26Quote in TurkishBazı insanlar bize armağandır, bazıları ise ders.  
Literal Translation in English“Some people are gifts to us, others are lessons.” 
Some people are like gifts; they make us happy and we treasure them. Others teach us lessons related to the bad experiences they bring to our lives.
   27Quote in TurkishGönülden dile yol olduğu gibi, dilden de gönüle yol vardır.
Literal Translation in English“As there is a path from heart to the tongue, there is also a path from tongue to the heart.”
Rumi used this phrase at the end of a conversation with his son. He said: “If you don’t want anybody to harm you, then don’t say bad things and don’t have bad thoughts about him/her.” In essence, it means: “Kindness opens all the doors.”

8. Learn More With TurkishClass101

In this article, we presented you with several Turkish language quotes from Turkey and from around the world. From now on, you can impress your Turkish friends, colleagues, or even your boss, by using these quotes at just the right time.

Which one was your favorite, and why? 

Do you want to go even deeper into the Turkish language and culture? Then create your free lifetime account on! We offer numerous audio lessons, tons of vocabulary lists, and free resources such as our Turkish-English dictionary.

Don’t forget that by signing up for a Premium PLUS account, you can take advantage of our MyTeacher service and practice with your own private teacher.

Better yet, you can download the app for free and use it wherever you are.

Last but not least, please continue to provide us with feedback about all of the resources provided at!

Happy learning, and stay safe out there.

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

Your Guide to the Business Language of Turkey


Will you be having a job interview with a Turkish company? Are you getting ready to work in Turkey or travel there for a business trip? If you answered “yes” to one of these questions, then here comes the next question: Do you think you’re ready for the challenge?

If not, don’t panic. Today, we’ll cover some basic business terms in Turkish and common Turkish business phrases. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to greet your colleagues or your future boss, introduce yourself, make travel arrangements, participate in meetings, and take care of correspondence in Turkish.

Let’s get started and make your transition to the Turkish business environment that much smoother!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Turkish Table of Contents
  1. Turkish Terms Used in Business
  2. Greetings and Introductions in Business
  3. Interacting with Coworkers
  4. Participating in a Meeting
  5. Taking Care of Business Communications
  6. Going on a Business Trip
  7. Learn More Words, Terms, and Phrases with TurkishClass101

1. Turkish Terms Used in Business

First, let’s cover the very basics:

  • İş (“Business”)
  • İş adamı (“Businessman”)
  • İş kadını (“Businesswoman”)

From this point on, we’ll classify the basic business terms in Turkish based on category so that you can remember them easily.

Company-related words

Here are some useful terms you can use when talking about a company:

Küçük ve orta ölçekli işletmeSmall- or medium-sized business
Kâr amacı gütmeyen kuruluşNon-profit organization
Anonim şirketJoint-stock company
Çok uluslu şirketMulti-national company
Uluslararası şirketInternational company
Kurumsal firmaCorporate firm
Ana merkezHeadquarter
Yan kuruluşSubsidiary
BüroOffice / Bureau

You may also find our vocabulary list of Words and Phrases for HR and the Recruitment Process useful! 

Work-related terms

Here are some useful words for talking about jobs and work:

ÇalışmakTo work
İşBusiness / Work / Job
İş arkadaşıColleague
Alt kademeSubordinate
StajInternship / Apprenticeship
StajyerIntern / Apprentice
Fazla mesaiOvertime

Make sure to check out our Workplace vocabulary list to learn even more words along with their pronunciation.

Words about money 

Money is a very important instrument in nearly every aspect of life, especially in business. Let’s take a look at money-related terms in Turkish:

En düşük ücret (Asgari ücret)Minimum wage
GelirIncome / Revenue
Net gelirNet income / Net revenue
Brüt gelirGross income / Gross revenue
Ön ödemeAdvance payment
Banka hesabıBank account

Want to learn more? Head over to our list of Money-Related Expressions for Everyday Life

2. Greetings and Introductions in Business

Greetings and introductions are very important in both business and social life. When doing business with Turkish companies, first impressions matter, so you need to have a good and impressive start!


When greeting someone, you can use any of the following words, regardless of how formal the situation is.

  • Merhaba. (“Hello.”)
  • Günaydın. (“Good morning.”)
  • İyi günler. (“Good day.”) *
  • İyi akşamlar. (“Good evening.”) *

(*): You can also use these to say goodbye in both formal and informal situations.

If the situation is very informal, you can say:

  • Selam. (“Hi.”)


To say goodbye in a formal manner, you can use one of these phrases:

  • Hoşçakalın. (“Goodbye.”) [Literally: “Stay pleasantly.”]
  • Görüşmek üzere. (“See you.”) [Literally: “Hope to see you.”]

To say goodbye to a coworker you’re close with, you can use any of the following words:

  • Bay bay. / Bay. (“Bye bye.” / “Bye.”)
  • Hoşçakal. (“Goodbye.”) [Literally: “Stay pleasantly.”]
  • Görüşürüz. (“See you.”)

You can see our vocabulary lists on Common Ways to Say Hello and the Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye for more info!


Giving a proper self-introduction is just as important as greeting. Here are some useful phrases you can use to introduce yourself when socializing, networking, or engaging in other business situations. 

  • Ben Mary. (“I’m Mary.”)
  • Benim adım Mary. (“My name is Mary.”)
  • Benim ismim Mary. (“My name is Mary.”)
  • Otuz yaşındayım. (“I’m thirty years old.”)
  • Amerikalıyım ama artık Türkiye’de yaşıyorum. (“I’m American, but I live in Turkey now.”)
  • Yale Üniversitesi’nden mezun oldum. (“I have graduated from Yale University.”)
  • Ben yeni Satın Alma Müdürüyüm. (“I’m the new Purchasing Manager.”)

Don’t forget to read our article Turkish Greetings: How to Introduce Yourself in Turkish for more-detailed information and more useful phrases.

Job interviews

The job interview is a significant aspect of business life and might even have an impact on your future. It’s relatively easy to fill in a job application, pass a test, and even carry out a conversation over the phone, but what will happen when you’re having a face-to-face job interview in Turkish? 

Don’t worry! Below are some examples of questions that may be asked during the interview and some useful business phrases in Turkish one could use to answer them.

1. Bana eğitiminizden bahseder misiniz? (“Can you tell me about your education?”)

  • Harvard üniversitesinden mezun oldum. (“I graduated from Harvard University.”)
  • Finans okudum. (“I studied finance.”)
  • Harvard Üniversitesi’nde işletme yüksek lisansı yaptım. (“I have an MBA degree from Harvard University.”)                                                         

2. Daha önce nerelerde çalıştınız? (“Where have you worked before?”)

  • 4 yıl Unilever’de muhasebe departmanında çalıştım. (“I have worked at Unilever for four years in the accounting department.”)
  • Şu an P&G’de finans müdürü olarak çalışıyorum. (“Currently, I’m working as a financial manager at P&G.”)

3. Kaç dil biliyorsunuz? Bunlar neler? (“How many languages do you speak? What are they?”)

  • Ana dilim İngilizce. (“My mother tongue is English.”)
  • Almanca biliyorum. (“I know German.”)
  • Ve biraz da Türkçe. (“And also a little bit of Turkish.”)

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t understand something. Feel free to ask them to repeat what they said.

  • Sorunuzu tekrar edebilir misiniz lütfen? (“Could you please repeat your question?”)
  • Pardon anlayamadım. (“Pardon me, I couldn’t understand.”)

3. Interacting with Coworkers

Did you ace your job interview? Congratulations! Now it’s time to meet your new coworkers. Here are some practical Turkish business phrases you can use to communicate with your new work team.

Asking for help

Here are some business Turkish phrases that you can use to get help. Note that when the letters in parentheses are added, the questions become formal.

  • Bana yardım edebilir misin(iz) lütfen? / Bana yardımcı olabilir misin(iz) lütfen? (“Can you help me, please?”)
  • Bunu bana anlatabilir misin(iz) lütfen? (“Can you explain this to me, please?”)
  • Bu sistemi nasıl kullanacağımı gösterebilir misin(iz)? (“Can you show me how to use this system, please?”)
  • Bahsettiğin(iz) dokümana nasıl ulaşabilirim? (“How can I access the document you mentioned?”)
  • Bilgisayarın şifresini verebilir misin(iz)? (“Can you give the password of the computer?”)

Showing appreciation 

No matter where you are in the organizational hierarchy, showing appreciation toward your colleagues and subordinates is an important element of motivation.

  • Tebrikler! / Tebrik ederim! (“Congratulations!”)
  • Katkılarınız için teşekkürler. (“Thanks for your contribution.”)
  • Bu büyük bir başarı. (“This is a great success.”)
  • Başarılarınızın devamını dilerim. (“I wish you continued success.”)
  • İyi iş çıkardınız! (“Good job!”)

Expressing concerns

Of course, things in the garden aren’t always rosy! There will be times when you’ll have concerns you want to express. Here are some Turkish phrases for business to give you a voice in the matter:

  • Ben bunu anlamadım. (“I didn’t understand this.”)
  • Bana bu konuda bir bilgi verilmedi. (“I wasn’t informed about this.”)
  • Bana bu konuda bir eğitim verilmedi. (“I wasn’t trained on this topic.”)
  • Bunun için bütçemiz yok. (“We don’t have a budget for this.”)
  • Bu kadar zamanda bu işi yetiştiremeyiz. (“We can’t get this job done within this time frame.”)
  • Bu dokümanda bir hata var. (“There is an error in this document.”)
  • Bununla ilgili bir veri yok. (“There is no data related to this.”)
  • Bu toplantıyı ertelemeliyiz/öne çekmeliyiz. (“We must postpone/bring forward this meeting.”)
Overly Busy

There are also a couple of idioms that you can use. Be careful not to sound like you’re complaining, though! 

  • İşim başımdan aşkın. (“I’m overly busy.”)
  • Başımı kaşıyacak vaktim yok. (“I don’t have time to catch my breath.”)

You can find more Essential Idioms to Make You Sound Like a Native Speaker on our website! 

Making apologies

Everyone makes mistakes, and the best way to stay on good terms with your colleagues or boss is to offer the proper apology. Here are some phrases you can use to do so:

  • Özür dilerim, fevri davrandım. (“I apologize, I acted impulsively.”)
  • Üzgünüm. (“I’m sorry.”)
  • Yardımcı olamadığım için üzgünüm. (“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help.”)
  • Bugün olanlar için üzgünüm. (“I’m sorry for what happened today.”)

If you want to learn more apology phrases, read our blog post on How to Say Sorry in Turkish

Making plans for after-work social activities 

If you want to ask your colleagues to go out after work, you can use any of the phrases below. Note that when the letters in parentheses are added, the questions become formal.

  • İş çıkışı bir bira içmeye gidelim mi? (“Shall we go for a beer after work?”)
  • Mesai sonrası bize katılmak ister misin(iz)? (“Would you like to join us after work?”)

Here are some questions you can ask to get to know your colleagues better during after-work activities:

  • Hangi departmanda çalışıyorsun(uz)? (“Which department are you working in?”)
  • Hangi proje üzerinde çalışıyorsun(uz)? (“Which project are you working on?”)
  • Kaç yıldır burada çalışıyorsun(uz)? (“How many years have you been working here?”)

Make sure you check out our list of the Top 15 Questions You Should Know for Conversations to get more ideas!

4. Participating in a Meeting

Meetings are an indispensable aspect of business life. Let’s review some practical Turkish phrases for business meetings!

  • Toplantı (“Meeting”)
  • Toplantı ne zaman? (“When is the meeting?”)
  • Toplantı nerede? (“Where is the meeting?”)
  • Toplantı hangi odada? (“In which room is the meeting?”)
  • Toplantı ne kadar sürer? (“How long will the meeting take?”)
  • Herkes buradaysa, toplantıya başlayalım. (“If everyone is here, let’s start the meeting.”)
  • Başka fikri olan var mı? (“Does anybody have any other ideas?”)
  • Size katılıyorum. (“I agree with you.”)
  • Ne yazık ki size katılmıyorum. (“Unfortunately, I don’t agree with you.”)
  • Herhangi bir önerisi olan var mı? (“Does anybody have any suggestions?”)
  • Sanırım bir sonraki konuya geçebiliriz. (“I think we can move on to the next topic.”)
  • Çok verimli bir toplantı oldu. (“It was a very productive meeting.”)
Business Meeting

5. Taking Care of Business Communications

Communication is an essential element of business. In this section, we’ll look at phrases you can use in Turkish business emails and over the phone.

Emails or letters

Nowadays, electronic correspondence is often used in place of traditional business letters. However, there are still situations where letters are sent out to public authorities or other businesses.

Anyhow, whether you’re writing a Turkish business letter or an email, there will be a:

Salutation Sentence

  • Sayın Yetkili (“To whom it may concern”)
  • Sayın Pam Carlton (“Dear Pam Carlton”)
  • P&G Satın Alma Müdürlüğü’ne (“To the Purchasing Manager of P&G”)
  • Merhaba Mehmet Bey (“Hello, Mr. Mehmet”) * 
  • Bay Johnson merhaba (“Hello, Mr. Johnson”) **                   

(*) This is mostly used in email. Note that Mehmet is the person’s first name.

(**) This is mostly used in email. This time, the person’s last name is used.

Body and Conclusion of the Email

  • Parting words
    • Saygılarımla (“Sincerely yours”)
      Sevgiler (“Sincere/warm regards”)
      Selamlar (“Greetings” / “We salute you”) **
  • Name, last name, and signature

(*) This is informal.

(**) This is neither formal nor informal. It’s somewhere in-between.

Business calls

While audio conference tools are very popular these days, phone calls are still an active part of worklife in Turkey.

Alo (“Hello”) is the most popular way to answer the phone in Turkish. You can use it when talking to your colleagues, but a receptionist wouldn’t normally answer the phone that way. In Turkey, business receptionists would probably start by saying the company name, and then ask:

  • Size nasıl yardımcı olabilirim? (“How may I help you?”)

Here’s a possible answer:

  • Mehmet bey ile görüşmek istiyorum. (“I want to talk to Mr. Mehmet.”)


  • Beni muhasebe departmanına bağlayabilir misiniz? (“Can you connect me to the accounting department?”)

Business Calls

Here are a few more Turkish business phrases a receptionist might use:

  • Hatta kalın lütfen. (“Please stay on the line.”)
  • Sizi bir dakika bekleteceğim. (“I will have you wait for a minute.”)
  • Mehmet Bey’in hattı meşgul. (“Mr. Mehmet’s line is busy.”)
  • Mehmet Bey şu anda toplantıda. (“Mr. Mehmet is in a meeting now.”)
  • Herhangi bir mesajınız var mı? (“Do you have any messages?”)
  • Daha sonra tekrar arayabilir misiniz? (“Can you call again later?”)
  • Notunuzu ileteceğim. (“I will forward your note.”)

Want to be prepared for your next Turkish phone call? Check out our list of Useful Phrases for a Phone Call to learn more phrases and hear their pronunciation.

6. Going on a Business Trip

Here are a few phrases you can use when buying a ticket or checking in at a hotel:

  • Merhaba. 23 Nisan için İstanbul’a bir uçak bileti istiyorum. (“Hello. I want a flight ticket to Istanbul for April 23.”)
  • Cam kenarında bir koltuk istiyorum. (“I want a seat by the window.”)
  • Tek kişilik bir oda istiyorum. (“I want a single room.”)
  • Akşam yemeği saat kaçta? (“What time is dinner?”)
Business Trip

Prepare for your travels well in advance with our list of the Top 30 Travel Phrases You Should Know!

7. Learn More Words, Terms, and Phrases with TurkishClass101

By now, you’ve learned many Turkish business phrases that you can start practicing today. Do you think you’re ready to participate in a meeting or go through your job interview in Turkish? 

If you think you need more practice with Turkish phrases for business, visit! We provide numerous audio recordings, tons of vocabulary lists, and free resources (including our Turkish-English dictionary), all of which you can refer to for detailed information about the Turkish language and culture.

Note that we also provide the Premium PLUS service MyTeacher, which allows you to practice with a private tutor. If you’re busy or prefer learning on your own time, you can download the app for free and use it wherever you are.

Happy Turkish learning, and good luck with your business endeavors!

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