Understanding Turkey’s Business Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts


In today’s interconnected global economy, understanding the nuances of business etiquette in different cultures is crucial for success. Turkey, a transcontinental country bridging Europe and Asia, boasts a rich history and a vibrant business landscape. However, navigating Turkish business culture requires insight into its unique customs, protocols, and social norms. In this article, we’ll explore Turkey’s Business Etiquette, the dos and don’ts of conducting business in Turkey to help you build strong and fruitful relationships in this dynamic market.

This article will be quite helpfull for the clients planning for company registration in Turkey.


1. Formal Greetings and Respect:

Begin meetings with a firm handshake, direct eye contact, and a polite greeting, such as “Merhaba” (Hello) or “Günaydın” (Good morning). Show respect by addressing individuals with their titles, using “Bey” (Mr.) or “Hanım” (Mrs.) followed by their surname unless invited to use their first name.

2. Building Relationships:

Turkish business culture values personal connections and trust. Invest time in building rapport before discussing business matters. Engage in small talk about family, hobbies, or shared interests to establish a foundation of trust and camaraderie.

3. Hospitality and Tea Culture:

Accept offers of Turkish tea or coffee graciously, as hospitality plays a significant role in Turkish culture. Tea is often served during meetings and symbolizes warmth and hospitality. Embrace this tradition as an opportunity to bond with your Turkish counterparts.

4. Respect for Hierarchy:

Turkish society respects hierarchical structures, and this is reflected in business settings. Show deference to seniority and authority within organizations. Decision-making often flows from the top down, so it’s essential to identify key decision-makers and address them accordingly.

5. Punctuality with Flexibility:

While punctuality is valued in Turkish business culture, meetings may not always start on time. Be patient and flexible if schedules shift, as unexpected delays are not uncommon. However, strive to arrive punctually out of respect for your hosts’ time.

6. Direct Communication:

Turks appreciate direct communication and value honesty and sincerity in business dealings. Express your opinions and objectives clearly but diplomatically. Avoid excessive use of jargon or overly formal language, as simplicity and clarity are preferred.

7. Negotiation and Bargaining:

Negotiation is a common practice in Turkish business transactions. Be prepared for spirited discussions and be willing to negotiate terms, but maintain professionalism and avoid aggressive tactics. Building mutual trust and finding win-win solutions are key objectives in negotiations.

8. Follow-Up and Relationship Maintenance: After meetings or negotiations, follow up with a thank-you email or note expressing appreciation for the opportunity to meet. Maintain regular communication to nurture relationships and demonstrate your commitment to long-term collaboration.


1. Disregarding Hierarchical Structure:

Avoid undermining hierarchical structures within Turkish organizations. Show respect for seniority and authority, even if you may have a more egalitarian approach in your own cultural context.

2. Being Overly Aggressive:

While assertiveness is appreciated, aggressive or confrontational behavior is generally frowned upon in Turkish business culture. Maintain a calm and composed demeanor, even during disagreements, to preserve harmony and mutual respect.

3. Disrespecting Cultural Norms:

Be mindful of cultural sensitivities and avoid topics that may be considered controversial or offensive, such as politics or religion. Respect the diversity of opinions and beliefs within Turkish society. This is one of the most important elements in Turkey’s Business Etiquette

4. Rejecting Hospitality:

Hospitality is deeply ingrained in Turkish culture, and declining offers of tea or coffee may be interpreted as rude. Embrace these gestures as opportunities to connect with your Turkish counterparts on a personal level.

5. Rushing Relationship Building:

Building trust and rapport takes time in Turkey’s Business Etiquette Rushing into business discussions without first establishing a personal connection may be perceived as disrespectful or transactional.

6. Interrupting or Speaking Out of Turn:

Turkish communication styles may involve more pauses and interruptions compared to some Western cultures. However, interrupting or speaking out of turn during meetings can be viewed as impolite. Wait for your turn to speak and listen actively to demonstrate respect.

7. Making Empty Promises:

Turks value sincerity and integrity in business dealings. Avoid making promises that you cannot fulfill, as this can damage your reputation and erode trust. Be honest and transparent about your capabilities and limitations.

8. Neglecting Follow-Up:

Failure to follow up after meetings or negotiations can signal disinterest or lack of commitment. Take the time to send thank-you messages and maintain regular communication to reinforce your dedication to the relationship.

In conclusion, understanding and adhering to the dos and don’ts of Turkey’s business etiquette is essential for forging successful partnerships and navigating the intricacies of the Turkish market. By demonstrating respect, building relationships, and embracing cultural customs, you can establish a strong presence and thrive in Turkey’s dynamic business environment.

Leave a Reply