Now You're Talking Turkey
Doing business in Turkey
A Lens of Business Development Experiences in Turkey.
Step 1. Get yourself to Turkey.
Step 2. Get a haircut and a real job.
Step 3. Enjoy!
The Turkish people are generally friendly and helpful and Turks love to shop. Turkey's location - bridging Europe and Asia, with a rich history and beautiful environment is great for tourism. Turkey's Black Sea, Aegean and Mediterranean beaches are ideal locations for retirement or summer home investors. Turkey is rapidly growing and changing and so there are many opportunities for investment in infrastructure or helping to increase productivity in agriculture and horticulture, energy and manufacturing industries. Turks are getting into sport and recreation. They highly value education. With the move to join Europe, Turkey needs business reforms and marketing. Lots and lots of opportunities for doing business in Turkey.
Are you Talking Turkey? - What's your experience of Turkey?
How well do you know Turkey?
Welcome Home to Turkey
Getting to Turkey
From New Zealand (the ends of the earth)
In September 2003 we packed all of our belongings into suitcases and flew from Auckland, New Zealand to Izmir, Turkey. We were traveling with an infant and to release other passengers from that stress we had a couple of whole day stopovers in USA and Germany. The trip took us about four days - about 24 hours in the air. The alternative route through Asia is not much different - 22 hours in the air. Jet lag lasted about three or four days.
A potential/future business partner met us at the airport. We stayed in a friend's apartment and had one week while they were away to find an apartment, furniture and survival Turkish.
Our apartment was in an area where the locals were used to foreigners. It was cheap (about 1/4 the price we were paying in NZ) and close to public transport and a language school.
Residence permits are required for car ownership and connecting services (electricity, water, telephone, internet) in your own name. Often Turkish friends or foreigners who have permits will sign up for you.
Obtaining a residence permit requires forms, passports with photocopies of your last entry to Turkey, photographs, marriage certificates translated into Turkish and proof of financial support (money in a Turkish account). So applying for a long term residence permit before you spend your start up cash is a good idea.
You can apply for a work visa from your home country, but if you are exploring business opportunities it is advisable to spend some time in language and culture learning on a tourist or student visa first. Visa fees and terms vary from country to country - New Zealanders can get a three month tourist visa for free. Applications for work permits from withing Turkey require a current residence permit.
Once you've got somewhere to live and some of the initial paperwork sorted, it is time to get a haircut and a real job.
A book for surviving your first week in Turkey - The start of your Turkey Reference Library
Turkish is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around 10–15 million native speakers in Southeastern Europe and 55–60 million native speakers in Western Asia.
The Turkish alphabet has 29 characters, with eight vowels. When you have learnt how to pronounce these you can read and say Turkish words with confidence because the language is phonetic.
Learning grammar is more difficult. Sentences end with the verb so the phrase "Learn Turkish!" in Turkish is "Türkçe ögren!", literally "Turkish learn!".
Words are agglutinated with tense and pronoun word stems added as suffixes to form long words. I have struggled with this, often talking about myself in the third person because I forget to add the "-im/ım/um/üm" suffix for "I/me/my".
Adjusting to the culture
Turks are very hospitable and friendly people. As a business person, you will want to make friends and connections with people.
Many Turks learn English and especially in the major cities you will find Turks who are willing to practice their English with you and help with all sorts of things as you adjust to Turkey. You will find that Turkish culture may be quite different to your own.
A good way to start to fitting into the culture is to get a Turkish haircut.
You can use Teach Yourself Turkish Complete Course to learn at your own pace or as a supplement to your classwork. This complete course utilizes the very latest learning methods in an enjoyable and user-friendly format. The new edition also features: Engaging visual materials such as menus, photographs, signs, and tickets Two CD recordings allowing quick and easy access to individual lessons and exercises A clear, accessible new page design Strong, striking cover photography
Turks have a low level of trust and often are more trusting of foreigners than of their own people. It takes lots of time and tea drinking to build relationships.
For example, I met a lawyer in a neighborhood park when our sons were playing together. He spoke excellent English and we started talking about what we did. When he discovered I do web design, he said he wanted a website. However, it took a full year of getting to know each other before we even started to work on the website project.
My business experiences in Turkey
I own shares in Vista Interactive, a media production & IT company specializing in producing highly effective websites. Vista Interactive is the leading TYPO3 agency in Turkey and the websites they build for our Turkish and International clients often feature localization or multiple languages.
When I joined the company, my partners were in the process of establishing a sister company in the training and consulting industry and I learned a lot about starting business in Turkey through their experiences.
Business in Turkey Links
- 5 Things to Know About Doing Business in Istanbul | Inc.com
As a bridge between Europe and Asia, the Turkish city has more to offer globally minded entrepreneurs than breathtaking sights and a rich history.
- Business in Turkey
Business in Turkey - Your Guide to Doing Business in Turkey
- Invest In Turkey
The investinturkey.gov.tr website, is an easy-to-navigate information platform for international entrepreneurs considering why and how to invest in Turkey. You will find here the facts and figures to make your mind how best Turkey fits in your intern
- Demographics of Turkey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An overview of the different types of people in Turkey. Your potential customer base, suppliers or workforce.
Based in Istanbul Turkey, Expatia is a dynamic management consultancy designed to provide diverse consultancy and expatriate employment services.
- World Bank report on Doing Business in Turkey
A snapshot of Turkey's aggregate ranking on the ease of doing business and on each of the ten topics that comprise the overall ranking
- World Bank: Turkey - Data & Statistics
World Bank Data and Statistics on Turkey.
- Turkey Cross-cultural and Language Training | Communicaid
Turkish Business Culture training course and Turkey Social Culture courses
- Doing e-business in Turkey
Latest analysis and country profile of Turkey's information and communications technology industry.
- Turkey on NationMaster
Statistics on Turkey. Facts and figures, stats and information on Turkish economy, crime, people, government, health and education. More than 30 maps.
- Invest in Izmir
Invest In Izmir, third largest city in Turkey.
- Turkey's profile on FocusEconomics
Economic Forecasts from the World's Leading Economists for Eastern Europe
- Starting a Business in Turkey
How to start your own business in Turkey: from initial paperwork to tax returns, what are the realities for expats
- Exporting to Turkey - Publications - GOV.UK
A guide for British businesses who are interested in developing their overseas trade and doing business in Turkey.
- Turkish work ethic second to none, says British expat and business owner - Hurriyet Daily News and E
A successful pioneer in business, John Melvin Cottrell proved to be a pioneer in the wave of expats that have chosen Turkey as home in the last number of years.
- Metin Keser - Turkish Accountant, Business and Tax Consultancy
MK Consulting based in Istanbul, is an independent consultancy firm specializing in the development of business in Turkey. MK Consulting has built up an extensive, nationwide network with contacts in diverse sectors of business and within many govern
- Republic of Turkey Ministry of Economy
Website of the Turkish Ministry of Economy.
- Living in Turkey, moving to Turkey, expatriate Turkey
Would you like to live in Turkey? The participative living in Turkey guide will help you!
- Transitions Abroad
A portal for Work Abroad, Study Abroad, Cultural Travel and Living Overseas.
- The Turkish Life
San Francisco girl living in Istanbul. Istanbul'da oturan San Francisco'lu bir kız.
Caustic Commentary from Constantinople: News and Views from the declining and emerging empires.
- Escape Artist - Resources for living overseas
Restart Your Life Overseas Live Where You Want To Live — Live How You Want To Live . . . And Make Money Doing It! Info about Living Overseas - International Real Estate, Overseas Jobs - Asset Protection - Expatriate Resources - Overseas Retirement.
- Work Permit Criteria for Foreigners in Turkey
Procedures, required documents and guidelines for foreign nationals in obtaining a work permit to live and work in Turkey.
Living and travelling in Istanbul - Turkey's largest city
- Istanbul Trails ~ Your Istanbul Tourist & Expat Travel Guide
Istanbul tips and reviews to help tourists and expats make the most out of their trip/stay.
© 2014 Peter Murray