Business Translations: Doing Business in Turkey

Do you know that Turkey is the only country that is part of Europe and Asia?  According to the statistics of 2021, Turkey has a population of 85,657,520. The official language of Turkey is Turkish, and its population comprises 75% Turkish, 18% Kurdish, and 7% minorities. Moreover, 99.8% of the Turkish people are Muslims and only 0.2 % are Christians and Jews.

It enjoys an open economy. And it has emerged as an industrialized country over the years. The trading partner of Turkey is Russia, the UK, Iraq, and Germany.

Turkey provides a very conducive market for expats that want to start their business in Turkey. It is also called a melting pot because it is influenced by Europe and Asia. Starting a business in Turkey is not an easy task. However, you can make this task easy if you understand the business culture.

Here the question is how can you get insights into a foreign culture. With the help of translation services. The population of Turkey is well-educated. It is a politically and economically stable country.

Moreover, its strategic location makes it the best location for foreign investors. Many international organizations have also had their head offices in Turkey, especially in Istanbul and Ankara. 

Xenophobia in Turkey

Turkish people are very hardworking. They don’t mind working for long hours. So, establishing a business in Turkey is not an easy task. Turkish people are very authoritative and give preference to Turkish citizens. Therefore, to start a business in Turkey, it is important to make contacts.

Moreover, Turkish people like to do business with those people with whom they can trust and can develop long-term relationships.  The best way to develop a relationship with Turkish people is to communicate with them in their native language. If you don’t understand the Turkish language, then no worries, you can take the assistance of business translation.

Global Business in Turkey

To start a successful venture in Turkey, it is important to understand the Turkish culture, etiquette, and the way they start the business. For this, you have to take the assistance of business translations to avoid any unfavorable conditions.

Business Culture

Turkish people are very family-oriented and this value is also seen in their business. They are carrying this legacy to the next generation. You will be amazed to know that business culture in Turkey is family-owned and operating a business is considered extremely personal. The best way to start a business in Turkey is through building strong and long-lasting relationships with Turkish people, and this is possible only with the help of business translation services.

Communication

Respect and courtesy are given due respect. If you have to conduct a meeting in Turkey, then, you may ask them personal questions about family. Moreover, you can chat about football and Turkish culture to develop a rapport with Turkish stakeholders. You can also make eye contact with Turkish people because it is considered a sign of respect.

The use of gestures in a foreign land seems difficult. If you have to start a business in Turkey, then you should know the meaning of different gestures. Nodding a head forward and down means yes. For No, you have to node your head up and back. Shaking your head from one side to the other means you are unable to understand.  You can understand etiquette of business communication if you go for translation services.

Chain of Command

Authority and rank hold great significance in the Turkish business environment. Decisions of business are made at a higher level usually by the head of the department or family.  This does not mean that higher management doesn’t give importance to the opinions and suggestions of employees.  They give great importance to them. Initially, the meetings are done at a lower level, and with the consensus of all employees, it is sent to a higher level for approval. Decision-making is a very slow procedure in Turkey so all the stakeholders need to be patient.

Cultural Nuances

Understanding a foreign country’s culture is very important to start a business. For instance, if you develop an understanding of Turkish culture and abide by them, then you can develop trust among the target market. Turkey is a Muslim country. Therefore, religion plays an important role in their lives and in shaping their values. You should avoid certain things in Turkey so that you can win the trust of the Turkish people.

1. They are family-oriented people, so don’t disrespect their family.

2. Discuss business matters without knowing your partner.

3. Turkish people stand close while conversing. Therefore, don’t get offensive, if you are left with little space.

4. Pressuring others for the completion of tasks.

5. Disrespecting the cultural values and showing your authority.

6. Discuss sensitive issues that can offend Turkish people, like the division of Cyprus and the Armenian issue.

Be specific about your gestures and body language because they appear insulting and offensive. Therefore, the following gestures should be avoided.

  •    Don’t point at anyone with your fingers.
  •    Avoid showing soles of your feet
  •    Don’t make an ok sign with hands
  •    Don’t stand with your hands in your pockets and on your hips.

Take the assistance of business translations to understand Turkish culture well. By understanding Turkish culture, you can develop a long-lasting business tie with Turkish people.

The Important Things to Remember About Turkey

Do you know that the business culture of Turkey is entrepreneurial? The Turkish population comprises the middle class. Therefore, it is a lucrative market for starting a business. But before starting a business, you should know about the market dynamics. It will make you aware of consumer behavior. By understanding consumer behavior, you can develop a business strategy accordingly.

  • Turkish people are hospitable and amiable. You can witness this in a professional environment. You can not start a business with any Turkish person because they will not accept your business deal if you have not developed a personal relationship with them. They will do business with you only if they trust you.
  • Turks are very punctual in meeting timings. For conducting a meeting, you must tell counterparts, one or two weeks in advance. The best time to call on the meeting is when you are having a holiday.
  • Turkish people also give great importance to the Islam religion.  Remember, that they observe 5 prayers during the day. However, in the case of a business meeting, they don’t give a holiday, no matter if there is any religious occasion.
  • When you meet Turk people for the first time, they act formally. The business meeting is a serious business conversation, and it is led by Turks. When anyone arrives for the meeting, they greet each other with a firm handshake. If any Turkish lady is attending a meeting for the first time, then the man must wait for a handshake.
  • When you are having the first meeting with business stakeholders, then you don’t have to rush in negotiation. Local Turkish people like to talk about different topics and build a rapport first. This is possible if you understand the Turkish language. If you are unaware of the Turkish language, then no worries, you can hire a professional translation agency for mitigating the communication barriers.
  • The negotiating process in business may take a long time. You can start negotiating at your first meeting. Moreover, you have to schedule meetings while checking others’ availability. If a Turk person comes to know that you are a dishonest person, then the business deal will be dismissed.

How to Conduct a Business Meeting

The first meeting with a Turkish is more social than formal. They find you extremely rude if you start talking about the business directly. Courtesy and patience are two things that the people of Turkey like. Therefore, you must be courteous and patient to start a business in Turkey.

Turkish people like it if you ask them about their hobbies and preferences. Additionally, they like to talk about their family. Don’t forget to keep eye contact with Turkish people because it shows that you are sincere and can build a long-lasting business relationship.

Turk business owners like precise presentations. Make sure that you developed a structured proposal. Don’t use too much text because Turks like to communicate orally and visually. Use more graphics and diagrams and avoid using difficult terminologies.

To make your business deal acceptable, show benefits and profitability in the presentation because Turks are very responsive and serious about business. If you are unable to understand a presentation that is made in the Turkish language, then you can take business translation.

Read Also: Dissecting the Ottoman Empire Languages

Business Meals

Business meals are given at restaurants. Turkish people consider meals not to fulfill their physiological needs, but they go out for business meals to spend a good time and relax. Moreover, they engage themselves in good conversation and build a friendly relationship. They love their cuisine. Therefore, as a foreigner, you need to show appreciation for their food. If you are invited for Business meals, then keep the following things in mind.

  • Do try to pay the bill yourself. They don’t like sharing the bill. As a host, you should choose the best restaurant and inform the restaurant on booking that you will pay the bill.
  • You can discuss business on the meal. However, your host will lead the conversation.
  • The business partners that are not Muslim can drink alcohol. Alcohol is not allowed in Islam. Therefore, it is better not to order alcohol until your host does.
  • After the meal, you can drink coffee. Coffee is their national drink. Therefore, you must give it a try. Offering and drinking coffee is a sign of hospitality. Thus, you should accept its invitation. By accepting the invitation, you can develop business ties.

Wrapping Up

If you want to start a business in Turkey, then you have to understand their culture. Because culture determines consumer behavior. Additionally, as an entrepreneur, you must invest in a business that is in more demand. If you can understand the Turkish language, then only you can develop friendly relationships with Turkish people and invest in profitable business.

Don’t worry, if you don’t understand the Turkish language. You can hire a professional translation company to provide you with impeccable business translation services.

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