Turkish business culture guide - Learn about Turkey

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http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Turkey. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at …

http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Turkey. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.

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  • 1.            |  1     businessculture.org Business Culture in Turkey   http://businessculture.org/westerneurope/business-culture-in-turkey/ Content Template Last updated: 8.10.2013 businessculture.org   This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This Content  Turkey   publication reflects the view only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
  • 2.            |  2     TABLE  OF  CONTENTS   Business  Culture  in  Turkey  ........................................................................................................  4   Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Turkey ............................................................................................ 5   International business in Turkey .......................................................................................................... 5   General education ................................................................................................................................ 5   Education standards ............................................................................................................................. 6   Other issues such as transport infrastructure ....................................................................................... 6   Cultural taboos ..................................................................................................................................... 7   Business  Communication  ..........................................................................................................  9   Business communication ...................................................................................................................... 9   Face-to-face communication ................................................................................................................ 9   Language matters ............................................................................................................................... 10   Business relationships ......................................................................................................................... 10   Business contact .................................................................................................................................. 11   Personal titles ...................................................................................................................................... 11   Business  Etiquette  ..................................................................................................................  12   Corporate and social responsibilities .................................................................................................. 12   Punctuality .......................................................................................................................................... 12   Gift giving ........................................................................................................................................... 12   Business dress code ............................................................................................................................. 12   Bribery and corruption ....................................................................................................................... 13   Business  Meeting  Etiquette  ....................................................................................................  14   Business meetings in Turkey .............................................................................................................. 14   Importance of business meetings ........................................................................................................ 14   Business meeting planning ................................................................................................................. 14   Negotiation process ............................................................................................................................ 15   Meeting protocol ................................................................................................................................ 15   How to run a business meeting .......................................................................................................... 16   businessculture.org   Content  Turkey  
  • 3.            |  3     Follow up letter after meeting with a client ........................................................................................ 16   Business meals .................................................................................................................................... 17   Business meeting tips .......................................................................................................................... 17   Internship  and  placement  .......................................................................................................  19   Work experience................................................................................................................................. 19   Internship and placement advice ....................................................................................................... 19   Social security and European Health insurance card ........................................................................ 19   Safety .................................................................................................................................................. 19   Do I need a visa? ................................................................................................................................ 20   Internship and placement salary ........................................................................................................ 20   Internship and placement accommodation ........................................................................................ 21   Cost  of  Living  ...........................................................................................................................  22   Money and banking ........................................................................................................................... 22   Travelling costs ................................................................................................................................... 22   Work-­‐life  Balance   ....................................................................................................................  23   Work-life balance ............................................................................................................................... 23   National holidays ................................................................................................................................ 23   Working hours .................................................................................................................................... 24   Health insurance ................................................................................................................................ 24   Social  Media  Guide  .................................................................................................................  26   Social media guide for Turkey ........................................................................................................... 26   Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business ........................................................ 26         businessculture.org   Content  Turkey  
  • 4.            |  4     Business  Culture  in  Turkey   The following is a very short introduction to Turkey. External links at the end of this page provide you with more in depth information concerning different topics. The following video gives you an overview of the general facts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRUByMb5OjI Turkey is situated at the meeting point of Southeastern Europe and South Western Asia. Geographically, the west of the Bosporus lies in Europe and Turkey is surrounded by the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Iran and Nakhchivan to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. Turkey is in the Eastern European Time Zone and adheres to EET (UTC +2) during the winter and EEST (UTC +3) during the months of March to October. The climatic conditions in Turkey vary. In the coastal regions, the summers are hot and dry with mild and wet winters. The central areas have a prairie-like climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters with very little rainfall. Turkey has a population of about 80 million people (July 2012 est.) with Ankara as its capital. The European part of Turkey (named Thrace) covers about 3% of the total land area and comprises more than 10% of the total population. Istanbul alone has a population of about 11 million. Thrace is separated from the Asian part of Turkey by the Bosporus. Turkey is divided into seven regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea Mediterranean (Southern), Anatolian plateau, Eastern Anatolia, and South Eastern Anatolia, which are further sub-divided into 81 provinces. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 5.              |  5   Turkish is the official language of Turkey and 75% of the population is Turkish , 18% Kurdish, and about 7%-other minorities. It is estimated that 99.8% of the Turkish population are Muslim with the remaining 0.2% made up of Christians and Jews. The modern Turkish state, officially named the Republic of Turkey, was created in the years immediately after World War I. Modern Turkey was founded with the creation of the Republic in 1923 by Turkey’s national hero Mustafa Kemal, who became Turkey’s first president and was honoured with the title Atatürk or ‘Father of the Turks‘. Archaeological evidence shows that Turkish history dates back to the ‘Hittities’ who settled in Anatolia from 2000 to 1400 BC. Turkey has an open economy and is considered an emerging market with high-growth by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), making Turkey a newly industrialized country. Turkey’s trading partners are Germany, Iraq, UK and Russia. Its main exports are vehicle parts, machinery parts, knitted and crocheted goods and articles, Xenophobia:  being  a  foreigner  in  Turkey   Turkish people are hospitable, polite and extremely professional. They tend to work extremely hard and long hours; so, taking a job in Turkey is not an easy task for a foreigner. Turkish authorities are averse to any foreign national taking a job that can be done by a Turkish citizen. So, foreigners are usually hired for teaching, working in large international companies or by press agencies that require native expertise in a foreign language in one of their branches in Turkey. Before arriving to look for work in Turkey, it is better to find and make contact with a company that will offer you a job. Sign a contact with the employer and then apply for your residency and work permit visa. Generally, Turks like to get acquainted with the people they will work and do business with. They will most likely do business with those they are able to trust and those that can provide a long term relationship. International  business  in  Turkey   To succeed with any potential venture in a thriving new economy, understanding the Turkish culture, the people, etiquette and the way they do business is essential. The first section focuses on the attitudes and values of the Turkish people. Business ethics will then be examined, introducing the typical cultural and ethical differences that you may encounter when doing business in Turkey. The second section examines education and training in Turkey. General  education   In Turkey, the education system is provided by the government. New legislation introduced by the Grand National Assembly in March 2012 increased compulsory education from 5 to 12 years for children from the age of 6 to 18. In order for students to continue their studies at a higher education institution, they are then obliged to take the National Entrance Examination or OSS exam. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 6.              |  6   Pre-school, primary, secondary and higher education institutions are part of the formal educational system in Turkey. In addition, there are also training centers that offer informal education and are supervised by Turkey’s Ministry of National Education (MEB). Informal education provides services for those who would like to complete their education and teaches people from different professions the knowledge and skills necessary for their personal development. There are tuition fees for public higher education institutions. However, students can be granted financial support, if they do not have the funds necessary to continue their education. According to the National Education Statistics for Turkey at the end of 2012, there were “168 universities in Turkey, state and private out of which 2/3 are State and 1/3 are Private”. According to the National Education Statistics, the universities are comprised of faculties and four-year schools, which offer bachelor’s programs, and two-year vocational schools offering pre-bachelor’s programs of vocational nature only. There are also master’s and doctoral programs, which are coordinated by institutes for graduate studies. All doctoral programs require a Master’s degree and must be completed in four years. The doctoral programs consist of courses, a doctoral qualifying examination (both written and oral), and the defending of a doctoral thesis. Education  standards   The Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Turkey has raised the quality and access to education through the implementation of projects aiming to upgrade and strengthen the education system. Its main objective is to increase attendance in the twelve years of compulsory education and also the rate of uptake at other education levels, particularly at the pre-school level. In order to upgrade the education level, a lot of effort and work will be spent on developing individuals who will make up the knowledge society of our modern age. Being a country with a young population, education must be a priority for the future. Other  issues  such  as  transport  infrastructure   Because of Turkey’s geographical position, the improvement of transport is a priority for both its economy and its social development. In recent years, Turkey has invested in improving its transportation infrastructure, which has contributed to developing foreign trade and tourism. Travelling By Public Transport Turkey has excellent bus services, which are the main form of public transportation, as they are inexpensive and rather frequent. There are some bus companies that have modern buses, but unfortunately very few, and the majority of the buses are not very comfortable. Istanbul is a major metropolitan city, which is divided by the Bosporous strait between the two continents and hosts another significant form of transportation. There are private passenger boats and public municipality boats, which carry passengers from one side of the continent to the other. Regular passenger ferries and fast ferries also provide services for passengers wishing to travel between the shores of Bosphorus. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 7.            |  7     Tickets or coins are used for the public transportation in Istanbul, however over 60% of passengers use the “smart ticket” (Akbil) system with an electronic chip. There are free connections between different modes of public transportation, which makes travelling affordable. Travelling By Train Travelling by train is not as popular, although it can be more comfortable and safer in bad weather conditions. People usually prefer buses as they are faster, cheaper and provide better services. The government has given special attention and priority to the railways. A large amount of investment has been allocated for the construction of a high-speed railway network, including a tunnel under the Bosporus strait, for both passenger and freight transportation. Travelling by Taxi There are numerous taxis all over Turkey, which are recognisable by their checkered black and yellow bands. Taxis operate using a metering system which starts at a base fare of 2.95 TL. Taxis can be rather expensive and it is recommended to agree on the fare beforehand, especially for longer journeys. Tipping is not necessary, but it is recommended to leave the change or round up the fare. Dolmus is a minibus service that carries up to 8 passengers, which follows a pre-scheduled route and charges a fixed fare based on distance. It isvery practical and considered cheaper than a taxi. Travelling By Car Turkey’s road network is continuously improving. Major cities are connected with motorways and well-maintained modern highways. However, in the east and in rural areas roads may not be as good. Driving standards in Turkey are not very good and serious accidents are a frequent occurrence, despite the police presence and camera systems. It is recommended to drive with extreme caution and apply defensive driving techniques. Travelling By Plane Turkey has a network of five international airports and twelve additional domestic airports that are serviced by Turkish Airlines (THY) and a number of private airlines. While Ankara is the major connection point for domestic flights, Istanbul is the busiest airport and the main airport for international routes. Another airline frequently used is Pegasus, which is very affordable and flies to many places locally and internationally. Cultural  taboos   By understanding Turkish culture and abiding by the appropriate etiquette, you can gain respect from the people of Turkey. Being a Muslim country, religion plays a major role in businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 8.            |  8     people’s everyday lives and it also shapes their values and ideals. Certain issues that are considered inappropriate and should be avoided when communicating with Turkish people: • • • Family is sacred; don’t disrespect their family. Turkish people stand close to you during a conversation. It is normal in Turkey to have very little interpersonal space and not something to be apprehensive about. Certain gestures and body language have different meanings varying from rude to insulting and offensive, such that the following should be avoided: o o o o • • • • Standing with your hands on your hips or in your pockets. Pointing at someone with your finger. Showing the soles of your feet. Making the ‘”OK’” sign with your hand. Discussing business right away without getting to know your partner first. Using pressure tactics, such as imposing a deadline. Showing a lack of respect for cultural values and adopting a patronising or authoritarian attitude. Talking about sensitive historical issues, such as the Armenian issue or the division of Cyprus. Understanding Turkish culture, in order to avoid misunderstandings and showing a lack of respect for Turkish beliefs and views, will help to develop business relationships and maintain future ties. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 9.            |  9     Business  Communication   Business  communication   It’s important to know the habits and communication patterns of the country you are doing business with. Effective communication can bring you closer to making a business deal successful. Turkey has many traditional beliefs and values, therefore an understanding of its culture will bring you closer to future business success. This section will provide you with information concerning the verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication and business practices, including addressing people correctly and business meals. Face-­‐to-­‐face  communication   As personal relationships are very important for Turks, a number of verbal and non-verbal communication habits should be considered when doing business in Turkey. Non-verbal Communication • • • • • • • • People greet each other by shaking hands or by kissing on both cheeks. When an elderly person enters a room, it is expected that you will stand up in order to greet them. Crossing your arms or putting your hands in your pockets while facing or talking to someone is impolite. Tipping your head forward means ‘yes’, but lifting your head backwards and raising your eyebrows means ‘no’ Staring is common among the Turkish people, so don’t be concerned if you are stared at. It is unfriendly to step backwards if a Turk is standing close to you, as they tend to stand quite close when speaking. It is important to maintain direct eye contact while speaking, as a sign of sincerity. The use of hand gestures and facial expressions in conversation is very common. Verbal Communication When communicating with Turkish people first impressions are important. So, a good way to make a good first impression is to speak highly of Turkey, its natural resources, people, geographic importance and your personal experiences as a visitor. Showing interest and excitement at tasting the local foods and demonstrating knowledge of the language will also make a good impression. It is best to avoid speaking about religion and politics during the initial meetings. These are highly sensitive topics that require local knowledge and an appreciation for the views of your host. The wearing of the traditional muslim headscarf (hijab) is also a controversial topic in Turkey that should be avoided. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 10.            |  10     Humour is greatly appreciated, although any jokes should be tempered with respect and consideration for your business partners. Language  matters   The official language of Turkey is Turkish. According to data from Kwintessential, Turkish is spoken by over 63 million people mainly in Turkey, with smaller groups in Germany, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, and other parts of Eastern Europe, Caucasia and Central Asia. Common minority languages spoken in Turkey are Arabic, Circassian and Kurdish. Historically, the Turks have been a nomadic culture and have come into contact with many other languages. However, traditionally they have not shown any eagerness to learn foreign languages. English is taught in most of the public secondary schools. French and German are also being taught, but the majority of the students choose English. However, German has become quite popular in recent years due to the great mobility of Turkish workers to Germany and contact with the language. Although many young people have a fairly good command of the English language, the older generations may not. Therefore, when dealing with senior managers in most companies, it is recommended to use an interpreter in order to avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations. Business  relationships   Personal relationships in Turkey are developed to strengthen business relationships. You have to win Turkish people’s trust before doing business with them. In fact, a business relationship is a personal relationship and by winning your business partner’s friendship and trust, that does not necessarily mean that they will trust anyone else from your company. This is important when selecting key personnel who will represent a company in Turkey as changing representatives at a later date will directly affect the business relationship. Any new individuals who are introduced may be required to develop and build personal relationships from scratch, even when there has been a strong business relationship up to that point. The Turkish business environment exhibits much respect for rank, education and authority. It is usual that the most senior person in the company makes the decisions. However, the decision maker will often involve other people in the company in that process due to the Turkish culture’s strong sense of collectivism. Personal relationships in Turkey can help to create a network of acquaintances and third party introductions are important for building trusting relationships. So, existing relationships may be the starting point for getting to know other people as Turks may initially be hesitant to develop a business relationship with you, if you are not a family member or a part of a close circle of friends. ‘Saving face’ is important in Turkey. Turks tend to be very proud and may be easily offended; so be careful not to embarrass another person. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 11.              |  11   As stated in Communicaid, Culture and Communication Skills Consultancy, website, “in the Turkish business culture, the distinctions between the professional and personal domains of life are not clearly defined and may overlap. As a result of the value placed on the family unit in Turkey, the most senior business person is viewed as a father or mother figure who should consider the well-being of their employees’ family and social duties.” In Turkey, age is considered a sign of wisdom and should be respected in all aspects of society. Business  contact   Turkish people are rather experienced in working with foreign businesses. Foreign managers consider Turks flexible and practical. The best way to approach them is by phone and email in the early stages, then by following up with direct communications. When interacting with colleagues and acquaintances, an arm’s length is an appropriate amount of interpersonal space. However, personal space is closer for Turks than what would be considered usual for many foreigners; so this can be a little awkward for some people. For closer relationships like friends and family members, interpersonal space becomes even smaller and there is a reasonable amount of touching. Public gestures of affection are limited, even though touching is culturally accepted norm in non-verbal communication without any need of there being an intimate relationship. Handshakes are important to Turks. It is important to shake hands when greeting someone and also when leaving, as courtesy is considered a sign of respect. It is recommended to develop personal relationships and participate in networking at all times. Personal  titles   In Turkish business practices, addressing a Turkish professional by his or her occupational title alone, such as ‘Doctor’ or ‘Lawyer’, is considered respectful. You may also hear the phrase ‘efendim’, meaning ’my master’, which Turks use quite often as a polite way of addressing people they do not know personally. It is typically heard from waiters, secretaries, taxi drivers, doormen, shop staff and service workers. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 12.              |  12   Business  Etiquette     Corporate  and  social  responsibilities   Corporate social responsibility has become a vital and popular issue in Turkey. It has become apparent to businesses that developing sustainability of resources is as important as financial sustainability. Business interest in corporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility is growing in Turkey. According to a recent survey of leading Turkish automotive distribution companies’, there is a rising awareness of the importance of corporate social responsibility in Turkey. The findings of the survey highlighted the need for the Turkish parliament to pass relevant legislation and introduce tax incentives in order to promote corporate social responsibility and provide programs for community involvement, especially in education. Punctuality   Turkish people are very traditional and formal when doing business. Therefore, scheduling appointments in advance is important. Furthermore, Turkish people value punctuality, and expect international professionals engaging in business with them to do the same. If for some reason you are going to be late, it is essential to call ahead as soon as possible with a reasonable explanation. Gift  giving   In business relationships, gift giving is not generally practiced. If you decide on giving a gift, it won’t be viewed as an insult, but avoid expensive gifts and choose something small, such as a souvenir from your home country. For social occasions like birthdays, weddings, religious ceremonies, gift giving is normal. It is customary to bring a gift when going to a Turk’s home for dinner. The most common gifts are pastries, or items for the home. Since Turkey is a Muslim country, it is often inappropriate to give alcohol as a gift, unless you are already aware that they do drink and enjoy alcoholic beverages. Business  dress  code   Styles of business attire in Turkey, particularly in the larger cities, are pretty much the same as in other developed countries. Men wear a conservative suit and tie, while women normally wear business suits with either a skirt or pants. During the summer, lighter clothes are acceptable; men can wear a shirt and trousers without a jacket and perhaps even a tie, depending on the formality of the business. Women can wear lighter clothes, without a jacket but making sure not to wear anything too tight or revealing. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 13.              |  13   Bribery  and  corruption   Bribery and corruption are still prevalent in Turkey. The government has taken measures to fight corruption, however, there needs to be more enforcement of anti-fraud legislation. Citizens also share the perception that corruption remains a problem in the country, with a score of 49 in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012, Turkey ranks in 54th position. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 14.            |  14     Business  Meeting  Etiquette     Business  meetings  in  Turkey   It is a good idea to be familiar with Turkish business etiquette before doing business with the Turks. Meetings are important for Turkish business people. It would be a good idea for meeting to be scheduled one to two weeks in advance to avoid Turkish holidays. It is recommended to send details about the people who will be coming to the meeting, including their positions, titles and responsibilities. Although Turks are not vey punctual, they expect foreign visitors to be on time. The meeting may start later than scheduled, but be patient. Turkish society is highly influenced by Islam, so organize your appointments and meetings around each of the five daily prayer times. You should not schedule any appointments during Ramadan or during July and August, since these are the most common annual holiday periods for Turkish business people. The following sections deal with various issues concerning business meetings and examine the ways that Turkish culture deals with these issues. Importance  of  business  meetings   The initial meetings are usually formal, as business is a serious matter and must be treated that way. So it is important to avoid being too casual and friendly, despite the personal relationship that might have been developed. Initial meetings hardly ever lead to decisions and are used primarily as ways to get to know each other. So don’t try to limit the discussion to business only. At the start of the meeting, it is expected for you to greet your Turkish counterpart with a firm handshake. For the Turkish women, men should wait for the woman to offer her hand first. Small talk is good to enter into conversation with before beginning business discussions. Presentations should be short and to the point. The proposal should be clearly structured and presented. Visuals in a presentation always help, so try using good, clear graphics with less text. It is also a good idea to translate important materials to Turkish, in order to get your message across. Business  meeting  planning   There are various issues to consider when setting up a meeting with your Turkish counterpart: • Schedule meetings ahead of time – at least one to two weeks in advance and confirm by email or telephone call. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 15.            |  15     • • • • • • • Learn the proper titles, positions and responsibilities of the people you are meeting with and the proper pronunciation of their names beforehand. You can use professional or occupational titles to address a Turkish business person. Make sure that your first contact is through a third party that is well respected. Trade shows, embassies and banks can provide contacts who can open doors and introduce relevant business partners. Avoid making appointments during Turkish holidays. Most businesspeople in Turkey speak some English, French and/or German. However, it is advisable to ask if an interpreter will be needed. Punctuality is important. If you expect to be late, you should call ahead and give an explanation. Be familiar with the people in your prospective business partner’s organization and their level of importance in the management hierarchy. Titles, such as Doctor or Professor, are appreciated, and are often used without adding the person’s family name. Negotiation  process   The negotiation process may take longer than usual. Turkish business people do not like to be put under pressure and do not like deadlines. Therefore any attempt to hurry the process will only produce negative results. Being patient is an asset when negotiating with Turkish counterparts. The financial benefits are not the only aspects of the negotiating process that should be stressed; power, influence, honour, respect are non-financial incentives that will also influence the business decision. There are still many family run businesses in Turkey, although there are many big multinationals where a more corporate culture is visible. Turks want to do business with those they are keen to, trust, feel comfortable with and can provide a long term relationship. If they sense that you are hiding something, you will most likely be rejected. Decision making in Turkey can be slow. Be prepared to meet several times before the actual bargaining or negotiation stage. You will probably meet with less senior members of a family, before meeting with the key decision-makers. As negotiations proceed and you have been accepted as being trustworthy and your proposal is financially feasible, then it is likely you will meet the executives or senior members. Decisions are ultimately made by the head of the family or company. Turks use tough negotiating tactics, so it is important to leave room for compromising at different stages. When you have arrived at a reasonable compromise, it should be presented in such a way that shows you made the decision because you like and respect your counterpart. Meeting  protocol   When greeting Turkish people in a professional setting, formal forms of address should be used. The first name is never used on its own. ‘Ms.’ or ‘Mr.’ is added to your given name. So, Mr. Ben Smith could be addressed as Mr. Ben or Mr. Smith, but never as ‘Ben’. It is correct to address a Turk as ‘Mr. Ahmet’ or ‘Ms. Ayşe’, but it is also acceptable to use the ‘Ahmet Bey’ or ‘Ayşe Hanım’ as forms of address. If you speak Turkish, use the formal ‘siz’ and not ‘sen’ form of the verb to refer to the second person, even if you know your contact quite well. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 16.            |  16     It is expected to greet the most senior person first as a sign of respect, before greeting everyone else in the room individually. The most common greeting is ‘Merhaba’. After the introductions, if your Turkish counterparts offer their business cards, this can be a sign that they are interested in developing a business relationship and you should offer your card in exchange. It is suggested that you include academic degrees and titles on your card. It is very important to maintain eye contact and smile when you present your card, and take the time to read the card that your partner has given you. This is seen as courteous behaviour, which is necessary to demonstrate that you are seriously interested in doing business. How  to  run  a  business  meeting   For Turks, the first meeting is more social than business. Their aim is to get to know you and it is extremely rude to insist on talking about business right away. Courtesy is crucial in business, so the ability to listen and show patience are the two qualities that the Turks appreciate most highly. You may be asked about your family, interests, cultural and historical questions about your home country, or sports. Don’t be afraid to ask the same questions. Turkish people like talking about their family and personal interests. When speaking it is important to maintain eye contact since this conveys sincerity and helps build a trusting relationship. Business is taken very seriously in Turkey and meetings will have formal protocols and agenda that should be respected. However, business may or may not get discussed in the first meeting as agenda items may not be strictly adhered to. Therefore, you should let your Turkish counterpart lead the discussion. Presentations should always be short and to the point. Make sure that you have a clearly structured proposal. Avoid using too much text since Turks like to communicate visually and orally. Instead, try using diagrams and graphics wherever possible, and avoid complicated expressions and difficult words. It is important that your proposal clearly shows the mutual profitability and benefits of any agreement or partnership, since Turks are serious and astute in business. Follow  up  letter  after  meeting  with  a  client   After the meeting, negotiations and discussions will continue before reaching a deal or establishing a partnership. You should maintain personal contacts and share all the relevant information about the negotiation or the project. Throughout the negotiation, you should remain patient, calm, and understand that delays may occur. If the negotiation is finished with a deal being reached, you should prepare a written contract, which will be strictly followed and respected by your Turkish counterpart. Turkish business people believe that the principal strength of an agreement is in their partners’ commitment rather than the actual documentation. Nevertheless, the agreement may be lengthy and detailed. It is recommended to have a local legal expert review the agreement, before the actual signing of the contract. However, it is not recommended to bring your legal representative to the negotiation table, as it could be taken as a sign of distrust. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 17.            |  17     There may be times when a signed contract is broken or needs to be modified, so being flexible and maintaining trust is important to nurturing an ongoing business relationship. Business  meals   Business entertaining usually occurs in restaurants. For Turks, the meal is a time to relax and engage in some good conversation and build the relationship on a more personal basis. They are proud of their cuisine, so wherever possible try to emphasise your appreciation of the food. Attitudes towards business meals: • • • • Do not offer to pay; the host always pays for the meal. The concept of sharing a bill is completely unfamiliar to them. It is polite to thank the host and return the invitation at the next possible occasion. When you are the host, you should choose a good restaurant and inform the restaurant that you will be paying the bill. Business can be discussed during the meal, but it is advisable to let your host direct the topic of conversation. Turks who are not Muslim may drink alcohol, but as the consumption of alcohol is prohibited by the Islamic faith, it is prudent not to order an alcoholic drink unless your host does first. The local drink called Rakı (pronounced rak-uh) commonly accompanies a meal. At the end of a meal, tea or Turkish coffee will be served. Turkish coffee is a national drink, so it is important to try it at least once. In fact, drinking coffee is gesture of hospitality and you must always accept a drink of tea or coffee, even if you just take a few sips. Restaurant Etiquette • • • • • Be punctual for lunch or dinner. If the invitation was for 8pm, then you must arrive at 8pm. Do not eat or drink before the oldest person at the table has been served and started to eat or drink. Chicken, lamb and fish often form the base of the main course in Turkish cuisine, while pork is expressly forbidden for religious reasons. Smoking is rather frequent at meals, so don’t be surprised if they take breaks between courses to have a cigarette It is expected that guests will finish all the food on their plates and it may cause offence if you do not. Business  meeting  tips   Some useful tips to remember in doing business with the Turks: • • • • • • Appointments are necessary, but first meetings are generally more social Turkish people usually do business with those they trust, like and respect. Dress conservatively: suits with tie for men and smart outfits for women are preferred. Be punctual, but don’t expect punctuality from your Turkish counterparts Don’t use high pressure tactics in order to close a deal, as it may turn against you. Decision-making is a slow process, so be patient. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 18.            |  18     • • • • • • • • At meetings, documentation should be provided in both English and Turkish. Lunches and dinners are for creating personal relationships. Don’t talk about business during a business meal unless the subject is brought up by your business counterpart. A clearly structured and well presented proposal is very important, but not the only factor taken into account in making business decisions. Small talk is useful for opening communication with most Turkish people. When greeting, always greet the oldest person first; Turks have a great respect for the elderly. Exchanging gifts is not necessary in the Turkish business culture, although they would be accepted with gratitude. Maintain eye contact while speaking. Speak slowly enough to ensure that you are understood, but without appearing patronising. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 19.              |  19   Internship  and  placement    Work  experience   Placements give university students the opportunity to spend a period in an enterprise or organization as an intern or trainee. Many university programs require an placement to be completed either during a summer term or winter term. Internships are increasingly becoming compulsory and being added to the curriculum for many programs. Therefore, universities and colleges have developed closer links with leading businesses and organisations to assist their students’ with internship opportunities. Foreign students are also eligible to be placed in a host company in Turkey and given specialized training in an area of relevance to their studies or experience. Many students find work placements either independently by having direct contact with an employer in Turkey through personal contacts or through responding to offers for work placement applications from employers on university websites. The International Cultural Exchange Program Scholarship Foundation (ICEP) is a not-forprofit organisation, which was established in 1995 by the Turkish Prime Ministry Department of Charitable Foundations in order to offer cultural exchange opportunities for young people and students around the world; also aiming to introduce Turkey, its history, heritage and culture to young foreigners. ICEP has links with a range of Turkish companies and acts as an intermediary offering placement positions. Turkish students find placement opportunities mainly through the universities’ international affairs offices or Erasmus student placement offices. There are also websites which show placement opportunities in other countries. Internship  and  placement  advice   There are many practical issues that must be looked into before committing to a work placement. All arrangements must be made with the training organization, home and host universities. It is advisable to plan ahead of time since Turkey is a rather bureaucratic country and you may need more time than usual for paperwork to be completed. Erasmus grants are provided for students who would like to do their work placement in another EU country. These grants are given to students through their home University and their University Erasmus coordinator should take care of all the practicalities. Social  security  and  European  Health  insurance  card   All trainees and interns are responsible for having adequate health insurance. As a foreign student, it is advisable to get private health insurance for the duration of any stay in Turkey. Safety   businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 20.            |  20     Turkey is generally considered to be a safe destination. Nevertheless, pickpocketing and thefts are common in the popular tourist areas of Turkey. You should be cautious in overpopulated or remote areas, in order to minimise the risk of being a victim of such crimes. You should be aware that it is illegal to insult Turkey, the Turkish ethnicity, the government or the founder of modern-day Turkey, Mustafa Kemel Ataturk. Penalties for such behaviour carry fines and possible imprisonment of up to two years. Emergency numbers: • • • 100 (police), 101/112 (ambulance), 102 (fire service) Do  I  need  a  visa?   All foreigners entering Turkey must have a visa. For most countries, a three-month tourist visa can be obtained on entry into Turkey, without prior application. If you are going to study or work in Turkey, you should get an appropriate visa from the Turkish embassy before travelling. Usually, if you have been offered a job, your employer will arrange the required visa. Citizens of the following countries only require a passport for entry into Turkey: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Iceland, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland. Students from European Union member states, who will be studying in Turkey as Erasmus Exchange Students, may enter Turkey with a tourist visa. Students from outside of the European Union are required to have a student visa for the duration of their academic stay. It is the exchange student’s responsibility to apply for a student visa prior to entering Turkey, using the acceptance letter from the University. To work in Turkey, the following are required: • • • • work permit and visa passport visa application form a letter from your future employer The work permit is valid for one year. If extended, the new permit is issued in three year increments. Permanent work permits are available to individuals who have held a valid work permit for six years and have been a resident for eight years. Internship  and  placement  salary   Internships are usually unpaid depending on the organisation. According to ICEP, “students are provided with free accommodation in student Halls of Residence and offer an amount of businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 21.              |  21   pocket money which will depend on your position and the length of your internship: for a period of 3-6 months you can expect to receive around $250 per month”. Internship  and  placement  accommodation   Accommodation for student placements in Turkey is usually provided by Universities and there may be a meal allowance, depending on the internship program. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 22.            |  22     Cost  of  Living     The cost of living in Turkey is more reasonable than neighboring European countries. There are a variety of accommodation options available to suit all tastes and budgets and Turkey offers excellent value for money. On an average, an international student in Turkey will spend about 500 to 600 Euro a month on accommodation, food, clothing, entertainment, transportation and telephone costs, depending on their location and lifestyle. Money  and  banking   Turkey has plenty of local and foreign banks. As a placement student in Turkey you may need to open a bank account at a Turkish bank, which requires a valid tax number and passport. Also, a residency permit may be required depending on the branch and the employee. Foreign banks in Turkey include Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Citibank and J.P. Morgan and Chase, but only HSBC has branches throughout the country. Local banks, such as Garanti Bank, have made an attempt at employing staff who can speak English. However, Isbank owns several European branches and may be more convenient for EU student residents. Payments are normally made in cash or using credit cards with the Turkish Lira. There are ATMs in numerous locations in the cities and internet banking services are provided by nearly all banks. Most banks are open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. Travelling  costs   Students usually pay and organize their own travel to the destination country and cover their daily commuting costs between where they are staying and the premises of the company where they are working. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 23.              |  23   Work-­‐life  Balance     Work-­‐life  balance   Family is extremely important in the Turkish culture and organisations are susceptible to their workers’ family responsibilities. It is not common for organisations to have formal policies and practices in place to help their employees balance work and family responsibilities, but they do honour unwritten obligations. Also, childcare services are somewhat more affordable in Turkey than in the rest of the industrialized world. Many women work as in-home nannies and helpers for a relatively low cost. Support for childcare is also frequently provided by members of the extended family, especially mothers and mothers-in-law. Findings have shown that Turkish men spend far less time doing domestic work than men from other countries, while Turkish women spend far longer than the average. The modern Turkish woman tends to be conflicted about working outside of the home, which is mainly associated with guilt over responsibilities to their families. In addition, as more and more women enter the workforce, younger women worry more about balancing work and personal life, therefore deferring the decision of getting married and having children. In order to balance work with family and personal life, it is important for organizations to pay special attention to providing workers with services that make their lives easier and more manageable. However, although organisations with more than 50 women employees are obliged by law to provide daycare in Turkey, the majority prefer to pay the fines rather than offer this service. In addition, maternity leave is short with no guarantees that a woman will return to the same job, if she wishes to extend her leave period. In general, the uprising of social networks has helped working people establish a work-life balance. However, without the support of organizations having policies and practices monitored and enforced by the government, it will be difficult for working men and women to maintain a healthy work-life balance. National  holidays   It is estimated that 79,8 million people in Turkey are Muslim, which amounts to 99,8% of the total population. Therefore, the religious holidays (Bayram means RELIGIOUS holiday in Turkish) Ramazan Bayrami and Kurban Bayrami are of great importance to the Turks. Religious holidays Ramazan Bayrami is a three-day festival celebrating the end of the fast of Ramadan month. Also known as “Seker (sweets) Bayrami” since it’s customary to offer candies to family members and friends that are visiting. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 24.            |  24     Kurban Bayrami is a four-day festival when sacrificial sheep are slaughtered and their meat distributed to the poor. Celebration of these religious holidays changes according to the Islamic calendar. National holidays Jan 1: New Year’s Day Apr 23: National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (anniversary of the establishment of Turkish Grand National Assembly) May 1: Labour and Solidarity Day (recently added in 2009) May 19: Atatürk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day (the arrival of Atatürk in Samsun, and the beginning of the War of Independence) Aug 30: Victory Day (victory over invading forces in 1922). October 6: Liberation of Istanbul (celebrated only in Istanbul) Oct 29: Republic Day (anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic) Friday is the traditional Islamic weekly holiday, although this is now Sunday in Turkey. Many Turkish men attend the Friday congregational prayer – Cuma Namazi [pronounced juma namz-uh] which takes place around lunchtime. Working  hours   Employment in Turkey is governed primarily by the labour and trade union laws, under which the maximum working week is restricted to 45 hours which should be equally divided between the number of days worked. “However, in accordance with the Labor Law, working hours may be arranged by the employer within the legal limits. In spite of the law, there is no standard work week in Turkey.” The opening hours of Government departments, offices and banks are from 8.30am to 12:30pm and 1.30pm to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. Shops are normally open from 9am to 7pm every day, including weekends. During the summer months, you can expect the working day to begin at 7am or 8am and end at 2pm, in some cities. Health  insurance   The Ministry of Health is responsible for coordinating all health and social welfare activities. Article 60 of the Turkish Constitution states that “Every individual is entitled to social security. The State takes the necessary measures to create this confidence and organizes the organization”. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 25.              |  25   Medical care in Turkey is considered better than in the past, but has not yet reached the quality that should be expected in most of the state hospitals. Private hospitals have upgraded their standards of care and raised the quality of their physicians and medical equipment by investing more money. Unfortunately, there are minimal healthcare services and facilities in rural areas. Besides the state and private sector, hospitals have also been established and run by the universities and the Ministry of Defense. The public healthcare system is paid for through public health insurance which is automatically deducted from people’s salaries. For people who do not work, contributions to public health insurance are still mandatory in order to access the public healthcare system. In order to obtain better quality healthcare, private health insurance is becoming more popular. businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 26.              |  26   Social  Media  Guide     Social  media  guide  for  Turkey   There were 35 million internet users in Turkey as of June 2012, which represents 44.4% of the population (October 2012). Turkey is witnessing an explosion in online social media networks, ranking the 4th largest in global usage of Facebook and 8th largest for Twitter. These rankings have made social media a powerful rival to Turkey’s mainstream media. “Facebook is the most popular social network in Turkey”, according to Social Bakers, “but recently Twitter and personal blogs have gained in popularity. Turkey’s mobile penetration is larger than Internet penetration, which means that people increasingly access their social networks from mobile phones”. Currently, there are 32,354,900 Facebook users in the Turkey, with a penetration equal to 41.59% of the population.. Twitter is a controversial but extremely popular social network in Turkey as it has been the tool for much political and social expression in recent years. The most popular Turkish company on Twitter is TurkCell, which has more than 375,000 followers and a dedicated customer service Twitter account with over 45,000 followers. As far as YouTube is concerned, there is an ongoing battle between YouTube and Turkish officials; as Turkey has reportedly unblocked and then re-blocked the Google-owned video site over unflattering videos of the country’s political leaders. Search  and  Social  Media  Marketing  for  International  Business   Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics: How to develop a personal brand online (1/12) businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 27.            |  27     • • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference. Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=l9LYw0mgtn4&feature=player _embedded How to use Twitter (2/12) • • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile. Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far! http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9CVY3pp91Dc&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12) • • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services. These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zw27cRcwtM0&feature=player _embedded How to use social media for international business development (4/12) businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 28.            |  28     • • Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with? Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Bx-B56AHS4c&feature= player_embedded How to use Facebook (5/12) • • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual. Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UmRGn-vdcO8&feature= player_embedded How to use YouTube (6/12) • • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project. Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=G2 0OVpmTBss businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 29.            |  29     How to use LinkedIn (7/12) • • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries. Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=N6e_EAUQqic&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Google+ (8/12) • • • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013. It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine. Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=8ti 3SPHkEWw How to use copywriting online (9/12) • • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text. Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5f1hx_f2ONI&feature=player_ embedded businessculture.org     Content  Turkey  
  • 30.            |  30     How to stay legal on social media (10/12) • • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access. Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eQxDpiHsdk&feature=player_embedde d How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12) • • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online. How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LbEq7jsG0jg&feature=player_ embedded How to blog (12/12) • • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=OqVjR7oI8Rs&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms. Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC. Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag. Content  Turkey  
  • 31.              |  31     Passport  to  Trade  2.0  Project  Partnership   Five Universities: Lead partner: Salford Business School, University of Salford, United Kingdom Elena Vasilieva Aleksej Heinze Alex Fenton URENIO research unit at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Christina Kakderi Nitsa Papadopoulou TSE Entre Research Centre Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland Satu Aaltonen Elisa Akola Institute for Information System Research University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany Verena Hausmann Susan P. Williams Petra Schubert Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania Adriana Grigorescu Leonardo Badea Three Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Spin, Italy Carmine Antonio Donato Dorella De Tommaso Technology Development & Innovation – TDI LTD Bulgaria Milanka Slavova Ivan Stoychev TIS Praha, Czech Republic Anna Klosova Richard Adekeye businessculture.org     Content  Turkey