Unwritten Rules About Turkish Culture
As a country with its unique geopolitical position, rich culture, young population, and poly-ethnic society, Turkey attracts foreigners all over the world. Turkey has been home to many different cultures over the centuries and influenced by all the traditions of those societies. Although Turkey’s unique culture attracts foreigners, it still has some unwritten cultural rules that needed to learn.
Here are unwritten rules about Turkish culture:
Time is Important
Time is important for everyone but for Turkish people, it plays a crucial part both in their personal and business lives. Turkish people do not like to be kept waiting or rushing things. If you are meeting with a person, being late or keeping them waiting is seen as rude. Turkish people would like to take their time to discuss matters and think about pros and cons, so you should not rush meetings and give them enough time.
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Warm Greetings are Part of Life
Every country and culture has its own specific communication skills. In Turkish culture, people like to greet each other with physical contact such as handshaking, fist bumps, hugging, kissing on the cheeks, touching on the arm or shoulder, etc. If you are not familiar with them or you refuse to take part in such greetings, it may seem disrespectful. Whether you live in Turkey or carry out business with Turkish people, you should get used to those warm greetings. Although being in the middle of a pandemic Turks, still like to show genuine greetings in different forms such as fist bumps or elbow bumps, keeping physical contact at a minimum.
Show Respect to Older
In Turkey, elderly people are treated with the utmost respect in society. In your personal life when you come face to face with an elder, it is expected from you to kiss their right hand and put it to your forehead to show your respect. In business life, it is the same with some particular differences. If there is an elder person in a business environment, you should let them take the lead while discussing business matters. When you offer a drink you should first serve the elder in the room than others from old to young.
Say Yes to Offers
Turkish people like to make their guests feel at home whether they host them at their house or office. Whether be a friend or a business associate, Turks would like to offer you beverages, food, etc. at any time of the day and would love to invite you to dinners and as a guest, it is expected of you to say yes to offers and agree with them if there is a dinner invitation or some kind. Turkish people tend to turn every business meeting into a social gathering and believe that having drinks or dinner together strengthens the partnerships/relationships.
Do Not Bring Up Politics
In Turkish culture, talking about politics during a social gathering or business meeting is not very welcomed. Turkish people are very passionate about their country and would not approve comments about national subjects or politics in any case. Politics are left to be discussed only between the parties who are very close in social relationships.
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