Be on time for a meeting!

Southern European countries may have a reputation for being laid back about time, but don’t be late for a business meeting! Turkish business etiquette dictates, where lateness happens, it is usually the privilege of the more powerful party: not too dissimilar to some business cultures in the West.

Turkish employees

Turkish employees work some of the longest hours in Europe, but this isn’t always reflected in productivity figures. The business culture in Turkey allows for a lot of smoking and tea breaks and often discourages employees from acting without explicit orders from above. However, when orders do come, they are expected to be carried out quite quickly, leading to a stop-start form of working.

Workers are expected to be time flexible from their employers’ perspective, which sometimes makes it very difficult for women to keep working after they have children. On the other hand, employers in some workplaces, especially those with a strong Islamic ethos, are willing to give their female employees lots of paid time off work during pregnancy and lactation.

Checklist for Turkish business etiquette

  • Turkish people usually do business with those they trust, like and respect.
  • When greeting, always greet the oldest person first; Turks have a great respect for the elderly.
  • When speaking, it is important to maintain eye contact since this conveys sincerity and helps build a trusting relationship.


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