Doing business

Current business situation

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Turkey. This is regularly updated and should be checked before planning travel.

Business culture

Australian companies looking to conduct business in Turkey need to take local cultural dynamics into consideration.

When meeting for the first time, Turks will address you by using the Western ‘Mr’ (‘Bey’ in Turkish) followed by your surname and ‘Ms’ (‘Bayan’) followed by your surname. Also acceptable is the traditional use of the first name followed by ‘Bey’ for men and ‘Hanim’ for women.

As a rule, there are several people present at any one meeting and proceedings begin slowly with the exchange of pleasantries and the drinking of Turkish tea or coffee. It is best not to refuse the tea or coffee, regardless of how many cups you've already had. A personal relationship is an important basis for a successful business affiliation and it is important to allow time for friendly conversation before the business agenda.

Entertaining in the evenings can greatly assist the development of a close relationship and if you have met business acquaintances on previous trips, it is polite to ask after their families.

Pricing and finance are tackled slowly and never at the beginning of negotiations. Turks are good negotiators and bargaining will be conducted strenuously and often subtly.

There may be multiple incoming and (to a lesser extent) outgoing phone calls made during meetings, Turks make great use of the phone and mobiles are ever-present.

The shaking of hands, both male and female is normal in Turkey. Good friends, again both male and female, kiss each other on both cheeks when meeting, this is not uncommon in the business world, but not expected of foreigners.

In the major cities there is a certain amount of liberalism in dress and custom for women. Business suits for females and males are the norm. Generally, Turks dress more formally than Australians, though in rural and regional areas women should maintain a conservative mode of dress.

Setting up in Turkey

It is advisable to have a local representative to enter the Turkish market, a partner can provide local experience and knowledge as well as contacts in government and private sectors. Austrade’s team in Istanbul can assist in finding the right business partner for Australian businesses.

Turkey's regulatory environment is extremely business friendly and a business can be established irrespective of nationality or place of residence, in a single day by applying to the relevant trade registry office with the required documents. The company is established once the founders declare their intent to set up a joint stock company in the articles of association, which have been issued in accordance with the law and where they, with their notarised signatures, unconditionally acknowledge and undertake to pay the whole capital. The company receives its “legal entity” status upon registration with the trade registry. (Source: Invest Turkey)

Banking and Finance

The credit market encompasses banks, factoring firms, leasing and insurance companies. There are three types of banks in Turkey:

  • deposit
  • development/investment
  • participation.
The Turkish banking system sets a good global example in terms of operation, providing financing for all types of projects or supporting them. The key players are:
  • Public Banks (Ziraat Bankasi, Halk Bankasi and Vakifbank)
  • Private Banks (Isbankasi, Garanti Bankasi, Yapi Kredi Bankasi and Akbank)
  • International Banks (HSBC, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, ING Bank, Finansbank and Denizbank)
  • Participation Banks (Albaraka Turk, and Kuveyt Turk)

Online and telephone banking, debit/credit cards, bonds and checks are widely used. Services in English are available for online and telephone banking.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK)
Doing Business and Invest in Turkey
Turkish Industry and Business Association

News and media

Dunya Online
Hurriyet Daily News

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.