Inane Gurbuz, Executive Manager EMEA of Azkan Group and professional coach in Turkish Management, shares an excerpt “Initial contact in Turkey” from his book “Doing business in Turkey: a guide to success”
It is customary for men and women to shake hands when greeting
each other during the initial contact in Turkey, although if your partner is a woman, it is better to
wait for her to reach out first; in general, a simple nod is enough
to begin with.
Below are some of the topics that are regularly discussed in Turkey
during the first quarter of an hour when people meet (see the
“NetworkChecking” section in the chapter “Networks”):
1. Present yourself: your age, your origins, your career path, and
how well you know Turkey.
2. If you like the country, now is the time to share your reasons.
3. Football: take a glance at the results of the Turkish football
teams the previous day. However, avoid making any judgements; it
is preferable to keep your comments positive, as you may be dealing
with a fierce supporter of that club.
4. International political events
Intial contact in Turkey : the tea ceremony
Tea is a real institution in Turkey, and no meeting can begin
without a glass of tea or coffee! It would be impolite to refuse. Turkish tea is unique: black in colour, it needs infusing for quite a long time (15 minutes) in a çaydanlık (a sort of combined kettle and teapot with two levels). It is traditionally served in small tulip-shaped glasses.
The tea ceremony has a special meaning and multiple purposes:
6 The main purpose is to get to know each other. Remember that
you are in a country oriented around people and human relationships, in contrast to Western culture whererationality, professionalism, and procedures take precedence.
The rest of this text is available in our book « Doing business in Turkey: a guide to success » . Since 2005, AZKAN Group has acted as a consulting firm for all your development projects in the Turkish market: consulting in implementation, detection of partners, market research, Recruitment Turkey, Payroll Turkey ….