The conservative Turkish profile

Inane Gurbuz, Executive Manager EMEA of Azkan Group and professional coach in Turkish Management, shares an excerpt “The conservative Turkish profile” from his book “Doing business in Turkey: a guide to success”


The conservative Turkish profile


When travelling in a country that is 99% Muslim, it can feel
like you are in an environment that is nurtured by and focused on
religion. But the reality is quite different. And as the economic capital
is Istanbul (with over 15 million inhabitants!), this paradox takes on
another dimension. Indeed, in the field, it is almost impossible for
a foreigner to estimate the degree to which their business partners
are religious. At first sight, at a professional meeting, the Turks look like Westerners: they wear the same style clothing, they talk the same way, and they have the same topics of discussion. It is interesting to note that even between each other, they can be surprised by the extent of each other’s religious practice. At the end of the day, you have to be careful not to rush to judgment. Just because your business partners are conservative, it does not prevent them from being very skilled negotiators.

Decision making: “The Turks do business with people not companies”

In daily life, it is interesting to note the passion the Turks put
into what they do, and by extension, into the workplace. In the Eastern subconsciousness, when a decision is made, you don’t reason with a simple YES or NO answer. In Turkey, you either love it or you hate it! There is no middle ground. So, in order to convince your business partner, you need to add ingredients such as emotion,
passion, and your personal thoughts and opinions to your arguments.

If we were to do a world tour of emotional tendencies in decision
making, we would obtain the following results (studies involving
80,000 individuals, Fons Trompenaars, L’entreprise multiculturelle,
Maxima, Paris, 2003). The world would be divided into four groups:

1. In Central Europe, Northern Europe, and the East Coast of
the United States: people either agree or disagree.

2. In Canada and the West Coast of the United States, people
either feel sympathy or indignation.

3. In Asia, reasoning is centred on respect or disrespect.

4. In Southern Europe, Latin America, and the Arab countries,
people either love or hate.

Thus, the reactions of one group can be difficult for people from
another group to understand. Ultimately to make a decision, the
Turks take all the different factors into account: the price, the conditions, and also. . .. theirrelationship with their business partner.

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 services ….