Work Life in Turkey: A Dynamic Blend of Tradition and Modernity

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Work life in Turkey reflects a unique blend of cultural traditions, evolving business practices, and the aspirations of a dynamic workforce.

As a country located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey boasts a diverse economy and a workforce that combines traditional values with a desire for progress. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of work life in Turkey, including working hours, workplace culture, career prospects, and the balance between professional and personal life.

Working Hours and Patterns

In Turkey, the standard working week is typically 45 hours, spread over six days, with Saturday being a half-day. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards a five-day working week in many sectors. The workday usually starts around 9 am and ends in the late afternoon, with a lunch break of one to two hours.

However, it is important to note that working hours can vary depending on the industry and company. For example, certain sectors, such as tourism and hospitality, may require longer working hours during peak seasons. Additionally, some companies may offer flexible working hours or remote work options, particularly in urban areas and industries that embrace modern work practices.

Workplace Culture and Hierarchy

Workplace culture in Turkey is influenced by a mix of traditional and modern values. Respect for hierarchy and seniority remains an important aspect of the Turkish business environment. Employers are generally seen as authority figures, and there is a hierarchical structure within organizations. Decisions are often made at the top levels of management, with limited input from employees lower down the hierarchy.

Additionally, interpersonal relationships play a significant role in Turkish work culture. Building trust and maintaining harmonious relationships with colleagues and superiors is crucial. Socializing and networking outside of working hours are common practices, as they help foster stronger connections and facilitate collaboration within the workplace.

Career Prospects and Professional Development

Turkey offers a wide range of career prospects across various industries. The country’s diverse economy encompasses sectors such as manufacturing, finance, tourism, technology, and agriculture. Major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir serve as hubs for business and employment opportunities.

Professional development is highly valued in Turkey, with many individuals pursuing higher education and specialized training to enhance their career prospects. Continuous learning and skill development are considered important for professional growth. Employers also play a role in supporting employees’ development by offering training programs and opportunities for advancement.

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is increasingly recognized as important in Turkey. Traditionally, work has been prioritized over personal life, but attitudes are changing. Turkish labor laws prescribe annual leave entitlement, paid sick leave, and maternity leave to ensure a level of work-life balance for employees.

Nevertheless, achieving a balance between work and personal life can still be a challenge for some individuals, especially in demanding industries or for those in managerial positions. Long working hours, commuting, and traffic congestion in major cities can contribute to a sense of imbalance. However, as the younger generation enters the workforce, there is a growing emphasis on achieving a better work-life equilibrium.

Gender Dynamics and Diversity

Turkey has made strides in improving gender equality and diversity in the workplace. While traditional gender roles still influence some aspects of work life, such as expectations around caregiving and household responsibilities, women are increasingly joining the workforce and pursuing professional careers.

Efforts are being made to promote gender diversity, with initiatives focusing on equal pay, leadership opportunities for women, and flexible work arrangements. However, challenges persist, including the underrepresentation of women in senior management positions and the persistence of gender-based discrimination.


Working life in Turkey is a dynamic interplay between tradition and modernity. While hierarchical structures and respect for authority persist, there is an increasing recognition of the importance of work-life balance and professional development. Turkey’s diverse economy provides a range of career prospects, and efforts are being made to promote gender equality and diversity in the workplace. As Turkey continues to evolve and adapt to global trends, work life in the country is poised to embrace a more progressive and inclusive outlook, offering opportunities for individuals to thrive in their chosen professions while maintaining a fulfilling personal life.

Azkan Group can support you in your Employer of Record (EOR) and payroll requests (also called Umbrella Company) in Turkey. We can manage your HR requests even if you don’t have a legal entity in Turkey.