8. Business Meetings in Turkey
- DO schedule meetings one to two weeks in advance.
- DON'T try to schedule appointments during Ramadan or during July and August, which is when many Turks take vacation.
- DON'T discuss business right off the bat. First appointments are often just to get to know each other. Engage in small talk about things such as soccer, families, and Turkish history. Avoid bringing up politics.
- DO have your information printed in English and Turkish.
- DO maintain eye contact during meetings. Turks take eye contact while speaking as a sign of honesty.
- DO create graphs, charts, and other visual items for a presentation.
- DO remain patient, as decision-making can be slow in Turkey.
- DO be ready to negotiate. Turks will often suggest something extreme in the beginning to see how you'll respond.
- DON'T use pressure tactics, such as imposing a deadline.
- DO use both hands when exchanging a business card.
- DO get business cards printed with the information in Turkish on one side.
- DON'T be late. If you think you won't be on time, call to explain why.
Turkey has many customs, some having to do with the fact that Turkey is a Muslim country. Because many of their traditions are based on religious belief, it's important to gain respect from the people of Turkey by abiding by their etiquette. Have a wonderful trip to Turkey!