Managing in Turkey

Finding a Path from Uncertainty to Opportunity

Managing in Turkey - Finding a Path From Uncertainty to Opportunity

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Istanbul at sunset.

Turkey became one of the world’s outstanding economic success stories in the 2000s, by sustaining high levels of growth and offering great business opportunities.

But that story turned sour in 2016, when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan imposed a state of emergency after a failed military takeover. Since then, Turkey has been the target of attacks by terror groups, and is beset by security issues and political uncertainty.

If you've been asked to lead a team in Turkey, you'll likely feel apprehensive. However, there are some signs that calm is returning to parts of the country. And, after a downturn following the political turmoil, business activity is returning to high levels of economic growth.

In this article, we'll explore some of the most important aspects of Turkish culture, customs and etiquette, so that you can live and work successfully in this challenging country. We’ll also give you some tips on security, as, in the present situation, your safety is a top priority.


This article is intended as a general guide only. Consider each person's unique needs when managing a Turkish team, and use your own best judgment.

Country and Culture

Turkey straddles two continents, Asia and Europe, and boasts stunning landscapes that range from sandy beaches to rugged mountain ranges.

The Asian side, Anatolia, makes up 97 percent of the country, while the remaining three percent is the European East Thrace. Much of it is surrounded by the Aegean, Black and Mediterranean seas, and it shares borders with Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Bulgaria, and Greece.

Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, is the biggest in Europe and the Middle East, with a population of 14.8 million. The capital, Ankara, is the second-largest city, and it houses the country's democratic, president-led government.


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