HandsOnTurkish blog

News and articles relating to Turkish business and culture as well as project updates

Getting around in Turkey

When you travel around inside Turkey, you can chose between different modes of transport:  trains, buses, planes and even sea planes. Air travel is a common mode of transport inside Turkey. There are many cheap airlines flying between cities, and if you are flying to...

Useful Phrases Public transport in Turkey

Here are some useful phrases you might need when using public transport in Turkey. Bana bir taksi çağırır mısınız lütfen? -  Can you order a taxi for me, please? Saat dokuz buçukta gelsin lütfen. -  For 9.30, please. Borcum ne kadar? -  How much do I owe you? Kaç para...

Useful Phrases: Dining in a Turkish restaurant

Here are some useful Turkish phrases for when you are dining in a Turkish restaurant. Saat bir için bir masa ayırtmak istiyorum. - I would like to book a table for 1 o’clock. Dört kişilik lütfen. -  For four people, please. Yemek listesini alabilir miyiz lütfen?...

Sights in Istanbul (part 2)

İstiklal Caddesi İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Street) is the long main street defining Istanbul’s historical Beyoğlu district. It’s perhaps best known for its shopping opportunities, which range from the high-class to the hipster. Equally worth seeing, though, is...

Sights in Istanbul (Part 1)

Although Istanbul is a major business centre, it is also an important tourist destination. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or The Blue Mosque One of the most prominent sights is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Sutanahmet Camii), which is famous for its six minarets and its immense...

Turkish working hours

Turkish working hours Turkish employees work some of the longest hours in Europe, but this isn’t always reflected in productivity figures. Tea breaks and smoking breaks The business culture in Turkey allows for a lot of smoking and tea breaks and often discourages...

Turkish Proverbs

Proverbs offer an important insight into a nation's culture. Here are some Turkish proverbs with their English translations. Kendini evindeymiş gibi hisset. Feel at home. Şu duvarların bir dili olsa da konuşsa … If these walls could speak a language … İt ürür, kervan...

Turkish and Arabic promoted in German schools

The German state of Niedersachsen has endorsed Turkish, Arabic and Russian as languages to be offered and promoted in schools as way to encourage mutual understanding and open-mindedness. The drive, known as 'Mehrsprachigkeit födern' (promoting multilingualism)...

Visiting a Turkish home

Invitation to a Turkish home Turkish people love inviting guests to their homes for dinner. As a foreign guest you will be treated especially well. Take your shoes off on the mat as you enter the house: in most households shoes are not allowed inside, and a pair of...

Sunrise in Istanbul

Early morning: the tides flushing through the Bosphorus; Miles of water gushing under the bridge. Fish swept one way and another. Fishermen Lined up, casting their lines and luck into the depths. Sardines and sprats wiggling on the sloppy sidewalk floor, Young city...

Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul

Mısır Çarşısı – Egyptian Bazaar An absolute must for any visitor to Istanbul is the Egyptian Bazaar. Here you can find every type of spice you can imagine. The market received this name as Egypt was once part of the Ottoman Empire and all spices as well as coffee were...

Turkish Language Politics – “Turkish Olympics” threatened

It appears that the friction within Turkey has also spread to the language learning arena.  The Turkish Government has taken steps to try to prevent the "Turkish Language Olympiad" taking place. The event was already banned in Turkey so ever since 2014 it has been...

Has the situation in Turkey affected Turkish Language learning?

As a litmus test, we asked language learners whether the political turmoil in Turkey has changed their desire to learn Turkish. Only a couple of years ago, Turkey was heralded as the “China on the Bosphorus”. The economy was booming and investment firms waxed...

Poll: Turkish Politics and Turkish Language Learning

Over the past few weeks there has been a drop in numbers on the site particularly those looking for Turkish language learning materials such as our online courses. Interestingly, there was, however, during this period a surge of interest related to our article on...

What to wear for a business meeting in Turkey

Initial business meetings are usually formal, as business is a serious matter and must be treated that way. Even though the first steps towards a personal relationship may have taken place in a restaurant, it is important to avoid being too casual and friendly when...

Any time is tea time in Turkey

Drinking tea has long been a part of Turkish culture. It is said that tea arrived from China in what is now present day Turkey via the Silk Road. The Turkish word for tea is çay, which is very similar to the Chinese word. During the Ottoman Empire attempts were made...

Book review: The Last Frontier

The Last Frontier - A Sufi Journey by Reshad Feild If thou wilt be observant and vigilant, thou wilt see at every moment the response to thy action. Be observant if thou wouldst have a pure heart, for something is born to thee in consequence of every action. - Mevlana...