HandsOnTurkish blog

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

Turkish language: Vowel harmony (Part 1)

Vowel Harmony In order to provide additional help to new learners of Turkish, Hands on Turkish is publishing a series of articles focusing on particular sticking-points in the grammar that often confuse learners whose first language is not Turkic. These are not...

Did you know….. some lesser known facts about Turkey

Here are some facts about Turkey that you might not have heard before. Turkish cuisine Almost every city in the country has its own cuisine. It might be worth checking what local specialities there are before visiting in order to prepare your responses if your host...

A Poem from Rumi

Here is one of Rumi"s most popular poems for you for the New Year. With best wishes from the Handsonturkish Team. The Guest House This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an...

Turkish business meetings and useful phrases

It is important to show patience when dealing with Turkish business partners. Initial meetings hardly ever lead to decisions and are used primarily to get to know each other. So don’t try to rush into business or limit the discussion to business only. It may take some...

Useful phrases: Greetings in Turkish

Here are some Turkish phrases for greetings you might find useful when travelling in Turkey.   Günaydın  -   Good morning Merhaba / Selam  -  Hello İyi akşamlar -   Good evening İyi günler -  Good day   Nasılsınız?  -  How are you? (formal) Nasılsın? -  How...

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...