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Working in Turkey?

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Sven Baudach

Living in Turkey, from Germany

"My business partners, also mainly expats, and me, we always use the wonderful InterNations Events as an informal get-togethers."

Maggy Roswick

Living in Turkey, from the USA

"With all the great information and contacts provided by InterNations, it was no big deal to get settled in Istanbul."

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Turkey at a Glance

Working in Turkey

If you thought of Turkey mainly as a tourist destination, think again! Many expats are drawn to Turkey not only due to its hospitality and warm climate, but also for the many business opportunities. Our guide has details on working in Turkey and tips on the job search and business etiquette.

Unfortunately, Turkey’s present unemployment rate is rather high, at around 10%. Expats who plan on working in Turkey should be aware that job opportunities are not that easy to find. However, it is not impossible as there is also a lack of qualified local employees in specific fields.

The Turkish business world is shaped by a strong emphasis on the importance of personal relationships. While on your expat assignment in Turkey, you will quickly find out that business is often conducted slowly. Unlike in some other countries, pressure will not get you far. Instead, patience and a talent for personal interactions are the key to successfully doing business in Turkey.

Which Field Fits You Best?

Despite the high rate of unemployment, there are quite a few job opportunities in Turkey if you have the right qualifications. If you are not sent to Turkey as a diplomat or on an intra-company transfer, you may be able to find employment in the following fields:

The Big Job Hunt

When you arrive with nothing but your plans of working in Turkey, the job search may seem complicated at first. However, local offices of the Turkish employment agency may help you find a placement with a company. Their offices are located in every larger city in all 81 provinces. However, they usually only cater to job seekers with good Turkish skills, so be sure to have a decent command of the language before coming to Turkey.

Online searches and daily newspapers are a great source as well. The weekend editions of Hürriyet, Milliyet and Sabah are especially interesting.

Networking also has a big effect in Turkey, as business relationships are largely based on personal trust. Contact other expats and see if they have some suggestions for how you can go about the job search. 

Getting Some Help: Private Employment Agencies

Employment agencies are an alternative to the traditional job search. Most private agencies are specialized on middle management or executive positions for people working in Turkey. You can find the contact information of these agencies in the classifieds sections of local newspapers. Make sure to inquire about costs and the agency’s approach before you sign up.

Alternatively, you can start your job search before you get on a plane. Turkish employment agencies may also show job listings in newspapers in your country of residence. These may provide you with additional information on being employed in Turkey.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

InterNations Expat Magazine