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Socializing in Turkey – An expats Guide

20th August 2015

Expats who have recently started living to Turkey are going to be understandably more unaware of how to act. The good news is that the Turkish people are on the whole very friendly and understanding so don’t worry about there being a few awkward situations at first. Getting the hang of things is going to take a while, but to help we’ve outlined so helpful tips below.

Social Etiquette and Customs

Not everyone will follow social etiquette or traditional Turkish social customs as strictly as others but it’s best to know basics.

• Turkish people in general have a smaller area of personal place so they might stand closer to you then you’ll be used to.

• Handshakes are the proper traditional greeting in Turkey, and this includes shaking hands with men, women and children.

• Putting your hands in your pockets and standing with them on your hips is also seen as rude particularly when talking to people.

• Men and women kissing each other on the cheek when meeting and parting is also common.

• Smoking is prohibited in all public places, although it’s not uncommon to see people flouting the ban.

• Some Turkish people are very inquisitive and may ask personal questions like “how much did you pay for your house?”

• Public drunkenness for both genders is highly frowned upon.

Although moving to Turkey can be a very nervous and daunting experience it’s also a time of great excitement. Although there may be rough times remember every expat in Turkey has been in your shoes.

There are many things out there you can use to help make friends and build up your social network from: expat forums ( ( and Facebook groups and even newspapers are a great way to meet new people and make friends. Check out - Building a new social life abroad

Another way to make this easier would be try and learn the basics of the Turkish language. Check out the YellAli guides about learning Turkish:

- How to Learn Turkish

- Turkish phrases

While learning the language might be tricky it will be a big help it getting to understand the local community and help you integrate.

You may like to check out:-

Key things to get you started living in Turkey

Expats – Building a new social life abroad – Destination Turkey

Turkish Residence Permit



For Turkish Residence Permit Health Insurance, see below link


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