Ankara is Turkey’s capital city but mostly business conferances are in Istanbul. For business meetings, a dark suit (with tie) is the norm for men. Women are advised to wear business suits with trousers or skirts below the knee. Visiting businesswomen will usually be treated with the same respect as male colleagues. However, women should be aware that after-dinner invitations to accompany the men to a revue bar or belly-dancing club might imply going to an upmarket brothel, and a woman’s company will be resented. Women are advis ed to clarify the nature of the establishment before going.
English is widely spoken in business circles though to have even the most basic knowledge of Turkish wins considerable respect. Punctuality is expected, with lunch meetings commonplace. Business cards and formal greetings are widely used.
Most Turks prefer to do business with someone they know, trust and respect so establishing a personal relationship is an important part of deal-making. Once a relationship has been established, communication is direct. It is customary for business visitors to address new acquaintances by their first names followed using ‘Bey’ (sir) or ‘Hanim’ (lady).
Secretaries are rarely empowered to take important messages or even know the boss’s schedule, so when phoning, it is usual for callers to be told to ring back ‘one hour later’ or fax your queries. Once the appropriate contacts have been made, however, business visitors are usually treated with personal warmth and courtesy.
As a Muslim nation, Turkey observes the festivals of the Islamic calendar so avoid scheduling meetings during Ramadan. Alcohol consumption is socially acceptable across most of Turkey, however many choose abstinence so it is important to check to be sure.
The agricultural sector, previously of great economic importance, now accounts for only 8.9% of the GDP. It remains a major employer however, and Turkey is self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs like maize, sugar, wheat and barley.
Manufacturing and services are the most important and fastest growing sectors, with banking and the construction industry enjoying major growth in recent years. The services sector makes the greatest overall contribution to the country’s economy, accounting for 59.3% of Turkey’s GDP. The country’s tourist industry is also of primary importance: in 2007, over 27 million tourists visited Turkey, raising US$18.5 billion in revenue.
Underlying structural problems coupled with years of mismanagement and world events brought the Turkish economy to its knees in 2001. In the face of this crisis, the government introduced an International Monetary Fund-backed austerity program that succeeded in cutting inflation from 70% to its current level of 6%. Unemployment was at 9.7% in 2007. The economy was expected to grow by 5.4% and despite a major current account deficit, investor confidence is high, with foreign direct investment attracting nearly US$22 billion in 2007.
Istanbul and Antalya are the most popular venues, followed by Ankara, Marmaris and Bodrum. There are many 4- and 5-star hotels, which provide facilities and can host conferences and meetings to international standards.
Travel is a prominent feature of business life in the World, While there is a large body of literature on health risks associated with business travel, this is almost exclusively focused on infectious diseases and the risks of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism associated with long-distance air travel.
Additionally, companies that have arrangements with particular hotel chains could make having a gym part of the criteria for selecting a hotel chain and employees should be given time and perhaps financial incentives to exercise while traveling. For more information, please contact to Kairos Travel