Recent developments for business in Turkey have been positive, with more opportunities coming to market as the country re-engages from its current status as an outsider economy. But before diving into all of these possibilities, it is important to understand the basics of doing business in Turkey.
Turkey has a very complicated tax system that can be difficult to navigate even for seasoned businessmen. In this article, we will go over some quick tips about how to run your business in Turkey while also understanding Turkish taxation laws!
We will also look at some hard numbers to show you what kind of rewards Turkey offers entrepreneurs, as well as some potential pitfalls depending on the type of business. By having a basic understanding of the country’s regulations, you will know where to focus your efforts to grow your company.
Disclaimer: The content here should not be construed as financial advice, and I encourage you to do your own research or consult another professional in the field. Financial situations are always unique, and there are no one size fits all answers.
Over the past few months, tensions have steadily mounted in Turkey as its citizens continue to protest the government’s handling of an attempted coup and subsequent crackdown.
On July 15th, a faction within Turkish military tried to overthrow the government by seizing control of several areas and killing many civilians. This sparked a nationwide state of emergency that has since continued, making it nearly impossible for most people to do their jobs and live normal lives.
During this time, the government suspended all forms of free speech, arrested or fired thousands of officials from various sectors, including teachers, police officers, and public servants, and launched investigations into those who voiced opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Since then, there have been almost constant reports of arrests and harassment against individuals who are involved in protesting the regime or speaking out about the atrocities committed under his rule.
This is not the first time Erdogan has put pressure on freedom of expression in Turkey. Back in 2016, during another wave of protests over a proposed referendum he wanted to expand his powers, authorities shut down access to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Following the failed coup attempt of July 15, there have been many different public and private sector responses concerning business in Turkey. Some businesses have closed down or reduced activity due to fears of violence or terrorism, while others have chosen to remain open with precautionary measures in place.
Many large international companies have either moved some of their operations out of the country or terminated contracts in Turkey, leaving thousands of employees without work.
Some governments have restricted travel to Turkey or even imposed economic sanctions, making it more difficult for citizens and tourists from outside the country to visit.
Other countries have decided not to do business with Turkish entities or individuals until after investigations into those involved in the coup are completed, adding extra time and cost for entrepreneurs that are already facing significant challenges.
Overall, these concerns will have an adverse effect on the tourism and investment industries in Turkey, as well as domestic economies dependent upon foreign spending.
Tourism has played an important part in the growth and development of the country. Since the Ottoman Empire, Turks have been traveling to enjoy the rich history and culture that they have.
As we know, Istanbul is one of the most visited cities in the world. It was ranked as the best destination for travelers by many websites and magazines.
Turkey’s rising popularity can be linked to its natural beauty. In fact, some would say that it is a place with no bad weather. The year-round warm temperatures make for pleasant beach trips or outdoor activity holidays.
The mountainous landscape provides opportunities for active holidaymaking. There are lots of ways to achieve this, from hiking and biking to rock climbing and skiing.
Another reason why people visit Turkey is the wide range of culinary experiences available. Many tourists come for the food and spend hours exploring different dishes and drinks.
On their return home these individuals spread the word about the great meals they had there! This helps promote the local cuisine which is a very popular way to eat in Turkey.
People are often characterized as being either “East” or “West” dependent upon where they were born and raised. In other words, people are categorized as Turkish or not depending on whether they speak Arabic or Farsi, eat rice or pasta, wear jeans or a dress shirt with a suit jacket, and so on.
But this distinction between East and West is misleading because it presupposes that there are only two categories – Eastern and Western cultures. There are actually many more!
There are several major cultural groups within what we refer to as the “Western Culture” sphere, such as British, American, and French cultures, just to name a few. And beyond those, you have Latin cultures (Spanish, Italian), Northern European cultures (German, Scandinavian), and then finally the Asian cultures (Chinese, Japanese, etc.).
So really, how can someone be called “Turkish” if they don’t speak any Turkish and therefore aren’t part of the Turkish culture? This term is quite problematic. It implies that Turks are somehow one homogeneous group with a unified identity, which they definitely are not.
Given all of these nuances, it makes sense to simply say that every person in Turkey comes from somewhere else, which is their home country. They may also have parents who were born and raised in Turkey, but still consider themselves full-fledged citizens of their homeland even though they now live abroad.
Coming into this article/bullet point, you should know that not only does Turkey have several national languages, but also many regional dialects as well. This is very common in large countries with diverse cultures!
As such, it’s difficult to say how “internationalized” Turkish business has become. But what we can tell you are some of the most important Turkish cities.
These aren’t just any city, they’re major population centers with bustling economies and rich cultural heritages. These are places where international businesses like yours could potentially do extremely well.
If your company wants to expand beyond its current borders, these are must-visit locations for professional and personal growth.
What makes Turkish cuisine unique is that it is both rich and diverse. There are many different types of foods, including soups and stews, grilling and roasting dishes, fermented products like yogurt and käse (cheese), grilled or toasted breads and rice and noodle-based dishes.
As with any culture, there are regional variations within the culinary landscape of Turkey. For example, people from the south tend to cook with more olive oil than other regions, while those in the west enjoy using fresh herbs more frequently.
Turkish restaurants typically offer several styles of mezes — small plates designed for sharing — as well as çorba (boiled vegetables), etli şey (grilled items) and lahmacun (thin flatbread). These basic components can be mixed and matched to create new recipes, which show off the country’s vibrant culinary heritage.
Another important part of the cuisine is namaz ode – soft pretzels dipped into either tomato sauce or white cheese and sprinkled with dried oregano.
Arts in Turkey focus more on meeting the needs of the people than promoting an artistic style or genre that is popular elsewhere. Artists here strive to express their creativity through different mediums such as painting, sculpture, music, and performing art forms like acting, singing, and dancing.
The reason for this is simple – Turks love to look at and talk about things they understand. An artist’s creative expression may be noticed but usually not understood unless it is familiar to someone else.
This isn’t to say there are no artists who promote a specific style, but these artists are very few and far between. More often than not, artists will experiment with various styles and media to find one that fits what they want to convey. This way, their work is less focused on just their personal style and instead, it touches upon other artists’ styles as well.
Another important part of arts education in Turkey is understanding how culture impacts society. Cultural products such as books, films, and songs influence thinking and behavior in both positive and negative ways. Positively, they help create cultures that value diversity and open-mindedness. Negatively, they can contribute to societies that feel threatened by differences and others who are better than them.
If you are planning to visit Turkey, then it’s time to start making arrangements! While there’s never an ideal timing for travel to this beautiful country, your best chance of having clear skies and nice weather comes during spring or autumn. Both months see relatively light rain, which doesn’t prevent people from enjoying the rest of their day, so don’t let that stop you from visiting.
If possible, try to avoid traveling around June as this is considered high season due to the Turkish Independence Day celebrations. The same goes for August, when many Turks take vacation at this time.
You can also check out our article about everything you need to know before travelling to Turkey to make sure you're prepared for all situations.