If you plan to establish or extend your business in the outskirts of Europe and Asia, then Turkey would be the most fertile choice -not to mention it connects Asia and Europe.

Out of millions of travellers visiting the country every year, a major portion is of the business people, making most of the growth opportunities present in Turkey. Capital Istanbul serves as a business hub along with Ankara, maximizing the chances of biz dev.

Getting a Turkish visa will be a piece of cake for you as the authorities have eased the entire process of visa application and approval. Moreover, understanding the rules and regulations of doing business as a foreigner in Turkey, its business norms, paperwork can surround you in anxiety and confusion.

The following article is a beginner’s guide for everyone willing to explore ways to Turkey for business purposes.

What Can a Business Visitor Do in Turkey?

Travellers visiting Turkey for business purposes can engage in a range of activities with Turkish companies, business partners, or associates in the country. These activities are:

    1. Attending business meetings or negotiations with partners or clients. Or
    2. Attending the conventions organized by Industries, or fairs, and congresses.
    3. Taking part in different courses or training provided that the business visitor has an invitation of a Turkish company
    4. Conducting site visits to your own company or the land you are planning to invest or purchase.
    5. Paying services or trading goods on behalf of any company or as a representative from a foreign government

Requirements for a Business Visitor

The government of Turkey requires business visitors to meet specific criteria for entering Turkey. Visitors travelling to Turkey for a business purpose must possess:

    1. A valid passport having no expiry in 6 months, starting from the date of entrance in Turkey.
    2. A valid Turkey Business Visa or Turkey eVisa

How to Apply for a Turkey Business Visa?

For obtaining a Turkey Business visa, the traveller needs to submit his visa application at the Turkish embassy or consulate. He also needs to present an invitation letter from a Turkish company or organization as a hosting agent.

Another option, for entering Turkey is to apply for a Turkey eVisa by a completely online process. Nationals of the eligible countries may submit their online application for a Turkey visa by providing necessary details, attaching required documents and paying the Turkey visa fee.

This method of applying for a visa takes a massive lead over the previous traditional way in which you need to physically visit the embassy, standing in queues, and exhausting yourself. The visitors can apply for eVisa from the comforts of their homes. The online process is smooth, straightforward and quick.

The visas issued by Turkey are valid for 180 days or six months from the date of application.

At Business in Turkey

Sharing the boundary between Europe and Asia, Turkey reflects a blend of cultures to the foreigners. Having good ties with European and western countries, large cities like Istanbul has a cosmopolitan environment similar to major European cities. Despite the diversity, Turkey has its own unique culture that extends to business as well.

Business Culture in Turkey

When you travel to Turkey, you will find its people warm-welcoming and courteous in casual interactions, and so in the business world. In business meetings, it is customary to serve tea or coffee which the attendees should accept to start on the right foot.

For experiencing a successful business relationship in Turkey, the visitors should consider the following reminders.

    1. Treating everyone with respect and grace
    2. Exchange business cards
    3. Become familiar with people you will interact
    4. Start meetings with a friendly conversation
    5. Avoid over-pressurizing to get things done with deadlines or other terms
    6. Avoid discussions on sensitive historical or political issues (For example, the partition of Cyprus)

Body Language and Taboos in Turkey

For a successful business relationship, the business people should focus on understanding Turkish culture and how this can potentially affect conversation and thus future dealings. In Turkey, certain body language and discussion topics are taboo, that might seem innocuous for the foreigners to practice that in their native land, such as:

    1. Keeping hands in pockets
    2. Exposing the soles of your feet
    3. Finger-pointing at someone
    4. Placing hands on hips

Similarly, some practices common in Turkish people may seem strange or even uncomfortable for foreign visitors. For example, they tend to stand very close during conversation or talking. In any case, it is better to know about its culture and norms in advance.

The visitor should also bear in mind that Islam is a practised religion in Turkey, and the majority of its population are Muslims. The first thing to expect from the foreigner is the respect of their religion and other national customs.

The family system culture prevails in Turkey, so it is better not to disrespect any relative of your business partner.

However, you need to select the visa type accurately, business visa or work visa?

Business Visa or Work Permit?

The foreigners who intend to interact in business activities in Turkey without directly involving in its local market need to apply for a business visa. These people can travel to Turkey as Business Visitors.

By possessing a Turkey Business Visa, a foreigner may attend business meetings, become a part of negotiations, undergo different business-related training programs, or conduct site visits, etc. However, this type of visa doesn’t allow the visitor to actually work in Turkey.

People who want to travel to Turkey to do some work or find any job are not business visitors. For work in Turkey, you need to apply for a Work Permit.