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Turkish in Turkey


Greetings and Partings

There is a wide range of faiths and traditions present in Turkey, and these determine the style of greetings and partings. The majority of the population is comfortable with less personal space than in some countries. Touching and close contact is common and should not be misconstrued as inappropriate behaviour. In an informal situation, people greet with a handshake and sometimes with a kiss on each cheek. Traditionally informal greetings between men and women are confined to a handshake, although that tradition is changing in some circles. Formal greetings include only a handshake. In conservative circles, young people greet not-so-often-seen older family members with a kiss on the hand then placing it on their foreheads to show respect. When greeting someone wearing a traditional head scarf or religious clothing, one might feel more comfortable just nodding and saying "hi" as opposed to making physical contact. When greeting a guest or customer, one says the equivalent of "How nice of you to come" to which the person replies "What a nice place I'm welcomed into." The expressions are listed below.

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Click on the text to hear the spoken phrase.
  • "How are you?"
    (formal)

  • "How are you?"
    (informal)

  • "I'm pleased to meet you."


  • "Good morning"


  • "Good day"


  • "Good evening"


  • "Good night"

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  • "Welcome"
    (formal)

  • "Welcome"
    (informal)

  • "I am welcomed or We are welcomed."


  • "Goodbye"


  • "See you later"
    (formal)