#HOTCS: Pinar Ozdemir, Ankara

“When Canadian companies call us and tell us they’re travelling to Turkey, our suggestions sometimes include cultural sensitivity. For instance, in Turkey you don’t say Mr. Abdullah. If the person’s first name is Mike, you say Mike Bey (the honorific for men). If it’s a woman, you say Sarah Hanım (the honorific for women). Your Turkish contacts will really appreciate the effort you make in using the Turkish language, even if it’s just a few words like “thank you” or “have a good day.” It definitely makes a difference – such small nuances can change the relationship you’re building in a local market. There won’t be an expectation that the meeting will be in Turkish, but when your local contacts recognize that you’re trying to fit in and you drink the tea they offer, it really does play a factor in how they perceive you and how serious you may be in the market, rather than going in and being completely Anglophone or Francophone.”

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