15 Essential Turkish Phrases for Travellers

15 Essential Turkish Phrases for Travellers

Turkish people love to hear foreigners speak Turkish, and are often pleasantly surprised so they may end up treating you to some gifts (possibly food). So, if you do enjoy interacting with locals and learning new languages, read below for 15 essential Turkish phrases before you travel to Turkey. 

If you get nervous when you are trying to speak in a foreign language because you don’t know how to pronounce things properly, don’t worry! Turkish is a phonetic language and learning the alphabet is enough to pronounce Turkish correctly. 

To learn how to pronounce any of the Turkish phrases below, you can just use Google’s translation service by pasting the phrase to the translation box and clicking the listen button.


First things first, you need to know how to introduce yourself in case you would like to make a new friend when you are travelling. 

Hello, my name is XXX. 

“Merhaba, ismim XXX.” 

What’s your name? 

“İsminiz nedir?” 

Nice to meet you 

“Memnun oldum.” 

See you! 


Please and Thank You 

Politeness is an important trait for Turks, more so in big cities. If you find yourself stuck in the subway struggling to get past people, you’ll need to say something other than sorry. 



Thank you. 

“Teşekkür ederim.” 

Pardon me. 


Yes. “Evet.” 

No. “Hayır.” 

Okay. “Tamam.” 


Finding your way in Turkey can be quite tricky. Although you have Google Maps and it’s pretty accurate in metropolitan cities like Ankara and Istanbul, you might need to get a taxi in other cities like Bodrum, Çeşme and Antalya. Luckily, just knowing where you want to go and knowing how to say please will be enough to instruct your taxi driver. For example you can say: 

Sultanahmet please. 

“Sultanahmet lütfen.” 

To ask for directions in Turkey, you’ll just need the name of the place you are going and add where (“nerede”) behind it, for example: 

Where is The Grand Bazaar? 

“Kapalı Çarşı nerede?” 

We must warn you though, asking for directions may end up causing you more confusion than clarity. So we would recommend you to ask which bus (“otobüs”), minibus (“minibüs”) or “dolmuş” goes to your destination, especially in Istanbul. 

You can check out our Istanbul guide to learn how to get around in Istanbul. 

Shopping phrases 

Turkey is shopping heaven with incredible sales all year long and cheaper prices for clothing. The only thing we wouldn’t advise you to buy outside of duty-free is alcohol and cigarettes. For which products you can bring from Turkey, check out our blog post about bringing goods into the UK from Turkey. 

Usually bigger shops will have price tags on everything so you might not need to ask but for anything that doesn’t have a price tag, just go ahead and ask! 

How much does this cost? 

“Bu ne kadar?” 

Unless you are at H&M or Zara, negotiating is a common thing for shoppers in Turkey. So you’ll need to know the essential phrase: 

Can you make me a deal?

"Bir güzellik yapar mısın?" 

This is a very conversational phrase and the vendor would be very surprised to hear you say it, which can increase your chances to get a better price. 


You might not always find a public toilet outside, in which case you will need to ask to use a café or a restaurant. 

Excuse me, may I use the toilet? 

“Pardon, tuvaleti kullanabilir miyim?” 

When it comes to ordering food in Turkish, you are in luck! You just need to look up the name of the food or drink you like. 

You would say: 

Coffee please. 

“Bir kahve lütfen.” 

This may sound grammatically incorrect but it’s commonly used in informally. 

When it’s time to ask for the bill, you can also say “Bill, please” (“Hesap lütfen) but if you want to form a full sentence use the phrase below. 

Can I get the bill please? 

“Hesabı alabilir miyim?” 

To learn more about Turkish and Turkey, check out Yabangee: an English online publication by expats and Turks alike. We’d also advise you to check out our Turkey travel guide before going to Turkey. Enjoy your holiday!


You can cancel your hotel reservation.
Check out all Cancellation & Refunds
By making a reservation today, you can protect the price with a low price.

Payment Dates and amounts will be displayed in detail on the Payment Page.