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Work in Turkey

Country flag: Turkey

Turkey has an emerging economy and is striving to be part of the European Union (EU). Jobs may be tricky to find but do exist if you look hard enough…

Job market in Turkey

The economy in Turkey is in relatively good health. Its strong recent growth has been fuelled by trade and foreign investment - one of the country's major export markets is the UK, which accounted for 5.7% of all products exported in 2012. Some of the country's key sectors have also had a part to play.

  • Agriculture - This sector recruits around 25% of the country's total workforce and Turkey is one of the largest creators of agricultural produce. For example, items such as hazelnuts, dried apricots and sultanas are exported across the globe.
  • Manufacturing - Turkey has increasingly strong machine manufacturing and automotive industries. In 2010 the country produced more than 1 million vehicles.
  • Tourism - Last year Turkey was the sixth most visited country in the world with 35.7 million people crossing its borders, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. The Turkish government has recently set a target to be among the top five countries globally in terms of tourism revenue by 2023.

It is worth remembering that Turkey is a country that is still suffering from political uncertainties. This may affect international recruitment.

Job vacancies

Jobs in Turkey are found through word of mouth and networking. Failing this, you can try English language newspapers and their respective websites, such as Turkish Press .

Forums are also a good place to find positions and ask questions. An example forum is Turkey Central - Working in Turkey .

It is worth noting that unskilled jobs such as bar and restaurant work are rarely occupied by foreign nationals. The Turkish government prefer Turkish citizens to be employed in these roles, mainly due to the high unemployment rate in the country.

Work experience and internships in Turkey

A good way of exploring Turkey and its people can be through an internship or work placement.

Summer work placements and internships can be organised by:

  • AIESEC UK  - for students and recent graduates;
  • IAESTE UK  - for science, engineering and applied arts students.

One organisation that offers paid internships in Turkey is the ICEP Scholarship Foundation. The service is free and ICEP has links with companies in a number of different sectors.

There are numerous language schools across Turkey that need English-speaking graduates to help teach. Those wishing to follow this route need to be native English speakers, hold a degree and TEFL qualification.

Volunteering in Turkey

Voluntary work is a great option for those who can afford it - you can help the local people and improve your language skills at the same time. The big cities always require volunteers and there should be many charities and local projects to get involved in.

A useful website to begin your search is Volunteer Abroad .

Language requirements

Having a strong knowledge of the Turkish language is fundamental before applying to work in the country. However, some roles will require less fluency, and those teaching English may only need a basic grasp.

For a decent starting point and to learn some key phrases, head to BBC Languages - Turkish .

Turkish visas and immigration

You must apply for a residency permit one month before you arrive in Turkey. Residency permits are issued for two years, and then a maximum of five years after the initial one has expired.

Work permits are also necessary for employment in Turkey. These can be arranged by the employer, but if not, you need to apply to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Be sure to contact the Turkish consulate in London before travelling.

For more information on moving to Turkey, visit GOV.UK - Living in Turkey .


Further information

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
October 2013

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