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Old 3rd December 2006, 17:33   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

We have quite a few members who have had business in Turkey, some still do, some have had enough and moved on to pastures greener.

I wanted to have to this section to get some feedback about running a business in Turkey and how easy or difficult it is dealing with the government departments and of course people on day to day basis.
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Old 3rd December 2006, 18:07   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

During the two years that I lived in Altinkum I succesfully ran my own 'Property management and rental company' (albeit illegally) on my own as I was not prepared to have a Turkish person as a partner or involved in my business in anyway what so ever.
Also during this time I owned 50% of the 'Didymian' newspaper for a period of 4 or 5 mths, Built 4 or 5 websites for various businesess and helped out at an estate agents for a while.
In my experience I found it to be extremely frustrating when working together with Turkish people for various reasons:
1..They can't accept that part of being professional involves NOT coming accross as desperate to every potential customer that calls,walks past or into their office.
2..They insist on allowing their wives and children to sit around in their office as if it's their living room at home, playing games on their computers, having afternoon naps on the furniture and having their friends round for tea!
3..They ask for your help and advise on how they could improve their business and then continue to do things in exactaly the same way that they have always done it..Bit like feeding caviar to pigs (waste of time!!)
4..They have it in their heads that British people have all got money and if they havn't they can just go back to the UK and get some more.
5..The vast majority of Business owners in Altinkum have no experience of living in a European country and have no real idea of how the British mind really works.
6..Very few are qualified or have the experience in the business that they are working in.

I personally found it difficult to work together with Turkish people without falling out with them but saying that I find that difficult with anybody!!
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Old 3rd December 2006, 19:04   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

When doing any business in Turkey as any where i suppose but as this is all about Turkey we will keep it to TURKEY, You have to be extra careful as so many people have been misled one way or the other, even by the government departments.

When i went to pay a small fine for letting my visa run out on my passport i was told by the Police station how much i had to pay and that i had to go to the government office to pay it, 163ytl to bring my visa up to date then i could apply for my residence permit.

I went to the office paid the 163ytl, was given a receipt to show i had paid, then i had to take this back to the police station to show i had done so, the police officer i had seen had gone to lunch so i left it for him for when he got back, he phoned me half an hoyr later and said "This is no good you have only paid 113ytl.

I told him i had paid the 163ytl because i went to the cash point on the way to pay it and rew out 160 ytl and put the 3ytl to it which i already had on me, he explained the receipt shows i paid 113ytl. I went straight to him to see and collect it to go back to the office for them to correct their mistake.

I went to the office, explained to them the situation and all of a sudden the girl i saw couldnt speak English and called security to remove me, i called an interpreter to explain to this woman who lost all memory of her knowledge of English what i was saying.

I told the interpreter she was a theif, as she had her money balance so she said. I was told you cannot call a muslim a theif, it is frowned upon here. I said well she is she has put 50ytl in her pocket and made receipot out for 113ytl. I called the police they said the same as the interpeter and there was nothing i could do, so i had to pay the 50 ytl again and get a receipt to show i had, this time i checked it, and have checked every receipt since even market receipts.

If you are European you are a taget weather you like it or not even at Government level. Yes i shouyld of checked my receipt you say and yes i should, but would she of owned up if i had spotted it as she handed it to me, i doubt it and the interpreter thought the same.

The moral is clear, be on your guard at all times when it comes to parting with any money however much it is for.

I have many others like this, but ill let some one else tell us about theirs before i go on too much.
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Old 3rd December 2006, 19:48   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by rafiki
During the two years that I lived in Altinkum I succesfully ran my own 'Property management and rental company' (albeit illegally) on my own as I was not prepared to have a Turkish person as a partner or involved in my business in anyway what so ever.
Also during this time I owned 50% of the 'Didymian' newspaper for a period of 4 or 5 mths, Built 4 or 5 websites for various businesess and helped out at an estate agents for a while.
In my experience I found it to be extremely frustrating when working together with Turkish people for various reasons:
1..They can't accept that part of being professional involves NOT coming accross as desperate to every potential customer that calls,walks past or into their office.
2..They insist on allowing their wives and children to sit around in their office as if it's their living room at home, playing games on their computers, having afternoon naps on the furniture and having their friends round for tea!
3..They ask for your help and advise on how they could improve their business and then continue to do things in exactaly the same way that they have always done it..Bit like feeding caviar to pigs (waste of time!!)
4..They have it in their heads that British people have all got money and if they havn't they can just go back to the UK and get some more.
5..The vast majority of Business owners in Altinkum have no experience of living in a European country and have no real idea of how the British mind really works.
6..Very few are qualified or have the experience in the business that they are working in.

I personally found it difficult to work together with Turkish people without falling out with them but saying that I find that difficult with anybody!!
All I can say is that you should be happy to run your bussiness illegally in Turkey, because I don't think you would be able to run one like that in UK for a second.
Thanks for admiting this here out in the open that you had illegal bussiness. But you could not also admit this if you were in Turkey.
I agree with all you had said and lewismark's comments and this happens in Turkiye. As a Turk I feel sorry to hear this from our guests. But same time I would like to see also our foreign friends to admit here how they had made easy money in Turkey under these conditions and also how nice the weather is and beautiful Turkey is.
There is always good and bad. This is another thread we'll hear most bad experiences in Turkey. I hope at the same time the good things balance out comments like these for my Country.
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Old 3rd December 2006, 20:14   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by VWBug
All I can say is that you should be happy to run your bussiness illegally in Turkey, because I don't think you would be able to run one like that in UK for a second.
Thanks for admiting this here out in the open that you had illegal bussiness. But you could not also admit this if you were in Turkey.
I agree with all you had said and lewismark's comments and this happens in Turkiye. As a Turk I feel sorry to hear this from our guests. But same time I would like to see also our foreign friends to admit here how they had made easy money in Turkey under these conditions and also how nice the weather is and beautiful Turkey is.
There is always good and bad. This is another thread we'll hear most bad experiences in Turkey. I hope at the same time the good things balance out comments like these for my Country.
Plenty of people work illegally in Altinkum and it is over looked (so far) as this is the only way they can earn any money..this does not make it 'Easy Money' though, it still has to be earned!!
As for working illegally in the UK it's even simpler...ask anyone thats living on benifits that has a new car sat outside their house and can be seen in the local pub 7 nights of the week!
You may be right in saying that we are guests in Turkey however don't forget we are PAYING guests!!
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Old 4th December 2006, 00:17   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

I understand exactly where you are comeing from rafiki and you have my full support,i can directly relate to what you are saying, until someone has lived it they really arent able to see the pitfalls, alot of members only visit their properties a few weeks a year and are always in holiday mode, they dont get to see and experience the issues and the real difficulty in liveing and working there, and as this post is about doing business there then we have to mention that all the depertments i have dealt with have Turkish workers so if they prove difficult to deal with as i can assure you they do and because we are European they will try and pull any stroke they can to get that little bit more out of you as mentioned in my previous post, and that isnt the only one.

I had to get an interpreter to do a business contract on a shoe shop, he must of thought it was my first time haveing to pay for one, so he tried to charge me 160ytl when the rate is normally 30-40ytl, i told him so and he became quite agressive that i had pointed out he was a theif, this i know now really gets them wound up, not that i want to wind them up but we are provideing money for their economy and they want more, the more you give the more they want. You have to be so careful with every transaction when signing any business contract and before signing make sure you see their money too as 9 times out of ten they wont put any in, they will try and use all yours.

To sum up, i have felt that i have been working against the Turkish more times than not because of the mis trust many have instilled in me, not all but MOST, i have had business dealings with.

When you go on holiday you see the smiles the white teeth and the friendly atmosphere. That sticks until you have the business dealings, i thought you had to be ruthless in the UK, but in Turkey you have to stick to your beleifs and instinct, and be more ruthless and questioning.
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Old 4th December 2006, 07:25   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

Let me just say that NOT everyone is out to rip you off. I for one find doing business here just the same as any where else but done differently. Crooks are around everywhere in what ever country but things are done here the Turkish way and not the British way.
Why do you think big CEO's take a cultural training course once they move here? You just cant bring your work ethics from your last country and install them here.
Learn the language, learn the culture and you would have better success at running a business.
Remember, you cant just go around and call anyone a theif, it takes on a different meaning here as does questioning someones honour etc etc.
This why learning the culture and language is so important. if you show you dont trust Turks, accuse them of things, etc then word gets around (even faster in resorts) amongst the community and then it makes things harder for you.
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Old 4th December 2006, 08:16   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

In many ways I agree with Rafiki and if anyone is running a business that employs primarily Turkish staff to deal with European clients then managing those staff can be difficult. Training them to work your way is extremely difficult, getting THEM to work legally can also be an issue - many workers do not want to be employed legally and are highly suspicious of being paid "on the books".

Accountancy fees can be high but your accountant is vital to get you through the processes here and his personal connections can make your life more straightforward so he is worth what you pay him.

Contracts are essential - employment contracts with staff, contracts with suppliers. Without contracts you are liable to find little recourse for complaint or repair on delivery of goods or services.

Supervision is essential at all times, far more so than in the UK. Planning ahead is often difficult as schedules/instructions fail to be understood further down the employment strata as often there are difficulties communicating amongst the staff depending on the first language/relative education/social standing of the employee.

That said it can be a very exciting place to do business. It is a very young and often energetic society and ideas and opportunities arise often and can be explored. It feels less bound up with pointless rules than the UK and it makes business fun (yes, I am sad, I get excited about business!). You are allowed to be more flexible in the businesses you undertake here and can take advantage of opportunities more readily than you could in the UK.

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Old 4th December 2006, 08:39   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

I had a business here in Turkey, and the thing I found most annoying was, the people you employ are constantly telling you how to run your business. Telling me I need to do this and that, and buy this and that, afterall it's very easy to spend someone else's money isn't it?? In the end I closed the business, the reason????? all and I mean ALL of the stock was gone and not one lira in the till. When I asked why, I was told all the money was being sent to the employee's family in Izmir he also admitted to drinking half of the stock. There was no shame or regret, and this was someone I trusted. The acutal setting up of the business was quite easy and I done everything legally, all of the authorities seemed easy enough to deal with. One other thing that annoyed me was relying on other business, advertising etc, business cards which were promised within the week took 4 weeks and then were all spelt wrong, but again his seems to be the norm. It was certainly an experience, and the quickest way to lose weight ever, I can certainly reccommend the 'stress diet' it done wonders for my wieght. But seriously, anyone considering my best advice would be, do not rush in, think think and think about it first and always trust your own instinct. Looking back, I would do it again but I would not treat any employee as a 'friend', this is probably where it all went wrong. But you live and learn, sad thing is I have learnt not to trust anyone now where money is concerned, but then I wouldn't trust too many people back in the UK either.
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Old 4th December 2006, 13:47   #10 (permalink)
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Re: How was your experience of doing business in Turkey

This had the makings of a very interesting thread if people weren't so touchy. Rafiki and other contributors gave an honest account of their experience of running a business in Turkey. He probably could have used more diplomatic language, but this isn't an essay writing competition.

Jane, don't let one bad experience put you off starting another business. Let that setback make you stronger by resolving not to make the same mistakes again.

Maria.
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