Learn some essential Turkish phrases before you travel to Turkey if you plan to visit. Making your trip more enjoyable will be easier if you know how to say common Turkish words and phrases.

The English language isn’t as widely spoken as in some other touristic countries, but don’t let that stop you from visiting this natural and geographical wonder.

The following post outlines several different categories of Turkish greetings and phrases, including shopping, dining, navigation, and more. Before you arrive, bookmark this article and learn some basic Turkish vocabulary.

45+ Turkish Phrases For Tourists – Make Your Journey Meaningful

In addition to making your time in Turkey more enjoyable, you will also impress Turkish locals by learning these basic Turkish phrases for tourists.

Turkish Phrases
Turkish Phrases

Speaking Turkish is absolutely a delight for Turkish people. For tourists, learning a few phrases in Turkish will be very helpful.

You will be treated as an honored guest if you make even the tiniest effort to speak Turkish with the locals.

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Let’s begin with a few basic Turkish words that will help you pronounce them correctly.

First of all, each letter in Turkish has only one sound. It is a completely phonetic language. With the exception of a few extra letters, Turkish uses a Latin script.

The extras are as follows:

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{ğ \longrightarrow}}\) The placeholder letter does not make a sound, it simply elongates the letters around it.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{ş \longrightarrow}}\) says sh

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{ç \longrightarrow}}\) says ch

Additionally, you will see dotted and undated i’s, o’s, and u’s, but you can pronounce them just as usual since they are only slightly different in appearance.

While that difference is important for advanced speakers, it isn’t necessary to worry about it if you only want to learn the most common Turkish phrases for tourists.

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Basic Turkish Greetings And Salutations

It is widespread in Turkey to exchange greetings. There are dozens of conversations every day that are basically the same song and dance.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Merhaba \longrightarrow (mer-ha-ba)}}\) Hello

Hello in Turkish is the most basic word that anyone can say at any time.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nasılsın? \longrightarrow (nas-il-sin)}}\) How are you?

How are you? is the most common way to ask someone how they are.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{İyiyim,\ Sen\ nasılsın? \longrightarrow (ee-ee-im, sen nas-il-sin)}}\) I’m good, how are you?

Answering the previous question and then asking it back to the person is the purpose of this phrase.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Benım\ adım \longrightarrow (ben-im, ad-im)}}\) My name is.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Senin\ adın\ ne? \longrightarrow (sen-in, ad-in, nay)}}\) What is your name?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nerelisin? \longrightarrow (ner-el-i-sin)}}\) Where are you from?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Hoş\ geldin \longrightarrow (hosh, gel-din)}}\) Welcome

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Hoş\ bulduk \longrightarrow (hosh, bul-dook)}}\) A way to say thank you for welcoming me

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Kolay\ gelsin \longrightarrow (kol-eye, gel-sin)}}\) May it come easily (said to someone who is working, usually when coming or going)

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Görüşürüz \longrightarrow (goo-roo-sh-oo-rooz)}}\) See you again, goodbye

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Iyı günler \longrightarrow (ee-ee, goon-ler)}}\) Have a good day

Turkish Phrases For Common Courtesy Or Interaction

As Turkish people are used to a more formal way of interacting, learning a few basic Turkish phrases that express common courtesy is also very important.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Teşekkür\ ederim \longrightarrow (tesh-ek-ur, ed-er-im)}}\) Thank you

One of the hardest words in the entire language, but also one of the most important. You may find the option below easier if you are having trouble with it.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Sağol \longrightarrow (sa-ol)}}\) An easier way to express thanks, it literally means be healthy

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Rica\ ederim \longrightarrow (ri-ja,\ ed-er-im)}}\) You’re welcome

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Çok\ güzel \longrightarrow (choke,\ goo-zel)}}\) Very beautiful

Also, the word \(Çok\) is very useful and can be added before anything to emphasize it. It means very much, and Turkish people use it a lot.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Elinize\ sağlık \longrightarrow (el-in-iz-ey,\ sa-lick)}}\) Health to your hands.

Using this method, you can thank your cook for the work they put into making your meal.

Turkish Phrases For Transport And Navigation

Getting around Turkey’s major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, and Izmir will be easier if you know these basic Turkish words for tourists. Also, they will be helpful if you want to explore some of Turkey’s more rural and natural areas.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tuvalet\ nerede? \longrightarrow (to-let,\ ner-ay-day)}}\) Where is the bathroom?

They will understand you if you pronounce the toilet like you do in English.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Otobus\ nerede? \longrightarrow (ot-o-boos,\ ner-ay-day)}}\) Where is the bus?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Havalimanı\ nerede? \longrightarrow (ha-va-li-ma-ni,\ ner-ay-day)}}\) Where is the airport?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Taksi\ nerede? \longrightarrow (tak-si,\ ner-ay-day)}}\) Where is the taxi?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Taksi\ ne\ kadar? \longrightarrow (tak-si, nay,\ ka-dar)}}\) How much is the taxi?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{AVM\ nerede? \longrightarrow (ah-ve-mey,\ ner-ay-day)}}\) Where is the mall?

Shopping malls are commonly abbreviated as AVM.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Hastane\ nerede? \longrightarrow (has-ta-ne,\ ner-ay-day)}}\) Where is the hospital?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{nerede? \longrightarrow (ner-ay-de)}}\) You might have guessed from the above phrases that the word nerede means were, and you were right.

The benefit of knowing this is that you can just place any word in front of nerede and it will mean “Where is” the thing or place?

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Turkish Phrases For Dining Or Food

There are several Turkish phrases and names of foods that are helpful to know when going out to eat so that your meal is not a cultural or culinary disaster. A few of them are listed below:

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Menu\ alabilir\ miyim? \longrightarrow (men-u, al-a-bil-ir,\ mee-yum)}}\) Can I have a menu?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Fiyat\ ne\ kadar? \longrightarrow (fee-yacht,\ nay,\ kad-ar)}}\) How much?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tavuk \longrightarrow (ta-vook)}}\) Chicken

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Et \longrightarrow (et)}}\) Beef

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Kuzu\ eti \longrightarrow (koo-zoo, et-ee)}}\) Lamb meat

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Balik \longrightarrow (bal-ick)}}\) Fish

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Vejetaryen \longrightarrow (vej-e-tar-yen)}}\) Vegetarian

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Allerji \longrightarrow (all-er-ji)}}\) Allergy

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Çok\ lezzetli \longrightarrow (choke, lezz-et-lee)}}\) Very delicious

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Hesap\ alabilir\ miyim? \longrightarrow (hey-sap,\ al-a-bil-ir,\ mee-yum)}}\) Can I get the bill?

Turkish Phrases For Shopping

Turkey, especially Istanbul, is not complete without shopping. Taksim Square and the Grand Bazaar are two of Istanbul’s most famous and fun shopping areas.

Try going to a modern-day bazaar, held in most neighborhoods at least once a week, if you want to see how Turkish people live.

You will find these Turkish words and phrases useful when you travel in Turkey.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Kapalı\ çarşı \longrightarrow (cop-al-a,\ char-sh-a)}}\) The Turkish name for the Grand Bazaar

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Pazar \longrightarrow (pa-zar)}}\) The name for a modern, local, open-air market

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ne\ kadar? \longrightarrow (nay,\ ka-dar)}}\) How much?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Taksim \longrightarrow (tak-sim)}}\) The name of one of the most famous districts for shopping in Istanbul.

Turkish Phrases For Emergency

A few Turkish words will come in handy if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Imdat \longrightarrow (eem-dat)}}\) Emergency, use the phrase if you feel threatened by someone

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{155 \longrightarrow (yuz-el-ee,\ baysh)}}\) The emergency number you can call if you need to, and how to pronounce it in Turkish

25+ Commonly Used Turkish Love Phrases

There are few feelings as profound and as rewarding as love. There is even a language for it, according to some sources. Although a glance or gesture can suggest our love for someone, words are the best way to convey it.

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It is essential for a solid relationship that we verbalize our feelings and acknowledge those we value. Additionally, sincere words and phrases are always better than fancy, exaggerated ones.

You will be more than prepared to express your love in Turkish at every stage of your relationship after reading this section.

Let’s move on to our guide to Turkish love phrases and other romantic words.

You can use these common Turkish love phrases to express your feelings to someone Turkish.

Common Love Words In Turkish

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{aşkım \longrightarrow}}\) My love

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{canım \longrightarrow}}\) My life

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{bi\ tanem \longrightarrow}}\) My only one

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{hayatım \longrightarrow}}\) My life

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{sevgilim \longrightarrow}}\) My darling

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{balım \longrightarrow}}\) My honey

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{tatlım \longrightarrow}}\) My sweety (used for girls)

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{güzelim \longrightarrow}}\) My beautiful (used for girls)

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{çiçeğim \longrightarrow}}\) My flower (used for girls)

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{gülüm \longrightarrow}}\) My rose (used for girls)

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{meleğim \longrightarrow}}\) My angel (used for girls)

Most Common Turkish Phrases For Love

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Seni\ seviyorum. \longrightarrow}}\) I love you.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Seni\ çok\ seviyorum. \longrightarrow}}\) I love you so much.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Senden\ çok\ hoşlanıyorum. \longrightarrow}}\) I like you very much.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Benimle\ çıkar\ mısın? \longrightarrow}}\) Would you like to go out with me?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Benimle\ dans\ eder\ misin? \longrightarrow}}\) Would you like to dance with me?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Benimle\ evlenir\ misin? \longrightarrow}}\) Will you marry me?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Evlenme\ teklifi. \longrightarrow}}\) Marriage proposal.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nişanlı \longrightarrow}}\) Fiancee

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Rüyalarımın\ erkeğisin/kadınısın. \longrightarrow}}\) You are the man/woman of my dreams.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Seninle\ olmak\ istiyorum. \longrightarrow}}\) I want to be with you.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Seninle\ kalmak\ istiyorum. \longrightarrow}}\) I want to stay with you.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Seni\ çok\ özlüyorum. \longrightarrow}}\) I am missing you very much.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Seni\ çok\ özledim. \longrightarrow}}\) I missed you very much.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Biraz\ daha\ kalabilir\ misin? \longrightarrow}}\) Can you stay a little longer?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Seni\ bir\ daha\ ne\ zaman\ göreceğim? \longrightarrow}}\) When will I see you next?

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Bir\ yerlerde\ buluşalım. \longrightarrow}}\) Let’s meet somewhere.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Seni\ görmek\ istiyorum. \longrightarrow}}\) I want to see you.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Çok \ güzelsin. \longrightarrow}}\) You are very beautiful.

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Turkish has some beautiful and inspirational words steeped in history.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yakamoz \longrightarrow (ya-ka-moz)}}\) Sea sparkle

The word yakamoz refers to the moment when the moonlight hits the surface of the sea. Scientists associate bioluminescence with the light emitted by sea creatures, which appears as sparkling phosphorescence on the surface.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Aşk \longrightarrow (ashk)}}\) Love

Aşk, which means love in Turkish, is one of the most powerful words in the language. There is a lot of melodrama surrounding emotion in Turkey. Turkish poetry, songs, and soap operas often use the word.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Işıl \longrightarrow (ishil)}}\) Sparkling

It is a popular name among girls as it implies the brightness, sparkle, or glimmer of something. Turkish people usually repeat the word twice to emphasize its importance.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yürek \longrightarrow (yü-reck)}}\) Heart

There are several ways to use yürek depending on the situation. If you use it at the butcher’s, you will receive an animal heart, but describing someone with a lot of yürek refers to someone who is courageous.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Babayani \longrightarrow (ba-ba-ya-nee)}}\) Unpretentious

The term babayani refers to an honest, faithful person who isn’t concerned about material things, but should be used more often in everyday conversation.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Safderun \longrightarrow (saf-der-oon)}}\) Endearingly naive

In Arabic and Farsi, safderun describes someone with a pure heart who is easily fooled. It is also used in Turkish to describe things that are untouched. Saf means pure in Arabic.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Özgürlük \longrightarrow (öz-gür-lük)}}\) Freedom

zgürlük means freedom or independence in Turkish. When it is shortened to özgür – which means free – it becomes a common name among Turkish men.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Sevgi \longrightarrow (sev-gee)}}\) Love

Despite the fact that sevgi and aşk both mean love, their meanings are different. The aşk represents a more passionate and intimate love, whereas the sevgi represents the kind of love shared between friends and family. In Turkish, seni seviyorum means I love you.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Memnu \longrightarrow (mem-noo)}}\) Forbidden

The word memnu is used to describe something forbidden, such as love. Turkish soap operas like Aşk -Memnu, which focused on a love that was frowned upon, are among the top series in the world, at least for those who enjoy drama.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Izzetinefis \longrightarrow (iz-zet-ee-ne-feez)}}\) Self-respect

Izzetinefis is a beautiful term originating from Arabic. It is composed of two separate words. Izzet (which is also a popular Turkish name) means excellence and dignity, while nefis means soul. Self-respect and belief in someone’s soul are represented by izzetinefis.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Hayal \longrightarrow (ha-yal)}}\) Dream

The word hayal is used specifically to describe a daydream or hope. To daydream in Turkish is to hayal etmek, whereas to dream at night is to rüya.

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20+ Popular Turkish Phrases/Proverbs And Sayings

Idioms, like proverbs, have been handed down from generation to generation. By addressing a situation in Turkish culture, Turkish idioms describe situations or concepts that are far from their true meaning. The importance of idioms in Turkish history cannot be overstated.

Some conjoined phrases have the correct words for us, but some also have a very funny meaning. We’ll take a look at some together (with their verbatim translations).

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Cambul\ cambul}}\)

Meals are so watery because of this.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Çanak\ yalayıcı \longrightarrow }}\) Hanger-on, a*s-licker

A person who spends time with rich and important people in order to gain an advantage.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Fincancı\ katırlarını\ ürkütmek \longrightarrow }}\) Stir up a hornet’s nest, scare the horses with fragile cups

When a person should not get angry in a difficult or unpleasant situation.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Icığını\ cıcığını\ çıkarmak \longrightarrow }}\) Search something with a fine-tooth comb

A blow-by-blow examination of an object or event.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Nato\ kafa\ nato\ mermer \longrightarrow }}\) (as) thick as two short planks

An extremely stupid person.

Palas pandıras}}\) (helter-skelter): moving quickly and in all directions.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Tavşanın\ suyunun\ suyu \longrightarrow }}\) broth of rabbit’s rabbit

This means how far it is between 2 points.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Uma\ uma\ döndük\ muma \longrightarrow }}\) transformed to be a candle by futile hopes

Get disappointed.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Zemheri\ zürafası\ gibi \longrightarrow }}\) like a giraffe in the winter

Used for people who wear thin clothes in the winter months.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ayar\ vermek \longrightarrow }}\) fine-tuning

By using bad words or actions, you can create a bad situation for someone.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Uma\ uma\ döndük\ muma \longrightarrow }}\) transformed to be a candle by futile hopes

Get disappointed.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Gideri\ olmak \longrightarrow }}\) be bangable

Usually used for something or someone as it/her/she is okay, useful. It is also used for s*xual meaning.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ağızla\ kuş\ tutmak \longrightarrow }}\) catching a bird with a mouth

When the acts of someone will not be tolerated even if he does the miracles.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Balık\ kavağa\ çıkınca \longrightarrow }}\) when the fish climbs the tree

If you say that something will happen when hell freezes over, you mean that it will never happen (When hell freezes over).

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Dimyat’a\ pirince\ giderken\ eldeki\ bulgurdan\ olmak \longrightarrow }}\) run out of bulgur at home while trying to get the rice in Dimyat

Go farther and fare worse.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Çarşamba\ pazarına\ dönmek \longrightarrow }}\) to be like the bazaar in Çarşamba

Messing something up like the crowds in bazaars. In the neighborhood, the bazaar is open on some days for the public, to buy household, fruits, and vegetables.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Dingonun\ ahırı \longrightarrow }}\) like a three-ring circus

In old times, there were horseback trams in İstanbul. A person, the a.k.a Dingo, had owned a barn to house horses in Taksim. After a while, this place became where everyone stopped by (literally “barn of Dingo”).

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Kulağını\ tersten\ göstermek \longrightarrow }}\) Showing the ear from the opposite side

To take the farthest and most difficult way, even though someone can show you an easier way.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Eşref\ saatinin\ gelmesi}}\)

For weddings, travel, or war, people waited for auspicious (“eşref”) days. The movement of stars and planets was believed to be responsible for this time (“eşref saati”). The present time requires us to wait for the right moment.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Goygoyculuk\ yapmak}}\)

It is used in present discourse as a twattle.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{İpsiz\ sapsız\ gezmek \longrightarrow }}\) To ramble without a rope

It is used for bums or good-for-nothing people.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Püsküllü\ bela \longrightarrow }}\) trouble with a tail

Fezes were used with or without tassels in ancient times. Windy or rainy days sometimes made it difficult to tie these tassels. When a person starts experiencing difficulties and troubles, this idiom is used.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Zılgıt\ yemek}}\)

Get tongue-lashing.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Üç\ buçuk\ atmak \longrightarrow }}\) to beat three and a half

Be scared out of one’s mind.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ense\ yapmak \longrightarrow }}\) lie on nape

Lie down on the job.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Yağlı\ müşteri \longrightarrow }}\) fatty whale

It means that the customer is rich.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Çam\ devirmek \longrightarrow }}\) take down the tree

Put one’s foot in one’s mouth.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Ne\ oldum\ delisi\ olmak \longrightarrow }}\) to be mad of status

Start to think he’s/she’s something special, playing cool.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Çizmeyi\ aşmak \longrightarrow }}\) pass over the boot

Go beyond the limit.

\(\mathbf{\color{red}{Saman\ altından\ su\ yürütmek \longrightarrow }}\) flow the water under the haystack

Do something secretly.

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Why do Turkish say, Allah Allah?

During your stay, you will certainly have the opportunity to say, Allah Allah. This phrase means “oh boy”, “wow”, “oh my goodness”, “well, I never”, and “good Lord.” You will hear it at least once a day.

What does Mashallah mean in Turkish?

Mashallah literally means “what God has willed has happened”; it is used to express something good that has occurred in the past. Inshallah, literally “if God has willed”, is used similarly but to refer to a future event.

Is Turkish an easy language?

It’s one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn. Agglutinative languages are agglutinative languages. Instead of using separate prepositions, what would be a complete sentence in English gets compounded into a single very long word.

How do you say thanks in Turkish?

In Turkish, “Thank you” is Teşekkür ederim.