Coming to Turkey for an internship, it could get very scary when not knowing the Turkish language. However, fear no more! In this series, I will teach you some basic Turkish phrases to help you mingle around in the cities. Moreover, having a few Turkish phrases in mind could end up leading you to some great conversations with the locals! Our first theme is greetings.

Merhaba – Hello 

To begin with, Merhaba is a common greeting phrase that you can use any time throughout the day. It comes up very handy and you can use it in both formal and informal situations.

Günaydın – Good morning 

When you are saying günaydın to a friend, you can also say günaydın canım. This means “good morning, my dear”. You can always hear the word ‘canım’ in daily conversation. It is a way to share that you care of the other person.

In the morning, you may sometimes hear people saying sabah sabah, which is “early in the morning”. In the morning, if you ever would like to complain that it is so early in the morning, you may say sabah sabah ya with a tiring face. The locals will be impressed by you knowing this phrase in the Turkish language! 

Turkish Language

İyi akşamlar – Good evening 

You can use this phrase anytime in the evening. It is common to say it with your neighbour or strangers as a greeting. The word İyi means good, whereas akşam means evening. Sometimes, you might hear bu akşam in some conversation, which is “this evening”. lar is a plural suffix that goes after the word akşam

İyi geceler – Goodnight 

Similar to the phrase İyi akşamlar, İyi geceler is one of the greetings that is used in the evening. The only difference is that you should only use it before going to bed. 

Nasılsın? – How are you?

Nasılsın is another form of Turkish greetings to ask how others are doing in an informal way. You can use it to ask your friends, family, and people your age. Alternatively, you can say naber? instead, which means “what’s up?”.

However, in a formal setting such as talking to your boss or attending a business meeting, you should say nasılsınız? instead to keep the conversation in a formal and respectful manner. 

İyiyim, teşekkürler – I am good, thanks

Lastly, this phrase is used in responding to nasılsın informally. If you would like to ask another person “how are you”, you can add ya sen? after saying teşekkürler, which means “and you?”. 

However, in a formal setting, you may want to say İyiyim, teşekkür ederim. This is a formal way to express thank you. If you would like to ask the other person, instead of ya sen?, you can say ya siz?.


If you are stuck with a word and cannot let the subject go, you can always check the dictionary website for the Turkish language.

I hope this gives you a foundation of how to greet someone. In the next series, I will introduce some phrases in the Turkish language of how to introduce yourself to someone for the first time. Please let me know in the comment section what you think about these phrases or if you have any questions. Stay tuned, hoşça kal!

 Here is part 2; Ordering Food.

If you enjoyed my post about Turkish Language, you may be interested to read about Turkish Cuisine on this link.

One Reply to “Turkish Language ‘s Hints: Speak like a Local #1 – Greetings”

  1. […] If you like this post, you may also like to check out Part 1. […]

Leave a Reply