10 Most Common Turkish Greetings

10 Most Common Turkish Greetings

There are a lot of different ways of greeting someone in Turkish. Here you will find 10 most common phrases. But be careful! Some of them don’t work if you’re in a formal situation, like talking to your boss or someone old.

1) MERHABA

Merhaba!

2) NASILSIN?

Online Turkish Lessons
Informal Form

+ Nasılsın?
– İyiyim. Sen nasılsın?
+ Ben de iyiyim. 

  • Sen nasılsın? (How are you?)
  • iyi (fine)
  • iyiyim (I’m fine)
  • ben de (me, too / I’m also …)

What about if you’re talking to your boss or someone very old? In these situations, you might want to keep it relatively formal.

Online Turkish Lessons
Formal Form

+ Nasılsınız?
– İyiyim. Siz nasılsınız?
+ Ben de iyiyim.

3) HOŞ GELDİNİZ

Online Turkish Lessons
Formal Form

+ Hoş geldiniz.
– Hoş bulduk.

Hoş geldiniz is very popular among the Turks. It means “welcome”. The literal meaning of hoş geldiniz is “it’s nice that you came”. Hoş bulduk is how you should reply back when somebody tells you hoş geldiniz. The literal meaning of it is “it’s nice that we found you”, “It’s nice to see you”.

Online Turkish Lessons
Informal Form

+ Hoş geldin.
– Hoş bulduk.

4) NABER?

Online Turkish Lessons
Informal Form

+ Naber?
– İyilik. Senden naber?
+ Benden de iyilik.

Naber? is a more informal and friendlier way of asking “How are you?” It means “What’s up?”, “What’s the news?”. When somebody asks you this, you should reply iyilik, which literally means “goodness”. The nearest equivalent to it would be “everything is fine” and you can ask back: Senden naber?

5) GÜNAYDIN

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Günaydın (good morning) is one of my favourite phrases! The literal meaning of it is “May your day lightened!”. It can be used until noon.

6) İYİ GÜNLER

Online Turkish Lessons
Formal

İyi günler. Bir kahve lütfen.

When you go to a grocery and want to greet the seller, or when you see your new neighbour or when you want to greet a complete stranger during the day, you can use iyi günler. It’s a very formal expression.

7) İYİ AKŞAMLAR

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Formal

Another formal way of greeting is iyi akşamlar (good evening).

8) KOLAY GELSİN

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+ Kolay gelsin.

– Sağ olun.

The literal meaning of Kolay gelsin is “May/let it come easy.” It’s used when somebody is working on something (difficult jobs or easy matters, any kind of challenges, such as washing the dirty dishes, cooking, homework, exam…) to wish them a good day and a smooth way to finish whatever they are up to. It can be used with anyone anytime. 

9) BUYURUN

Online Turkish Lessons
Formal
Buyurun, buyurun, buyurun!

Buyurun has many meanings, depending on context.  Let’s look at a few situations. 

  • In many busy places such as markets, souvenir shops, restauranst etc. there is often a barker who will be saying to all passers by buyurun! “Come and buy!”.
  • When you enter a shop, the shopkeeper may say buyurun? “Hello, how can I help you?”.
  • In a restaurant or cafe, the waiter says: buyurun? “What would you like?”

10) AFİYET OLSUN

Online Turkish Lessons
+ Afiyet olsun!

– Teşekkürler.

In Turkey you will hear Afiyet olsun on a daily basis. There is no real equivalent in English, but it can be translated as “Enjoy your meal!”.

Now you know 10 different ways of greeting someone. Of course there are more to add to this list.

Which other phrases do you know?
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