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To which language should you translate to localize in Turkey?

What we know from our community:

Turkish is the official language of the Republic of Turkey. Some 70 other languages and dialects are also spoken, including various dialects of Caucasian and Kurdish as well as Arabic, Greek, Ladino and Armenian, and Balkan languages like Bosnian, Albanian, Bulgarian, the almost extinct Syriac.  Of the 4,000 or so languages currently spoken in the world, Turkish ranks seventh in terms of numbers of speakers and area, being used by around 200 million people. Outside of Turkey, the Turkish diaspora and minorities in the former Ottoman lands (about 30 countries) speak Turkish. Closely related languages fall under the umbrella of Turkic languages and for Turkey, “Istanbul Turkish” is the modern, accepted norm. The language is phonetic, agglutinative, and grammatically genderless, uses some special letters and follows a vowel harmony.

A map of Turkey would quickly reveal that geographically it is a bridge between the west and the east, which makes her also a hub for trade and business. One thing to keep in mind when localizing in Turkey would obviously be to be aware of the cultural nuances and sensitivities. Not labeling the country and/or the culture simply as Middle Eastern or Arabic would go a long way as well as avoiding religious undertones. We take pride in living on a beautiful land that has been a cradle of civilizations for many centuries, speaking a language that dates back even more centuries and we are a very diverse bunch.



Official language
Turkish >70%


T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Other languages
Kurmanji, Arabic and Zazaki

Low proficiency (EF) – 70 of 112 countries/regions in the world- 34/35 position in Europe.


Capital: Ankara
Currency: Turkish lira
Population: 82m
Population density: 110/km2


GDP: 815,27 billion USD (2021)
GDP per capita: 9,586.6 USD ‎(2021) ‎
Exports: $177 billion (2020)


Internet users: 82% penetration, 69.95 million
Unemployment rate: 13.2% (2020)
Urbanisation: 69.65% (2018)
Literacy: 96.15% (2018)


Numbering system
Arabic numerals with comma as decimal separator

Date format: dd-mm-yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0090

Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal

Facts and data


$207 billion (2020). Gold ($23.7B), Cars ($8.17B), Refined Petroleum ($6.13B), Scrap Iron ($6.01B), and Motor vehicles; parts and accessories (8701 to 8705) ($5.84B), importing mostly from Germany ($24B), China ($22.1B), Russia ($13.1B), United States ($10.7B), and Italy ($8.94B).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 68% have an account with a financial institution
• 42% have a credit card
• 16% have a mobile money account
• 36% make online purchases

Ease of doing business
It is very easy to conduct business (rated 76.8 out of 100) ranked 6th out of 24 European and Central Asian countries ranked 33rd out of 190 countries worldwide (2020, World Bank)

Global Innovation Index
Ranked 4th out of 39 Northern African Western Asian countries, 41st out of 132 worldwide.

The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.

$177 billion (2020).  Cars ($10.1B), Motor vehicles; parts and accessories (8701 to 8705) ($4.59B), Delivery Trucks ($4.34B), Gold ($3.97B), and Refined Petroleum ($3.51B), exporting mostly to Germany ($16.3B), United Kingdom ($12.7B), United States ($10.3B), Iraq ($9.14B), and Italy ($8.23B).

Main local online stores
MercadoLibre, eBay and Amazon, Netshoes, Alibaba,,, Frávega, Apple and Cencosud

Economic freedom
‘Moderately free’ (rated 56.9 out of 100) ranked 42nd out of 43 European countries ranked 107th out of 186 countries worldwide (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)

Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal

Service Exports (2018)

Source: OEC

Service Imports (2018)

Source: OEC

Most specialised products by RCA Index

Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Turkey observed and expected exports in each product

Source: OEC

Most complex products by PCI

Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters

Source: OEC

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that Turkey is not specialized in

Source: OEC

Total distribution of payment methods in Turkey in 2018

Source: Statista

Distribution of e-commerce payment methods in Turkey in 2019

Source: Statista



Reach most of the online purchasing power

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

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Media language

Information channels
Turkey’s failed coup in 2016 had a profound impact on the media. Under emergency rule, scores of media outlets were closed. Dozens of journalists have been detained for supposed membership of a “terrorist organisation” or for spreading “propaganda for a terrorist group”. Broadcast and print media are dominated by pro-government outlets. In the press, critical voices are limited to a few low-circulation publications. Dissenting opinions are more likely to be found online. TV is a leading source of news for most Turks. State-run TRT operates more than a dozen channels in many languages, including the main minority language, Kurmanji Kurdish. The biggest media group is government-friendly Demiroren, which owns the popular Hurriyet and Posta newspapers and CNN Turk and Kanal D TVs. Facebook is the most popular social platform, followed by Instagram and YouTube. Twitter is a popular forum for political debate. Freedom House ranked Turkey “Not Free” in its Freedom on the Net 2018 report. It said that the courts routinely ban websites or block pages over content deemed to be linked to terrorism.

The press

Hurriyet – pro-government daily
Hurriyet Daily News – English-language version of Hurriyet
Milliyet – pro-government daily
Cumhuriyet – nationalist-leaning daily
Sabah – pro-government daily, English-language pages


Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) – state broadcaster, operates multiple networks
Star TV – private
Show TV – private
Kanal D – private
ATV – private
Fox – private
NTV – private, news
CNN Turk – private, news


Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) – state broadcaster, networks include,speech-based TRT Radio 1, news station TRT Radio Haber, Kurdish-language TRT Radio Kurdi
Show Radyo – private
NTV Radio – private

News agency

Ensonhaber – news portal
T24 – news website
NTV Radio – private

Media data source: BBC

Internet Data

Internet users
82% penetration, 69.95 million

Share of web traffic by device
69.83% mobile phones, 28.46% computers (laptops and desktops), 1.68% tablet devices, others 0.02%

Median speed of mobile Internet connection
30.97  Mbps

Median speed of fixed Internet connection
25.67 Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 91.4%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 90.3%

Most popular web search engines
Google (84.67%), Yandex (12.33%), Yahoo (1.65%), Bing (0.96%), Yandex Ru (0.26%), Duckduckgo (0.1%)

Most used social media
Facebook (32.22%),  Instagram (21.61%), Twitter (21.36%), Pinterest (16.89%), YouTube (7%), Tumblr (0.3%)

Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter

Social statistics

Life expectancy
77.16 yrs (2020)

Graduates (tertiary education)
Tertiary attainment is still low in Turkey. About one-third (33%) of Turkey’s young adults (25-34 year-olds) had attained tertiary education by 2018, 11 percentage points below the OECD average of 44%. Turkey has made substantial progress in the last decade, however, with the proportion of young adults attaining tertiary education more than doubling from 15% in 2008. (2019)

Glass Ceiling Index
54.5 out 100, ranked 27th out of 29 countries.

The glass-ceiling index measures the environment for working women combining data on higher education, labor-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications, and representation in senior jobs.

Healthcare expenditure
4.6% of GDP (2016)

Average age of the population
31.6 yrs (2020)

At first glance, Turkey appears highly Europeanised, with women taking their place alongside men in the workplace. However, Turkish tradition differs from other European countries and Turkey remains a country where the bulk of activities are centred around men; men are the dominant gender with women taking secondary roles.

Religion in Turkey is predominantly Muslim around 98%.

Cultural Curiosities
Due to its geographical position, Turkey’s culture is influenced by both Europe and the Middle East. As a result, its cultural norms are a real mix. The Turkish are very warm and friendly, so when it comes to business in Turkey, networking and trust are fundamental. 

Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF

The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at

Languages research

Languages and dialects spoken in Turkey


  • Turkish

  • Zazaki

  • Kurdish

  • Azeri

  • Arabic

  • Laz

  • Bulgarian

  • Abkhaz

  • Georgian

  • Aramaic

  • Dimili

  • Adyghe

  • Kabardian

  • Gagauz

The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to

Photo credit: Engin Edeliouglu, Unsplash