Turkey has a rich cultural heritage steeped in traditions of hospitality and etiquette. An important part of interacting with Turkish people is learning how to say “thank you.”
There are several Turkish phrases used to express gratitude, from formal to informal. Even though many Turkish people speak or understand some English, it’s always a nice thing to be able to use a few Turkish words to ask for things or to thank for services.
Here’s a guide to saying thanks in Turkish.
Main Topics of How To Say Thank You in Turkish
Formal Ways to Say Thank You
Here are the formal ways to say Thank you in Turkish. These are the first I’ve learned during my first trip to Turkey, back in 1996 or 1997.
The most common formal way to say thank you in Turkish is â€œTeÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim.â€ It translates directly as â€œI give thanks.â€
Use this phrase when you want to be polite and grateful.
– TeÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim for your help.
– Thank you for the meal, teÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim.
– TeÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim for the thoughtful gift!
You can also use “TeÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim” as a response when someone thanks you. This phrase is suitable for most situations requiring courtesy and respect.
A less formal version is â€œTeÅŸekkÃ¼rler.â€ It conveys â€œthanksâ€ in a straightforward, but still polite way. This is my favorite Turkish thank you. I use it all the time.
Use TeÅŸekkÃ¼rler when speaking with colleagues, waiters, retail clerks and acquaintances. For example:
– TeÅŸekkÃ¼rler for taking the time to explain.
– TeÅŸekkÃ¼rler, the coffee was delicious.
While friendly, TeÅŸekkÃ¼rler doesnâ€™t carry the same level of formality as TeÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim.
Ã‡ok TeÅŸekkÃ¼r Ederim
To emphasize your gratitude, say â€œÃ‡ok teÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim.â€ The Ã‡ok means â€œvery much,â€ so this phrase expresses â€œThank you very much.â€
– Ã‡ok teÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim for the thoughtful gift!
– Thank you so much for your help, Ã‡ok teÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim.
Use this to convey you are deeply grateful when someone does something especially considerate.
â€œÃ‡ok mersiâ€ is a very formal way to say thank you.
Mersi comes from the French â€œmerciâ€ meaning â€œthank you.â€ Funny enough, we also have the “mersi” variant in Romanian language, perhaps a remainder of the times of the Ottoman Empire.
Say Ã‡ok mersi when you want to be extra polite with elders, authority figures or in very formal situations.
– Ã‡ok mersi for inviting me to the prestigious event.
– I appreciate your business, Ã‡ok mersi.
Informal Ways to Say Thanks
What if you want to say thank you in Turkish in a less formal manner? Let’s see:
In casual settings with friends or children, Turks often say â€œSaÄŸ olâ€ which means â€œthank you.â€
– SaÄŸ ol for joining us for dinner.
– SaÄŸ ol for the fun outing today!
Keep in mind SaÄŸ ol is informal. Use it for expressing gratitude in relaxed situations.
A polite version is â€œSaÄŸ olun.â€ Add the -un suffix when speaking to elders, teachers or others deserving of respect.
– SaÄŸ olun, grandmother for the lovely meal.
– Thank you for the advice SaÄŸ olun.
Ã‡ok SaÄŸ ol/SaÄŸ olun
You can emphasize the thank you by saying â€œÃ‡ok saÄŸ olâ€ or â€œÃ‡ok saÄŸ olun.â€
Ã‡ok means â€œveryâ€ in Turkish.
– Ã‡ok saÄŸ ol for waiting for me!
– Ã‡ok saÄŸ olun for your patience, teacher.
Use Ã‡ok saÄŸ ol/olun to intensify a casual thank you when you want to convey sincerity.
Responding To Thanks
When someone thanks you in Turkish, there are several ways to respond politely:
Bir ÅŸey deÄŸil
The most common response is â€œBir ÅŸey deÄŸil.â€ It means â€œItâ€™s nothingâ€ or â€œDonâ€™t mention it.â€
– TeÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim! – Bir ÅŸey deÄŸil. (Thank you! – You’re welcome.)
This shows you are happy to be of help and the thanks is not necessary between friends.
Alternatively, say â€œRica ederim.â€ This means something like â€œThe pleasure is mineâ€ or â€œYou’re very welcome.â€
– Ã‡ok teÅŸekkÃ¼rler! – Rica ederim. (Thanks a lot! – My pleasure.)
– TeÅŸekkÃ¼r ederim. – Rica ederim (Thank you. – You’re very welcome.)
Rica ederim is courteous and emphasizes you were glad to help.
A very informal phrase Turks use is â€œÃ–nemli deÄŸil.â€ This means â€œIt’s not importantâ€ or â€œNo problem.â€
– SaÄŸ ol! – Ã–nemli deÄŸil. (Thank you! – No problem.)
Ã–nemli deÄŸil downplays your effort, for situations between close friends or family.
When To Say Thank You
Here are some common situations when to express gratitude in Turkish:
– When receiving a gift or invitation
– After someone provides help or advice
– When being served at a restaurant
– When someone opens the door for you
– When receiving a compliment
– When concluding a business transaction
– After someone cleans for you
The sincerity conveyed through polite phrases like â€œTeÅŸekkÃ¼r ederimâ€ or â€œSaÄŸ olunâ€ will be appreciated by Turkish speakers.
Though English â€œthank youâ€ translates directly in Turkish, using native phrases shows respect for Turkish etiquette.
Saying â€œthank youâ€ is an important way to build relationships and trust in Turkey. Use the right mix of formal and informal phrases to express your gratitude.
Learning this small etiquette gesture can make a big difference in cultural exchange.
With its rich history of hospitality, Turkey offers wonderful opportunities to practice saying thanks. Just check out my article about visiting Ephesus and Troy or the one about unusual things to do in Bodrum to get you started on your Turkey trip planning.