Asking for a discount is one of the things expected when buying stuff in Turkey. But how do you do it?

Asking for a discount is one of things expected when buying stuff in Turkey. From a meal to a house the first price is only a start and everything is negotiable. Mention the English word ‘discount’ and you’ll be faced with a blank expression. But ask for the same in Turkish and you’ll often find the shopkeeper, barman or the like will smile and take off a few notes from the original price.

However, local traders think ex-pats are ‘rich’ so you’ll need to haggle to get a proper deal.

So, what is the Turkish for I would like a discount?


Pronounced In-der-im  var-muh. It means literally ‘Does a discount exist?’

If you learn your Turkish numbers you can haggle even harder by asking for the amount of discount YOU would like.

If you can’t remember the words then write them down on a piece of paper and pop it in your wallet or handbag ready for when you go shopping.

If you get the answer ‘VAR’ great you’ve got one! But get the answer ‘YOK’ or a tut with the eyes and head rolling back then you’re out of luck. But don’t give up just yet! Ask for a small gift ‘cocuk hediye’ (cu-juk head-e-a) and see what’s offered.

Do remember it’s easier to ask for a discount or small gift before you agree to buy something rather than after. So, if you plan to go for a meal, ask for a discount before you order rather than when the bill arrives.

So, learn ‘the phrase that pays’ and save yourself some of your hard earned.

Happy shopping!