Following on from our first article on unique Turkish phrases and idioms, here are more phrases that Turks use in daily life that you may not find properly explained in your Turkish phrase book.


You’ll hear the word buyrun everywhere you go in Turkey, in shops, restaurants and markets in particular. There is no direct English equivalent. Instead, buyrun acts as an all-purpose word to prompt you. It means welcome, please come in, sit down, there you are, how can I help you or would you like anything else, depending on the context in which it is used.



You will no doubt hear hadi almost as often as buyrun in Turkey. It means Come on! or Go on!



Literally translates to God willing and can be used as a way to wish someone well after you hear someone’s future plans, or if you are not sure that something is going to happen but hope it will.


An import from Arabic that basically translates to: Wow that’s great! You can use it when you see something very beautiful and also when you hear good news.

“Ellerine sağlık”

Means health to your hand and is said to someone who has created something beautiful with their hands, particularly to a cook to congratulate him/her on a good meal.


“Bakar mısınınız”

Literally means will you look at me and is used to attract someones attention. You will often hear it being used in restaurants to call the waiter

Beautiful mature woman at a restaurant calling waiter


You will hear this phrase a lot from the men that sit around drinking çay. It’s a very casual and emphatic way of saying thank you. If you are grateful for something and in an informal setting, you can say this while putting your right hand over your heart.

“Nazar değmesin”

I hope you’re not affected by nazar

Said to someone when you don’t want them to be affected by bad energy (nazar). The saying is accompanied by biting your tongue and knocking on wood.

 “Şeytan tüyü”

“The devil’s feather”

What seems like an insult is actually a compliment used to describe someone who has a mysterious, devilish charm.

And finally…

“Hoşça kal”

There are lots of ways to say goodbye in Turkish. This one means, word for word, means stay well.