Survival Taxi Turkish

Many foreigners realize that Turkey is not the best place when it comes to communicating with locals. A lot of people here speak limited English, including the taxi drivers. So, as a foreigner it’s necessary to know some taxi Turkish.

Istanbul Taxis
(Source: Iker Merodio/Flickr/3173966528)

First of all, as you may already have realized, taxi is “taksi” in Turkish.

Before taking the taxi it’s a good idea to ask how much your trip might cost. First, tell him where you want to go. For example, you can say “Ayasofya’ya gitmek istiyorum” (“I want to go to Haghia Sophia”) and then ask him “Ne kadar tutar?” (“How much will it cost?”). Then he will give you an estimate.

Now let’s ask “Can you take me to x street?” You can ask this question by saying. “X sokağına gidebilir miyiz?” Honestly, there are many ways to ask this question, but this is how I would say it. If you want to go to a specific place, say, the airport, just change the street part, and say “Havaalanına gidebilir miyiz?”

Another way you can ask this question is by saying, “Havaalanına gidelim”, which means, “Let’s go to the airport.”

If you have the address written somewhere, you can just show him and say, “Bu adrese gidelim.”
“Lütfen” is an important word that means “please.” If you’re a polite person, you can add it to the end of the sentences.

Giving Directions

“Sağ” means “right”, and “sol” means “left.”
If you want to turn right, say, “Sağa dönelim.”
“Turn left” is “Sola dönelim.”
“Go straight ahead” is “Düz gidelim.”

Let’s make it more advanced. Let’s say you want him to turn left after the shop. You say “Mağazadan sonra sola dönelim.” “Mağaza” means shop, and “sonra” means after.

Are you in a hurry? Tell him “Acelem var. Hızlı gidebilir misiniz?” This means “I’m in a hurry. Can you go faster?”

“Burada durun” means “Stop here.” Then you’ll probably ask for the fare. You can just ask “Ne kadar tuttu?” But honestly, it’s best to just look at the meter if you don’t want to pay more than you should.

Let’s say that you asked how much it would take before and he said 10 lira. When you arrive you find you have to pay 20. You can say “On lira tutacak demiştiniz”. Which means, “You said that it would be 10 lira.” Hopefully, you’ll never have to use this sentence!

Finally, you might want to say, “Thanks and have a good day!” You can say “Teşekkürler, iyi günler” or “İyi akşamlar” if it’s at night.

Merve Samsar is a contributor for Yabangee.

Merve Semsar
I am a Turkish/Iranian graphic designer. I hardly find free time between studying and work, but when I do I like to draw strange faces, read books that I bought years ago but couldn't finish yet and listen to music in languages that I don't understand.


  1. Thanks for the tips! Very useful. To the previous commnet: I have started calling people “kaba” which means “rude”. I’m not even sure if that’s a thing, but as a yanbangee I have to use the words I know.

  2. Thanks and yes taxi in Turkey is a disaster at lease for me, but i think its just in the big and touristic cities like istanbul or antalya…etc
    Places like konya and eskişehr are not like that at all.