Updated 10 months ago

Ankara, Turkey's political capital and second-largest city after Istanbul, accounted for about 9% of the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign trade as of 2014. Modern infrastructure and proximity to the nation’s decision-makers make it very attractive to foreign investors and international companies. As a result, Ankara is a place of opportunities for job-seeking expats.

Ankara's local economy

Ankara is primarily known as a centre of power, hosting the headquarters of the Turkish government and its many satellites — ministries and national administration services, public or state-owned organisations, and international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations or the World Bank, to mention a few.

The city is also an important industrial and commercial hub. The OSTIM industrial zone, one of the biggest in the country, is home to the production units of companies operating in strategic sectors such as defence, aerospace or pharmaceutics.

The Sogutozu business district hosts the headquarters of many international firms employing thousands of service workers.

Located at the heart of agricultural Anatolia, Ankara is also very active in the agribusiness industry. The city’s trademark products include Angora wool, honey and wine — with famous appellations such as Kavaklidere or Cankaya — and are largely export-oriented.

Finding a job in Ankara

With the concentration of official institutions, expats with a background in international co-operation, governmental or non-governmental organisations or lobbying should find a position in the twinkling of an eye.

The foreign embassies and consulates clustered in Ankara also represent a go-to for expats willing to work in administrative services.

Otherwise, for good English speakers, sectors such as the media and arts industries are generally eager to get international perspectives and are open to working in English.

The same can be said of innovative start-ups. Expats interested in pursuing a career in tech can try to reach out to local start-ups, many of which can be found in incubators or co-working spaces.

Foreign workforce is always needed in the tourism industry, and a good command of English is always highly valued at the customer service of a hotel or of an entertainment facility.

Finally, you will likely be able to work in your native language at the local branch of companies originating from your home country.

Expats specifically looking to make use of their foreign language skills can apply for teachers or lecturers positions in the city’s many international schools, or as au pairs in families.

Where to start?

Regardless of the region, a professional network is generally the most helpful resource to land a job. If you do not have a local network yet, attending networking events such as Meetups can significantly increase your chances of meeting the right people.

Otherwise you may find suitable opportunities on general and specialised job-listing websites, or in classified ads in local newspapers.

Turks are quite active on social networks, and professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn are widely used by recruiters to find candidates. Keep your profile updated and don’t hesitate to reach out to potential matches.

Generally speaking, remember that you have nothing to lose in sending around spontaneous job applications.

 Useful links:

Turkey Talent
Ankara Job
Linked In

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