Teach English in or near: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa

Turkey is an extraordinary country – in an extraordinary location, straddling Eastern Europe’s border with Asia, near the borders of Bulgaria and Greece, but also bordering Arab Syria.

A melting pot of religious and conquest history and influence – from Greek to Byzantine – and the seat of the powerful Ottoman Empire, much of it preserved in extravagant testaments to the bygone powers of Sultans, conquerors and crusaders, Turkey offers a visual feast as rich as any traditional culinary feast – and that is rich indeed!

While conflict has created instability to the south, Turkey continues to pull tourists, and it’s no surprise why. With so much history to absorb along with some unique sightseeing and people rumoured to be the friendliest in the world, eager to share what is also rumoured to be the yummiest food in the world, and you have a winner of a country in which to teach English.

Finding Work as an English Teacher in Turkey

The demand for native English speakers to teach English as a foreign language in Turkey is increasing steadily. Opportunities for TEFL certificate holders exist in private language schools, International schools, public schools and as a private tutor. Salaries are mid-range but the cost of living is exceptionally low, making Turkey a very attractive destination for TEFL graduates wishing to save, travel and experience the incredible scenery, unique culture and famously friendly environment that Turkey offers.

It is best to organise a position outside of Turkey and enter Turkey with the correct paperwork. Being caught working illegally can be result in imprisonment and there has lately been a crackdown on informal ‘under the table’ employment of foreigners by language schools.

Teaching at Private Language Schools

Most English teaching jobs are offered by private language schools in and around cities such as Istanbul, and this is a great way to get your foot in the door, as you do not as a rule need experience or a BA degree or other teaching qualification for most vacancies (although as always – some of the higher level schools may require extra certification). Just get your TEFL qualification and you are away – to begin your teaching career! It’s best to apply from outside the country and enter Turkey with the correct paperwork.

Teaching at International Schools

As anywhere, International schools usually require BA degree or licensed teaching degree as well as age-appropriate teaching experience. There are not always many openings for TEFL graduates without some kind of experience and / or skill to offer, but Kindergarten teaching posts or assistant positions can be found. You will need to look for and apply for jobs with International schools from outside of Turkey so that they can assist with the appropriate visa and work permit arrangements. Contracts will usually be quite long – often a minimum of two years.

Teaching at Public Schools

You will need a degree and appropriate teaching experience to apply for a job in a government school unless you join a Ministry of Education programme.

Private English Tutoring for Children, Adults and Business Executives

Many ‘tutoring’ posts are available to experienced high-level TEFL teachers in Universities in Turkey, but private tutoring opportunities exist across the board – from kindergarten-age children through to business-people and high-level executives. Pay and scope will very much depend on your experience and standards. Most high-paying opportunities will be found in the cities, but thanks to Turkey’s popularity as a tourist destination, the demand for English tutors is widespread for people in the tourism industry.

Monthly Salary$2000 – $4000 Turkih Lira
AirfareReimbursement (full or partial) sometimes given
Working Hours25 – 30 teaching hours a week
AccommodationHousing assistance provided by the school
Hiring SeasonThe peak hiring times are August/September and December/January
Length of Contract6 to 12 months
RequirementsNative English speaker, TEFL certificate and Bachelor’s degree preferable

Turkey is responsible for 70% – 80% of the world’s hazelnut exports

The first church built by man (St. Peter’s Church) is in Antioch (Antakya)

Turkey is a popular tourist destination and home to over ten World Heritage Sites

Geographically, Turkey sits in two continents, Europe and Asia, although around 97% of its land area is on the Asian side

Many famous ethnic foods come from Turkey such as manti, kebab, Lokum (Turkish delight), baklava, kadayif and more