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Just showing up--legal work in Turkey?

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Joined: 11 Aug 2011
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:59 pm    Post subject: Just showing up--legal work in Turkey? Reply with quote

I'm an American with an MA in Geography, 1 year TEFL teaching experience in Indonesia, and 4 years experience teaching college Geog. in the states.

I'm visiting Europe now and am thinking of going over to Turkey to see if I can find a *legal* TEFL job.

Can you name some schools in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, or Bursa that I could apply to that secure their EFL teachers work permits? What schools could I apply to?

Cok Tesekkur ederim, I appreciate your insights/time and I hope you're enjoying yourself out there, wherever you are. Smile
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Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Istankara corridor, only Wall Street and English Time supposedly get work permits for all their teachers, however I have it on good authority that Wall Street (while it does obtain them eventually) takes months to even apply for work permits relying for the first few months on its good relations with the tourism police (and by a complete coincidence, sparing itself some expense if teachers quit or are fired in those first few months). I've heard it through the grapevine that ET is likewise inconsistent in regards to work permits, but I don't know anybody personally who stayed long enough to get one.

I've had two other schools offer to get work permits after a "probationary period" of a year (i.e. "You work for us illegally for a year, and if we decide we like you, we'll get you a 400-lira work permit instead of a raise.") which I naturally declined, and you should too.

Outside Istankara and Izmir (and probably the southwest coast), you might have enough negotiating power to obtain a work permit from a language school, but unless you've gotten a work permit once already, and thus know the process, I wouldn't go for that.

Honestly if you want to work legally, get a job at a primary/secondary school or university. They all need to be certified by the YÖK, and therefore pretty much have to get work permits. This almost certainly means either getting more experience, or working outside of your preferred cities, though you might try the Bilkent program for new teachers (which admittedly has a mixed reputation, but so does almost every employer here). Don't know if your year of experience disqualifies you, but it's worth a shot.


Edit: Also, Zirve University likes to hire MA-holders for all positions, and doesn't seem to give a damn what the MA is in (and also count non-English teaching experience as equivalent to TESOL experience). While you don't want to work for Zirve (they hemorrhage teachers like they're an educational head-trauma victim), there's a large number of private unis, some of which might have similar standards. Like Zirve though, they're likely to be in the sticks, though I think there are a couple third-rate institutions of higher learning in Istanbul and Ankara.
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Joined: 11 Aug 2011
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for all this great info, I really appreciate you taking the time. Very helpful!!!!
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