Voluntary work in Turkey

Information & guidance about volunteering projects in Turkey

For centuries and still a fact today, Turkey is one of the world’s leading cultural hubs. Turkey is centrally located between several geographic regions, including three huge surrounding seas, the crazy hot desert climate of the Middle East and the more temperate Mediterranean zone. The country is therefore extremely diverse, both geographically and ethnically, making it a popular destination among travelers. Turkey is a very popular country for those looking for voluntary work, with volunteering opportunities in everything from teaching English to community development to farming and even yoga classes. Those who find voluntary work in Turkey will have no shortage of tourist and historical sites to visit in their free time or at the weekend, and luckily for them it is very easy to travel to numerous neighboring countries, so they should take advantage of this!

Where to volunteer in Turkey

Turkey is essentially a bridge joining the Mediterranean and the Middle East, therefore it is a historical hot spot of cultural exchange and diversity. Voluntary work in Turkey is usually found in the larger cities, such as Ankara, Istanbul and Bursa.

Ankara is the capital of Turkey, and with a population of over 4.5 million people – it is the second largest city in the country. The city is old with a fascinating history, illustrated by many Hellenistic and Roman archaeological sites. Along with its commercial and industrial center, Ankara is famous for their Angora honey, berries, wool and wax. With opportunities for voluntary work within education, youth work, orphan care all to way to construction, conservation and agriculture.

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey with over 14 million residents and is classed as the cultural and economic center of the country, Istanbul is a great place to start seeking voluntary work in Turkey.

Bursa is located in the green forests of the Northwest of Turkey, surrounded by fertile lands and farms. Bursa is famous for its amazing cuisine and also for having one of the highest educated populations in the country! Bursas economy mainly relies on the automotive, textile and food industries, yet it is a great place for volunteering opportunities in projects such as conversation, archaeology, construction and teaching.

Volunteering projects in Turkey

While there are a wide range of different opportunities within voluntary work in Turkey, a few fields stand out above the rest of them in terms of offering the largest number of placement opportunities.

Teaching English: No matter which city or town you choose for volunteering within Turkey, there will always be opportunities to teach English. Whether teaching English in private and public schools, language schools or simply tutoring a local family, volunteer English teachers are in high demand across the country.

Community Development: In popular volunteering cities such as Istanbul or Ankara, there is a high need of volunteers to help with various community development projects. Many of the most popular and common volunteer projects in Turkey include working with the homeless or people with disabilities, assisting elderly people and taking care of orphans or underprivileged children. Those with an interest in social work can also find voluntary work in Turkey within working with at-risk youths or even ex-convicts.

Conservation: There is also a high demand for voluntary work in Turkey in all aspects of conservation, whether in the field, working on research or even assisting in the preservation of sea turtles etc. With so many seas and coastlines in Turkey, conservation volunteer placements are available across the country, and sometimes even allow volunteers to travel to multiple destinations for research purposes.