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Berlitz Istanbul English Teaching Interview

Berlitz Istanbul Interview- Search for work in Istanbul, round 2“Never work for any Berlitz, you’ve been warned,” an English teaching contact told me upon arrival in Istanbul. I only slightly heeded his warning as I sent out my TEFL cover letter and CV to a bulk of English Teaching schools, including Berlitz. Within ten minutes [...]

Berlitz Istanbul Interview- Search for work in Istanbul, round 2

“Never work for any Berlitz, you’ve been warned,” an English teaching contact told me upon arrival in Istanbul. I only slightly heeded his warning as I sent out my TEFL cover letter and CV to a bulk of English Teaching schools, including Berlitz. Within ten minutes of pushing the send button on the email, a lady from Berlitz was on the phone setting up an interview with me.

Due to the rather incongruous experience that I had at a previous interview at an English school in Istanbul, I figured that vagabonds with little money cannot be picky about employment, and, against advice, agreed to an interview with Berlitz.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- February 17, 2009
Travelogue Travel Photos — Travel Guide
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On the appointed day, I strode into the Berlitz school in the Taxim district of Istanbul. It was in a large building and the institute was an impressive multi-floor establishment. I did not know what floor I was suppose to go to, so I stopped in at the first door that said “Berlitz” and inquired. I was given the name of someone to talk with and directed to go to the seventh floor. I did so.

Upon walking into the seventh floor office, I was greeted by a secretary. I told her that I was there for an interview and said the name of the person that I was suppose to meet. It was apparent that one week in Turkey was not enough to grant me the ability to properly pronounce a Turkish name, and some lady standing nearby got a kick out of my pronunciation and laughed coldly at me.

I looked around the office: it was a sterile, mauve and gray, robotic type of environment, and my first reaction was to return out of the door that I came in through. A pasty faced man with news anchor/ mannequin hair halted my retreat with a brisk, “What are you here for?”

“A job interview, I have an appointment.”

“Your name?” was his slightly annoyed response.

I got the feeling that I was bothering this fellow by showing up for my interview. He then removed himself from his cubicle, and, without a handshake, walked by me and to check for my name on some list. He found it, and then promptly stuffed me into an empty room. Priming the table in the middle of this little room with two enormous packets of paper, the stiff faced man mutter a gruff, “this is a native English examination, I hope it is not a problem.” I was then closed into the room without hesitation.

I had never been received with such systematic coldness at a job interview before, and, while I recovered from the lack of inter-personality that I was subjected to, I leafed through the packets.

“I suppose this is how the rest of the world lives,” I consoled myself as I gathered the strength to keep myself in my chair and fill out the paperwork for a job that I no longer wanted. One packet basically asked for all of the same information that was on my CV, an essay as to why I want to be an English teacher, if I am familiar with the “Berlitz” teaching method, and a request for a list of all of the countries that I have lived in. I began filling it out robotically, ever struggling against my impulse to turn in my tracks and run away. But before I could think of the dates that I had resided in Morocco, I became far too annoyed with my circumstances, and peaked into the other packet.

This packet was the “native English test,” and it was a full-fledged, 80 question examination to prove that I am, in fact, a native speaker of English. As I browsed through the questions, I quickly arrived at the feeling that there was no way that I wanted to work for a company that had so little faith in my degrees, certifications, and previous work experience. I realized that I had no intention of working for a company that would stuff me into a room to take an examination before greeting me with a hand shake. Did I need to pass a test before I was deemed worthy of their time and respect? No matter if they offered me a job or not, no matter how much they paid, I knew that there was no way that I wanted to step foot in this sad place ever again. After figuring that I was in for at least three hours of work on the examination, it became apparent that I could spend my time more prudently by looking for a different English teaching job.

I wrote a funny little note on the back of the examination, and made way for the door. I walked pasted the pasty faced, stiff haired mannequin, passed the rude woman who laughed at me, and rushed passed the robotic secretary before finding salvation on the other side of the door.

I listened to my intuition. I ditched out of my job interview and ran away from Berlitz Istanbul.

Nobody rushed after me, nobody blocked my departure, no one even raise an eyebrow at my exit. I got the impression that this was normal occurrence: qualified, native speaking English teachers have a tendency to run away from Berlitz Istanbul.

Leaving behind only elbows and ass holes, I was gone.

After doing a brief internet survey of other teacher’s experiences with Berlitz Istanbul, listening to my intuition and ditching out of this interview seems to have been a very wise decision:

As you have all probably seen, Berlitz Istanbul is hiring once again, and I wanted to warn the uninitiated out there that they are a very poorly-run organization and I would advise anyone against taking a job with them. The reason they are always hiring is that their teachers are always quitting. Avoid them like the plague.” –Dave’s ESL Cafe Job Forum

I also advise teachers to avoid Berlitz Istanbul. Speaking from experience, I can say that their management staff is very difficult to work with and they really don’t seem to care about their teachers at all. Probably the reason why their turnover is high (the average teacher stay seems to be about two or three months). Also: if you do get into negotiations with these guys, beware the contract. They may tell you it’s just a formality, but they’re actually very serious about it and may try to pursue you in court if you attempt to quit. It may be worth getting a lawyer to look at it beforehand. Bottom line: it’s possible to teach there, but be very wary and stand your ground at every turn.”Dave’s ESL Cafe Job Forum

“This is the biggest problem of Berlitz in Istanbul. The owner and manager is a pathological liar. He really can not help himself.” Dave’s ESL Cafe Job Forum

“I spent only two days in the Berlitz office and left before my relationship went any further. The management was rude and unthoughtful and my gut told me to get out. I never taught a course there nor did I finish their training.” Dave’s ESL Cafe Job Forum

“Never in my entire esl career, i have never seen a company with this high of teacher turnover, and i have never met a man that has as little respect for his instructors as the owner at this center does.” –TEFL Blacklist

“This place is owned and run by a power hungry, untrustworthy monster. He will treat you like a sweatshop employee.” –Dave’s ESL Cafe Forum

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Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3413 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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34 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • Anonymous July 29, 2009, 2:00 pm

    wow!!

    cant believe that the evil forces at berlitz have the time to track all the negative comments on the web. they must hire at least one person..because the way they treat teachers is terrible and most likely criminal..

    Link Reply
    • Berlitz Language Center January 19, 2012, 7:58 am

      Our teachers are very important part of our team. Our teachers are our internal customers and very important for us. We are very much aware that our existence depends on them. Without our teachers, we cannot exist. We are here as a team and every member of our team is very special and valuable for us.
      Making such a general comment is very cheap shot. If the candidate has something specific points about our treatment of our teachers, he/she should say so. Then we can comment about it. Otherwise, this is a very cheap shot. Looking at the above comments, this person looks like a disgruntled employee, who now are working for the competition.

      Link Reply
  • Anonymous October 7, 2009, 10:02 am

    Ex Berlitz Istanbul employee here!

    Those new teachers they hire and have tracking the negative comments soon realise the mistakes they made……….its only a matter of time! Google Berlitz Istanbul and see all the negative feedback…..it is now 2009 and Berlitz Istanbul has probably gotten to be at it's worst state ever. STAY AWAY AND STAAAAY FAAAAAAAAR AWAY!

    Link Reply
    • Berlitz Language Center January 19, 2012, 7:58 am

      We have been in business for the last 14 years .We have teachers working with us from the day we opened our doors and have others working for the last 5- 6 years. At any given time, we employ over a hundred teachers. Even though we try very hard to weed out the transient teachers, we mistakenly hire them. These teachers come and go after two or three months. They do not take their jobs for that matter themselves very seriously. They come to Istanbul to see and experience life in Istanbul. Teachers, who take their jobs seriously, will work with us for many years. We have number of teachers who left us to work for a competition in Turkey or abroad. Some of them wants to come back to work for us. Some of them are rehired. If what this person says correct, then why are they coming back?
      Again this person does not have any specific point that we can address to. These are very general baseless comments. What is the basis of this person’s comment on us?

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  • Anonymous December 7, 2009, 1:18 am

    As an ex teacher…….Im going to continue this old blog……only because it tops the google search for Berlitz Istanbul and I want people to see this. I slaved at this shithole of a place for over 2 years only to get scammed on my pay and my vacation pay as well. I have seen things that went on there that I truly don'T have the time or space to write about here. Ive always been an honest and hard working individual….but let me tell you this…..honesty and hardwork only gets you ripped off at a place like Berlitz because Solmaz the owner sees someone with those qualities as an opportunity to work like a dog and take advantage of. The Turkish office staff turnover rate is close to 340%. This is a number that is told by the HR rep at Berlitz. The teachers come and go because they're always getting ripped off or mistreated so badly that they have to leave, they have no choice. The only teachers who stay are the mentally disturbed ones which unfortunately can't leave because they have no place else to go. STAY AWAY FROM BERLITZ ISTANBUL IF YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU!!!! I stayed as long as I did because it was the only place I could work illegally as an uncertified teacher with no TEFL or diploma. That in itself should tell you the level of professionalism you should come to expect at this school.

    Link Reply
    • Berlitz Language Center January 19, 2012, 7:59 am

      If this person were “sharing” over two years of his/her experience at “this shithole of place”, by his/her admission, won’t this will tell us a lot about this person and his/her personality.
      We do not hire individuals without a university degree i.e BA or BS. In addition, we do require a CELTA, TESOL or TEFL certificate. Applications are made to Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labor for work permit , work visa and residence permits. We do not work with teachers who do not have a university diploma and a certificate. These are the Turkish government’s requirements for legally working in Turkey. All of our teachers either have work and residence permits and work visa or are applied for waiting for processing.
      Just like any other language school, for that matter any business in Istanbul, Turkey , our employees are drawn from the same pool of workers. Hence, we work with the same type of people and have the same or very similar turnover rates like them.
      What is written above is baseless. If the individual has a specific case of mistreatment, specific event or incident then let him/her write it. We definitely will investigate and respond to it. Otherwise, writing these type of deformatory comments is baseless , it is a misstatement of truth.

      Link Reply
  • Anonymous February 12, 2010, 3:40 pm

    I have just been offered a teaching position at Berlitz Istanbul and all I had was a telephone interview. I have been offered a TL rate well above what others have been offered; based on my credentials. All of the posting here suggest stay away from this place like the plague; but I am an older professional teacher with years of experience. Still my grandfather's teaching still rings true; 2 or 3 people cannot all tell the same lie; so there must be some true. The HR person and the Asst. Ed Director spoke with all sounded quite young; one saying she had been there 2 years. I asked if they were paying for my initial flight from the US to Turkey and they danced about and alluded to the fact that I would be reimbursed over several months, but none of this was mentioned in the offer email; nor have i seen any type of written contract. Can we get any more recent feedback within the past year?

    Link Reply
    • hateberlitz April 16, 2010, 8:25 am

      Hi, I can reply to your question with facts to back up my comments. The HR is one young girl who has been there for about 8 months now. That who you were talking to…..not 2 years. There is no staff that’ been working at Berlitz that deals with teachers who have been there for more than a year. Staff turn over rate last they calculated was something like 350 percent.
      They will pay more than other schools, but the amount of bullshit they also shovel over to you doesn not make up for the few extra lira. Your so called reimbursement they will give to you if you re sign a new contract at the end of the year and its for 500 dollars max, only if they like you on a personal basis, not on a professional. No contract they give you is legal. For a legal contract in Turkey, they must sign and stamp it with their company stamp…..they also change the contract details based on their personal preference or whatever suits them at that time. The owner is one shady son of a bitch, and senile. If you have any questions or problems feel free to reply and I will respond. I worked there for over 3 years….now Im with a different school.

      Link Reply
      • diane October 29, 2010, 1:22 am

        Hi, I am seriously looking to come to Istanbul to teach English. I am teaching in China now and need a change. If you do not mind, who do you work for now? I see the Berlitz stuff and will stay away from them. Any recommendations?

        Link Reply
        • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com October 29, 2010, 10:47 am

          This page — How to find an English teaching job in Istanbul — has all of the information that you would need. There is even a downloadable list of addresses and telephone numbers of hundreds of schools (a little outdated, but still good).

          Link Reply
      • Berlitz Language Center January 19, 2012, 7:59 am

        Unfortunately, when you are an internationally well known language school, the personnel who work for you is always head hunted. As they gain more experience, their language skill as well as professional skills improve. They become more marketable and move to bigger and better things. Despite this, fortunately for us, there are number people who are working with our teachers more than one year. Quite a large number of teachers who have been working with us over one year.

        As Berlitz, before our employees start working with us, we want them to sign every page of the contracts and if they want, they are given a copy of it. Therefore, by asking the employee to sign every page of the contract, we won’t be able to change to it for our benefit.

        Disgruntled ex-employee. While you were working for us, for not one not two but these years, everything was fine. Now that you changed your employer and all of a sudden we become a bad guy. How one could take you seriously? Are you being paid by your boss to bad month us .
        By your own admission you said that worked for three years. If a teacher works for three years, how and where did you get 350 percent staff turnover rate?
        That is true, we ask our employers, including the teachers to sign a contract .Teachers contract specify exactly what is required of the teachers and of us. That way, everybody knows beforehand what is expected of them.
        We do not reimburse travel expenses. We provide contract completion bonus. Conditions for its payment are written in the contract and are paid everybody who fulfills the conditions.
        The contracts signed by the teachers are sent to Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labor. We obtain work permits, work visa and residency permits for our teachers. In order to obtain them you have to have a legal contract. The contract signed by the teacher and us bind them and us. At the end of the term of contract, a new contract will be signed. Terms and conditions of the new contract could be different than the earlier one if both parties agree upon it.
        We are here and have been here and we will be here for good people to work with.

        Link Reply
      • Lida September 13, 2012, 5:22 am

        Dear Friend,
        Thank you very much for the information.
        can you possibly help me find language school to teach . I’ve just had an interview with Berlitz and I dont feel like going there after all these comments about that school .
        Ive been living in Turkey for about 10 months . the language that Im working in doesnt pay me well and they pays 12 TL for each 4o mins lessons . I will be thankful if you could possibly write back to me . looking forward to hearing from you soon .
        Lida

        Link Reply
  • Vannia March 18, 2011, 10:14 pm

    I wonder if this is only seen in Berlitz Istanbul or around the world as well, my experience: Berlitz Colombia, I got treated with such coldness and saw the robotic environment too, then took a test of about 200 questions, by the 99th question I was already bored and tired, naturally, but I forced myself into finishing it. The best part: I DIDN’T pass the test… I haven’t met one single person in this country with a better english than mine, except from foreigners, that are actually native english speakers, so I called up the woman there on one of the cubicles and asked for an explanation, I needed a few points more to “make it” but you know what… After reading these posts I think: Whatever! Berlitz. I’m glad they didn’t hire me.

    Link Reply
  • cmg March 22, 2011, 7:46 am

    Hi as I recent ex employee I can say the same BS is going on! They change the contract whenever it suits them and don’t care about their teachers. The management and administration is so disorganised but any mistakes they make they will turn on you. There is very little support and generally bullying from the management and the staff don’t like teachers to talk to each other.
    Out of my training group I was the only person who hadn’t quit until now and even the trainer quit before me!
    They changed my contract from full time to part time in 24 hours and told me I was no longer entitled to housing and had to move out. They promise they will pay for a visa but so far teachers are expected to leave and return to Turkey at their own expense. Generally with everything they promise and don’t deliver.

    We had an audit from Berlitz Germany and they were shocked at what was going on. They deserve to lose their franchise for being a bunch of shady bastards!!

    I agree AVOID like the plague!!!!!

    Link Reply
    • Berlitz Language Center January 19, 2012, 8:03 am

      That is true, that we ask for our employees to sign a contract. Terms and conditions in the contract are binding both for us as well as our teachers. We have two LIS (Language Instructor Supervisors) to support our teachers. Teachers are very important part of our team. We do respect them as professionals.

      Link Reply
  • david grant June 14, 2011, 12:14 pm

    my thank goes to Wade Shepard for stopping me getting involved with Berlitz Istanbul as I’ve just sent e-mail to them with my resume and cover letter. but for sure I won’t be sending them my qualification copies after reading Wade’s comments. thanks millions!
    david grant

    Link Reply
    • Berlitz Language Center January 7, 2012, 9:39 am

      Dear David Grant,
      We did not have any teacheras Wade Shepard. We have been in business for fourteen years. On the average, we employed one hundred teachers coming from different countries and backgrounds. Sometimes we may respond them as we do not want to work with some of them and we all know that Some people do not like rejection.

      Link Reply
      • Wade Shepard January 7, 2012, 1:12 pm

        True, I did not teach at your school because I walked out before I could even be interviewed. Though I appreciated the fact that you showed me how horrible your school is up front. From the moment I walked in through your doors I knew that it was not a place that I would want to work.

        Link Reply
  • Daniel July 27, 2011, 8:36 pm

    Thanks cmg for the update this year. I will avoid Berlitz Istanbul.

    Any advice on finding a job in Istanbul would be great.

    Link Reply
  • ex berlitz instructor November 3, 2011, 6:34 pm

    I have teached at Berlitz Istanbul branch for more two years.Unfortunately as i understand from the previous comments nothing has changed up to now.Throughout my two years experience i have witnessed the staff turnover that is 8 HR manager,4 general manager,dozens of sales consultant can you believe that the most experienced staff there has worked just 1 year.The only unchanged man at Berlitz is Solmaz the owner and manager of the franchise.It is true that he is a hungry monster.Beware that they can change your contract at any time and be careful and check your insurance as i learned that they havent paid any of my insurance charges which is compulsory according to turkish law and i resigned.When i learnt this my reaction was how can you this unethical,inhuman ,scandalous shame under the name of Berlitz and initiate legal process and defend my rights their reaction was ‘do whatever you can we have lots of cases like that’.I am shocked and we sue Berlitz Istanbul with my lawyer.I totally agree that Franchise must be drawn back.Stay away,run away from Berlitz Istanbul

    Link Reply
  • Berlitz Language Center January 12, 2012, 3:58 am

    Hello,

    We just want to share our own opinion and respond to yours and other people’s messages. We also want you to know that we really care what people think about us and are aware of social media’s power. Time is changing, people are changing, everyday is a new struggle. People make mistakes so do we.

    So please kindly let us respond the whole messages on your blog. We want to respond you and to the rest of the people. We can write and send it to you so you can post it on your web site or we can respond to them one by one on your blog directly. Please do not change or delete our notes. We want to add our responses to their notes.

    Additionally, the teachers are hired with the best intensions. Most of our teachers have been working with us for years. But sometimes some problems occur because of teachers’ qualifications, teacher’s personality, or our management style. The teacher candidates are put through our training program and are assigned to some classes. Just like any other business, some of them are successful and some are not. Successful ones continue working with us. Others go about their businesses. These are the ones who write the negative comments about us.

    We continue to do our very best for our teachers, workers as well as students.

    Best regards

    Link Reply
  • Berlitz Language Center January 19, 2012, 8:11 am

    Hello Wade,

    We are writing this to you because we want you to give us the right to keep our responses about your and others’ comments written on the site. This is so simple. And it won’t hurt anyone. Otherwise we are going to contact with the website owner. But, we want to use the same page with you to solve the past conflicts.

    As you can see we care about everything you told on the web site, because we really believe that keeping people informed is the only way to establish a good communication.

    Best Regards,

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard January 19, 2012, 3:34 pm

      Hello Berlitz Istanbul,

      I am the site owner, and I decided to allow your comments to stay on the page. Bob L is correct in that your comments show your true colors.

      Link Reply
  • Bob L January 19, 2012, 10:14 am

    Yes Wade, please keep these comments on the site. Seeing the poor english, and the continous and repetitive defensive comments by the Berlitz Language Center will help a person decide whether to avoid this school. I did not take much of a negative view of the school from the original post, as I felt it was one person’s experience and that you were mostly saying that this was not the right place for YOU. But the school’s comments show me that maybe it really would be a bad place for most people to work. Certainly the person commenting needs a lot more training in English. I certainly hope this person is not one of the instructors.

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard January 19, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Right on, Bob.

      For a while I’ve been pruning their comments, but they seem to just keep coming. I will let the discussion speak for itself and the comments to stay. Thanks.

      Link Reply
  • NADEEN April 9, 2012, 8:42 am

    Dear Sir,
    I would like to share my experience at Berlitz Egypt. I Have applied on last january for the position of HR trainee internship and they just called me for an interview this month. i went for the interview, my appointment was at 10:30 am…they kept me in a room for an hour and gave me an application to fill it without telling me any details or for how long should i be waiting…and waiting for a long time made irritated…after i got up from my seat and decided to leave after waiting for along time one girl came and told to come in for the interview. i had the interview and it was amazing and i was so excited and full life to start my new job the next day. On the following day which was today in the morning actually i went to Berlitz to start my new job and i was feeling very positive and happy. I entered the greeted my new mates n we were talking about the job and the environment at work and i told them that im married and six months pregnant n they got surprised then at the mid of conversation with my mates my HR supervisor came in and called us for training. Then i went to a room with my supervisor and mate,,,and she explained to us the job routine and all what is related to the job. After the supervisor finished then came in another i donno whether a lady or a girl or who the hell was she i dont wanna know, told me that she wants to talk with me out of the room….then she walked me out of the center and started talking n telling me your pregnant n you cannot work here and blah blah…….i need someone who can work here for 4 months atleast ( ALTHOUGH THEY TOLD ME AT THE INTERVIEW THAT THIS INTERNSHIP WOULD LAST FOR 2 MONTHS AND IM ONLY 6 MONTHS PREGNANT THAT MEANS I HAVE 4 MONTHS LEFT TO GIVE BIRTH)and how come your going to work while your pregnant…….. (U KNOW ITS LIKE IM THE FIRST WOMAN ON EARTH TO WORK WHILE BEING PREGNANT OR AS IF I MADE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE TO BECOME PREGNANT) Seriously they are discouraging pregnant women to work they have poor management, communication and poor skills at the HR Dept. and dont know how to handle employees vacation regarding pregnancy ..thats why they told me to leave…BECAUSE THEY ARE IRRESPONSIBLE.

    Link Reply
  • TEFLonMOVE July 12, 2012, 1:43 pm

    Dear prospective Berlitz Istanbul (AYKO) Employee,

    DON’T! DON’T DO IT! If you value your nerves, then stay the hell away from this devil’s play-pen.

    I got so desperate to get a job, any job, that I flew over and took a place in this snake-pit; it was made clear from early doors that this was the kind of “shit-hole” I had read about in so many TEFL-horror-tales on-line.

    But it’s not a one off smash and grab that leaves you stunned – it’s a build up of bullshit on a day to day basis that sucks the very life out of you; prepare to have no life outside of office-politics and classroom-politics. The work would be fine – the main problem arising from teaching is the fact that students are encouraged to report on their teachers like Stasi-informants and the management use you as an excuse “Oh, I’m very sorry , we’ll get you a new teacher” management blurt out at the drop of a hat – but the real problems lie in the ethos of a lonely hate-filled man, who has spawned a company that embodies this hate.

    Estranged from his family, and loathed by his closest colleagues – he doesn’t have any friends – Solmaz Ayarslan stalks the office-floors of his city-wide (i think it’s 4 branches and a main office – i only worked at 2) cult of hatred; masquerading as an English teaching company: absolutely NOT a school mind you – you’re an internal customer, not a teacher. And if you ever come to teach the word customer you will realise that they know exactly how long they want you around from the get go – a customer is a one-off client (i actually taught this the other way round as customer is taught before client, but i think it works as an example of how they view their teachers).

    I was there last year and found that the only long-termers either had very few options or had just been made to feel SO LOW in self-worth that we would huddle together and bemoan our fate without the slightest ounce of courage to stand up as one – and so were mistreated both individually and as a whole. Teachers who stand up for themselves are fired. FULL STOP. That’s how they got rid of me – they went too far and began infringing my rights – I didn’t even make a conscious decision to leave; they pushed me to breaking point.

    This is a plague, this is an epidemic, this is an oppression that you will RUE walking into. Don’t read these comments and think how you might avoid the same fate as us by being more beautiful and more special and more of a likable character; don’t fool yourself. Unless you’re a Turkish Lawyer with more money than sense and a love for justice, spoiling for a nice juicy opponent to take down in court –

    DON’T GO NEAR THIS!

    Link Reply
    • Berlitz Language Center August 23, 2012, 6:14 am

      As a language center and as Berlitz Istanbul, we are a service organization. So we need to make sure that our customers are satisfied with our services. Nothing could be more natural than that.
      External and Internal customer is a concept in management that is used all over the world now. The companies are treating their employees as their internal customers. Their satisfactions similar to outside customers are very important for them. We use the same concept in our training and internal communication in addition to ‘’teacher’’.
      We have been in business for the last 14 years. We have teachers working with us from the day we opened our doors and have others working with us the last 5-6 years. We have teachers who left us to work for our competitors in Istanbul. Some of them wants to come back because they are either not get paid, or their work and residency permits are not obtained; work visas are not processed and are forced to work illegally in Turkey. We apply all of our teachers work and residence permits and work visa. Berlitz, Istanbul will register the teacher with the Social Security Administration of Turkey (SGK), after the Teacher obtains work visa and residency permit. Thereafter Berlitz, Istanbul will pay the SGK contributions. These contributions can be transferred to the teachers’ retirement founds in their country of origin. Because social security premiums are paid, our teachers can use health care services provided by Government. When needed. Unfortunately most of the other Language schools do not provide these services to their foreign teachers.
      All of our long-time teachers can work at other competitors if they want. They do not, because they love working with and feel at home with us. Our teachers are asked to sign an employment contract. As usual the contract will specify rights and obligations of the parties.
      At any time we have about a hundred full and part time teachers. They are very happy working with us. We welcome the new teachers to join our teaching team in Istanbul.
      Our Director Solmaz Ayarslan has a very active and a very satisfying private life. He has a very active social life than one can imagine. It is his private life, does not concern public at large. Similar to your or everybody’s private life, it should stay private.

      Best Regards

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      • Wade Shepard August 23, 2012, 8:50 am

        Really, you should have a native English speaker do your PR work. This is just making your school look way worse. Also, blatantly lying is also probably not going to work in your favor either. Though I have to thank you for letting us know that “Director Solmaz Ayarslan has a very active and a very satisfying private life.” Though I’m not sure that we really needed to know that.

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  • Ron C August 29, 2012, 8:40 am

    I believe the person who writes as “Berlitz Language Center” must be Solmaz himself. I worked there for almost four years as a teacher, being very close to the teachers as well as staff (since I comprehend Turkish very well), I truly believe I have never met a single person who liked and enjoyed working with him the slightest. As you also see, the person who writes speaks English very well, I could only meet a few people there apart from the teachers who could speak English even in upper-intermediate level, and stayed there as long as 4 -5 months.

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  • Native Teacher October 18, 2012, 11:55 am

    Seriously, Solmaz you need to consider retiring. You are not qualified to run a language school and you are giving Berlitz a bad name.

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  • Roshan kishi January 12, 2013, 12:33 pm

    based on my own experience of teaching in Istanbul for two years and working like a wage-earner who was about to fall from fatigue, I realized that most of the English institutes in Istanbul run awefully and there is, seemingly, an unstoppable currency of fraudulency and mismanegemnt right there in Berlitz, Wola (World of language of Academy-run and owned by a bullocky, sodding Patron- a Woman, dont wanna mention her name), Infolangue Schools of English, London House, British Time, British Culture and so on! however, claiming like this does not mean that Turks are aweful but , basically, the managers , Patrons and shity owners of these schools are shamelessly tricky and stingy! stay away from the idea of going to istanbul to have a nice experience of working! If you intend to go there, go as a Tourist!

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  • former Berlitz teacher March 10, 2013, 2:47 pm

    I’m a former teacher at Berlitz Istanbul and I do confirm… Solmaz was the most disrespectful person I’ve ever had the chance to work for, everyone was scared shitless of him and the turn over was unbelievable, every few weeks there were new teachers.
    That explains why they’ve lost the Berlitz franchise and now they call themselves http://www.newyorkstudio.com.tr/
    Pathetic!!

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  • redorangebacon March 22, 2013, 2:49 pm

    Avoid this place like a plague of locusts. I left a few months ago, and I am NOT impressed with it’s standing, one way or another, they’ll drive you batty.

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