Language | Interpretation

A Bit Of A Language Oops

A Turkish phrase I used to exit a Dolmuş taxi in Istanbul confused the other commuters.

Jason Edmunds
3 min readJun 7, 2022
Image by Hans Rohmann from Pixabay (cropped)

I had the pleasure to live in Istanbul, Turkey. I fell in love with Turkish culture and cuisine. During my first couple of weeks in Istanbul, I learned a variety of Turkish language words and phrases.

These phrases included words to greet others as well as the names of my favorite Turkish foods and grocery items. I like to taste various food and learned the word “Istiyorum.” It translates to “I want,” or “I would like to have (something),” based on the situation.

I practice this phrase in combination with the foods I would like to order in restaurants. Practicing makes perfect they say, so I became confident using my newly acquired Turkish language skills.

A Turkish colleague invited me to a dinner in Istanbul’s Taksim area at a fish restaurant. Taksim is a popular tourist attraction with traditional Turkish restaurants, markets, cafes, bars, etc.

A street car in İstiklâl Caddesi. Taksim — Photo by Bilal on Pexels

I planned my route meticulously. I would take a Dolmuş which is a shared taxi that follows specific routes in, and between, cities. I decided to switch from the Dolmuş to the Metro at the Istanbul Technical University Metro stop.

I left for my dining experience taking a Dolmuş. The taxi was packed and had one remaining seat at the back. For the first 5 minutes, I practiced the phrase, “Inecek var,” silently for later use. It means “someone would like to get off, or exit,” the taxi.

Traffic is always hectic in Istanbul. I leaned back in my seat and relaxed. There was a lot of chit-chat amongst people and I slowly drifted off. The Istanbul Technical University Metro stop appeared suddenly out of nowhere.

I shouted “Inecek var,” to be heard over the chatter. I wanted to make it clear I want to get off and added the word “Istiyorum.” To my surprise, it went dead silent in the taxi, and heads whipped around staring at me.



Jason Edmunds

I enjoy socialising, experimenting in the kitchen, reading, writing and walking.