This qualitative study aimed to provide an empirical examination of professionalism from the perspectives of practising Turkish teachers of English in order to provide insights into the assumptions and motives that drive and sustain their professional practices. Data were collected from 41 EFL teachers working at public schools through semi-structured interviews. Hermeneutic interpretative phenomenological analysis was administered to analyse these interview data. Data analysis showed that teachers in this study viewed teaching as a profession, not just a job carried out to earn one's living. However, teachers have differing perceptions regarding the nature of this profession. According to the participants in this study, professionalism is exhibited in many ways and encompasses knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviours. Results indicated that characteristics of a professional language teacher can be grouped under four categories: personal traits and virtues, subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and professional development. While EFL teachers discussed personal traits and values more than any other components of teacher professionalism, teachers' English language proficiency is found to be a basic professional quality.