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Expats – Building a new social life abroad – Destination Turkey

15th July 2014

Moving to Turkey can be very exciting; New city, new culture, new job, lifestyle, and a complete change from your old life.

However there may well be times of feeling lonely.  You can feel a sense of culture shock that can hit you within a few weeks or months of your move to Turkey. You may start to miss your old friends & family from back home and start to feel isolated.  

Making new friends abroad and forming a new social circle can be a unnerving experience but the sooner you form a social network the better you will feel about living in another country. Surrounding yourself with friendly people, whom you can share your experiences with, both good and bad, will aid you in becoming settled into your new home.

If you are moving to Turkey for work, you have a great opportunity to socialise with your work peers and learn from them the best places to go for nights out etc. However if you are a trailing your spouse or setting up your own company in Turkey or retired, you may find it a lot harder to meet new people in your area. 

Every expat that lives in Turkey, has been in your shoes before, frustrated by bureaucracy and the difficulty of doing even the simplest of tasks.

Expat forums, groups & newspapers can be very handy and a great way to meet new people and form friendships. Many cities/towns throughout Turkey have expat groups, which can offer advice, support and social activities.

Join the local charity events, live music concerts, meetings, and other events. These will no doubt connect you to your expat community in your area, and help you to make new friends.

Expat groups & newspapers in your areaboth online and printed

Istanbul – Internations – online expat community for Istanbul

IWI - - International women of Istanbul official site

AWI(American women)

Todays Zaman – online news

Yabangee – online guide to events going on in Istanbul

Izmir – Internations – online expat community for Izmir

The IWAI (International Women's Association of Izmir), which hosts coffee mornings, dinners, and other events.

The Izmir Turkish American Association which has various activities for Turks and Americans and some of them are free and for others there's a fee. They do things such as go on outings to historical sites, cooking classes, English lessons, poetry club and movie nights, just to name a few.

Mugla regions

Marmaris – Land of lights newspaper

Bodrum – Bodrum Voices newspaper / The bodrum observer online

Fethiye – Land of lights newspaper / Sun express newspaper / fethiye times online

Aydın Province

Atinkum/Didim – Voices newspaper

Kuşadası – forum -

Kalkan Turkish Local News

You can also look for other communities around specific areas of interest, like business, sports, or hobbies.

Infact, moving abroad can be a great opportunity to take up a new hobby. Such as; Cookery classes, art, singing, dancing, gym etc. It is always a good idea to find people with common interests to you.

Don’t forget the local Turkish community in your area. So do your best to learn Turkish and make friends with the locals. 

If you have children, invite other kids their age around to yours to play together. You will certainly end up getting to know their parents.

It can be hard to make new friends wherever you are in the world, but on the whole, expat communities are very welcoming and, providing you make an effort to get out and meet new people, you will find that it won't be long until you have a whole new social circle of friends.

If you host an expat group or organisation then please let us know -

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