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10 Points to consider when moving to Turkey

19th September 2014


If you are moving to Turkey, they are many things one needs to know first.

1) Turkey’s immigration polices

Turkey welcomes foreigners and it's possible for most foreigners to obtain a permit to live in Turkey.

see How do i apply for a Residence permit in Turkey? 

What documentation is required for living in Turkey?

Moving to Turkey and what you need to know

2) What are the risks of living in Turkey? Lets looks at the main factors:

Economic – Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies in the OECD. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Due to the increased growth in Turkeys economy, 5-percent annually, which has tripled over the past decade, investors are heading to Turkey. Tourism plays a big part in Turkeys booming economy; each year the number of visitors increases accounting for a 50 billion annual income. The Turkish economy is composed of 4 sectors, agriculture, industrial, tourist, and financial.

Political – stable

The Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), abbreviated JDP in English and AK PARTİ or AKP in Turkish, a social conservative political party which is the ruling party in Turkey. The former leader of the party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is Turkeys president.

Environment – Turkey is a seismically active earthquake area. There is a significant risk of damaging earthquakes almost anywhere in the country.

The last significant earthquake was in 2011 in Van, with a magnitude of 7.2.


It is important to look at your finances and to assess if it is affordable for you to live in Turkey.

3) Cost of Living

Many foreigners move to Turkey to take advantage of a lower cost of living. The cost of living in Turkey is generally cheaper when compaired to the UK, Ireland, Germany, USA etc, however with the rise in inflation prices are on the increase. The cost of living in Turkey is around 30% higher than it was 5 years ago.

Below are examples of average costs for cities and regions located around the southwest of Turkey.

Utility bills - typically the rate charged for water and electric is considerably lower than that of the UK. Example of a 3 bedroom apartment, (no swimming pool) an average water bill would cost around 25tl-40tl per month, and the electric bill averaging around 60-100tl per month (including air con units). Most Turkish homes use bottled gas, costing 70tl-80tl, this will last aprox 4-6months. Read more

Cost of petrol- Turkey is the second most expensive country in the world for its petrol and diesel prices, at around 4.50 TL a litre of petrol ( £1.62)


4) Banking

It is relatively easy for a foreigner to open a bank account in Turkey.

See more about banking in Turkey

Currency- The Turkish lira (TRY) After decades of rampant inflation, the lira is now stable.


5) Eating/lifestyle

Are you a vegan, vegetarian or do you need a gluten free diet? You might find that you are limited by your choice of products in Turkey.

A new lifestyle in Turkey will be a major change.

Read more about Turkish customs

Why retire in Turkey?


6) Housing and Real Estate – buying property in Turkey

The recent change in the property laws and procedures makes it a lot easier for foreigners to purchase property in Turkey.

Take a look at – what not to do when buying a property in Turkey

Alis Advice Q&A's Buying in Turkey 


Do you have a family to think about?

6) Education

The education in Turkey varies. They are very good private institutions in the major cities such as Istanbul and Ankara. Private international schools cater for many nationalities and provide excellent levels of teaching.

State schooling follows it own timetable and education courses. All state education classes are taught in Turkish.

See more about Education in Turkey


7) Health Care Quality and Availability 

The private healthcare hospitals throughout Turkey are set at a very high standard. They are modern with state of the art equipment. Residents in Turkey can take out private insurance polices or pay separately for treatment at private hospitals and clinics. Treatment costs are upto 50% cheaper compaired to the USA and European countries. Read more

The state hospitals in Turkey offer the same high standards in care and expertise, however they do not have the elegant surroundings and personal one to one care as you would expect in a private hospital.

Turkey offers an SGK health sceme - Read more


8) Communications - Cell Phones and Internet Access 

Internet is provided by TTNET. Internet censorship can cause issues for some users, recently 'YOUTUBE' was banned in Turkey, the ban has now been lifted.

Wifi is avalible throughout Turkey, nearly all cafes, bars, resturants, hotels have this facility for their guests. 

In March 2012, TTNet and Superonline, which between themselves provide the bulk of Turkish broadband Internet access, have started applying "fair use" policies (known with the Turkish abbreviations AKK for "Adil Kullanım Koşulları" and AKN for "Adil Kullanım Noktası") that are overly restrictive in terms of the allowed download and upload quotas. Most accounts are allotted 50GB download (and 10GB upload) quotas, after which the bandwidth is reduced 10-fold, down to 1Mbit/s. Some users have reported that their broadband speeds were reduced in six days into the month. Both companies have been under heavy criticism for their "fair use" policies. (Source Wikipedia)

There are many cell phone operators including, Turkcell, Avea and Vodaphone.


9) Shipping Household Goods

Having a residence permit is a necessity before you can clear any personal items from the Turkish Customs. It is important that you apply for a residence permit at least one month from the date of your arrival into Turkey.

There are various companies that will ship your goods to Turkey. Once they have arrived at the Turkish port of entry you need to go there to collect your goods or issue a power of attorney for someone to collect your items on your behalf. It is advised you are accompanied by a Turkish speaker so as to be able to talk with the customs officials This can be a smooth or difficult process depending upon the customs officer involved and the type of goods you are bringing in. Electronic goods are highly taxed so it is not recommended you bring electrical items into Turkey. Read more


10) Working in Turkey

If you are thinking about opening up a company in Turkey, you need to know the rules. Read more

Turkish work permit and why it is so important, Read more

Working in Turkey and what you need to know, Read more


It can be a great opportunity for expats to live in Turkey. If one plans ahead first, conducts their research well and makes good choices in planning, then this will aid to a smooth relocation process.



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