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Is moving to Turkey Right for you?

24th November 2014

Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball to see into the future and see how your life will be if you left your native country for a new life in Turkey?

If you are thinking of making that life changing decision to move to Turkey, either for a potential retirement destination or somewhere to relocate your family or for a new work opportunity, you will have many questions you first need to ask yourself.

When is the right time to make the move and is moving to Turkey really right for you?

If you have never lived overseas, you may need to take one step back and make sure that the move is a right choice for you and your family.

There are many expats who have live abroad only to end up returning back home to their native countries. 

So how do you make sure that by moving abroad you wont be making a big mistake?

First you must assess the reasons of why you want to move.

Q1) Are you emigrating for the right reasons?

If you are basing your move on “ I just want to get away from it all’ remember that life abroad is not all sunshine and roses. Do not romanticize in an idea that traveling and living overseas, will be both effortless and easy.

Living in a country such as Turkey can bring a whole host of difficulties and problems, from the bureaucracy to culture shock to feelings of loneliness. 

- From arranging residency papers and visas to setting up a bank account, nothing is simple.

- It can also be difficult for you and your family emotionally and physically adjusting to the move.

- For couples it can become a strain on the relationship, just the two of you solely depending on one another. 

- Remember that enjoying time on holiday is very different from making a holiday destination a home.

Q2) Do you like change?

Are you the kind of person who embraces change? Or do you have fixed routines?

The culture of Turkey is very different to many over countries such as the USA, UK or Germany. Many foreigners can find it strenuous to adapt to life in Turkey and to Turkish customs.

Small home comforts such as that favorite brand of coffee you enjoyed so much,  can trigger off feelings of missing your old way of life. 

Obviously you need to be open to finding new favorite places and experiences but building a new way of life can be difficult.

It’s a good idea to stay in your desired location for as long as possible, be it a few weeks or a month. Learn to enjoy the location without being a tourist.

By giving yourself time to be a resident, you will get realistic idea of how life will be in your new location.

Q3) Do you have young children?

Moving abroad with young children can become more challenging. You need to think hard about whether you should take your children out of their routine, school and friendships.

Schooling is a big deal breaker for many parents. 

It is very important to assess whether the schools in the area you are locating too are of a good standard.

The large cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir have a wide selection of International schools, which have very good academic credentials.

However, if your child attends a local Turkish school they may not receive the same level of education as your native country. Also your child will need to learn to speak Turkish in order to communicate; this may make them feel isolated for a while. If your child has any educational difficulties ie dyslexia this could hinder their progress and set them back.

On a positive note it is always a good opportunity for a child to become multilingual and to broaden their horizons through learning a new culture.

Q4) Are you dependent on your family and close friends?

Having family close can make the decision to move very difficult. It is hard to move away if you are someone who is very close with your family, to not have that support network close by is the main reason many foreigners return home.

Do not underestimate the feelings of loneliness, which come with a life-changing move abroad.

However, there are ways to slowly adapt, social media sites and telecommunications such as Skype or Facetime make it very easy to regularly communicate with friends and relatives back home.

Q5) Are your financially secure?

If you are retiring in Turkey you must consider your finances and take into account issues that could arise.

Have you got savings set aside for life’s emergencies? Can you afford to dip into your savings if the need arises? Will your pension cover the cost of living expenses?

The cost of living in Turkey in generally lower when compared with Europe or America but there are additional expenses which need to be accounted for such as health insurance, residency permits and property taxes.

If you are relocating your family, you will need to look into extra costs such as education, health insurance, permits, au-pair. Of course many international companies do include these extra expenses as part of your employment package.

You should always try to keep a base in your home country, so it is advisable to avoid selling your home, as you may want to return at some point and getting back onto the property ladder can be expensive for some.

Q6) Are you in good health?

Although Turkeys private health care system is very good remember that a specific prescription medicine that you may need might not be readily available to you in Turkey.

Points to Remember – 

Do not solely listen to other people’s experiences. Yes, it may be useful to get advice and know about others first hand experiences of living in Turkey but don’t assume everything will be great or terrible on others say-so.

Turkey is NOT in the EU. Rules and procedures are very different in Turkey.

Taking that leap and moving abroad is a big decision, of course if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Maybe it is best to regret moving abroad than to regret staying behind.

See Information about Turkish Residence Permit | Private Health Insurance in Turkey

You may want to CHECK OUT these useful guides below; 

                   » 10 points to consider when moving to Turkey

                   » Expats building a new social life abroad-destination Turkey

                   » moving to Turkey and what you need to know


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