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How to Jump start your Social Life in Turkey

5th January 2016

Making friends in a new country can be a challenging process for some, but with the challenge comes a great reward.

People aren’t just going to come to you, so you’ll have to go to them. While it may be a little scary at first don’t let that hold you back. So let’s look at some of our top tips for making friends and being part of the Turkish community.

Look Online
Depending whereabouts you’ve moved in Turkey you might find quite the active community online, certain cities or towns like Istanbul and Izmir for example will have communities of expats who regularly meet up.

Apart from social media sites and groups on sites like Facebook you could also try more travel focused communities like InterNations, which is the largest global expat networking sites. In Turkey InterNations currently operates in Ankara, Istanbul, Bodrum and Izmir. With new communities also gaining popularity in Antalya and Adana.

InterNations also run their own expat only events that you join on their site once you become a member (membership is free). These events are varied so there’s bound to be something for everyone from music nights, cuisine tours and even festive seasonal events for holidays like Christmas and new year.

Volunteer and Charity Work
Just like in the UK, US and many other countries volunteer and charity work is one of the best ways to meet new people, get more confident, learn new skills and help out a good cause. 

There’s numerous websites you can check out for volunteer and charity work opportunities including:, and to name just a few. You might also find notices or adverts in newspapers in Turkey asking for volunteers or help with charity work.

Find a Shared Interest
Like football or sports in general? How about wine tasting or comedy?  Plus there’s always live music events and festivals. It can be surprisingly easy to find people who share a similar interest with you when you put a little effort in.

And from this you can start nurturing a friendship, while I’ am making it sound simple having a shared interest makes it much easier to make friends with people. While any shared interest can be a good starting point, some are going to be more popular than others.

Gigs and bands are some of the most popular events you can go to, to meet new people and form friendships. Another good option is to check local pubs and clubs for quiz nights and other events in a similar vein.  Find events in Turkey here

Find the Expat Haunts
You’ll likely find some sort of expat community in most places in Turkey, although the size of the community can be extremely varied. If you’re living in one of the more popular expat locations like Istanbul then you’ll soon realise that expats like to hang around in certain locations and districts.

To again use Istanbul as an example Cihangir and Kadıköy are popular spots for expats so simply socialising in these areas is a good way to start making some new friends. (if your in Istanbul, check out YABANGEE.COM)

It’s one of the most overlooked ways of making friends but is in all likelihood one of the most successful. Your job is great way to meet people of different backgrounds and cultures some may be local some may be expats like yourself.

So if you haven’t had much luck with the other methods so far then don’t worry just yet your new best friend could be waiting for you when you start work. 

Written by David Varty - YellAli Content Team



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