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My life as an Expat in Turkey - Making the move to Turkey

18th January 2016

It all came about that after working overseas in a number of countries; in 1988 a recruitment company contacted me re a contract in Turkey. Although I had not been looking for a new contract, due to the situation at my present contract, I readily accepted the one on offer. If this was not a sign I was meant to go to Turkey, then I don’t know what is.

On arriving in Istanbul, Turkey, a country I had never been to, I had no idea it would prove to be a life changer for me and my family. I certainly never thought it would become my home for the next twenty-seven years.

After spending the night in Istanbul, my new boss drove us to the hotel construction site down on the Mediterranean Coast. I found it set on the edge of a beautiful long sandy beach, and from one look knew I would love working there. Along with my two English colleagues who were already there, I stayed at a pension in a village named Kemer, the nearest place to the site. I soon found that although small in size with only a few people speaking English, the atmosphere and the friendliness of the Turkish people made me feel at home. When my wife came to join me the following month, she also became captivated. Even so, when within a month of her arrival she suggested we buy some land and have a house built, it came as a big surprise. However, as I thought it a good idea, we did just that. On later moving into our new house, we felt so happy living there, decided that instead of being just a summer home, we would live there permanently.

On contacting the tenant who had rented our house in England I informed her we had decided to sell the house. Although she said this was not a problem and would find somewhere else to live, she changed her mind and refused to leave. It then took a year of my wife travelling to and fro the England to have a case brought against our tenant. After finally managing to get our house back, which needed fully redecorating, we sold it. We then set about having various items (no furniture) sent from England to our new home in Turkey. Although a specialist removal company said they would deliver our goods to us two weeks after collection, this did not happen. For reasons unknown, they were held by the customs in Istanbul for over one month. Thanks to the daily efforts of Yilmaz, a Turkish friend phoning the customs each day, they were finally released and delivered.

Apart from the problem with our tenant and the customs, our move to Turkey went well. It is strange that one of our later neighbours had no problem in bringing a load of furniture etc to Turkey, while another like us did.

In view of this, if thinking of moving to Turkey, I suggest you check for latest information. You can also contact who can help in all aspects related to issues concerning expats and tourists in Turkey.


About Author:

My name is Colin Guest, a retired 74 year old Englishman married to a Turkish lady and living in Istanbul, Turkey.
Since starting my working life as an apprentice joiner/shopfitter in Plymouth, Devon, England, I worked my way up to become a foreman shopfitter, and later a supervisor, project supervisor, finishes advisor and head of a quality control team on a 52 storey luxury apartment block.
Over the course of nineteen years, I have worked with both architects and interior design companies, with my both advising and controlling interior finishing works on several palaces and a number of five star hotels. These were spread through fifteen countries in the Middle, Far East and North Africa.
As I have always enjoyed writing, apart from writing and publishing my e book An Expat's Experiences of Living in Turkey
Due to my rather different style of working life, I have written “Follow in the Tigermans Footsteps.”

Although a memoir, it reads more like an adventure book and includes many thrilling, crazy, humorous and several life threatening experiences I encountered during this incredible time of my life. Instead of a boring 9-5 job, I enjoyed a life most only dream about.

Comments (1)


9th February 2016 Very informative for me as i am considering taking residence in Turkey.

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