Useful Guide to Living in Turkey for Foreigners

Useful Guide to Living in Turkey for Foreigners

Is Turkey a Good Place to Live in?

Turkey is a country with a rich culture and history, delicious cuisine, stunning landscapes, and dazzling coasts. The cost of living in some areas of Turkey can be quite affordable, making it a great place to live for people who want to stretch their budget. The country also has a Mediterranean climate, which means it has warm, sunny summers and mild winters, making it an ideal place to live for people who enjoy warm weather. There are many exciting opportunities to explore and experience in Turkey, including ancient sites and landmarks, beautiful beaches, and a wide range of outdoor activities. Overall, Turkey is a vibrant and exciting place to live, with something for everyone

It is an increasingly popular destination for expats and foreign visitors, and many people wonder if it is a good place to live. Living in Turkey has pros and cons, just like anything else, and TERRA Real Estate, a real estate company awarded by European Property Awards, will be your guide in answering that question.

Things to Know Before Living in Turkey

Before making the decision to move to Turkey, there are a few things you should consider:

1. Language: While many people in Turkey speak English, especially in tourist areas and larger cities, it is still helpful to learn some basic Turkish. This will not only make your daily life easier, but it will also show respect for the local culture.

2. Visa: Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter Turkey. You can apply for a tourist visa online or at a Turkish embassy or consulate in your home country. If you plan to stay for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a residence permit.

3. Healthcare: Turkey has a good healthcare system, but it can be expensive for foreigners. It is recommended to get health insurance before moving to Turkey or to consider getting a job that includes healthcare benefits.

4. Cost of living: The cost of Living in Turkey varies depending on where you live. Larger cities like Istanbul and Ankara tend to be more expensive than smaller towns and villages.

Pros and Cons of Living in Turkey as a Foreigner

As with any decision, there are pros and cons to living in Turkey as a foreigner. Here are a few to consider:

Living in Turkey as a ForeignerThe Cons of Living in Turkey

1. Culture shock: Moving to a new country can be overwhelming, especially if the culture is very different from your own. It may take some time to adjust to the new surroundings and customs.

2. Language barrier: As mentioned above, while many people in Turkey speak English, it is still helpful to learn some Turkish. This can be a challenge for some, especially if you are not familiar with the language.

3. Infrastructure: While Turkey has made significant progress in recent years in terms of infrastructure, there are still some areas where infrastructure may not be as developed as in other countries. This can be especially true in more rural or remote areas.

4. Climate: Depending on where you live in Turkey, the climate can be quite hot and dry in the summer, and cold and wet in the winter. This can be a challenge for people who are not used to these conditions.

Again, it is important to keep in mind that these are just a few potential cons of living in Turkey, and that everyone's experience living in the country will be different. It is always a good idea to do thorough research and consider all the potential pros and cons before making the decision to move to a new country.

The Pros of Living in Turkey:

1. Affordability: Despite being a popular tourist destination, Turkey is generally more affordable than many other European countries. This can be especially appealing for those on a budget.

2. Beautiful landscapes: Turkey is a country with a diverse range of landscapes, from the beaches of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts to the mountains of the east. There is something for everyone, no matter what your interests are.

3. Friendly people: Turks are generally known for being friendly and welcoming to foreigners. This can make the transition to living in a new country a little easier

4. Easy to travel within the country: Turkey is a large and diverse country, with many different regions to explore. It is relatively easy to travel within the country, whether by plane, train, or bus.

5. Easy to travel within the country: Turkey is a large and diverse country, with many different regions to explore. It is relatively easy to travel within the country, whether by plane, train, or bus.

Best Places to Live in Turkey

If you decide to move to Turkey, there are many great places to consider. Here are a few options:

1. Alanya: Located on the Mediterranean coast, Alanya is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches and historic castle. It is a relatively affordable place to live, with a laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals.

2. Antalya: Another popular destination on the Mediterranean coast, Antalya is known for its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and vibrant nightlife. It is a bustling city with a mix of modern amenities and traditional Turkish culture.

3.  Istanbul: As the largest city in Turkey and a major hub for business and tourism, Istanbul has a lot to offer. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a rich history and cultural heritage. It can be a bit more expensive to live in Istanbul compared to other cities in Turkey, but the benefits of living in such a dynamic and diverse city may outweigh the cost.

4.  Fethiye: Located on the southern coast of Turkey, Fethiye is a popular destination for tourists and expats alike. It has a laid-back atmosphere and a stunning location, with beautiful beaches and the surrounding mountains. It is a great place to live for those who enjoy outdoor activities and a relaxed way of life.

5. Mersin: Located on the Mediterranean coast in southern Turkey, Mersin is a growing city with a mix of modern amenities and traditional Turkish culture. It has a warm climate, beautiful beaches, and a number of cultural and historical sites to explore. It is one of the other relatively affordable places to live.

6. Bodrum: Located on the Aegean coast, Bodrum is known for its beautiful beaches and turquoise waters. The town is home to entertaining nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. It is also home to many historical and cultural sites, including the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

7. Belek: Belek is another Mediterranean region. It has golden sandy beaches and resorts. The town is home to many golf courses, making it a popular destination for golfers. The climate in Belek is generally warm and sunny, with mild winters and hot summers.

8. Kemer: Kemer is one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the Mediterranean region. The town is surrounded by the Taurus Mountains, which offer many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, and mountain biking. Just like the other Mediterranean regions, Kemer offers a pleasantly warm climate.

Ultimately, the best place to live in Turkey will depend on your individual preferences and needs. Whether you are looking for a bustling city or a more laid-back atmosphere, there is something for everyone in Turkey.

Best Places to Live in Turkey

FAQ About Living in Turkey

Q: Can I live in Turkey without citizenship?
A:
It is possible to live in Turkey as a foreigner without citizenship, however, we strongly recommend acquiring Turkish citizenship by investing in real estate. To be eligible for Turkish citizenship acquirement, you need to invest in real estate minimum of $400,000, which you cannot sell for the following three years and have a clean criminal record. For detailed information, visit our Turkish Citizenship by Investment page.

Q: Can I stay and live in Turkey permanently?
A:
Depending on your nationality if you want to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days within a period of 180 days, you will need to obtain a visa and residence permit in order to legally reside in the country. The type of residence permit depends on your specific situation, such as whether you are an owner of real estate or planning to work or study in Turkey, or you are planning to retire or simply visit the country. You can find the details on our Residence Permit in Turkey page.

Q: How can I get a visa and residence permit in Turkey?
A:
To start the application process, you need to provide a passport, valid health insurance, a title deed (if you are an owner of real estate), proof of sufficient financial resources, and a document of your residency in Turkey (if you are not a homeowner in Turkey). The whole process is executed by the Directorate General of Migration Management.

Q: What is the cost of living in Turkey?
A:
The cost of Living in Turkey can vary depending on the location and lifestyle. Generally, the cost of living in Turkey is lower than in many Western countries, and it is possible to live comfortably on a budget. Some of the main expenses in Turkey include housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. The cost of housing can vary greatly depending on the location and type of accommodation you choose, with prices generally being lower in smaller cities and towns compared to larger cities like Istanbul and Ankara.

Q: Which city is the cheapest to live in Turkey?
A:
The cost of living can vary depending on the location and lifestyle, but smaller cities and towns tend to be less expensive than larger cities like Istanbul and Ankara. Some of the more affordable cities in Turkey include Bursa, Adana, and Mersin.

Q: Where do foreigners and expats live in Turkey?
A:
Foreigners and expats can live in any part of Turkey, but many choose to live in larger cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Antalya which offer more job opportunities and a wider range of amenities. Some foreigners and expats also choose to live in smaller cities or towns, where the cost of living may be lower and the pace of life more relaxed.

Q: Can I find an accessible and good healthcare system in Turkey?
A:
Turkey has a public healthcare system that is generally accessible and of good quality. The public healthcare system is free for Turkish citizens and legal residents, although some services may require a co-payment. Private healthcare is also available in Turkey, and many foreigners and expats choose to take out private health insurance in order to have access to a wider range of medical services.

Q: Do I need private health insurance in Turkey?
A:
Private health insurance is not required in Turkey, as the public healthcare system is generally accessible and of good quality. However, many foreigners and expats choose to take out private health insurance in order to have access to a wider range of medical services and to avoid having to pay for medical treatment out of pocket. Check out our Healthcare System Guide in Turkey for Foreigners page.

Q: Is it easy to find a job in Turkey?
A:
Yes, it is possible to find a job in Turkey. There are many job opportunities available in sectors such as tourism, teaching, real estate, healthcare, IT, etc. Please keep in mind that as a foreigner you are eligible to work in Turkey only with work permission. If you are considering a career in Turkey, our "How to Find a Job in Turkey as a Foreigner?" page will be useful for you.

Q: What is the minimum wage in Turkey for foreigners?
A:
The minimum wage in Turkey for foreigners is the same as for Turkish citizens, which is currently TL 5,500 per month (approx. $300). However, the actual wage you receive may vary depending on your job and qualifications.

Q: Can I establish a business in Turkey?
A:
Foreigners can establish a business in Turkey, but there are certain requirements that must be met, such as obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. It is recommended to seek legal advice and assistance when setting up a business in Turkey.

Q: Can I live in Turkey without knowing Turkish?
A:
It is possible to live in Turkey without knowing Turkish, but it may be challenging to navigate daily life and communicate with others if you do not speak the language. Some foreigners and expats choose to learn Turkish in order to better integrate into society and access more job opportunities. If you are thinking of living in Turkey, it may be beneficial for you to take a look at our "Turkish Culture and Traditions" page.

Q: What language is mostly spoken in Turkey? 
A:
The official language of Turkey is Turkish, which is spoken by the majority of the population. However, English is also widely spoken in tourist areas and in some business and academic circles.

Q: Is it difficult to move to Turkey?
A:
The process of moving to Turkey can be challenging, as you will need to obtain a visa and residence permit and meet certain requirements. It can also be difficult to find a job and housing, especially if you do not speak Turkish. However, with proper planning and preparation, it is possible to successfully move to Turkey.

Q: Is Turkey friendly to foreigners?
A:
Turkey is generally a welcoming country to foreigners, and many expats have had positive experiences living in the country. However, as with any country, it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions and to be aware of any potential cultural differences.

Q: Can I bring my car to Turkey? and how?
A:
It is possible to bring your car to Turkey, but you will need to follow certain procedures and meet certain requirements. These may include obtaining a temporary import permit, paying import duties and taxes, and registering the vehicle with the local authorities. We strongly recommend obtaining from Turkish authorities.

Further Reading…


Note: Prices mentioned in this article are estimated and may vary due to time and place. While reading this article please keep in mind the date it has been published. Last updated: 21.12.2021