Autumn along Turkey’s west coast – or the six weeks or so between the end of summer and the abbreviated festive season – can be a little bit of a grey area.
We don’t just mean the weather, although there’s no doubt there’s usually a bit more cloud about in November and December.
It’s more that it’s a time of year when it feels as though someone has pressed “pause”. Although it’s business as usual away from the tourist traps, nevertheless there’s still a sense that everyone is marking time.
There are a number of reasons for that. Mainly though it’s because, throughout the summer, the tourism and hospitality sectors are working pretty much 24/7.
Hallowe’en represents the last hurrah before everyone takes a well-earned and much-needed break. November and December are for spending time with family in the run-up to New Year’s Eve (a much more universally celebrated milestone than Christmas).
So, right now, there’s not really a great deal going on. And that’s why, if you want to do some meaningful research before a property investment in Turkey, it’s a great time to visit.
Most seasoned expats will tell you, if they’re planning a trip “home” themselves, they’ll often wait for the autumn. Admittedly, flights may not be so frequent. The choice of destination may also be reduced. But they are considerably cheaper.
Also, with the shutters down on many of the summer resorts, autumn along the West coast of Turkey is a great time to find a real bargain or two for your new place.
Many visitors to Turkey will believe they’ve found them already, spending their cash on “genuine fakes” in the shops and markets not far from the beach. However, with the majority of those now closed, a trip to a town centre could lead to the discovery of more established discount brands like LC Waikiki or Mavi.
There are countless lokantas too offering Turkish delights such as kofte, pancakes, soups and Mediterranean seafood at a fraction of the price you’d pay in the summer restaurants and bars. But, for those with an eye on buying property in Turkey it’s then only a matter of time before you’ll discover a host of family-run, back-street shops selling just about anything. The prices also might just make you blink in surprise.
Admittedly, away from the resorts, a little Turkish goes a long way. However, it’s not necessary to be fluent. It’s almost certain a polite inquiry will be greeted with a warm welcome. In fact, don’t be surprised if you are invited to pass the time over a glass of çay.
To a Turk, a business transaction is not to be rushed. Many will want to get to know you and will inquire after your health, your family and your current living arrangements.
Of course, if you’re a frequent visitor to Turkey, you may expect this to lead to some dickering over price. But, once you have discovered the country away from the hotspots, you will realise old-fashioned hospitality is often unfeigned and without motive.
After all, in November and December, people have a little more time to pass and the pace of life is slower. You will probably find those who serve you in shops and lokantas more inclined to pass the time of day, particularly if your own demeanour suggests you’re not in any rush either. This, after all, is Turkey in the raw.
But another advantage of an autumn along the west coast of Turkey to research property is the kinder weather.
Be aware the dog days of summer are well and truly over by now. A few days of rain at a time are a distinct possibility. So are chilly evenings. Occasionally at this time of year, fierce storms lasting several hours can also sweep in off the Mediterranean.
However, there are often quieter, balmy days in between with soft orange dawns and sunsets. Daytime temperatures are sometimes still warm enough for a single layer of clothing. It’s still possible to enjoy a meal or a drink outside in the sunshine. Imagine being able to visit your favourite beach when there is no one else there…
In fact, if you are planning moving to Turkey, many would suggest right now is good time to start.
A visit in autumn offers a more realistic perspective on what life here is like without all the razzamatazz of the summer season. Indeed, without all the hustle and bustle, Turkey is equally fascinating and offers just as much potential if you’re looking for a place of your own in the sun.
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