Moving to Turkey
Your questions answered
If you’re considering moving to Turkey or even an investment in property in the country, you’re bound to have questions.
Even if you’ve visited many times before, a long-term commitment is a different prospect to a holiday and there are likely to be new challenges along the way.
As estate agents we’ve helped many make the jump and found many have the same queries. We thought answers to the top four might help put minds at rest so, if Turkey is a likely long-term destination in the months to come, get a coffee, pull up a chair and read on:
Which is the best city to live in Turkey?
This one is always the hardest for us to answer because it depends so much on personal preference.
If you like to be in the thick of it, then Istanbul might be the right place for you. Busy, cosmopolitan and the nation’s cultural and historical hub, you’ll certainly never be bored.
There’s so much to see and do, it can take months to take it all in. Of course, there are the usual tourist traps such as the famous Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Galata Tower, the Grand Bazaar, Taksim Square and the Bosphorus promenades and ferries just to name a few.
But there’s so much more to the city and, once you’ve found your feet and your way around the Metro system, the opportunities are endless.
And then there’s Ankara, Izmir, Antalya … Each one deserves a page of its own – and that’s without mentioning the smaller locations along the so-called Turkish Riviera such as Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, Kalkan and Kas.
In the end, as the saying goes, you pays your money and takes your choice. But, if you want a true idea of which is the best city to live in Turkey for you, the only way to really find out is to visit them.
Where do most expats live in Turkey?
This one is a little bit easier to answer but stills requires a little qualification because it depends on nationality.
For example, Russians and Germans are the most numerous in and around Antalya and Bodrum. Settlers from Britain on the other hand can be found in larger numbers along the Mediterranean coast in and around some of the smaller resort towns such as Fethiye, Marmaris and Kalkan.
But, if we were answering in general terms, the places most expats live in Turkey would be in the country’s western regions and in the larger cities. Other locations in the eastern side of the country can be more difficult to reach, less affluent and also more conservative in their beliefs and way of life. It’s not impossible for an expat to feel at home – but it’s likely you would need to be more resilient, self-reliant and conversant in Turkish.
What is the safest city in Turkey?
One thing many travellers will tell you after visiting Turkey is that the country has a tradition for hospitality – and that can take many forms. It may include offers to share meals, a genuine desire to help anyone looking lost or in need of assistance, or even a cheeky bit of leg-pulling.
Certainly, in smaller communities away from the city centres, the Turkish sense of propriety also limits the incidence of petty crime so offences like burglary and theft are relatively rare. That’s not to paint too rosy a picture though; Turkish society has its issues just like anywhere else.
However, an individual’s sense of safety can depend on their expectations so, once again, a definition of the safest city in Turkey tends to be down to personal experience.
Most will be aware that Turkey is in a seismically active area so tremors and earthquakes are a risk just about anywhere. Storms blowing in from the Mediterranean and the Black Sea can be pretty impressive – increasingly so in recent years – while some will urge caution over the country’s proximity to the political and ideological turbulence of the Middle East.
But then, whether it’s gun crime in America, the threat of terrorism in Europe, or the fact just about every plant, insect or animal wants to kill you in Australia, everywhere has its own challenges. Half of the excitement and sense of achievement to be gleaned from becoming an expat is how you deal with them.
Which is the cheapest city in Turkey?
If you’re considering moving to Turkey, the short answer is certainly not the big ones in the west of the country. Here, the tourist dollar can tend the skew things a bit.
Indeed, Turkey almost has a two-tier economy. Just like the property mantra it’s all about location, location, location – and that’s for everything from the small stuff like a meal out and the price you pay for a haircut to larger outgoings such as rent.
Like the UK and London, Istanbul tends to hit the pocket a bit harder than most – but it’s still relative. For example, a European used to prices in cities like Lisbon, Paris or Copenhagen is still going to find the bill for a meal in a restaurant a pleasant surprise. Even property can seem comparatively cheap – particularly if you’re happy to consider a traditional Turkish resale home in one of the less trendy suburbs.
But it’s once you leave the tourist traps and big cities behind that Turkey becomes a real blessing for those on a smaller budget. You might find you have a choice of family-sized homes with a bit of land for under £100k while things like utility bills will be fraction of the sort of rates found in other parts of the world.
So, if you’re looking for the cheapest city in Turkey where your money is likely to stretch much further, it might be worth considering places like Fethiye, Dalaman or Seydikemer rather than Ankara, Izmir, or Antalya. Be aware though, the further you are from the popular hot spots, the fewer fellow expats you’re likely to find. Swings and roundabouts …
How can we help?
Just drop us a line or give us a call if you’d like more advice. We’re not just about the buying and selling of homes; we’re happy to help with the logistics, paperwork and advice before, during and after your move so feel free to get in touch. We’d love to help if we can.
Alternatively, feel free to browse our blog for previous posts you may find useful or, if you’d like to check out our portfolio, you can find details of properties currently on our books right here. You can also keep up to date with our Facebook page here.