Currency / Language


BLOG How Do I Move To Turkey Permanently? Expat Guide To Making It Happen

15 August 2021 / Lifestyle

How To Move To Turkey Permanently

So, you want to know how to move to Turkey permanently. Well, we can understand the lure. It is a great country to live in. The weather climate, especially along the Aegean and Mediterranean coast, offers 300 days of sunshine a year. In addition, Turkish hospitality ensures all visitors feel welcome.  The Turkish cuisine is a sure-fire way to take your tastebuds on a whirlwind journey. There is much to do in the country, from exploring the historical sites and places of natural beauty to indulging in adventure sports or soaking up the delightful sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters. Such is the appeal that there are hundreds of thousands of foreigners living permanently in Turkey. So, in this article, we will outline what moving to Turkey involves.

How To Move To Turkey Permanently

1: Sort Your Finances Out

To live in Turkey permanently, you need a residency permit and to get this, you must show you can financially support yourself. Many retired expats rely on their pensions from their home country. Many foreigners also take advantage of the high-interest savings accounts. They sold their properties in their home countries, converted the money to the Turkish lira, deposited it into a savings account, and withdraw it each month after paying tax. In some cases, the interest rates can be as high as 12%, so if you have a sizeable deposit, it is enough to live on all year round.

If you don’t have finances, you need to find a job in Turkey. Foreigners cannot do dentistry, nursing, pharmaceutical, veterinarian, private hospital directors, lawyer, notary, security, customs, tourist guide and specific occupations within the maritime industry that the Cabotage Law covers. Additionally, your employer needs to apply for a work permit to work legally. Jobs that most foreigners can do include hotel or airport rep, au pair or English teaching to Turkish and international students.

2: Where to Live in Turkey

As a general trend, working expats live in big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, or Izmir because this offers the best advancement for their chosen careers. On the other hand, retired expats tend to head to coastal resorts on the Aegean and Mediterranean. The lifestyle here revolves around tourism; hence English is widely spoken, and there is a more relaxed way of life. Famous places where foreigners head to include…

Istanbul: As Turkey’s leading city, Istanbul is a hub of business, economy, education, and tourism. Expect your typical urban landscape since the population is just over 15 million people. The city separates into the European and Asian sides, with the Bosphorus running through the middle. Altogether there are 39 districts, with many expats living in ones on the European side.

Antalya Region: Covering a large section of the eastern Mediterranean coast, the Antalya region breaks down into the city centre and smaller coastal resorts. Belek is the golfing capital of Turkey, while Side boasts of impressive historical ruins in the town centre. Alanya is a popular choice for Russians, Germans, and Brits, while Kalkan on the outskirts is known for its large luxury villas.

Fethiye Region: Still on the Mediterranean but heading further west, the Fethiye area breaks down into the city centre and the smaller resorts like Calis Beach, Oludeniz, Hisaronu, Ovacik, and mountain Uzumlu. This region boasts many natural landmarks of beauty and has a solid community of expats who live there all year round.

Bodrum Peninsula: Meanwhile, heading over to the Aegean coast, the Bodrum peninsula reigns supreme with a reputation for non-conformity. Separating into smaller districts like the Town centre, Gumbet, Torba and Gundogan, places like Turkbuku and Yalikavak have a reputation for hosting wealthy businesspeople and celebrities.

3: To Rent or Buy Property

If you decide to rent, do look around because rent prices are costly in some places, especially when compared to the national average wage in Turkey. Local agents will advertise rental properties in their windows and websites in the district where you plan to relocate. Alternatively, scan Facebook for local community adverts. To buy property, check our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location, home features and contact details to arrange a viewing or find out more via email. When you buy a home through us, we will walk you through the house buying process until you get your deeds, put your key in the door and have utility connections.

4: Get Healthcare in Turkey

You have two options here. The first is to source a private healthcare insurance policy. The second is to opt into the government-run SGK scheme. Whether you are a couple or a single person, it is the same amount, and payment is due every month. Know that health care in Turkey is of excellent standards and you receive a good service.

5: Get A Residency Permit

You can stay in Turkey for 90 days as a tourist, and then after that, you must apply for a residence permit. In addition, you need to show you can financially support yourself, have proof of address, and that you have healthcare coverage. Make the application online here - Once done, they will give an appointment time and list the documents to bring. Your passport must have more than six months left on it, and you will need to pay tax. For the first year, your permit is valid for one year and then two years after that.

6: Do You Need to Learn Turkish?

You would be surprised at the number of expats who do not speak Turkish. This is mainly in the holiday resorts where residents speak various languages because they work in the tourism trades. Working expats need to learn the language because you will have colleagues, and the more you can get along with them, the better your working life will be. Regardless, we recommend learning one word a day to enhance your quality of life. This also makes it easier to strike up friendships and talk to your neighbours.

7: Settle In

Welcome to your new life in Turkey. As you can see, moving here does not have to be complicated, and once everything is in place, you can set up adjusting to your new daily routine. In our article about expat living in Turkey, we give helpful advice, including apps for day to day living, the banking system, cost of living and much more.

About Us

We are Turkey Homes, a property and lifestyle specialist with offices all over the country, including Istanbul, Bodrum, Fethiye and Antalya. We have helped hundreds of property buyers and have collected our knowledge and years of experience to form our blog that will be useful to anyone looking to move to Turkey permanently.

Related Properties


1 Bedrooms Apartment for Sale

map pin icon Antalya


3 Bedrooms Apartment for Sale

map pin icon Didim


2 Bedrooms Apartment for Sale

map pin icon Istanbul


2 Bedrooms Apartment for Sale

map pin icon Alanya


2 Bedrooms Apartment for Sale

map pin icon Antalya

Download Turkey Homes Mobile Application