Why Turkey is a Good Place to Live
Occasionally, clients ask us if Turkey is a good place to live? We always say yes. The country offers much to anyone contemplating a move here. But of course, as a real estate agent, we will say that. So, let’s look at official stats instead. The Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management says in 2021, 1,166,000 foreigners held either a short term, family, student, or another type of residence permit. These permits allow the holder to stay in the country for more than 90 days; therefore, we assume most foreigners live here for a substantial amount of time each year.
Such is the status of Turkey as an expat destination the country now ranks alongside the likes of Spain, Portugal, and France as ideal overseas destinations to move to. The variety of nationalities also prove Turkey is an all-rounder, hosting expats from all over the globe. Of course, each expat’s experience is different, but most who retire here live in towns, villages, and cities along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. But let us look at the reasons why Turkey is a good country to move to.
Why Turkey is a Good Place to Live
1: Money Talks
So, we all know money makes the world go round, and in Turkey, affordability is the number one reason to live here. For household bills, utilities like water costs as low as £2 per month, and depending on the type of property, council tax is as low as £5 to £10 per year. There is no TV licence to pay for, and people do their weekly fruit and veg shop at the local market. The bonus for foreigners receiving a pension or income in a foreign currency is the high exchange rate giving them more value for money than ever before.
2: What Language Barrier
Foreigners who move to Turkey for work must learn the language to be successful in their chosen careers. However, look at the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts where most retired expats move to, and you would be surprised at how many of them don’t know the language and still enjoy the day to day living. This is because these two stretches of coastline are the top tourist destinations in Turkey. Many locals work in the tourism trade, hence speak foreign languages like English, Russian and German. Of course, we still recommend learning a word a day, but there is less of a language barrier to navigate if you move to these places.
3: Weather and Climate in Turkey
Turkey’s seven different geographical zones have their weather climate. In the northeast Kackar mountains, people still wear coats in June. However, the Aegean coast and the Mediterranean, in particular, present roughly 300 days of sunshine a year. That explains why they are the top beach package holiday destinations. August is a scorcher with temperatures of 40 degrees, but this also means mild winters. This perfect weather climate promotes an outdoor lifestyle that is good for the body, mind, and soul. Think alfresco dining and days around the pool.
4: Home Buying Process
Compared to western destinations, Turkey’s housing market is still in its infancy. Roughly 20 years ago, the government embarked on an ambitious plan to rejuvenate it through new, modern buildings. What this means for buyers is that there are incredibly affordable prices. Additionally, Turkey recognises the value of foreigners buying property and streamlined the process. If all finances and paperwork are in order, homebuyers receive title deeds on the same day. Compare this to other countries like Spain or Portugal, when the home buying process takes months, and it is easy to understand why many foreigners own property here. (See property for sale in Turkey.)
5: High-Interest Savings Rates
Many retired expats sold a property in their home country, converted the cash into Turkish lira and put it into a high-interest savings account. Then, after paying tax, they withdraw the monthly interest as another source of income alongside their pension. Of course, the interest rates vary depending on how much you deposit, but it is not unheard of to receive 10%. What this means is many expats never touch their net worth and instead save money. (Please note, the exchange rate and interest rates go down as well as up.)
6: A Good Lifestyle
Although fast food establishments are in most towns and cities, Turkish society still prefers good old- fashioned home cooking. Buying fruit and veg from the farmers market, salad is a staple part of most evening meals, and you can quickly nip into your local lokanta for a fresh, handmade soup from scratch. Society encourages this and combines it with the outdoor lifestyle the weather climate promotes, and living in Turkey could be just what the doctor ordered to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
7: Turkish Culture
Anyone who arrives for the first time in Turkey on holiday often remarks the first thing they notice is Turkish hospitality. Indeed, Turkey is known for its welcoming culture. This stems from a time-honoured belief every stranger is a friend. What this means for foreigners looking to live here is settling in and making friends is easy.
8: Transport Network
In an average year, when the COVID pandemic did not throw everyone’s travel plans into array, getting here was easy thanks to Turkey’s state of the art airports. Antalya, Dalaman and Bodrum all serve millions of people every year and have won many awards for their professionalism. Naturally, though, the jewel in the crown is the new Istanbul airport, with the most extensive duty-free area in the world. In addition, Turkey invested billions into upgrading highways and building bridges. Twin this with the cross-country bus network, and getting around the country is easier than ever before.
9: Health Network
Every year, thousands of foreigners travel to Turkey for procedures like dental work, hair transplants and plastic surgery. Of course, the cost is a significant lure, but patients also receive expertise. Turkey’s healthcare system drastically improved over the last 20 years, and in some places like Izmir, the hospitals are the best in the world. Most foreigners living in Turkey sign up for the government SGK system.
10: Things to Do in Turkey
Lastly, no one ever complains of boredom in Turkey. The outdoor lifestyle offers numerous activities, from golfing in Belek to canyoning in Kas to sailing the Turkish Riviera. There are thousands of historic sites and tourist attractions from east to west. In many communities, groups meet to participate in like-minded hobbies like painting or photography. So, now is the time to pursue your passions in life if you plan to move to Turkey.
Best Places to Live in Turkey: So, there are many reasons to move here. Your choice of town, village or city will also depend on your lifestyle preferences. However, certain places stand out as the most popular for retired and working expats. Those with careers often move to the big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, or Izmir, while retired expats head to places like Antalya, Fethiye or Bodrum. Our article talks about favoured destinations for foreigners to live in Turkey and why they stand out.
About Us: We are Turkey Homes, a property and investment specialist with offices all over the country. We hope we answered your questions as to whether Turkey is a good place to live. If you plan to move here and buy property but still have questions, call us today and chat with a local agent. Otherwise, our blog about Turkey features many more valuable articles for foreigners planning to live here.