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BLOG Is Turkey Good for Expats? Living Abroad Series

20 April 2021 / Lifestyle

Is Turkey Good for Expats?

Sometimes retirees contemplating a move overseas ask us if Turkey is good for expats? We wholeheartedly say yes. This expat destination offers many reasons to swap your home country and make a move to live here all year round. Don’t just take our word for it either. Around the country, thousands of expatriates thrive and class it as one of the best places to live abroad. In the Antalya region alone, more than 90 nationalities exist side by side. Other destinations with expatriate communities include Fethiye, Bodrum and Istanbul. But what exactly are the reasons why we encourage people to retire here?

Why Turkey is Good for Expats

1: Low Cost-of-Living

For foreigners, a top reason to choose Turkey is affordability. Exchange rates between currencies mean expats receiving a pension now get more Turkish lira than ever before. Although rents can be high, anyone who owns property benefits from the low cost of running a household. Many expats also incur low food bills due to local weekly markets. One tip for those who have sold a property in their home country is to consider a high-interest bank account for savings. Many people deposit money into them, withdraw the interest monthly after paying tax and gain an additional income without touching their net worth.


2: Simplified Residency Process

No matter where you live abroad, expats must get off the tourist visa onto resident permits. This is where Turkey excels because, after much trial and error, they simplified and streamlined their process to ensure expats become residents quickly and easily. Besides, anyone purchasing a property worth $250,000, who pledges to keep it for at least three years can apply to the citizenship by investment scheme, which gives foreigners nearly the same rights as Turkish locals—more about the residency process.

3: Excellent Healthcare

Every foreigner, when moving to Turkey, should take out health insurance. Those under 65 must gain their residency. There are two types of insurance plans. One is the government-run SGK system, which is very popular. The other is private medical insurance. What both guarantee is access to excellent healthcare. Turkey has reinvented its medical industry over the last 20 years, and places like Izmir achieve respect as having one Turkey’s best hospitals. Additionally, Turkey also scores points for its cosmetic procedures like dental work and hair transplants. Such is the excellence of medical personal in the industry.

4: Ideal Weather Climate

Many foreigners looking for a new life abroad put sunshine on their list, and this is where Turkey steps in to provide oodles of it. The country has several different climate zones, and the Mediterranean region is where to head for mild winters and hot summers where temperatures often reach 40 degrees. Places like Antalya offer up to 300 days of sunshine a year. No wonder expatriates want to live here permanently.


5: Outdoor Lifestyle

So naturally, given the beautiful weather, expat living in Turkey means an outdoor lifestyle. Twin this with the fact Turkey offers gorgeous beaches, and you can spend all day every day, sunning under the Turkish sun. Of course, though, many other activities await those who want to get active. Belek is Turkey's golfing capital, while the Antalya to Fethiye route is also part of the Lycian Way trekking path. Antalya is a hub for outdoor adventure sports like canyoning and white-water rafting, while history buffs can look forward to thousands of historical sites that are exciting to explore. Aside from that, join local clubs to partake in hobbies like painting and photography or charity groups who give back to the local community they settled into.

6: Healthy and Delicious Food

Settling into expatriate life becomes even better when faced with Turkey's delicious cuisine and the nation's insistence on fresh, healthy ingredients. Although fast food makes a roaring trade, all Turks agree there is nothing better than a homemade, traditional dish. Of course, for those evenings when you eat out, all major towns and coastal resorts offer various restaurants serving various international meals. When you retire to Turkey, expect your culinary preferences to change for the better.


7: The Housing Market

One reason Turkey wins over other places to retire, like Spain or France, is the excellent price index of housing. While those destinations often mean spending over £100,000 for decent property, Turkey offers half that home price. Additionally, over the last 20 years, they have reinvested in the housing market, and the result is new, modern homes featuring the latest in-home technology, décor, and design. Indeed, when relocating to Turkey, you will soon find a home that feels like your castle. See our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in Turkey.

8: Minimal Culture Shock

Newcomers to Turkey sometimes go through homesickness, but we rarely hear of anyone suffering from cross-cultural shock. Of course, if you moved east or to conservative big cities, you will experience difficulty if you want lots of sun, sea, sand, and alcohol. Still, many expats settle in the touristic tourist towns of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. This enables them to quickly adjust to daily life, thanks to the multinational ambience and English-speaking locals.

9: New Friends and Expatriate Communities

Regardless of your nationality, if you want to boost your social life, Turkey is the place to do it. The outdoor lifestyle mentioned above means it is easy to meet others and form potential friendships. Don't forget your new Turkish neighbours, though. The nation has a reputation for hospitality, and Turks always welcome foreigners with open arms.

10: Places of Natural Beauty

To live in Turkey is to live in a stunningly beautiful country. For retirees with time on their hands, expat life is enhanced if you take the time to travel. Once the former ruling capital centres of both the Byzantine and ottoman empires, Istanbul is the country's top touristic spot, followed closely by Antalya, which is known for gorgeous beaches and historical sites. Of course, with its lunar-like landscape, Cappadocia is a must-visit, as is Fethiye, home to many places of natural beauty like Butterfly Valley and Saklikent gorge.


11: Expat Guide to Living in Turkey

So, that is ten good reasons why Turkey is good for expats. If you have made up your mind that moving to the country is what you would like to do, our expat guide will be of use. Discussing all practical matters like banking, the language barrier, buying property, and where expats live, this helpful guide will start you on your journey. Otherwise, if you plan to buy property to live here, give us a call and find out how we can help you find your dream home.

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