10 Popular Places Where Expats Live in Turkey
When asking where do most expats live in Turkey, time-honoured trends provide the answer. Generally, working expats head to the big cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. For this article, though, we will look at retired expats, who generally settle in small coastal towns of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, specifically the Aydin and the Mugla provinces. The reason is easy to see. Both coastlines feature heavily on Turkey’s tourism scene; hence the outdoor lifestyle of pools, beaches, and boats easily lure expats.
Additionally, many local businesses cater for tourism, hence the large selection of international restaurants, a foreign ambience, and English-speaking locals. Both provide an ideal weather climate of roughly 300 days of sunshine a year, which is what living abroad in Turkey is all about. So, if you want to make a move and settle into a community with an existing expat scene, let us look at popular destinations that prove to be a home from home for foreigners from all around the world.
10 Popular Places Where Expats Live in Turkey
1: Delightful Alanya
Sitting at the eastern tip of Mediterranean Turkey, Alanya’s reputation grew over the last ten years for two reasons. Firstly, the local council invested heavily into the international promotion of its tourism and real estate markets. Secondly, the opening of the Gazipasa airport meant getting there from other parts of Turkey was more accessible than ever before. Lately, Alanya saw increased interest from Turkish buyers looking to get out of the big cities because of COVID. They want to swap congested apartment living for more suburban areas with private pools and gardens. This, in turn, has driven prices up, delighting many expats who already own property in Alanya.
2: Golfing Belek
Belek’s prominent reputation stems from its status as Turkey’s golfing capital. Yet, it offers much more. Granted, the state-of-the-art golf courses bring in famous players from all around the world, but 5-star spa and wellness hotels and a long sandy beach bring in tourists. For expats living here, the immaculately clean town offers everything they want and is just a short drive from the main Antalya city centre should they want more choices. A popular choice in Belek is to buy land and design your villa.
3: Antalya City Centre
As the beating heart of the larger Antalya region, don’t be put off by its status as a city because it presents a uniform but pleasing aesthetic look. It offers the best shopping and nightlife scenes in Mediterranean Turkey, hence boosting its cosmopolitan appeal. If you choose to make Antalya city centre your home, you have instant access to Lara and Konyaalti beaches, two long stretches of sand that count themselves as Turkey’s best. Naturally, given its status, Antalya city centre is a prominent Turkish riviera sailing hub, and constant investment into infrastructure makes it an attractive place to live.
4: Luxury Kalkan
Sitting on the outskirts of Turkey’s Antalya province, Kalkan attracts an upmarket expat client base through large, luxury villas with a private swimming pool that dominates the property market. Architects here make good use of the landscape by maximising fantastic sea views through floor to ceiling windows. Any potential expat looking at Kalkan should be mobile since the town is built on a steep hillside, or there is the option to use taxis or buy a car or bike. Life here, especially during summer, is a delightful blend of upmarket beach clubs and fine rooftop dining.
5: Hisaronu and Ovacik
British expats love the Fethiye region and, in particular, the small towns of Hisaronu and Ovacik, which sit a short bus ride away from the famous Oludeniz beach and blue lagoon. Sitting side by side, both were originally small villages but grew to cope with tourism overspill from nearby Oludeniz. Expect a lively but family-friendly atmosphere in both Hisaronu and Ovacik. Despite the British presence, these two destinations are seeing an increase in interest of late thanks to the planned opening of the nearby Skywalk Fethiye cable car.
6: Fethiye Town Centre
A report by the local council in 2019 said just over 5200 Brits lived in the larger Fethiye region, so you won’t have any problems with the language barrier or finding delicious English food. The same report said roughly 1 in 20 residents were foreigners, and the town centre proves to be another destination with a large expat community. No wonder why. It is a central hub of transport, shopping, dining out, and sailing. Its position on the Turkish riviera brings in yachts from near and far, many of which sail blue cruise routes. Another advantage of Fethiye town centre is it is just an hours’ drive from the nearby Dalaman port that makes getting here all year round easy.
7: Live in Calis Beach
So, we are still in the Fethiye region, proving its popularity as an expat destination in Turkey. Calis beach stands next to the town centre and, like Hisaronu and Ovacik, was initially born because of a tourism overspill from the town. Local expats enjoy a long sandy beach and unforgettable sunsets. A water taxi to the town centre provides an alternative form of transport, and Calis beach connects to the main town centre via walking paths in the delightful family-friendly Fethi park. In recent months, the local council has completed an overhaul of the beachside promenade.
8: Didim – Little Britain of Turkey
Heading over to the Aegean coast of Turkey, Didim, also known as Altinkum, is a British stronghold. Once labelled the poor man of Turkey, this small town has invested heavily into infrastructure, roads, the beachfront promenade, and an overall pleasing look over the last ten years. One attraction of Didim that lures in expats is the low prices of property compared to other areas like Kalkan. British influences were heavily seen in the restaurants and bars around the beachfront area at one stage, but this has now changed. Altinkum has recaptured its Turkish ambience, just with a cosmopolitan vibe.
9: Bodrum Town – Upmarket Expat Living
Sitting on the peninsula with the same name, Bodrum town commands a reputation for non-conformity and the pursuit of pleasure. It was from here where the concept of Turkey’s Riviera and blue cruise sailing routes was born. Once known as a destination that attracted wealthy Turks and businesspeople, it now attracts expats worldwide. Although prices of property are more costly, it keeps an exclusive atmosphere found nowhere else in Turkey. Expats enjoy a vibrant nightlife and shopping scene and an excellent bus transport network to the rest of Turkey.
10: Trendy Yalikavak
For many years, Yalikavak was a home from home for expats, but its status boosted when the marina opened because it was the only one in Turkey with the capacity to host mega yachts. This brought in wealthy businesspeople and Saudi royalty. The marina affected the real estate market as architects sought to design houses befitting the new type of clientele in town. Hence you can expect to pay more than neighbouring Turgutreis, another popular expat hub in Turkey, but it does offer an exclusive lifestyle. The old town part still thrives should you want to indulge in Turkish tradition and culture.
Find Out More
We are Turkey Homes, a real estate specialist with offices all over the country. We hope we have answered your question about where most expats live in Turkey. If you want to move out here and buy property, browse our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location, home features and contact details to find out more. Alternatively, if you want to know more about living in Turkey, our blog is full of helpful advice, hints, and tips for future expats.