tips for expats living in turkey

Tips for Expats Living in Turkey

The word expat comes from the Latin word expatriate. Expats are people who work outside the country of birth. Expats who have different statuses from immigrants refer to highly qualified employees.

Turkey always attracts the attention of many expats. However, settling in a new country and adapting to a new life may not be as easy as it seems. In this article, we will talk about expat life in Turkey and expats in Turkey in general.

How are the Business Opportunities in Turkey?

Expats are responsible for fulfilling their duties set by a company, university, government or non-governmental organizations. The job description differs depending on the sector in which the institution the expats work.

Business opportunities in Turkey are quite advantageous. There are lots of job opportunities for expats in Turkey while they have the opportunity to work in hundreds of different fields according to their professions. Expats living in Turkey;

  • Perform the duties assigned to them by the company.
  • Carry out research activities determined by the university.
  • Act on behalf of non-governmental organizations and design social projects.
  • Work in accordance with country legal regulations.
  • Transmit their work to the relevant units in the form of periodic reports.


How is Education in Turkey?

For expats living in Turkey, it is necessary to examine many issues related to the country that they will start a new life. It is because everything from social life to cultural differences varies in countries. One of them is education.

The Turkish education system is divided into three stages as 12 years of compulsory education. The first level is organized as a four-year primary school, the second level is a four-year secondary school, and the third level is a four-year high school.

High school education in Turkey gives education according to student ability. High school types are general high schools, vocational high schools, Anatolian high schools, science high schools, religious high schools, fine arts high schools, private high schools.


How is University Education in Turkey?

There are two types of universities in Turkey as foundation and state universities. Additionally, all universities are accredited by the Council of Higher Education (YOK). There are 131 state and 78 foundation universities.

Foundation universities are not directly affiliated with the government. They are also paid universities run autonomously by a foundation. The language of the medium is English in most foundation universities in Turkey. The best foundations universities in Turkey are Koc, Bilkent, Sabanci and so on…

State universities provide free education for Turkish students. However, tuition fees for foreign students vary. There are English preparatory classes for students who do not have foreign language proficiency. The best state universities in Turkey are Hacettepe, METU, Bogazici, Ege, Ankara, ITU and so on…

State universities also include departments such as technical universities, fine arts, police academy or national defense universities. In universities, 1there are many different departments such as teaching, architecture, engineering and medicine etc.

How to Learn a Language in Turkey?

Learning Turkish will be very advantageous for expats living in Turkey. Besides, expats living in Turkey can learn any language they want. There are foreign language courses in every corner of Turkey offering affordable prices with online education or classroom education.

Is It Compulsory to Learn the Turkish Language?

The qualifications that employers look for in expat employees vary depending on which sector they work in. Being an expat in Turkey knowing Turkish will take them one step ahead.

However, it is sufficient for expats living in Turkey to know the foreign language used within the institution they work for. Thus, it will be easier for them to adapt to the multicultural working environment.


How is the Health Services in Turkey?

Turkey has universal health services within the scope of the General Health Insurance system. Within the scope of this system, everyone registered with the Social Security Institution (SGK) can receive free medical treatment at state hospitals contracted with SGK.

Foreigners, on the other hand, can get health insurance and get services from private hospitals. Currently, there are approximately 1500 hospitals serving in Turkey.

Should Turkish Culture be Learned?

Nowadays, and especially as a part of the investments made by foreign companies in our country, the recruitment of foreign employees has rapidly increased with temporary assignments. During these processes, it might take a long time for foreign employees and their families to adopt to Turkey.

Adaption to life in Turkey might be hard due to the different lifestyles of their own country and Turkey. However, expats living in Turkey can easily learn Turkish culture thanks to the hospitality and closeness of Turkish people.

How to Take a Holiday in Turkey?

Four seasons are experienced at the same time in Turkey. For instance, people can swim in the sea at the hotel beach for 50 USD in Antalya while the others can ski in Uludag Bursa for 60 USD.

On the south coast, counties such as Cesme, Alacati, Bodrum, Seferihisar, Kemer, Marmaris, Side, Kas are quite popular and affordable. Several hotels with Safe Tourism Certificates offer unforgettable memories for vacationists.

Fairy chimneys in Cappadocia and the pleasure of flying in hot air balloons are among the most popular holiday opportunities in Turkey among foreigners. Moreover, you can make further reading about the best holiday spots in Turkey on our website.

How is Turkish Food?

One of the first things that come to mind when Turkey is mentioned: Turkish cuisine. The most tasteful Turkish dishes of our time date back to prehistoric times. Turks led a nomadic life for a very long time, especially in Central Asia, and started to have a great agricultural culture from the 5th century.

The Turks interacted with countries such as Iran, India and China, as they lived tribal life and established scattered states. So, this interaction has positively contributed to Turkish cuisine ever since. For instance; Lahmacun (Turkish Style Pizza), Turkish Seekh Kebab, Doner (Turkish Sub), Manti (Turkish Ravioli) are among the famous Turkish meat dishes.

Also, among the popular Turkish delicacies, Baklava is kind of a dessert made by placing walnuts, pistachios, almonds or hazelnuts, depending on the region, between thin phyllo dough. It is generally sweetened with sugar syrup.

Where to Live in Turkey?

The number of foreigners who want to live in Turkey is increasing every year. The economic situation and multi-cultural structure make Turkey more popular. According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) data, Istanbul comes first with its cosmopolitan structure, while Antalya, the capital city Ankara, Mugla, Mersin, Samsun, Eskisehir and Bursa are the cities with the highest number of foreigners who want to lead the best expat life in Turkey. 

How to Buy Property in Turkey?

It is quite easy to buy property in Turkey and acquire Turkish citizenship for your whole family! All you have to do is buy one or more real estate worth at least 250,000 USD. Realty Group, a leading company in expat Turkey real estate marketing, is ready to consult you during the whole process.

Required documents and information when buying property in Turkey as follows;

  • Identity document or passport
  • Residence permits issued by the relevant directorates
  • The original or a certified copy of the power of attorney along with the translation
  • Compulsory Earthquake Insurance (DASK)
  • Real estate valuation report

How are Turkish People?

The prominent features of the Turkish people according to the researches made among foreigners are as follows;

  • Very helpful
  • Hospitable
  • Friendly
  • Kind
  • Tolerant of different cultures

What Should Expats in Turkey Consider?

If you are an expat living in Turkey, there are some things to consider. You need to;

  • Find a job that fits your budget and lifestyle.
  • Choose to live in a city suitable for your job. For example, if you work in health tourism, Istanbul may be a priority for you.
  • Not have any legal barriers to working in Turkey.
  • Know the foreign language used within the institution.
  • Adapt to a multicultural work environment in Turkey.

What is the Cost of Living in Turkey?

There are no formal educational criteria to become an expat. Individuals can work abroad by gaining expat status with the assignment made by the company or educational institution they work for. It is also possible to work in a different country by independently applying for a job. The general cost of living in Turkey for an expat is approximately five hundred dollars.

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