Are you considering relocating to Europe or Asia, but can’t decide on the exact spot to settle down? How does living in both sound? Moving to Turkey would allow you to experience the best of both worlds, the mysterious East and the modern West.
Turkey’s geographical position on the crossroads between continents has shaped its rich, thousand-year-old history, while its specific culture, unique food, and magnificent beaches are what attracts millions of people every year, many of which decide to settle down for good. But before you pack your suitcases and book a flight, there are some things you should know if you wish to relocate to Turkey from America and become an expat in some of the beautiful Turkish cities.
Some Basic Things You Should Know Before Moving to Turkey
This predominantly Muslim nation with strong Western influences is home to more than 84 million people with a median age of 31.5. The majority of them claim Turkish as their mother tongue, and the rest of the population speaks Kurdish or Arabic. It is uniquely positioned, surrounded by the Black and the Mediterranean Sea, making it a hub of global trade and transportation, and an essential link between Europe to the west and Asia to the east. The currency is the Turkish lira, which is almost seven times weaker than USD. The capital city is Ankara, Istanbul is the largest and the most famous metropolis, and there are plenty of other beautiful tourist destinations scattered all over the country.
Climate Is One of the Most Popular Reasons Why People Sign up for Moving Here
Turkish climate belongs to a semi-continental Mediterranean type with a significant variation between winter and summer temperatures. Warm summers, nearly 5,000 miles of coastline, and more than 459 “blue-flag” beaches are important reasons why many people travel or relocate here.
Legal Requirements for Becoming an Expat
Becoming one of Turkey’s residents requires a healthy dose of paperwork. Here are the main documents needed to travel abroad:
- A passport valid for at least six months
- A long-stay visa for which you can apply at the nearest embassy or consulate or online
- You can also obtain a residence permit from the local authorities once you arrive, as long as you do so before you have spent more than 90 days in the country,
- If you’re relocating for work, you’ll need a work permit.
You can request a necessary residence permit at the local police department within 30 days of arrival in order to be able to find employment. Permanent residence is possible if you’ve spent over eight years in the country. Keep in mind that you must obtain a Turkish driver’s license if you’re staying for more than six months.
Don’t Forget About Health Insurance
Medical insurance for foreigners is mandatory. Everyone who has a valid residence permit for at least a year is eligible for a public healthcare insurance plan. Many expats choose private healthcare insurance because the quality of public healthcare services in Turkey differs across different regions in the country.
Turkish Cost of Living Is a Major Pro for Americans
Compared to other European countries that Americans choose to relocate to, Turkey has a significantly lower cost of living. For example, living in the city of Izmir is three times more affordable than living in Paris. They also bargain a lot, so the prices are seldom set in stone.
Opening a Bank Account
A foreigner must register for a tax number before opening a bank account in foreign-owned or local banks. Some banks demand a residence permit from applicants before they are allowed to open an account, but some might make an exception.
You will be required to fill out an application form. Consider opening a current account first because it allows you to deposit and transfer money. You can also open a savings account.
What Are the Job Opportunities?
Turkey is a popular destination for highly-qualified foreign professionals and every expat looking for work. If you want to work in tourism and hospitality, the tech industry, or English teaching, you will surely find a job here. The medical field is also on the lookout for professionals. It’s good to know the list of the top employers here if you plan on searching for work:
- BİM Supermarkets,
- RC Rönesans Construction
- LC Waikiki Apparel
- Türk Telekom
- Turkish Airlines,
- TAV Tepe Akfen
The first three enterprises have over 42 thousand employees, while others provide work to more than 30 thousand workers.
Find a Home in Some of the Best Cities
Americans gladly move to Turkey, and most of them choose Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, or Istanbul. Your choice will depend on your preferences, but some foreigners may find it difficult to understand or adapt to the conservative parts of the country. On the other hand, Istanbul is a modern megacity with around 15 million people and all the amenities you are probably used to back in the States.
Save Some Money If You Wish to Buy or Rent Properties in Turkey
The price of housing will, of course, depend on the region you choose. There are many houses and flats available for expats, so finding a property won’t be hard. Bigger cities like Istanbul are suitable for those who prefer to live in action-packed cultural hubs.
|Name of the city||Istanbul||Ankara||Izmir||Antalya|
|Price per sqft in city center (buying)||$130||$83||$95||$62|
|Price per sqft outside the city center (buying)||$65||$49||$46||$45|
Culture and Tradition Are What Makes This Nation so Special
The beauty of Turkey lies mostly in its culture and way of life. It’s very different from American, so be prepared for a bit of a shock. Many norms need to be respected, so try to read about it as much as possible or talk to people who are familiar with Turkish culture and habits. Also, try some tips for learning a new language to break the language barrier. Turks are very friendly people, so they will surely want to teach you some everyday phrases.
This Is Also a Foodies Destination: Turkish Cuisine Is Amazing
Maybe you’re moving to another country for love, and that love may be food.
The cuisine that expats adore is another part of the culture here. It’s diverse, healthy, and fresh. Eating out is cheap, but cooking at home is an option as well because there are many markets with delicious ingredients. It could possibly be a country with some of the best vegan cities. Turks don’t eat pork or drink alcohol because of their religion, but they love their sweets. There’s more: if you like honey, nuts, or dried fruit, we can promise that you’ll love your Turkish life.
Do Your Research Early and Be Ready for Your Move
International moving isn’t an easy and quick process – it might take months of preparation and dealing with administrative issues before you arrive at your new home. To avoid excessive moving stress, make sure that you’ve found a trustworthy relocation company that can provide you with everything you need, like overseas vehicle shipping and packing services.
You Can Sign up for an Expat Community After Moving
Connecting with your fellow Americans and other expats will be very important for overcoming international differences and adapting as quickly as possible. Most of these communities are based in major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. Having someone with experience to act as a guide and teach you about the place you live is always helpful.