Living in Turkey Guide

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell Expat Health Insurance

Summary: Expats share tips for living in Turkey from job search advice to house hunting to expats' experiences with culture shock and the treatment of women in Turkey.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Living in Turkey GuideLiving in Turkey Guide

Expats share tips for living in Turkey from job search advice to house hunting to expats' experiences with culture shock and the treatment of women in Turkey.

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Comments

guest
Jan 21, 2013 10:21

Thanks for some great information! Right now I'm living in Mexico, but we visited Turkey last May and would love to be able to return sometime to spend a couple of months or more there in the future. A question...I looked at the list of international schools and they all seem to be primary-to-high-school level. Are there any colleges or universities in Istanbul or Izmir that have programs in English for international students? I wonder, because I have nieces and nephews looking into continuing their education post-grad, and it would seem such a great experience for a young person to live abroad in a place like Turkey.

cormier
Aug 12, 2013 21:05

Hello Betsy or anyone living in Istanbul, We are moving a family to Istanbul who may need some rental furniture for a few weeks while their household goods shipment is being shipped. Do you have any companies that can rent some basic furniture to allow them to move into their new home? Thank you in advance. Brgds, Robert

Tigerman55
Mar 3, 2014 11:22

As an expat who has been living in Turkey for the past 20 + years, I would like to point out that it is not easy for a foreigner to obtain work here. If a company needs your skills they can usually apply for a work permit for you. Although you can now apply for a work permit yourself, but this is not that easy and can take a while before you are granted one. Without a work permit you are not allowed to work and if found doing so, can end up being deported. A word of warning if you have a residence permit and wish to move to a different city, you must inform the Emniyet of your moving within 15 days. Failure to do so will result in a fine. This I know from personnel experience.

ece
May 20, 2014 11:47

Betsy, sorry but I am not agree with you at all about the treatment of woman subtitle. I am Turkish woman living in UK almost one year, yet I have been stalked in here by man too (: it is not a unique situation for Turkey. Moreover, I am a blonde Turkish and living in Istanbul having no difficulties going out at night, but of course as a local I know where to go, and yet this is not an unique situation for Turkey too. I always careful when I go out in London because some areas are so dangerous u should never walk alone, and the same goes for Turkey. However, there is an unfortunate thing that there are ignorant people in Turkey too, and commonly women from Eastern Europe countries come Turkey for prostitution thats why may be when they heard a foreign language presuming prostitution. ): but this shouldnt be the case for city center. So it is not because you are blonde. And last I have never seen a man beating a woman in Istanbul or Izmir or any big cities. It has never been a common thing and it is a falony, however in the rural areas there is this problem mostly eastern part of Turkey. But I am 28 years old and have never witnessed this kind of a sitution. It is very unlucky for u to witness a situation like this.

Nazardawood
May 31, 2014 02:03

Thanks for the information above.

Mudhy
May 2, 2015 19:01

Well, because you are coming from the Republic of Plato, I understand your shock to see how bad Turk men treat their wives violently and how they are always having nothing to do but to follow western women in streets. You are so funny lady. We are a Middle-Eastern small family, who lived in Turkey for two years before arriving here to USA six months ago. My wife has the western look, that she is always described here or in Turkey as what you say "cute" in your language. However, this cute woman could live really fantastic life in Turkey. She was always treated with respect and courtesy by all the Turk men and women. Yes, it happened two or three three times during more than 700 days in Turkey that she received impolite request for sex. But I think these few times can be easily diluted in the countless times of dealing with her by the most courteous people we had ever seen. That's why she could always go and come alone to do so many family businesses. Even for joy, she could always go to the mall alone and come in the midnight without anybody to annoy her. On the other hand, when we lived here in USA, the country of Freedoms!!!! she found herself a sexual target in countless situations. This made her here fear to go outside even in the daylight. Now we think that every beautiful woman is, in USA, a potential sex project. By the way, may I ask you a question, how could you know what does the word prostitute translates into Turkish, while we lived in Turkey for two years and we did not know it. We lived in Turkey not within an expat society, to the contrary we lived among them, within their apartment buildings. We were neighbors, but we'd never see signs of violence in their homes, whether with the women or with the children. We used to see them happy families. Also they were so friendly and attempting to know us better and make friendship, but they did never choose to be curios to interfere with our life. We don't know Turkish, but we could deal with them so easily, we could find them the most wonderful society, we did not face the difficulties here although we are supposed to know some English here. I signed in Turkey to lease contracts, they were in Turkish, and I did not understand any word of them, but I signed according to my trust of the realtor, and problem occurred. While here I found every type of fraud and artful dealing with the realtors, all are trying to cheat me. Also, your advise about not trusting even the police officers was perfectly wrong. Yes you are wrong, according to what we have seen. They were so helpful, so sober and so polite. In two years we didn't hear a policeman killed a civil person in Turkey, while in six months we heard this happened several times. You can listen to the news if you don't agree. I can't stop talking about the difference between how good life is in Turkey and how bad is in USA, but I must finish with saying that we are exerting every effort to return to live in the Great Republic of Turkey, the best place in the world, we will get the residence permit there soonest.

terra
Dec 1, 2015 23:54

I have never seen what you are referring to in the Treatment of Women section, and had the pleasure of many dates with well-behaved, polite, chivalrous Turkish men. I walked alone (within reason) as I would do (with good judgement) almost anywhere. I was never referred to as a fahise or any other nasty word, or followed or even eyeballed in an overtly weird way. Sure there were occasions where guys would be persistent about talking to me , but I have experienced the same in Seattle. I have also been stalked, followed, and solicited for prostitution in Seattle. I think you just have to know your way around and how to conduct yourself. Just like anywhere.

dosemealti
Nov 8, 2021 13:08

As usual, very straight forward and in depth observations. I am a Turkish man , who lived most of his adult life in Europe and the UK. Now decided to go back and settle in and around Antalya, Nice to meet you all.

Allianz Care Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Living in Turkey GuideLiving in Turkey Guide

Expats share tips for living in Turkey from job search advice to house hunting to expats' experiences with culture shock and the treatment of women in Turkey.

Turkey Forum Turkey Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Turkey.

Healthcare in TurkeyHealthcare in Turkey

An overview of healthcare in Turkey. Topics include: health insurance requirement for residence permit, hospitals in Turkey, quality of medical care and more.

Cost of Living in TurkeyCost of Living in Turkey

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Turkey.

Moving to TurkeyMoving to Turkey Guide

If you're moving to Turkey, read this guide to get advice from expats living in Turkey about making the move.

Real Estate in TurkeyReal Estate in Turkey

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Turkey.

Pros Cons of Living in TurkeyPros & Cons of Living in Turkey

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Turkey.

Retiring in TurkeyRetiring in Turkey

Advice for people retiring in Turkey.

Contribute to Turkey Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Turkey.

5-Tips-for-Living-in-Istanbul5 Tips for Living in Istanbul

Expats that live in Istanbul, Turkey enjoy a city that is both rich in culture and history. Here are some tips and important considerations for relocating to Istanbul, Turkey.

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