Moving to Turkey | Country Guides | I Love International Moving

6 Expat Tips for Moving to Turkey

Posted Country Guides / July 29, 2013
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Moving to Turkey means that you will get to stay in a place packed with cultural heritage and have a chance to visit as many as 13 UNESCO World Heritage spots. From Izmir to Batumi, this is a country rich not only in culture but beautiful natural scenery and vast job opportunities. A stable economy based on the industry and service sectors attracts expats from all over the world and makes them fall in love with the life they can build. If you are thinking of becoming one of them, a few expat tips can help your moving process run smoothly and make your assimilation process that much faster.

#1 Start Early With Paperwork When Moving Internationally

Let’s talk about paperwork because you will need to gather the necessary documents if you want to enter a foreign country. After you have made sure your passport is valid, contact the Turkish embassy and ask what documents you should provide in order to get a visa (calisma vizesi).

The basic things you will need are – a copy of your passport, a residence permit, a visa application, and proof of paid visa processing fee. When you are applying for a work visa, take into consideration that there are temporary and unlimited visas. To get further information about the possibility of permanent staying, again, contact the embassy.

#2 When Moving to Turkey as an Expat, Choose the Right Destination: Istanbul, Ankara, or Izmir?

Turkey is a big country spreading on two continents, and with a total area of 302,455 sq miles, you know there will be plenty of great places you can call home.

If you like big, urban metropolises, check out Istanbul, a bicontinental megalopolis that is home to a staggering 15 million people. The country’s largest city and its leading economic and tourist hub host many global enterprises, making it the perfect place for every career chaser.

The capital, Ankara, is an international political hub. Besides politics, this is the perfect place to find work if you are interested in the export of mohair, wool, honey, wax, and goats.

Izmir is the third most populous place in the country, located in the Gulf of Izmir. With its Mediterranean climate, it is perfect for everybody that likes to spend days basking in the sun.

If you are still looking for a home and Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir don’t seem like the right fit, Turkey has to offer more:

  • Antalya is a tourist place, and if you don’t mind living surrounded by big crowds all year long, this might be the spot for you.
  • Alanya is expat favorite because of its beautiful nature and multicultural environment
  • Bodrum is for all of those who prefer a high-class living. This coastal city has breathtaking views and modern houses.
  • The side is a peaceful spot that you can pick if you are hiding from noisy, urban metropoles. Living here will be relaxed and chill.

When you’ve finally made a choice and decided where you will be putting down roots, it is time to go over some basic house-hunting tips.

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What to Sort Properties By Location or Size

If you are living in a rental house in the US, you know that the prices vary depending on location and size. Sometimes, to get a better location, you will sacrifice more than a few square feet.

When you are renting a property in a metropolis such as Ankara, know that rent for a four-bedroom apartment can go between $200 (1,200 TRY) and $340 (2,000 TRY). Renting in Istanbul will be a bit pricier. Look for accommodation depending on where your office is; a good location will help you avoid long commutes, and it will make your trip to work less stressful.

There Are Great Opportunities for Those Moving to Turkey for Work

If you’re moving to Turkey, know that it has the 13th largest GDP by purchasing power parity (PPP) in the world, and many international companies have headquarters here. Expats flock here because of economic stability and work opportunities, mainly in the automotive industry, shipbuilding, and electronics sector. Nevertheless, let’s not forget tourism as an important part of the economy because from Cappadocia to Pamukkale, tourist visits are on the rise.

#3 Get Health Insurance When Moving Abroad

Having insurance when you are traveling or relocating abroad is a smart choice because you never know what might happen in a new and unfamiliar environment. Even though the cost of a doctor’s visit is around $24 (140TRY), and a dentist’s appointment goes from $7(40TRY), some medical emergencies can cost much more.

With insurance, you will be covered in case something bad happens and you need immediate medical attention.

#4 You Should Learn Turkish When Moving Overseas

One of the pro tips that everybody who ever lived in Turkey will give you is – to learn Turkish. According to a Eurobarometer report, only 17% of people can actually speak English, and they are mostly concentrated in big tourist centers. You can start even before you begin packing, and after you relocate and settle down, consider taking some classes. Breaking the language barrier will bring you so many benefits and pave the way for finding a well-paid job.

#5 Think Twice About Driving

Are you considering shipping your car to your new location? Driving around big places in Turkey can get pretty hectic, especially for a foreigner that is just getting the hang of traffic regulations. You might enjoy wide modern highways while driving from one city to another, but driving within an urban area is a completely different thing. Think about keeping your car in a garage for the first month or two until you figure out how Turks drive and then sit behind the wheel. After all, being bound to public transportation is not all too bad, and now we’ll see why.

Save Some Time by Using Public Transportation

A huge system of public transport includes buses, minibusses, trams, and the metro. Pick the mode of transportation accordingly, depending on where you live and where you want to go. And don’t worry, you can get a guide that will help you with navigating through the public transportation network.

#6 Every Expat Should Prepare for Culture Shock

You should prepare yourself for a different kind of culture when you relocate anywhere outside the US, especially if you are traveling to a country famous for its traditional values and long and rich history. This place blends and mixes cultures that were brought to this area over a long period. Even though the Turkish nation has undergone profound changes over the last hundred years, today, you can still encounter people that stick to traditional values. To be as prepared as possible, read a guide or two about the customs and traditions before booking international moving services, and don’t be afraid to relocate because people might surprise you with their kindness.

Embrace the Friendliness When Moving to Turkey

Even though people here don’t speak English all too well, you won’t ever stay without needed help. Turks are friendly, kind-hearted, and willing to help anybody, despite not being able to understand you. If you need something, they are more likely than not to take you by the hand and guide you to somebody that actually can help you. Be prepared for a whole new level of hospitality because expats won’t feel unwanted and unwelcome.

Bargaining Is the Sign of Fitting in

Have you ever talked your way to the best prices? Here, you might have to master the skill of bargaining because it is kind of a tradition in Turkey. You can haggle with merchants in the Bazaar or street sellers if you see something that you’d like to own. Turks like to bargain about everything from spices to shoes and antiques. When you master the skill, you will be able to get everything you want and save some money along the way.

This Is a Foodie Paradise

You will need a gym card, especially if you are a foodie that likes to taste and eat all kinds of new and exotic meals. Turkish cuisine is a fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Eastern European cuisines. Be prepared to learn how to make all kinds of dishes with meat and spices, but also sweets like baklava, lokma, and Turkish delight.

Check out the video below for some more info about the amazing street foods you can find in Istanbul.

Hire International Moving Company and Relocate ASAP

After everything you’ve learned about this amazing country, the only thing left is to hire the best overseas moving company to help you move. The professionals will handle all the relocation-related tasks while you are looking for a new home and a job. Don’t let the new adventure waiting. Grab a phone, book the move, and you’ll become an expat in no time.

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