Living in Turkey
An increasing number of people from various parts of the world are moving to Turkey to start a new life, to work, or even to find peace of mind for their retirements. The country has developed dramatically in the last fourteen years, and the pace of progress in certain fields is nothing short of astonishing.
With its unique geographical location combined with a rich and diverse history, right in the cradle of many different civilizations, Turkey is a privileged place to live for expatriates and their families.
Many of Turkey’s new residents hail from countries like the UK, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Belgium, France, USA, as well as several of the Gulf countries. Thanks to the amendments in Turkey’s property law that lifted the reciprocity principle, foreign homebuyers and investors are now free to purchase any property in Turkey.
From flats in urban centers to villas in suburbs, there are a multitude of options to choose from when looking for housing in Turkey. Major metropolitan areas have the most modern and complete environment for an extravagant life in the city, where luxurious residence complexes offer all the daily amenities such as private security, kindergartens, sports complexes, social facilities, parking lots, and shopping malls for their residents.
Foreigners wishing to work or reside in Turkey are obliged to file an application to the relevant Turkish authorities with required documents in order to obtain a work or residence permit. The methods and principles concerning work permits to be issued to foreigners that will be employed in Turkey vary by the relevant sector, such as education, housekeeping services, health services, tourism, aviation, entertainment, and others, as well as with respect to foreign direct investments, special foreign direct investments, professional services, and liaison offices. Meanwhile, residence permits are issued to foreigners mainly based on ownership status of real estate or on the intention to run a business or establish commercial connections in Turkey.
The transportation system in Turkey makes good use of the country’s highly developed infrastructure. With more than 50 airports across the country, one can fly from one city to another in Turkey in less than an hour in most instances. An extensive network of dual carriageways and highways makes it very easy to drive from your home to any major city in Turkey. The high-speed train network, meanwhile, has been improving rapidly in the last decade; the 14 largest cities of Turkey are expected to be interconnected with high-speed train lines by 2023, the centennial of foundation of the Republic of Turkey.
The education system of Turkey underwent serious reforms in the last decade. Most apparent are the now compulsory twelve-year education and the dramatic increase in the number of schools and other educational institutions. Many private and foundation schools, in addition to public schools, offer education services. Moreover, international schools, where only pupils holding a foreign passport can attend, are present throughout the country. While schools providing education in European languages such as English, German, French, and Italian are available, there are other institutions where languages such as Russian, Japanese, and Chinese are taught as well.
The healthcare system in Turkey mainly operates with three different types of hospitals: public, university, and private. While social and health securities are governed in essence by the state, it is also possible to have private health insurance. The majority of hospitals in Turkey, both public and private, are either meeting or surpassing international standards in equipment quality and expertise.
The cultural activities in which one can engage in Turkey are only limited by individual interests and capabilities. Be it arts, hobbies, entertainment, or other leisure activities, the possibilities are endless. In all major cities one can find movies, plays, concerts, ballets, operas, and other varieties of cultural activities awaiting either participants or spectators. Local festivals and more traditional forms of leisure activities are also rising in popularity.
Turkey’s rich geography and suitable terrain make the country an ideal place for alternative sports such as mountaineering, golf, scuba diving, rafting, skiing, and yachting. Naturally, well-established and popular sports like football, basketball, and volleyball have a considerable number of players and supporters all over the country.
Located in the Eastern Mediterranean region and surrounded on three sides by temperate seas, Turkey has a climate allowing for extreme variations in weather, often in the same region or province. As such, it is possible to go skiing in a mountain resort after sunbathing on a sandy beach, both in the same day.