Many thriving expat communities live in Turkey all year round. Generally scattered along the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines and Istanbul, some expats live here permanently while others prefer to split their time between Turkey and their home country. Among them are many nationalities, including Brits, Germans, Russians, Saudis, and Kuwaitis. In addition, some international residents work, while others enjoy a life of retirement. So obviously, life in Turkey suits many various cultures and diverse social groups from overseas, but what are possible reasons why international foreigners like to call Turkey home?
Why Foreigners Like Living in Turkey
1: Ideal Weather and Healthy Lifestyle
Most regions in Turkey receive an average of 250 days a year of sunshine. During cooler months, temperatures typically average at 25 degrees while they rise to 40 in July and August. While this is great for swimming, sailing or scuba diving, sunshine offers many health benefits, including Vitamin D. This essential nutrient improves our immune system, eases skin disorders such as acne, strengthens teeth and bone, lowers blood pressure, and decreases asthma symptoms. Recent years have seen an avalanche of warnings and newspaper articles about skin cancer, but in moderate doses, the sun in Turkey boosts our health and wellbeing.
2: Benefits of a Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet, the world's healthiest, is tasty with many benefits. Think of various nutrients and vitamins in an abundance of fish, poultry, olive oil, grains, and vegetables. The combination of food groups keeps off weight, lowers depression and helps control sugar glucose levels. On Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, this diet is a form of socialising with Turks often settling down in Turkish seaside restaurants for an evening of snacking on mezes (appetisers mainly consisting of vegetables) and fresh fish or seafood.
While fast food is everywhere in Turkey, Turks prefer a home-cooked meal over frozen, ready meals. Moreover, weekly markets held in towns and villages all over Turkey sell an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables taken straight from the ground and sold locally by Turkish farmers. So, a Mediterranean diet is healthy, cheap and a great way to socialise with friends.
3: Saving Money as an Expat
We have already pointed out that food shopping in Turkey is generally cheaper depending on your diet, but so is the cost of living. Affordable water and electricity mean bills at under £50 a month - give or take. For Turks on an average wage, prices are normal or high, but for expats living on a pension, the Turkish lira's excellent exchange rate gets a healthy return on foreign currencies. Compare standards from country to country, but generally, the cost of living in Turkey is cheaper, leaving expats financially better off. More about household bills and utilities in Turkey.
4: Expat Socialising
Turks' welcome strangers into their communities, and because of this, getting to know Turkish neighbours is easier than in the more reserved western world. Dinner invites are plentiful, and Turks throw greetings while passing each other in the street like confetti. Although Turks are brutally honest with some issues - like saying your waistline has increased - they become close friends over time. There is a need for support within most Turkish and foreign communities, so local groups like women afternoons, walking and photography, meet weekly. In addition, should you wish to dine out often, meeting up for lunch and dinner is a frequent occurrence, so move to Turkey, and you will find yourself with a new set of Turkish friends and an active social schedule. 13 easy ways to make friends with Turkish people.
5: Slow Living and Relaxation
Turks are just as good as Spaniards when it comes to embracing a "tomorrow" attitude but embracing it can be a welcome form of relief from stress. A fast-paced lifestyle is manageable when we are younger, but we slow down as we get older. Therefore, we take longer over tasks and analyse situations more methodically. The "tomorrow" attitude is a perfect way to do this. Often, foreign residence holders in Turkey realise that stressing over small things in life is not worth it.
6: From Living to Travelling Around Turkey
Over the years, many people have advocated the benefits of travel, and the country of Turkey is a fascinating country to learn about. To brush up on historical knowledge of Turkey, explore Ottoman and Byzantine sites of Istanbul. To learn and know the Turkish language, converse with locals who do not speak English. Likewise, trekking and hiking fans will appreciate the Lycian trekking path- 500 kilometres of coastal pathways from Antalya to Fethiye. Turkish Culture emerges from places like Istanbul city to the west to the Kurdish East or Georgian and Armenian Northeast.
Travelling in Turkey is enjoyable because so many beautiful landscapes, experiences and adventures await everyone. Seeing the natural travertine pools of Pamukkale will be a lifelong memory while touring Ephesus ancient city; the Roman's empire's second-largest city opens your eyes to the abilities and forward-thinking of human beings in our past. Istanbul city and Turkey is a perfect country to broaden minds, and the best aspect is sticking to a budget is quickly done through cheap transport networks and basic bed and Turkish breakfast hotels.
Where is the Best Place to Live in Turkey?
So, now you know the benefits, and why so many international nationalities live in Turkey, it is interesting to know where they live. For many, but especially working professionals, Istanbul is the best place in Turkey. The vast metropolis of Istanbul offers everything a high flying, career-driven worker and their family would want. Granted, Istanbul is the most expensive place to live in Turkey but offers benefits such as the best shopping and nightlife scenes and intriguing national history. Other popular areas in Turkey include Bodrum, Fethiye, and the Antalya region, and you can read all about them in our guide here.
Need to Know about Turkish Living
When you move to Turkey, you will need to get a Turkish residence permit to stay. These are easy to apply for, and receiving the permit is relatively quick. All you must do is prove that you can support yourself financially and have healthcare coverage. Additionally, many people want to work in Turkey, especially in tourism. However, you need to apply for a separate work permit to work. Please note that if you work in Turkey illegally without a license, you face the risk of deportation, a fine and even a ban. Find out everything your need to know in our checklist that will benefit anyone who plans on living in Turkey.
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