Moving to Fethiye with a family: the pros and cons

The year-round lifestyle, sublime weather and natural beauty easily attract those looking to move to Fethiye and start a new life. But can a family with young kids make a successful move? Natasha and Geoff Moore, from Scotland, moved to Fethiye with their small children. The children are now five and seven years old, and their experiences enable other families to discover the good and bad of moving to Fethiye with kids.

Fethiye has much to offer in terms of location, from the Calis Beach district to Fethiye town centre to the upmarket Sovalye island. In addition, exploring is great fun with places of interest like small villages in the Fethiye area, Butterfly Valley, the old part of Fethiye centre, and the Blue Lagoon. Let's not forget the lifestyle from alfresco dining in seaside restaurants, expat social groups, private swimming pools, private yacht hire, gorgeous beaches, and stunning landscapes. Indeed, Fethiye is a great place, but how easy is it to live there with kids? Let's find out.

Oludeniz Beach

About Moving to Fethiye

Pro: Expat Community in Fethiye

When the couple researched potential destinations to raise their young family, they discovered many expats live here. They say while we were determined to integrate into the Turkish culture, the expats living here helped us in the first few months. Through other expats, the couple arranged playdates, navigated red tape, made contacts and forged friendships. Unlike other more holiday-focused places, expat communities in Fethiye are more settled. Holidaymakers come and go, but most expats who made Fethiye their home attend events for expats and locals. Many expats find it easy to make friends and have an active social life.

Pro: The low Cost of Living in Fethiye

A big living plus for the family was property prices. We sold up in Scotland to get a smaller mortgage here. But we quickly realised we could buy a property in Fethiye outright, which has made a massive difference to our day-to-day finances. Living in Fethiye is also cheaper day to day because of the household bills. The family lives in a four-bedroom house with a pool and a large garden. The kids love it. They spend all afternoon in and out of the pool, always with a gang of friends. There are lots of spaces, including an office for Geoff and spare rooms for guests. They also visit family-friendly bars and restaurants and find them very affordable.

Con: Working in the Fethiye Region

Getting a work visa in Turkey is difficult. Geoff runs an engineering consultancy from home and travels for his job. Being mortgage free also means low money costs, and they survive on one income. Natasha spent the first few years bringing up the children, but since they are now at school, she wants to start teaching again. Our jobs allow us to work remotely, and we have transferrable skills, but there isn't a wide choice of job opportunities for everyone.

Pro: Daily Life and Culture in Fethiye

As well as their primary location in Fethiye, a quiet street where the children can safely ride their bikes and play with their friends, the Moore family says the attractions on their doorstep, coupled with the ease of getting around, are great lures. We're a five-minute drive from Oludeniz Beach, a short walk to the nearest shops, and Fethiye Town and school are 15 minutes away. Little traffic also means no stress. People in Fethiye like children. You don't get eye-rolling when you go into town restaurants with your young kids, and many bars are family-friendly. The Turks value children, and family time is valued.


Con: Learning the Turkish Language

While Turkish citizens are used to foreigners, and many people know some English, the language barrier is still real. The kids learned Turkish quickly, but Geoff and Natasha struggled. The pair have language lessons twice a week and try to engage with locals of Fethiye as much as possible to practice. The great thing is that friendly Turks are endlessly tolerant of language mistakes. And you will be rewarded for your efforts. Turks are so appreciative when you try. It doesn't matter if you're not pitch perfect; just trying.

Pro: Raising Bilingual Children in Turkey

Because the Moores moved to Turkey when their children were aged three and under, the kids grew up with the language. Geoff says, they both speak Turkish, and it's come so naturally to them. They're lucky: knowing two languages is good for developing brains, they easily make new friends, and when they are older, they will be more competitive jobs-wise, and learning additional languages will come quickly. The same Turkish tutor who teaches Geoff and Natasha spends an hour a week with the children, helping them consolidate the teaching they receive at school in Fethiye.

Pro: Safety in Fethiye

As well as quieter streets, the Moore family likes the lower crime rates of Fethiye. Turks don't have the same drinking culture, and while drug problems exist everywhere, drug use is much lower than where they are from. Geoff says. It feels like a more wholesome place to bring up a family. In Scotland, we were concerned about what would happen to our kids as adolescents in a place where drinking and drug use were seen as almost usual. Here in Fethiye, the lifestyle means kids can be kids for much longer.

Home in Fethiye

Pro: Weather and Outdoor Lifestyles of Turkey

Fethiye enjoys 300 annual days of sunshine outside of the rainy season, which is great when you're an outdoor family. Swimming, sailing, exploring other areas, and hiking – that's us at the weekends. We spend time outdoors in the sunshine now and are thankful the kids enjoy these new experiences. Alongside Mediterranean pursuits, the children like playing organised group sports like tennis and football. We also often head to Calis Beach to watch that gorgeous Mediterranean sunset of Turkey. Additionally, the central bus station is a great place from which to explore the rest of the country. A short bus ride takes us to many places in the Mugla province, or we can head further afield to explore.

Pro: Schooling in Fethiye

Both the Moore children attend a Turkish state school in Fethiye town with a varied and exciting curriculum. After that, however, they plan to send their children to a private school emphasising the English language and an international curriculum with globally recognised qualifications.

Con: Distance from Family

The children miss their grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins. We talk on Skype all the time, but it is not the same. Fortunately, more frequent flights mean it is easier to go back to the UK, and someone always wants to visit, which is what happens when you live in a holiday destination. However, the hardest thing they have found is knowing there is no return. I don't know if we will live in Fethiye forever, but after experiencing the difference between Scotland and Turkey, it seems unlikely we will ever leave Fethiye.

Also About Fethiye – Turkey

Expat Guide to FethiyeWe adore Fethiye and the larger Mugla province for more reasons than one. Additionally, many foreigners have purchased homes in Fethiye for either use as a holiday home, year-round living, or a tourism real estate investment, therefore proving the addictive lure among expat nationalities from around the globe. This guide will help anyone who is thinking of living in Fethiye.

All About Fethiye: Fethiye in Turkey inspires everyone to get on a plane. Sitting on the Mediterranean coastline, this region is a central sailing hub of the Turquoise coast and a sailor's playground for international tourism yachts from around the world. The many sandy beaches, international cuisine, nearby ancient ruins and gorgeous climate attract many holidaymakers and expats.

Property in FethiyeSo, if you are considering moving to Fethiye or even just investing in the housing market of Turkey, call us today. You can also see our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in many areas of the Fethiye region, including the city centre, Calis Beach, Hisaronu, Ovacik and more destinations. We are Property Turkey, and our local agents have helped many people to buy a property and realise their dream of living abroad by assisting them in moving to Fethiye.

Fethiye in Turkey


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