What is the Cost of Living in Turkey?

Updated: September 2022

Potential customers always ask us about the cost of living in Turkey. Across the globe, in every class of society, profession, and social status, the first question everyone asks is how much does this cost? Whether it is something for our home, utilities or spending money for leisure, money makes the world go round. So, in this article, we break down Turkish living costs according to current prices, but before we start, there are also two things to consider: year-on-year estimations and daily expenses.

Fethiye Oludeniz Beach

Cost of Living in Turkey: Things to Consider

This year, inflation in Turkey is running at around 75%. As a result, some food items are more expensive, which is evident to long-term expats. As an off-shoot, the purchasing value of the Turkish lira has dropped, so exchange rates have risen. Ranking at around 20 liras to the pound, it is up and down according to other world events. Therefore, any expat receiving a pension or income in foreign currencies will not see a change in inflation on their bottom line because they are receiving more for their money than last year. But, anyone on a budget should factor in a buffer zone, given the unpredictability of inflation and exchange rates.

Is it Expensive to Live in Turkey?

We looked to official number-crunching data experts to find costs in Turkey versus the UK. For this, Numbeo, who collects stats from all over the world, including rent prices, fruit and vegetables, milk, bread, beer, and petrol, have some impressive figures to show.

In their last report, average living costs in Turkey are 50% lower than in the UK. Items like bananas, mortgages, and sports activities were higher in Turkey, but all other expenses showed lower differences. For example, cheese is 24% cheaper. Likewise, taxis are 70%, electricity is 69%, and the Internet is 75% more affordable.

Anyone moving from the UK to Turkey should significantly improve daily living costs. Our example focuses on someone living in Fethiye on the Mediterranean coast. Remember, Istanbul has higher costs of living. However, unless stated, they are average prices because some expenses vary from person to person depending on consumption and lifestyle preferences.

Fethiye in Turkey

What is the cost of living in Turkey?

Property-To Buy or Rent in Turkey: Property prices in Fethiye start at 80,000 GBP for apartments or 140,000 pounds for villas. Choose from off-plan, key-ready or fully furnished resale homes. Alternatively, 6,000 to 10,000 lira monthly rent is enough for a 1 / 2 bedroom furnished apartment near amenities.

Water, Electricity, Council and Rubbish Tax: Water is billed in two ways; the first is monthly bills, but some homes also have metres, in which case, homeowners top up their cards as and when required. Homeowners in Turkey pay roughly 35 lira monthly for water. Likewise, electricity is billed, but air conditioning dramatically increases costs. Expect to pay between 500 to 1,000 lira a month. You will need to check yearly with local councils as to how much your council and rubbish tax is, as this differs from region to region. Home sellers must pay council debts to transfer title deed ownership in Turkey.

Internet: 300 Turkish lira per month nets unlimited supply with companies like TTNET, but they also offer exclusive deals and discounts with two-year contracts. These reduce prices by 15%. In addition, many expats in Turkey use XMBC boxes that rely on Internet streaming for coverage. This eliminates satellite television costs for international programs, but with essential Internet, buffering is frequent, and usage disappears, so shop around to see what is on offer.

Home and Mobile Telephone: Calling the UK from Turkey for one hour every week averages 100 lira monthly, but many expats use free services such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Facetime. Likewise, mobile phone providers like Vodaphone and Turk Telecom offer great deals. For example, if the person you call is within Turkey and on a Turkish mobile number, 2GB of Internet, 500 minutes of calls and 500 text messages are as little as 80 lira a month. So shop around and use up-to-date technology, because there is potential to save lots of money in this area.

Property Maintenance Fee: People living on communal sites in Turkey pay monthly fees for maintaining shared facilities like a swimming pool, security, and electricity for hallway lights. Costs depends on how many apartments/villas are paying in and services received. Yearly costs can be 250 pounds upwards.

Property Insurance: Earthquake insurance in Turkey is compulsory, and costs depends on the square metre of your property. One hundred fifty pounds annually will insure a two-bedroom apartment for earthquake, fire, and contents.

Residency Permits and Healthcare: Tourists can stay in Turkey for 90 days out of 180. However, to stay longer, a Turkey residency permit is 1250 Turkish lira, including administration fees for your first year. Anyone younger than 65 also needs health insurance. Many expats opt into the government-run SGK system, which increases yearly. Private insurance depends on coverage and your current fitness level.

Running Vehicles: Petrol is not cheap in Turkey, so many people use diesel cars. Including MOTs and insurance, the average yearly cost of running a car is 1,000 pounds

Food Shopping: Many expats and Turks save lots of money by going to local weekly markets for fruit, vegetables, cheese, eggs, olives, and so forth. Spending around 150 Turkish at the local weekly market is enough for two people. However, beef and lamb are expensive, starting in price at 120 lira for mince and rising depending on the cut. So instead, many people buy chicken. A litre of milk is 15 Turkish lira.

Smoking, Drinking, and Socialising: 20 cigarettes is 30 Turkish lira while a 50 cl Efes beer is the same, but expect higher prices in bars. This can range from 40 Turkish lira for draught beer to 100 lira for bottles. Drinking and eating out are more expensive. The average cost is 350 lira per person for meals and drinks in popular restaurants.

Living in Turkey

Additional Notes

High-Interest Savings Accounts: Many expats in Turkey save substantial amounts on the cost of living by investing their capital in time deposit accounts paying 10 to 15% interest that you can withdraw every 32 days. Therefore, someone depositing 1,000,000 lira will receive more than enough to enjoy good living standards without touching your net worth. Banks offering reasonable interest rates include HSBC, Garanti and Deniz, and further information is on their websites. However, please remember that exchange rates vary if you convert foreign currency to deposit into Turkish lira accounts. If you withdraw the money, it may be less than what you deposited.

Proof of Income: When applying for your residency visa, you must show proof of income, whether a pension or savings. To work, employers must apply for a work permit, a separate procedure. Alongside discussing the cost of living in Turkey, the following articles will also be helpful.

Expat Guide: Our bumper collection of articles navigates every aspect of living in Turkey. Including legalities, setting up household bills, dealing with red-tape, learning Turkish, cultural differences and more; bookmark these articles to browse at your leisure.

Cheap Property in Turkey: If you haven’t yet purchased property, our portfolio of apartments and villas across Turkey showcases excellent details and sellers who drop prices for quick sales. Whether you want a bargain apartment in Fethiye or a superb value penthouse in Istanbul, you will find it here.

Why Move to Turkey: If you are still undecided about moving to Turkey, we list seven reasons to do it and include further information that will help you find a home from home.

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