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What is the Cost of Living in Turkey in 2017?

Across the globe, in every class of society, profession, and social status, the number one daily question that everyone asks themselves 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, understandably, potential customers always ask us about the cost of living in Turkey.

In this article, we will break it down, according to current prices but before we start, there are also two things to consider re year on year estimations and daily costs.

This year, inflation in the country has increased an average of 1.4%, with the CPI (consumer price index) reporting that year on year, prices have risen roughly 10%. Undeniably, some food items are considerably more expensive, and this is glaringly obvious to the long-term expats.

Naturally, as an off-shot, the purchasing value of Turkish lira has dropped, so the exchange rate has also risen. The Financial Times Newspaper predicts the current exchange rate, consistently hovering around 4.5%, is here to stay for the majority of the year. Although it is only predictions and not forecasts, they even estimate it could go as high as five Turkish liras to the pound.

Therefore, any expat receiving a pension or income in foreign currency will not see the change in inflation on their bottom line because they are receiving more for their money than this time last year.

We have also looked to some official number crunching data experts to find out the cost of living in Turkey versus the UK. For this, Numbeo who collect stats from all over the world, including rent prices, fruit and vegetables, milk, bread, beer, petrol and so forth have some impressive figures to show.

In their last report for March 2017, the average cost of living in Turkey is 73.31% lower than the UK. Items like beef, bananas, mortgages, and sports activities were generally higher in Turkey, but all other costs showed considerable differences that were lower. For example, cheese is 25% cheaper. Likewise, taxis are 72%, electricity is 56%, and the internet is 42% cheaper. Overall, anyone moving from the UK to Turkey should see a vast improvement in daily living costs.  

So, our example is based on someone living in the Fethiye region on the Mediterranean coast. Understandably, Istanbul, the country’s biggest city has a considerably higher cost of living. All prices are in UK pounds, having used an exchange rate of 1 UK pound to 4.5 Turkish liras. Unless stated, they are average prices because some costs vary from person to person depending on consumption and lifestyle preferences.  

Oludeniz beach Turkey

What is the cost of Living in Turkey in 2017?

Property-To Buy or Rent: Property prices in Fethiye start at roughly £50,000 for an apartment or £70,000 for a villa. Many of the resale homes in our portfolio are also fully furnished. Alternatively, approximately £150.00 a month in rent is enough for a 1 / 2 bedroom fully furnished apartment that is close to all amenities.

Water, Electricity, Council and Rubbish Tax: £500.00 per year

Internet: £15.00 per month nets you unlimited supply with companies like TTNET but they also regularly offer special deals and discounts if you sign two-year contracts. These reduce the price by roughly 15%. Many expats in Turkey now have XMBC boxes that rely on streaming the internet for coverage. This eliminates the cost of satellite television for international programs but if you have basic internet, buffering is a frequent problem and your monthly usage disappears quite quickly, so shop around to see what is on offer.  

Home and Mobile Telephone: Calling the UK from Turkey for one hour every week averages at £15 per month but many expats use free services such as Skype, Whats App, and Facetime. Likewise, mobile phone providers like Vodaphone and Turk Telecom now offer great deals. For example as long as the person you are calling is within Turkey and on a Turkish mobile number, 2GB of internet, 500 minutes of calls and 500 text messages is as little as £7 per month. If you shop around and use up to date technology, there is potential to save lots of money in this area.

Property Maintenance Fee: People living on communal sites pay a monthly fee towards maintaining shared facilities like a swimming pool, security, and electricity for the hallway lights. The cost depends on how many apartments/villas are paying in and the services received. Yearly expect to pay from £100 upwards.

Property Insurance: Earthquake insurance is compulsory, and the cost depends on the square meterage of your property. Roughly, £120 a year will insure a two-bedroom apartment for earthquake, fire, and contents.

Residency Permits and Healthcare: If you stay in Turkey for just 90 days out of 120, you can use a £12.50 tourist visa. However, if you want to stay longer, a Turkey residency permit is roughly £75.00 including administration fee for your first year. Anyone younger than 65 also needs health insurance. The government SGK scheme is £95 (425 Turkish liras) per month for a married couple or single person. Alternatively, private insurance is dependent on the coverage you need and current fitness level.

Running a Vehicle: 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 £550.00.

Food: Many expats and Turks save lots of money by going to the local weekly market for fruit, vegetables, cheese, eggs, olives, and so forth. Amazingly, spending just £7.00 at the local weekly market is more than ample for two people. However, beef and lamb are expensive, at approximately £11.00 to £15.00 per kilo. For that reason, many people buy chicken at £4.50 per kilo. A litre of milk is £0.90 and likewise for a kilo of sugar.

Smoking, Drinking, and Socialising: A packet of 20 cigarettes is £2.50 while a 50 cl Efes beer is £1.70. Naturally, drinking and eating out is more expensive than home. Expect to pay £20 per person for meal and drinks in a middle-class restaurant.

Note: Many expats save substantial amounts on the cost of living in Turkey by investing their capital in time deposit accounts paying roughly 10% interest that can be withdrawn every 32 days. Therefore, someone depositing 300,000 lira will monthly receive around 3000 lira (650.00) before tax. This is more than ample to enjoy a good standard of living without touching your net worth.

More? See the cost of living in Turkey 2016.

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