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Comprehensive Checklist for Moving to Turkey

Posted by BlogEditor on 5 July 2024
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Moving to Turkey is an exciting adventure, attracting more foreigners every year with its gorgeous climate, stunning beaches, and welcoming hospitality. However, to ensure a smooth transition, it’s essential to understand the process and have an action plan. This checklist will help potential expats navigate the process, settle in, and avoid common pitfalls.

1. Know Your Finances

Understanding your budget is the first step. Be an expert money handler, especially if you keep property in your home country. Remember, the Turkish exchange rate can fluctuate. For monthly transfers, use a foreign exchange company like Wise for better rates and fees. Open a Turkish bank account for bill payments. Many retirees also deposit money into high-interest savings accounts to supplement their pensions.

2. Rent or Buy Property

Decide whether to rent or buy property. Some prefer to rent first to see if they like living in Turkey. To purchase property, browse portfolios of apartments and villas for sale in various parts of Turkey. Renting can be arranged through local estate agents or Facebook groups. Ensure you get a contract, receipt for your deposit, and take interior photos. Rent prices vary, typically higher near beaches or town centers.

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3. Transporting Your Belongings

Research whether to buy new household items in Turkey or move them across. High customs taxes can make buying new items cheaper. Ask for quotes from overseas removal companies and compare with the cost of new items. Find out if items will be transported by road or sea, as this affects cost and time. Many shops offer discounts for bulk purchases of new items.

4. Transporting Pets

Turkey has a straightforward procedure for bringing pets. You can bring two pet dogs or cats with necessary vaccinations and paperwork. Some breeds are banned. Companies can handle the paperwork and transfers. Ensure you understand all requirements before moving.

5. Bringing in a Vehicle

Resident drivers need a Turkish driver’s license, a complicated process. Some expats make border runs every six months, but this can invalidate insurance. Vehicles brought in can only be driven for 730 days before needing to leave Turkey for 185 days. Most expats buy cars in Turkey or use public transport.

6. Health Insurance and Residency Visa

Expats can stay on a tourist visa for up to 90 days before needing a residency permit. Proof of address, healthcare, and financial support is required. The first permit is for one year, and subsequent permits for two years. Applications are usually approved within three months.

7. Schooling for Children

Expats can choose public or private education. Most prefer private schools offering internationally recognized certificates. International private schools are typically found in large cities like Istanbul, Ankara, or Izmir.

8. Working in Turkey

Find a job before moving, as entering the workforce is challenging. Employers must follow strict rules, such as employing five Turkish people for one foreigner. Owning a business does not automatically grant the right to work. Avoid working illegally, as authorities enforce strict penalties.

9. Learning the Language

While many expats live without knowing Turkish, learning the language is beneficial. It helps with daily life and integrating into the community. Start with one word a day and build from there.

10. Buy a Mobile and Get a Turkish Number

Registering a foreign phone is costly, so consider buying a new one. Providers like Turkcell, Vodaphone, and Turk Telekom offer various plans. Shop around for the best deals.

11. Turkish Society and Culture

Understanding Turkish culture helps with settling in. Learn about family dynamics, social norms, and traditions. Turks are known for their hospitality, and neighbors may invite you for tea or bring food.

12. Home Sickness

Homesickness is common but temporary. It may last for 3 to 6 months. Stay busy, take up hobbies, and avoid spending all day in bars. This helps integrate and enjoy your new life in Turkey.

13. Making Friends

Expats can easily make friends through community meetups and local Facebook groups. Volunteering at local charities, like dog shelters, is also a great way to meet people and contribute to the community.

14. Getting to Know All About Turkey

Travel within Turkey to appreciate its diversity. Explore regions like Antalya, Fethiye, and big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. Each area offers unique experiences and insights into Turkish culture.


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