Is Turkey a Good Place to Live? Opinions from Expats

Many people who come on holiday and contemplate moving across, often ask is Turkey a good place to live? It is a good, realistic question because life away from the beach bars and daily, lazy boat cruises is always different.

We are biased. Much of our team lives in the country and has done so for years because we love it. They now call it home, whether that is places like Istanbul, Fethiye, Antalya, Bodrum or the good old ex-pat British haven, Altinkum.

They are realistic, and say the country has faults, which is to expected since nowhere is a utopia but to get a non-biased opinion, let us look at this year’s results of the HSBC ex-pat survey.

Is Turkey a good place to live?

Every year, HSBC, as part of their ex-pat banking sector, asks ex-pats to rate the best country to live and work. For 2019, they said Turkey was the 7th best country in the world, ranking after Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and other of other countries like Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

This was an increase from position 22 in 2018 up by 15 slots. Now in its 12th year, the survey said by industry insiders is a good measure questioned 18,000 ex-pats in 163 countries across the globe.

The survey splits into three sections including living, (5th place) aspiring (15th place) and little expats (6th place) aimed at families with children in school abroad. Notable points Turkey scored on were…

  • Physical and mental wellbeing
  • Fulfilment
  • Cultural, opening, and welcoming communities
  • Ease of settling in
  • Career progression
  • Making friends, learning, and schooling for little expats

The advice given by respondents to the survey covered topics like financial management, culture, family, and friends. A few notable comments from this year’s survey and earlier ones include…

“Being a tourist is one thing, but living here is like peeling back layers of an onion. You will learn more about culture, society and ‘national identity’ than you can ever imagine. Be prepared and have an open mind.”

“Be brave enough to learn and live the culture; I promise that you will leave with a sense of gratitude and humility for a country that adopted you as one of its own wherever in the world you go.”

“The key is to respect the local culture. Kind gestures can open doors.”

“If you are a foodie, make friends at your neighbourhood Pazar, market and butcher. Their customer service is outstanding once they know you.”

What’s Good About Living in Turkey?

From our own experiences, that of our staff and customers, certain reasons stand out for our decision to make Turkey a home from home. They include…

Low Cost of Living: With no TV licence to pay, cheap water, insurance, satellite TV, internet and a low council tax, foreigners are already quids in when coming here. Although electricity prices, running a car, drinking, and smoking can be expensive, foreigners find money goes a long way.

Affordable Property: Until, 15 years ago, Turkey’s property market was neglected and in decline. When the Turkish government endeavoured to turn this around, architecture and modern housing became the new norm, but prices are still low when compared to European countries. For many, this is an ideal real estate investment with much potential for long term capital appreciation.

Interest Savings Rates: Turkey keeps on giving when it comes to money because some expats deposit money in high-interest savings accounts offering rates between 7 to 14%. For those, who sold property in their home country, this is a sizeable investment and after paying tax on savings have enough to live on, without touching financial nest eggs.

is Turkey a good place to live

Hospitality and Culture: Without a doubt, one reason Turkey is among the top ten holiday destinations in the world is the welcoming hospitality inbred in Turkish culture. Many expats living here, first came for a holiday and returned to absorb the friendly culture 12 months of the year.

Weather and Scenery: Think 300 days of sunshine a year, to understand why people flock here for year-round residence. Turkey has several climate zones, and although January and February are the rainy months, regions like Mediterranean Antalya do a job of delivering sunshine in bucket loads.

Healthy Lifestyle: Although fast-food joints feature in most Turkish towns and cities, traditions still gear towards healthy, home-cooked meals, using organic fruit and vegetables from the local, weekly farmers market. Combine this with an outdoor lifestyle, (thanks to the gorgeous weather), and most ex-pats report their health and well being improves once they settle in.

Summary: Asking whether Turkey is an excellent place to live, throws up many reasons to say yes, but it also involves patience to give yourself time to settle in, and an open mind to embrace a different culture. If you want to move to Turkey and invest in the real estate market, contact us to speak with a local agent, and receive a portfolio of homes on the market.

Also of Interest

Most Popular Turkish Cities: Mastercard carried out their travel survey to determine which cities travellers rank as ideal and for 2019, both Istanbul, and Antalya featured in among other cities of the world.

Tips for Moving to Turkey: Moving countries can be a stressful experience in itself, so in this article, we outline tips to ease the process. Including money management, making friends, working and culture shock, our advice is for anyone thinking of moving here.

move to Turkey