The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Moving to Turkey

5 mins read

When looking at people’s big mistakes when moving to Turkey, they are plentiful. Nearly every ex-pat wishes they had done something different. While some retirees have hair-raising tales, others talk about little details that interrupted their smooth move. Unfortunately, we do not know of any ex-pat living abroad, whether in Turkey or another country, who can say everything was plain sailing when looking for places to live permanently. Remember though, experts say moving house is a stressful life experience, so to retire to another country is courageous. On the other hand, you reap many benefits from moving, so let us look at common mistakes and tips for a smooth move to Turkey.

Biggest Mistakes When Moving to Turkey

1: Red Tape and Paperwork

Red tape and bureaucracy rule our days whenever we move abroad, from applying for tax numbers and residency, opening bank accounts, moving pets across, and car ownership. When relocating to Turkey, many people settle down and then tackle procedures and legalities. But ex-pats can never start too early. So don’t wait until you arrive. Stay one step ahead of regulations, always research beforehand and anticipate future hurdles to avoid unnecessary stress. Then, starting today, get on Facebook, and join ex-pats groups that offer information and advice by people who have already made a move.

2: Biggest Mistake: Finances

Manage finances like an accountant, especially if you still own property in your home country. Consider currency exchange rates ad hoc bills, and set aside money for rainy days. Many people misjudge the costs of living in Turkey, but gorgeous weather and delicious food are not fun while scrimping and saving money. Buy budgeting books and know your income, debts, savings, monthly and yearly bills to set budgets for socialising, shopping, and other daily costs. Don’t forget to factor in the yearly costs of residency and healthcare in Turkey.

3: Moving Out of Holiday Mode

Most people fall in love with Turkey on holiday because of the gorgeous sunshine, outdoor lifestyle, party atmosphere and laid-back, carefree living. Unfortunately, when moving overseas to live, this unsustainable lifestyle impacts our physical and mental health finances. We’ve all heard stories of British ex-pats retiring abroad who end up in bars day after day. It doesn’t end well. Maintain a balance between practicalities and enjoyment. With time on your hands, now is the ideal time to take up that hobby you always dreamed of.

biggest mistakes people make when moving to turkey

4: Disinterest

One big mistake ex-pats make when moving to Turkey is disinterest. Be curious, get outside of your comfort zones, try new things, go to different places, and open yourself up. While retiring to Turkey might be your only reason for moving, curiosity about the Turkish culture, history, food, and architecture will help your relocation endeavour go more smoothly and be stress-free.

5: Ex-pats Only

Human nature has a natural tendency to gravitate towards familiarity. So, when you live in Turkey, one of the most significant sources of intimacy is ex-pats circles. Do not get us wrong. They are great fun and valuable sources of information but do not neglect to make Turkish friends. After all, the best people to learn about the country from will be Turks themselves. It is easy to strike up a conversation with neighbours and the people in the shops, so step outside of your comfort zone.

6: Cultural Stereotyping of Turkish People

People often stereotype foreign countries, but Turkey’s regions vary in culture, food, festivals, and history, and when looking at places to live, remember this. Whether renting or buying a house in Turkey, visit different areas and learn about cultural identities. Visiting various destinations helps to know about your host country because cultural diversity shines through from Istanbul to Antalya to the Black Sea. An excellent way to learn about regional cultures is by tasting traditional dishes from around Turkey.

turkish culture

7: Turkish Lifestyle

Lazy timekeeping and commitment to everyday tasks is one hurdle to navigate. Turks are notorious for pitching up late and forgetting commitments and promises made, even if these are tradespeople that you called to do jobs on the house. You can shout but this isn’t going to change. The best answer is to get used to it.

8: Culture Shock

Home movers should not underestimate culture shock. This occurs when unfamiliarity gets too much and attracts feelings of doom and gloom. For example, many animal-friendly people don’t understand the leisure pastime of camel fighting; however, small things, like using public transport, missing favourite foods, changing routines, or sweltering summer temperatures, also arise. Give yourself time and be patient. Humans have remarkable abilities to adapt and become internationally aware.

9: Online Apps

Often, older generation ex-pats don’t utilise technology. However, getting online and using apps makes life easier. Any foreigner moving abroad should download apps like currency converters, translators, banking, and What’s App or Messenger to message and ring family and friends back home. Learning about online technology reaps the rewards and makes living in Turkey even easier.

live in turkey

10: Language Barriers in Turkey

When people live abroad in Turkey, they often struggle to learn Turkish. Experts say our childhood years are the best time to become bilingual and fluent because our sponge-like brains readily absorb information. However, do not be deterred. Even though many places have English speaking locals, try and remember one word a day. Speaking of apps, download ones like Duolingo to help learn Turkish.

Further Reading about Moving to Turkey

Best Cities to Live in Turkey: As the world’s 37th largest country, Turkey comprises 81 official cities, that grow as Turks flock in to find work and live. However, some cities in Turkey remain off the grid while others stand out as the best and most popular. This article looks at which cities top the list of ideal places to visit and live.

Cost of Living in Turkey: When looking at the cost of living in Turkey, one of the biggest mistakes people make is mishandling their finances. Expenses and prices change from east to west. For example, what is cheap rent in Istanbul; Turkey’s major city is often expensive in smaller coastal towns. Likewise, food and drink expenses per month will differ for ex-pats depending on their social life and where they like to visit. This article discusses tips for budgeting and what to expect your monthly budget to look like.

About Us: About Us: We are Spot Blue International and since 2003, have specialised in selling property in Turkey. We are an award-winning company, often quoted by leading international newspapers and news channels. So, if you want to buy property in Turkey, call us today. Alternatively, read our blog that will interest anyone living in Turkey.

moving abroad

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.