Moving to Turkey: Everything You Need to Know

Turkey, a country known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, has become an attractive destination for individuals and families looking to relocate. Whether you are considering a move for work, retirement, or simply seeking a change of scenery, there are several important aspects to consider before making the leap. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into everything you need to know about moving to Turkey, from visa requirements and healthcare to education options and cost of living.

Visa and Residency:

If you are planning to move to Turkey, it is crucial to understand the visa and residency requirements. The Turkish government offers various types of visas, depending on the purpose of your stay. The most common visa categories include tourist visa, student visa, work visa, and residence permit. For short visits, you can obtain a tourist visa on arrival or apply for an e-Visa online. However, if you plan to stay longer or work in Turkey, you will need to apply for a residence permit. It is advisable to consult the nearest Turkish consulate or embassy or visit the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for up-to-date information on visa requirements and application procedures dstvportal.

Once you arrive in Turkey, you must apply for a residence permit within the first 30 days of your stay. The permit allows you to legally reside in the country and provides access to essential services such as healthcare and education. The application process may vary depending on the type of residence permit you are applying for, and it generally involves submitting the required documents, attending an interview, and paying the necessary fees. It is advisable to start the application process well in advance to allow for any potential delays.


Access to quality healthcare is a significant consideration when moving to a new country. In Turkey, both public and private healthcare services are available. The public healthcare system, known as the Universal Health Insurance (UHI) system, provides coverage for Turkish citizens and legal residents. To benefit from the UHI system, you must have a residence permit or be covered by social security. It is worth noting that the quality and availability of healthcare services may vary across different regions of the country.

Alternatively, you can opt for private healthcare, which offers faster access to medical services and a broader range of treatment options. Private health insurance plans are available through various insurance companies, and the cost will depend on factors such as your age, medical history, and the coverage you require. Before moving to Turkey, it is advisable to research and compare different healthcare options to determine the best fit for you and your family.

In addition to healthcare services, Turkey also boasts a number of world-class hospitals and medical facilities, particularly in major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. These facilities offer specialized treatments and attract medical tourists from around the world. It is always recommended to have comprehensive health insurance coverage to ensure peace of mind and access to the best possible medical care in case of emergencies or unexpected health issues.


If you are moving to Turkey with children, ensuring their education is a top priority. Turkey has a well-established education system that includes both public and private schools. Public education is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14. Turkish is the primary language of instruction in public schools, but private schools often offer bilingual or international curricula.

Private schools in Turkey offer a range of educational options, including international schools, which follow foreign curricula such as the British, American, or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. These schools provide instruction in English or other languages and cater to expatriate and internationally-minded families. It is advisable to research and visit different schools to find the one that aligns with your educational preferences and your child’s needs.

Higher education in Turkey is also well-regarded, with numerous universities offering a wide range of programs and degrees. Turkish universities have gained international recognition and attract students from around the world. If you or your children are considering pursuing higher education in Turkey, it is essential to research admission requirements, tuition fees, and scholarship opportunities.

Cost of Living:

Understanding the cost of living is crucial when planning a move to Turkey. Overall, Turkey offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many European countries and the United States. However, the cost can vary depending on the city or region you choose to live in. Major cities like Istanbul and Ankara tend to have higher living expenses, while smaller towns and rural areas offer a more budget-friendly lifestyle.

Housing is one of the significant expenses to consider. Rental prices in urban areas can be higher, especially for apartments in central locations. However, in suburban areas or smaller cities, you can find more affordable housing options. It is recommended to research the rental market and consider factors such as proximity to amenities, transportation, and safety when choosing a place to live.

Other aspects of the cost of living include transportation, groceries, dining out, utilities, and leisure activities. Public transportation in Turkey is generally efficient and affordable, with options like buses, trams, and metros available in major cities. Grocery costs can vary, but local produce and staples are usually reasonably priced. Eating out at local restaurants can be relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to Western countries.

Cultural Aspects and Lifestyle:

Turkey has a rich cultural heritage, influenced by both Eastern and Western traditions. The Turkish people are known for their hospitality, warm nature, and strong sense of community. The country offers a diverse blend of modern and traditional lifestyles, where ancient traditions coexist with modern conveniences.

Turkish cuisine is renowned worldwide, with its delicious kebabs, baklava, and Turkish tea. Exploring the local food scene and experiencing traditional Turkish hospitality is a delightful aspect of living in Turkey. The country also offers a vibrant arts and entertainment scene, with theaters, museums, art galleries, and music festivals.

Understanding and respecting Turkish customs and traditions is essential when living in the country. Islam is the predominant religion in Turkey, and while the country is known for its secular nature, it is important to be mindful of cultural norms and dress modestly, particularly in more conservative areas.

Learning the Turkish language can greatly enhance your experience and integration into the local community. While English is spoken and understood in many tourist areas and major cities, speaking Turkish will enable you to connect on a deeper level with locals and fully immerse yourself in the culture.

Property in Turkey:

When considering a move to Turkey, understanding the property market and the process of buying or renting a property is crucial. Turkey offers a range of housing options, from apartments and villas to townhouses and rural properties. The country’s real estate market has experienced significant growth in recent years, attracting both local and international buyers.

Foreigners are allowed to purchase property in Turkey, subject to certain regulations and restrictions. Non-Turkish citizens must obtain military clearance, which ensures that the property is not located in a restricted zone. It is recommended to work with a reputable real estate agent or lawyer who specializes in international property transactions to navigate the legal requirements and paperwork.

The cost of properties in Turkey can vary depending on the location, size, and amenities. Major cities like Istanbul and Ankara generally have higher property prices compared to smaller towns and rural areas. Coastal regions such as Antalya, Bodrum, and Alanya are popular for holiday homes and offer a wide range of options.

Renting a property is also a viable option, especially if you are unsure about your long-term plans in Turkey. Rental prices can vary based on the location and the type of property. It is advisable to research rental market trends and work with a reputable real estate agent to find a suitable rental property.

It is important to conduct thorough due diligence and seek legal advice when purchasing or renting a property in Turkey. Ensure that all necessary documents are in order, and be aware of your rights and obligations as a property owner or tenant. Additionally, consider factors such as proximity to amenities, transportation, and safety when choosing a property.

Tolerance Homes note

Moving to Turkey is an exciting adventure filled with new experiences and opportunities. By considering the various factors discussed in this guide and with the assistance of trusted professionals like Tolerance Homes, you can navigate the complexities of relocating and embark on a fulfilling journey in this captivating country. Embrace the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality that Turkey has to offer, and enjoy your experience in Turkey’s most livable cities, istanbul, Fethiye, Bodrum or Antalya homes.

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