Turkey has a very small part of its territory in Europe, while the rest is in Asia. It is a very beautiful country, rich in history, culture and traditions and was one of the centers of world civilization. Living in Turkey can be a very interesting experience.
The first city that comes to mind is Istanbul. It is the most developed city in Turkey with many job opportunities and leisure activities. Although it is an incredibly beautiful city with a strategic geopolitical location, it is too crowded. Living in Istanbul means living in daily chaos. Traffic congestion, high crime rates, and high real estate prices are just a few of Istanbul’s problems.
There are many beautiful cities in Turkey. Of course, compared to Istanbul, there are fewer job opportunities and lower wages. However, life is much more relaxed. In the big cities you will find everything you want to do. In the interior, however, there is almost nothing and time seems to have stopped.
Public schools in Turkey are free of charge. Fees for state universities are also very low, but the quality of education has declined considerably in recent years. Medical care is almost free, considering the prices for the same services in some European countries and in the USA. Above all, the use of buses and subways is free for older people.
Turkey is a very large country and the different regions have different climates. In the northern part, it is generally rainy most of the year. In the Mediterranean and Aegean regions, summer is very hot and it almost never rains and winters are generally not too cold. In the Anatolia region, the temperature in summer is usually around 18°C, while in winter it regularly drops below 0°C.
Turkish cuisine is very diverse. Each region of Turkey has its own specialties. When different cultures and races mixed during the Ottoman Empire, Turkish cuisine also incorporated dishes from Europe, Asia and Africa. Turkish tea is very important for everyone, most people drink at least 3 cups a day.
Turks love strangers and respect each other’s cultures. Turkish people are generally generous, good-humored and hospitable. Turks are very friendly and behave in a civilized manner. One of the common traits of all Turks is hospitality. It is easy to make friends with people. You will soon become friends with your neighbors. Neighborhoods in Turkey are small communities where everyone cares about and helps each other.
Turkey is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of culture, religion, and socio-economic differences. It is really hard to believe that the culture and lifestyle of people in a single country can be so different.
In extremely conservative cities in Anatolia or the eastern region, older people tend to cling to traditions and it is impossible to change or even question their beliefs. The father decides on the future of the children. In modern cities, on the other hand, the rules of life are comparable to those of any Western city.
The process of integration with the local population could be hindered by the language barrier, learning the language could make things much easier. Turkish is difficult to learn. Many Turks in more developed cities know English, but do not expect the common population to know more than a few words of English. So if you decide to live in Turkey for a long time, it might be wise to start learning Turkish, because you will definitely need it at some point.
Living in Turkey is still cheap compared to many developed countries. Everything except imported products (cars) remain affordable, with the exception of some highly taxed products such as alcohol, gasoline, etc. There is also a significant difference between the cost of living in large cities, especially housing prices, and those in small urban centers.
Speaking of work, the economic situation in Turkey is not the best at the moment, and the future is also quite uncertain. The minimum wage is very low (about $450 per month), and many people work for the minimum wage. A few years ago, Turks were living very comfortably. Today, the situation has deteriorated, and there is no improvement in sight. With galloping inflation of 35 % per year.
Expatriates in Turkey work mainly in managerial positions, in local or multinational companies. The largest employment opportunities for expatriates are in the IT sector and in tourism.
Living and working in Turkey pros and cons
Living in Turkey, pros
- People are genuine, friendly and warm-hearted
- Low cost of living
- Generally good weather
- Good food
Living in Turkey, cons
- No privacy
- Shrinking economy and rising inflation
Living and working in Turkey, conclusion
Turkey is geographically and culturally a bridge connecting Europe with the Middle East and Asia. The Turkish people are more “traditionalist” than the peoples of Western Europe, but they are still a democratic state. So we can say that Turks in general live like Europeans with a touch of the Middle East.
They generally dress in European style it is legal to drink alcohol and pork is not forbidden. But just like in the Middle East, Turks are primarily Muslims and Turkish men still prefer virgin women who can cook and stay at home to raise children.
If you have a good income and live in a big city, life is generally good. On the other hand, if you have a low income and live in an underdeveloped city, or worse, if you try to live in Istanbul on an inadequate salary, life in Turkey will be extremely hard and depressing. Better another developed country.