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Cost of living in Turkey

Cost of living in Turkey

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Arab families more recently have come to Turkey to stability or to start a new phase in economic and social life , due to Turkey's attractive investment environment , as well as the embrace of Arab and expatriate communities , and because it provides a suitable social lifestyle for new arrivals .

Turkey's strategic location in the heart of the world , strong infrastructure , mild atmosphere , green nature , water bodies and charming beaches are all attractive factors that encourage those seeking a new city for a comfortable stay , in a safe and stable environment , prompting the selection of Istanbul among Turkish cities .

Istanbul has become the new destination for investment and stability , it is suitable for those seeking safe housing and quiet life and ownership of real estate in Turkey in the finest apartments , villas and residential and commercial complexes , where the city combines tradition , modernity and luxury , and includes major brands . The nature is stunning in Istanbul , and there are many social patterns that suit newcomers from everywhere .

Learn more about Istanbul in the following article : Famous places you must visit in Istanbul


A decent life requires the basic needs of food , clothing , housing and other public services . Undoubtedly , the cost of living in Turkey is an important factor in the decision of expatriates to determine whether they can move here permanently or not . The old saying that money drives the world is certainly true when it comes to our lifestyle choices . The cost of living in Turkey is surprisingly cheap , and before we begin to study the average costs , there are some important factors to consider :

  1. Minimum wage in Turkey

The minimum wage in Turkey is 2020 Turkish lira per month , with the employer paying all health care or health issurance and pension payments , known as SGK , and this income can cover the basics of life for one person with rent very appropriately .

  1. Cost of living varies from city to city

As elsewhere in the world , the cost of living varies from city to city in Turkey . Istanbul is the most expensive city to live in Turkey . It is the center of business and finance , in addition to being the capital of tourism and economy in Turkey . Home rents are also relatively high in Istanbul , and daily overhead costs such as transportation , food shopping and entertainment in Istanbul are more expensive than other cities . For example , a family that does not have to pay rent or mortgage can live a good standard of living at around 5.000 Turkish lira per month .

There are also Turkish cities on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts , where the cost of living is drastically reduced . An example of some of the most popular destinations for expatriates , Fethiye , is about 20 % less expensive than Istanbul , and expats can own property in Fethiye and enjoy an average lifestyle of 3000 Turkish lira per month .

Learn about Fethiye by reading the following article : Beautiful Fethiye area in Turkey

  1. Exchange rates and high interest savings accounts

Many expatriates receiving a pension from their home country enjoy a luxurious lifestyle , thanks to the excellent exchange rate between the Turkish lira and other currencies , such as the pound sterling , the euro and the US dollar .

If you are studying the option of living in Turkey and you receive a pension or monthly income in foreign currency , you can rely on the excellent exchange rate when you make this decision .

Many expatriates save their capital in high-interest accounts , and live on the interest they withdraw monthly , from 8 % to 10 % for anyone with large assets . This is a very effective way of financing the cost of living .

All the procedures for opening a bank account in Turkey in the following article : How to Open a Bank Account in Turkey (Full Guide)


And if we devote to talk about the basic needs of decent life , we start with the most important , which is the food , that is available at cheap prices in general in Turkey , and rise if you go to the restaurant for a meal , to be the average cost ( 25 - 35 ) Turkish lira , while rising meat prices due to the high demand to be the average price per kilogram ( 35 - 60 ) Turkish lira , and canned , packaged and refrigerated Turkish products are characterized by high quality at appropriate prices . Also , Arab products such as Arabic bread and other products that suit the Arab taste are available in Turkey , as different types grocery stores are characterized by offering Arabic products such as rice and spices .

The clothes are of high quality and also at suitable prices , where you can buy a full set for children for less than 30 Turkish lira , as well as men's clothes for less than 100 Turkish lira , these are average prices for the basics of life suitable for low-income , offset by high prices for international brands Many have it .


You can get these basic needs from many different places with different tastes and economic level , including :

Super markets and hypermarkets spread in large cities , which cover all neighborhoods in the country through its chain of branches , of these groups , which is characterized by cheapness and abundance in each neighborhood , and is closer to the mini market , such as : A101 , BIM , ŞOK , and Some of them tend to wholesale like Bizem , Metro , and some of which follow a global chain and are widely available in Turkey such as Carrefour .

Neighborhood bazaars , each neighborhood has a special day a week in which a popular bazaar opens , where vegetables , fresh fruits , fish , cheeses and other household items are sold cheaply .

Malls and shopping malls , large and modern , which includes shops , brands , restaurants and basic services and entertainment , and often provide paid parking on certain conditions to ensure that you are a shopper .

Wholesale markets ( Hal ) and markets specialized in specific industries , such as : textile market or medical equipment market or spices , and often popular and old , such as the fish market in Istanbul , which was moved from the middle to the edges of the city and renewed .

Turkish ovens are widespread , often bearing the names of famous cities and places , which offer various types of bread , the most famous Turkish bread similar to French bread , but shorte r, and the state supports special kiosks to sell bread through the General Furnaces Company ( IHE ) .

Online purchase and e-commerce websites , where most companies provide through the purchase and payment service on delivery , so you can buy everything as easy as possible , and provide you with all your household needs of vegetables , fruits , fresh meat and others , from these websites Turkish specialized in this field is similar to the site Amazon such as : dawerly.com.tr , hepsiburada.com , and n11.com .

As for public services , electricity , water , heating and internet connections , they are available throughout Turkey , and the cost of water and electricity is somewhat higher , with electricity costing 100 Turkish lira per month , water costing 50 Turkish lira more than electricity , and heating often using gas , which reaches through the lines and meters cost up to 300 Turkish lira in winter , and the average cost of a 100-megabit internet line up to 100 Turkish lira per month .

One of the services that we all need wherever we live is the health services , we find in Turkey in two options :

  • General insurance ( SGK ) that provides free health services to all family members in government hospitals .
  • Private insurance at an approximate cost of 700 Turkish lira per year , which is sufficient to cover most of the basic issues , it also provides discounts between 40 % to 80 % depending on the type of insurance and the company .

Natural delivery in government hospitals is free , while the cost ranges between ( 1000 - 7000 ) Turkish lira in private hospitals , and the average cost of examination for the general practitioner between ( 50 - 150 ) Turkish lira , and up to double the competent doctor , we refer here to the spread of private clinics for Arab doctors at lower costs .

Pharmacies are available in all neighborhoods , and operate according to a special system called ( pharmacy alternate ) , all pharmacies are closed daily at 7 pm , and also closed during the weekends completely , and one pharmacy remains for covering the closing hours and days of holidays , but does not offer all medicines , especially antibiotics , if it is not prescribed by your doctor . You can find your nearest pharmacy by using official electronic applications that you can download on your smart device . Drug prices in Turkey are very cheap , especially essential ( subsidized ) medicines .

And if you want the entertainment , it is available everywhere in Turkey , including parks and children's games , in addition to the national places equipped to receive visitors for free to individuals and a small cost if you enter your own car , not to mention the ongoing celebrations throughout the year at a nominal entry costs very .

There are also restaurants that serve fast food everywhere , and other restaurants that satisfy all tastes and economic classes . There are also Arab restaurants in the neighborhoods of Istanbul , such as Fatih , Basaksehir , Beylikduzu and other neighborhoods , especially those where there are many Arab communities , which vary in the diversity of segments of society , including cheap , medium and luxury restaurents .

For taxes and insurance , these annual costs make foreigners happy , because they represent a fraction of the fees in other countries such as the UK , where the tax is calculated on the official price range of your property , as well as the number of people on title deeds . Earthquake insurance is mandatory and depends on the metric area of ​​your real estate . You can also upgrade to fire and theft insurance as well , which is approximately 400 to 700 Turkih lira per year as a total of these fees .

Transportation costs , if you plan to live in Istanbul , the cost of transportation will be large , and the cost of public transport will be around 200 Turkish lira per month , otherwise the price of gasoline is about 6 liters per liter of gasoline , and vehicle owners should also allocate about 3.000 Turkish lira per year for maintenance and vehicle insurance .


There are still many questions about the cost of living in Turkey . However , the answer is not straightforward and depends on three factors .The first factor is the size of your family . It is normal for families with children under 16 to incur significant education costs , while the cost per person is lower .

The second factor is your lifestyle , whether you want to use the car , drink , smoke or eat out . Also , the cost of living varies from city to another , while Istanbul is much cheaper than London and New York , but it is still one of the most expensive cities in Turkey .

Among the important questions about the new arrivals in Turkey are the procedures and costs of obtaining residence permits in Turkey .

There are several types of residences in Turkey , including those that are extracted for the purpose of tourism or work and study . All details are as follows :


First : short-term residence permit :

This permit gives the person the right to stay in Turkey , and allow him to travel and return without any need to obtain a new visa , as long as the permit is valid . It is granted for one year , and sometimes it can be granted for two years provided that the validity of the passport of the person applying for the permit is valid at least for two years .


What are the requirements for short-term residence permit in Turkey ?

  • Get an appointment from the website https://e-ikamet.goc.gov.tr/ .
  • Documents that prove the place of residence in Turkey , such as house rental contract or the title deed .
  • Translated copy of the passport into Turkish language , and ratification of this translation by Notary .
  • 4 personal photos .
  • Health insurance valid enough for the length of time of your residence permit .
  • A tax number that can be extracted within one minute from the tax department of the district , where you applied for the residence permit .
  • For children under the age of 18 , you must bring a birth certificate or family book and translate it into Turkish language and be confirmed by a Notary .

Short-term residence permit allows you to visit Turkey and stay in it , also to travel freely between cities during its validity period . When it is expired , you can renew it by fulfilling all the requirements again .


Second : long-term residence permit :

It can be obtained with the approval of the Ministry of Interior after proving that this person has completed eight years of continuous residency in Turkey . Also , the following conditions must be met :

  • Not having received any social assistance in the past 3 years . 
  • Sufficient and stable income to maintain yourself and your family .
  • Valid health insurance .
  • Not posing a public security threat .


Third : fixed-term work permit :

It can be obtained through an application submitted by the company in which the person works , to the Ministry of Labor . The duration of this permit would be one year for the first time , and it could be renewed for two years . It is worth mentioning that this permit grants the wife and children the right to obtain a family residence permit , and to benefit from the health insurance services of the husband . The documents required for this permit are very simple , you only need a photo of your short-term residence permit , plus two personal photos . The company you are working for will submit the application and track the progress of the procedures , and once your permit is issued , it will be sent by PTT to the address of the company you work for and it will be delivered to your hand .


* Note : Syrians covered by the Temporary Protection Law may obtain a work permit issued by a temporary protection card ( Kimlik ) . In this case , they are not allowed to travel from Turkey and return again .


What are the advantages of this work permit ?

  • Treatment at state expense in all country hospitals .
  • Benefit from pension after the age of 60 .
  • Obtain the Turkish citizenship after the fifth year .
  • Children have the opportunity to join Turkish schools free of charge .
  • Travel from Turkey and return again at any time .
  • Obtain bank loans .
  • It is included by the minimum wage, which is currently estimated at 2.030 Turkih lira .
  • This is regarding to employees . For business owners , they can get work permit when they open a company or launch a business .


Fourth : Student residence permit in Turkey :

Students from all over the world are applying for Turkish universities , both for Turkish scholarships, which cover a wide range of tuition costs ( sometimes up to 100 % in addition to a monthly salary for the student ) or for the quality of education offered by private and public Turkish universities .

Once a foreign student gets the acceptance from the university , he can come to Turkey and obtain a short-term residence permit , then he can transfer it to student residence permit , or obtaining a student's residence immediately , with proof that the student has been admitted to study at this university .


Fifth : Humanitarian residence permit :

It is special for those refugees who resorted to Turkey , and were given a kind of permits according to their situation . For example : Syrians who have taken a temporary protection card ( Kimlik ) so they can officially stay in the Turkey and carry out their transactions on a regular basis such as issuing a driving certificate or opening bank accounts . Also, it allows Syrians to benefit from free medical services .


Sixth : Family residence permit :

It could be obtained in two ways :

  1. If a spouse has Turkish nationality , the other foreign spouse is entitled to apply for Turkish citizenship after 3 years of marriage , provided that the family bond between the spouses is proved during this period . Children born on Turkish territory also obtain Turkish nationality if one of the parents is Turkish .
  2. If the husband or wife has obtained a work permit as mentioned above , this entitles them to apply for a family residence permit for the husband or wife and children .


Seventh : Investment residence permit :

It is a temporary permit granted to the owners of real estate in Turkey for one year and it can be renewed , and it is similar to the work permit which gives the right to the wife and children to obtain a family residence permit as accompanying to the owner .


How to get investment residence permit in Turkey ?

  • You must fulfill those requirements :
  • Taboo or title deed .
  • Insurance against earthquakes .
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months .
  • Health insurance for all members of the family .
  • A family statement translated to the Turkish language and certified by the Turkish Embassy .
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