My personal story of emigrating to Turkey for permanent living.If you’ve decided to move to Turkey, it is likely you have spent some holiday time here to get to know the country. But getting to know what it is like to live in Turkey is very different to the experience of going there on holiday. Instead of writing a long poem how I moved to live in Turkey, I selected your most frequently asked questions. I also added my personal phone taken photos which I took in Bursa to make the blogpost more "real" and close to the reader.
Q1: Is moving to Turkey right for me?
If you are basing your move on “I just want to get away from it all" remember that life abroad is not all sunshine and roses. Do not romanticize in an idea that traveling and living overseas, will be both effortless and easy.
We moved to Turkey because we were looking for a place where we can have an affordable family lifestyle. Husband and I lived in Dubai for 7 years and we never felt there like home. We were looking for country to move where:
- the nature is real
- the prices of housing, schooling and food are reasonable
- we can continue our Annah Hariri business
- Islamic country to raise our children
- you can get a citizenship after 5 years of legally working here or even earlier on exclusive basis as businessman / investor. Once you are a citizen, you are treated equally and respectfully with all the benefits Turkish nationals receive.
There were no other choice and better option than Turkey.
Q2: When did you move to Turkey and where in Turkey you live?
Q3: Should I learn Turkish language?
Q4: I am all ready to move. Where shall I start?
Q5: How do I find the job?
Q6: Shall I bring my belongings or buy all new in Turkey?
Q7: What is the cost of living per month?
Q8: How is healthcare in Turkey?
I was very impressed with the hospital and treatment I was given. Usually expats go for private hospitals, where insurance costs 1000-3000TL per year.
Q9: Do you feel safe in Turkey?
Do not watch fake news too much :-) I feel very safe and happy in Turkey. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful country with lots of different and interesting places to visit.
Q10: I have kids. What about KG / Schooling for them?
There are daycare and schools where English is the major language but still your children must learn Turkish. My son was born here when we moved to Turkey so we are lucky that he can learn Turkish from the crib so to say.
Q11: Can I use my foreign driving license in Turkey?
If you are exiting Turkey each 6 month, you can use your international license. If you are permanently living in Turkey, you may need to convert your license to Turkish one. We were unlucky in converting our Dubai license to Turkish ones. Bureaucracy kills in Turkey. Instead, we decided to have a driving exam and get a Turkish license from scratch. They offer English theory books and teachers can speak English in some driving schools.
Q12: Is it easy to legalize my university degree in Turkey?
Actually it seems that it is easier to build a rocket than to have your degree verified in Turkey. Your country must have an agreement with Turkey with list of accredited universities. Sadly, Belarus has no such agreement and I also failed to verify my Bachelor's degree.
Points to Remember:
Do not solely listen to other people’s experiences. Yes, it may be useful to get advice and know about others first hand experiences of living in Turkey but don’t assume everything will be great or terrible on others say-so.
Turkey is NOT in the EU. Rules and procedures are very different in Turkey.
Taking that leap and moving abroad is a big decision, of course if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
Maybe it is best to regret moving abroad than to regret staying behind.
Comment below if you have more questions and I will reply.