Divided by the stunning Bosphorous and straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey is an exciting destination to live in and experience a mix of cultures, climates and even ages. Istanbul and Ankara are the largest cities and easiest to adjust to, but expats have settled throughout the country. The cities in Turkey are a surprising mix of old and contemporary culture with art, design and architecture spanning the ancient to the very modern.
If you are moving to Turkey for work, you have likely secured employment out of the country, for Turkey remains a country of red-tape and bureaucracy requiring the acquisition of permits and employment, best made prior arrival. However, there are local employment offices in every large city in all eighty one provinces; although good Turkish language skills are favored when seeking employment through an agency.
Most towns have proper amenities such as good housing, schools, transportation and hospitals; however, many areas remain conservative in culture and attitude. Istanbul and larger areas are very modern, with a wonderful blend of ancient markets and culture alongside contemporary restaurants, transportation, hotels and great shopping. The European side of Istanbul is favored for housing by expats, but plenty of opportunities also exist on the Asian side. Two popular areas on the European side to live are Beyoglu and Sariyer, where a number of foreign consulates, schools and hospitals are located. Rents are inexpensive in comparison to major European and American cities, but keep in mind that wages are also lower. It is important to note that most landlords or agents may not speak English, so it’s best to have a trusted associate who speaks Turkish accompany you on your house hunt.
Traffic is a concern in Istanbul as well as other large cities in Turkey, so choosing a home near public transportation or near employment should also be taken into consideration.
Culturally, Turkey is a feast ripe for exploration, with burgeoning wine regions, a huge bohemian artist scene, contemporary design and world class events throughout the country; a great place to appreciate and get to know new cultures and people.