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What Work and Life in Turkey in 2022 is All About – Fascinating Previously Unpublished Facts

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Supported by the International Wealth acclaimed industry experts, you will move abroad seamlessly to enjoy your new hassle-free life and high standards of living there. You are welcome to open the door to a brighter future by selecting a citizenship by investment program suiting your needs to a tee.  As a welcoming bonus, you’ll be able to open a bank account abroad, relocate or set up your business there, or purchase real estate to secure a stable future for both yourself and your loved ones.

To move abroad permanently or choose the jurisdiction that will work best for your business, you should think things through. In the above context, studying local laws and lifestyle sounds like a sound idea worth your time and effort. With its mild climate, business-friendly community, supportive legislation, low costs of living, and easy-to-purchase real estate, Turkey is popular with both immigrants and entrepreneurs who think life in Turkey and Turkish prices to be highly appealing. 

Life and work in Turkey

The country is on its way to turn from an agricultural to an industrial society, with progress noticeable in all life spheres. The above jurisdiction advantages combined with relatively low Turkish prices and living costs therein appeal to potential immigrants, whose numbers are growing by the day. In the article below, we will try to throw some light on the benefits the present-day Turkey has to offer to foreigners in 2022 and things they need to be wary of when planning their life and living costs in Turkey.

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Economy of Turkey

In 2019, Turkey faced a sudden lira collapse resulting in imports exceeding exports, foreign trade debate, US sanctions, fall in lending rates, higher living costs, and other stress factors for the country’s economy that were especially damaging in the aftermaths of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Facing the music, Turkey is currently the 18th largest economy in the world. This was made possible due to the country’s robust economy boasting the GDP of USD 736,716,000,000. The Turkish government is eager to improve both life in Turkey and the country’s economic ratings to enter the TOP-10 global economy list in 2023.

With immigrants arriving in Turkey in huge numbers, the above prospects are achievable. Foreign nationals are looking for safe jurisdictions with affordable living costs to purchase real estate, settle and start a business in. The Government of Turkey does its best to entice investors to and improve life in Turkey. Preferential tax treatment in Free Zones of Turkey, its well-developed technoparks, stable banking sector, affordable Turkish prices, and many more benefits appeal to potential immigrants making them look for Turkey immigration opportunities.

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Bank account opening in Turkey is seamless and issue-free for non-residents, be it a personal or a corporate account. 

Living in Turkey

No matter how tempting the idea to relocate to Turkey with its eternal summer, Mediterranean beaches, and low Turkish prices may seem, you should first study the local lifestyle and traditions to weigh all pros and cons. International Wealth customers often wonder how high living costs are in Turkey, how easy it is to purchase local real estate, whether Turkish prices are indeed affordable, what places are the cheapest for foreigners to live in, what living standards Turkey boasts, and what the salaries are in the country.

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FYI: out of 83 countries studied in 2022, Turkey ranks 45 for its living standards, well above China (65) and Serbia (53). Alongside with low Turkish prices, this makes life in Turkey rather tempting for potential immigrants.

The specifics of doing business and living in Turkey differ from those in Europe, and to understand them better, you should either study this article thoroughly to learn about Turkish prices, life in Turkey, and living costs therein or consult the International Wealth country experts.

Working in Turkey – job hunting tips

Is it realistic for a foreigner to find a job and start a new life in Turkey? Being familiar with the requirements an overseas applicant shall meet to apply for a position in Turkey is of utmost importance. Please be advised that non-residents may apply for jobs in Turkey if they obtained citizenship in the jurisdiction or have a labor permit therein. A residence permit for Turkey does not authorize you to apply for jobs in the country.

Here’s how a foreigner can apply for a job in Turkey and what they shall do to make it possible:

  • find an employer
  • study Turkish
  • find a place to rent or residential real estate to purchase and obtain title to
  • have professional skills that are in high demand in Turkey
  • confirm their degree or professional qualifications
  • obtain a Turkish job permit or citizenship.

Today, lots of industries are severely understaffed, and most immigrants can be sure they will find something to their liking in the field they were trained in to finance their living costs in Turkey and be able to pay Turkish prices and rents. With a brand-new employment contract in the bag, new Turkish residents and citizens can afford paying Turkish prices and living costs in Turkey.

Jobs that enjoy the highest demand in Turkey today are listed below:

  • IT specialists
  • jobs in construction and manufacturing, for both highly qualified engineers and ordinary workers
  • tourism sector jobs, including, inter alia, any related industries and jobs therein, like entertainment industry jobs, support staff and service employees, drivers, administrators, managers, etc.
  • welfare jobs and socially significant jobs, e.g., doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc.
  • in trade, they currently lack cashiers, waiters, and salespeople.

Those looking for remote jobs to pay their costs of living and rents in Turkey and be able to pay Turkish prices will be excited to learn that the remote job format enjoys high popularity. It is important to consider your tax residence and employment type to assess the odds of success, as they directly influence the employee’s tax liabilities.

Jobs unavailable to foreigners in Turkey

If you are about to choose a career field or decide on the job you would like to find in Turkey to pay Turkish prices together with your rents and living costs, it is best to study the professions unavailable to non-residents to exclude them from the selection altogether. In 2022, no foreigner is allowed to apply for jobs in the following industries in Turkey:

  • medical industry: pharmacists, doctors, nurses, dentists, and obstetricians
  • veterinary medicine
  • private medical care
  • lawyers and notaries
  • security business, both in private and public sectors
  • customs
  • fish, oyster, and pearl exports (as provided for under the Coastal Shipping Act of Turkey)
  • guides in Turkey.

If you happen to work in any of the above fields and are not sure whether you’ll be able to find a job in Turkey as a foreigner to be able to afford Turkish prices and pay local rents, you may consider retraining in your field. At times, confirming your degree or diploma is enough and will do the trick for you by securing higher chances to excel in your professional life in Turkey. Alternatively, you may obtain a valid job permit in the jurisdiction to be able to afford Turkish prices and rents. To be on the safe side and protect themselves from being turned down by the employer, an employee with a confirmed degree should apply for citizenship in Turkey under any available citizenship schemes to be able to pay Turkish prices and rents in Turkey.

Salaries in Turkey

In 2022, the official minimum salary in Turkey is TRY 5,004 per month (which equals approximately USD 350). Remember, we are talking about the minimum wages for those in the lowest paid professions that are hardly enough to pay Turkish prices and rents in Turkey.

The average salary before taxes makes USD 1,200 per month in 2022, while the after-tax amount equals USD 850, which is enough to lead a middle-class life in Turkey and pay Turkish prices. You should keep in mind the region in Turkey one is trying to apply for jobs in, as it is a crucial factor for your salary size. In Istanbul, the average salary is USD 1,500 before taxes, and in Kemer it is approximately USD 100 or USD 150 below that amount. With relatively low Turkish prices, it is enough to live a comfortable life in Turkey.

Pre-tax salaries in Turkey broken down by industry branches are shown below for 2022:

  • company CEOs – USD 2,800
  • top managers – USD 2,000
  • software developers – USD 1,900
  • doctors – USD 1,640
  • lawyers – USD 1,500
  • highly qualified engineers – USD 1,500
  • business consultants – USD 1,400
  • teachers – USD 1,200
  • electricians, assemblers, installers, and construction workers – USD 650-750
  • sales people – USD 500-600
  • agricultural workers – USD 550
  • cleaners and waiters (waitresses) – USD.

FYI: for you to realize what sphere you should choose as your future career field in Turkey, you need to understand how much money you will have to earn to secure a comfortable life in Turkey for you and your family and be able to afford Turkish prices and rents in Turkey. In 2022, living costs in Turkey for a family of 3 make at least TRY 12,000 or USD 750 per month for Antalya. The above amount does not include rents and expenses for eating out, entertainment, your car, etc.

Pensions and social guarantees in Turkey

Vulnerable people can count on state support to pay Turkish prices and rents in Turkey, e.g., payments from certain national funds to live a stable and peaceful life in Turkey:

  • medical and retirement insurance funds
  • unemployment insurance and short- or long term insurance funds.

The retirement age is 58 for women and 60 for men. Women with 5 or more children have the right to retire at 48, as provided for by the corresponding government resolution.

Medical and healthcare services in Turkey

In terms of quality and service level, medical and healthcare services in Turkey are analogous to those in Europe. In 2022, Turkish price rates for medical and healthcare services are lower compared to the other advanced European economies. Affordable Turkish price rates for healthcare services are the reason why medical tourism to Turkey enjoys wide popularity on a global scale.

Those with medical insurance have an opportunity to undergo a thorough medical check and get treatment as provided for under the terms thereof to make sure they will live a healthy life in Turkey. The jurisdiction comes with highly developed private medicine offering full top-level medical services to clients.

Patients have the right to choose their doctors, which makes their life in Turkey more comfortable. In case of emergency, they may call an ambulance. The country comes with a wide pharmacy network. Apart from selling drugs at affordable Turkish prices, local pharmacists make out prescriptions.

FYI: average life expectancy is 77 years for women and 72 years for men in Turkey.

Education in Turkey

When you have made up your mind to obtain permanent residency in the jurisdiction, feel free to take your kids with you with peace of mind to enjoy your life in Turkey together, even if they are small. The state boasts a well-developed education system. Preschool childcare centers, elementary and middle schools are free. University studies are offered on a fee basis in Turkey, regardless of whether you choose public or private universities.

FYI: physically challenged people study in special purpose education centers at no charge, and their life in Turkey is exciting and full of new discoveries.

Real estate in Turkey

In Turkey, new real estate properties appear annually. The choice is enormous, thus making your life in Turkey comfortable and joyful, although renting in Turkey happens to be tricky for foreigners. Turkish prices for real estate and rents therefor are affordable. You can find anything, from apartments priced at USD 50,000 to USD 100,000 in comfortable residential compounds to villas of USD 1,000,000 and above. Renting out your properties in Turkey is an option to secure a stable extra income if you don’t feel like residing in the country on a permanent basis. The secondary housing market in Turkey comes with renting and purchasing offers of its own providing for both real estate renting and buying options. Potential property buyers enjoy an opportunity to purchase or rent existing real estate at affordable prices to secure their life in Turkey. For more information about real estate prices in Turkey, please contact the International Wealth experienced industry experts and our partners in Turkey.

A good rule of thumb is that new construction should be given preference to for your life in Turkey, both in terms of real estate purchase and renting, with valid reasons behind it:

  • in Turkey, real estate purchase upwards of USD 400,000 makes the owner eligible for citizenship by investment in Turkey
  • affordable real estate upwards of USD 50,000 or USD 70,000 authorizes the title holder for a residence permit in Turkey that may be renewed later on and serves as a legal ground for their life in Turkey
  • new residences come fully furnished and are sold to their new owners turnkey securing their issue-free life in Turkey so that you won’t bother with any renovation for at least 5 to 10 years  
  • although cheaper to a degree, the secondary housing market is associated with worries and extra expenses for utilities restoration and purchasing house appliances that are not exactly favorable for your life in Turkey.

You may earn healthy profits from renting out your newly-purchased apartment in a booming Antalya neighborhood on the Mediterranean in Turkey during the tourist season and live there for the rest of the year. This is another reason for foreigners to buy properties in Turkey while living in their original state of residence. 

FYI: if curious whether you may purchase real estate in Turkey and pay for it in your national currency, the answer is no. Only Turkish national currency, i.e., lira, is accepted in payment for residential or commercial real estate you buy to secure your life in Turkey. At the same time, you enjoy multiple opportunities to keep your money in any currency on deposit with a Turkish bank. With real estate payments, your money is converted to liras at the exchange rate as of the transaction date.

Business in Turkey

The government of Turkey is super investment-friendly. They welcome foreign investment and have recently created a favorable business environment for foreign entrepreneurs eager to invest in Turkey. Methods you should choose to start your own business in Turkey as a foreigner depend on your goals and budget available. 

Ordinary business people will be OK with incorporating an LLC in Turkey, as it is possible to set it up with one founder only.  

Major investors should consider founding a joint stock company in Turkey, inter alia, in districts boasting preferential tax treatment, think Free Zones, to make their business life in Turkey simpler.

For budding entrepreneurs and handymen, self-employment in Turkey can be an ideal first step.

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International corporations might consider setting up an offshore company with a bank account abroad. Assisted by highly experienced International Wealth industry pros, you’ll be able to handle all the procedures in the blink of an eye. 

Crime rate in Turkey

Crime rates are well below the global average, and you may rest assured you will enjoy a quiet and peaceful life in Turkey  if you purchase real estate or rent an apartment therein. As in any major megalopolises, tourists should stay real careful in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and other big Turkish cities not to fall victim to petty thieves. 

You should stay away from any street fights. The latter may be started specifically to grab the attention of passers-by in order to distract and rob them. Be sure to contact the local police if you happen to see something of the kind in Turkey. You can’t miss them, as Turkish policemen are dressed in blue and white as well as red and black uniforms and are easy to spot.

Cost of living in Turkey for foreigners

In 2022, the cost of living in Turkey is a hot issue for potential high-end real estate buyers who dream of living a happy and fulfilling life on the seashore and enjoying the mild Mediterranean climate. Ankara and Istanbul remain the most expensive cities in Turkey, while Bursa and Adana are among the most affordable ones. Antalya and Izmir, in their turn, are the sweet spot in the middle and stay in the upper midscale segment.

Utility bills for electricity, water supply, and garbage disposal total EUR 70 per month on average, and you’ll spend EUR 100 to 1,500 per week or month for rent. The ultimate rents depend on whether your rented real estate is furnished, where it is located, and what its area is.

The best places to shop for groceries to save money are local markets and suburban supermarkets. Consumer prices are not high on average as meat, agricultural products, textiles, and fruits are grown and produced locally. 

In Turkey, car maintenance is expensive but affordable with the right income. Most local citizens use either public transport or taxis. 

Don’t forget, Turkey is famous for its warm seas. plentiful and beautiful lands, and a great climate to conduct personal subsidiary farming. 

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In Turkey, the average living cost per 1 adult makes up USD 700 per month, with rent for an economy class apartment included, while the living cost per family of 3 totals USD 1,200 and above.

Useful suggestions for moving to Turkey

Just like everything else, living in Turkey comes with its bright and not-so-bright sides. It all depends on where you would like to move to and what you would like to do. To find your place in the sun and enjoy the sea breeze, you should follow advice and recommendations of those successful immigrants who already obtained their residence permits, permanent residency status, found jobs, and moved to Turkey:

  1. It is possible to find housing on your own, yet even in this case you will have to employ the services of a real estate agent and an appraiser. It is highly challenging to succeed with purchasing or renting the apartment or residences you need if you have no language skills and the ultimate costs will be twice as high compared to what you’ll pay to a professional consulting company, including, inter alia, the Offshore Pro Group experts and their services.
  2. You should have a definite goal in mind when moving. It is important to know whether living in Turkey, renting properties to spend your vacations there, expanding your business, or purchasing real estate to rent it out later on takes priority. Acting on the advice, you’ll make the right choice and avoid mistakes with real estate selection, renting, or purchase.
  3. Don’t forget that getting or renting something cheap does not necessarily mean you are getting a bargain. This is true for both goods sold in Turkey and apartment prices.
  4. It is essential to keep in mind your visa validity. Those who exceed the period set for them to stay in Turkey for even 1 day will be fined and their risk of being deported is high.
  5. If you are about to set up your own business in Turkey, it makes sense to study local companies, together with their ratings as well as demand for their goods and services. Selecting and hiring competent assistants, including, inter alia, offshore account, company incorporation, and bank account opening experts is highly helpful. 

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The International Wealth experts offer a wide range of services to their customers. Assisted by highly experienced pros in the sphere of banking, company incorporation, bookkeeping, offshore account set up, real estate purchase and renting, asset protection, and residency permits abroad, you’ll enjoy an easier life and more efficient company management in Turkey and other jurisdictions. Both legal and natural persons are welcome to employ our services on easy terms. To book your free initial consultation with International Wealth, please contact our team at: [email protected].

What is the crime rate in Turkey in 2022?

Back in 2021, Turkey boasted a lower crime rate compared to the other developed European economies. Turkey ranks 82nd in the world as far as its crime rate is concerned. In major tourist cities, you may encounter minor troubles like a stolen wallet. This can be avoided if you take measures to protect your property.

Is living in Turkey expensive for a middle class foreigner?

According to new research data, average monthly expenses per 1 adult in Turkey make up approximately TRY 5,000 or USD 350. The above amount includes rents, utilities, water supply, Internet costs, and groceries. The Turkish government recommends that the monthly amount for a foreigner to comfortably live in Turkey with no residential real estate of their own and with rents to pay make USD 500.

Is it possible for a foreign citizen with no work permit to find a job in Turkey?

The government of Turkey does not allow working in Turkey with no work permit. As a foreigner, you are welcome to obtain one by contacting the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Turkey. Alternatively, you may contact a Turkish embassy or consulate in your own country for the above purpose.

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