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Quality of Life in Turkey And Recommendations For Foreigners

Quality of Life in Turkey And Recommendations For Foreigners

Turkey, a bridge between Europe and Asia, offers a combination of cultures, history, and modern amenities. Moreover, due to its landscapes and economy it is an attractive destination for foreigners. Whether you’re considering a short-term visit, a long-term stay, or even permanent relocation, understanding the quality of life in Turkey is crucial. This article provides a comprehensive overview, comparing Turkey’s quality of life to other countries and offering recommendations for foreigners.

Cost of Living

cost of living
cost of living

Turkey is known for its relatively low cost of living compared to Western countries. Major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir offer a range of housing options from luxury apartments to affordable accommodations.


  • Rent: A one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around $300-$600 per month, significantly lower than in cities like New York or London, where similar accommodations can cost over $2,000.
  • Groceries: Local markets and supermarkets provide fresh produce at reasonable prices. On average, a month’s worth of groceries for one person costs around $150-$200.
  • Dining Out: Eating out is affordable, with a meal at an inexpensive restaurant costing about $5-$10, compared to $15-$20 in many European cities.


healthcare in turkey
healthcare in turkey

Turkey has a well-developed healthcare system, with both public and private hospitals providing high-quality services. The country is also a popular destination for medical tourism due to its affordable healthcare.


  • Public Healthcare: Accessible to residents, with out-of-pocket costs being minimal.
  • Private Healthcare: Offers faster service and more amenities, with costs significantly lower than in the US or Western Europe. For instance, a general consultation may cost around $30-$50, compared to $100-$300 in the US.


education in turkey
education in turkey

Education in Turkey is compulsory and free for children aged 6 to 18. The country also has numerous international schools and universities with English-taught programs, making it easier for expatriate families.


  • Public Schools: Offer free education but may have language barriers for foreign children.
  • International Schools: Provide high-quality education with fees ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 per year, which is comparable to other countries.


Turkey boasts an extensive transportation network, including buses, trams, metros, and a well-connected railway system. Major cities also have international airports, facilitating easy travel.


  • Public Transport: Affordable and efficient, with a monthly pass costing around $30-$50, compared to $70-$150 in many European cities.
  • Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Readily available and cheaper than in Western countries.


Turkey is generally safe for foreigners, although, like any country, it has areas with higher crime rates. Major tourist destinations and expat communities are particularly safe, with a strong police presence.


  • Crime Rates: Lower than in many American and European cities, particularly in terms of violent crime.
  • Safety Precautions: As with any destination, staying aware of your surroundings and avoiding less-safe areas at night is recommended.

Cultural Integration

Turkish people are known for their hospitality and friendliness towards foreigners. However, cultural integration can be challenging due to language barriers and different social norms.


  • Language: While Turkish is the official language, many people in urban areas, especially younger generations, speak English.
  • Social Norms: Understanding and respecting local customs and traditions is crucial for smooth integration.

Recommendations for Foreigners

  1. Learn Basic Turkish: While many people speak English in urban areas, learning basic Turkish phrases can greatly enhance your experience and help with daily interactions.
  2. Research Housing Options: Consider your budget and preferred lifestyle when choosing a neighborhood. Expats often prefer areas like Kadıköy and Beşiktaş in Istanbul for their vibrant communities and amenities.
  3. Explore Local Cuisine: Turkish food is diverse and delicious. Don’t miss out on trying traditional dishes like kebabs, mezes, and baklava.
  4. Join Expat Communities: Engage with local expat groups and online forums to make friends, share experiences, and get advice on living in Turkey.
  5. Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with local news and regulations, particularly regarding residency permits and healthcare options.
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