Living In Turkey
An increasing number of people from various parts of the world are deciding to live in Turkey and start a new life with some looking to work and others wishing to relax peacefully during their retirement.
The country has developed dramatically in the last ten years and the pace of progress in real estate and other industrial fields has been nothing short of astonishing.
Most of Turkey’s new residents hail from countries like the Gulf, UK, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Belgium, France and the USA.
With its unique geographical location combined with a rich and diverse history within the cradle of many different civilizations, Turkey is a privileged and glorious place to live for expatriates and their families.
From flats in urban centres to villas in suburbs, there are a multitude of options to choose from when looking for housing in Turkey. Major metropolitan areas have the most modern and complete environment for an extravagant life in the city, where luxurious residential complexes offer all of the required daily amenities such as private security, kindergartens, sports complexes, social facilities, parking lots and shopping malls for their residents. Thanks to a recent amendment in Turkey's property law that lifted the reciprocity principle, foreign homebuyers and investors from all over the world are free to purchase property in one of the most promising real estate markets in the world.
Globally renowned Turkish cuisine owes its fame to the country’s unique geographical location at the crossroads of the continents, enriched by various cultures that form the history of modern Turkey. Every region of Turkey has a cooking style of its own, enabling one to find the authentic tastes of local delicacies, while major cities of the country have restaurants offering very fine examples of dishes from all over the world.
Specialties like pastries and desserts unique to the Turkish cuisine are all-time favourites for tourists and visitors, whilst the Turkish coffee, first introduced to Europe in the 16th century, never ceases to be the finishing touch to any meal, especially when accompanied by another Turkish specialty, the Turkish delight.
The transportation system in Turkey makes good use of the country’s highly developed infrastructure. For urban transportation, the major cities of the country are equipped with extensive rail networks both under and above ground, while public and private buses carry hundreds of thousands of travellers daily. In addition to public transport, taxi services are extremely common, offering a low-cost and expedited means of local travel. For coastal towns like Izmir and Istanbul, ferry services offer many travellers a viable choice, being both fast and far reaching.
For long distance travel, highways are the choice for many, as hundreds of travel agencies run daily bus shuttles to even the farthest towns and cities from major metropolitan centres. Rail is another means of low-cost and widely used transport with the rail network crossing Turkey from east to west. The railways are given special consideration; the network is enlarging and fast-trains enter service yearly. The air travel option is becoming cheaper every year, thanks to the development of the Turkish aviation industry and the increasing number of domestic carriers. With a total of around 50 airports in all major population centres, one can fly from one city to another in Turkey in less than an hour, regardless of the distance.
Banking and Finance
Turkey’s significance on the world financial stage is on the rise. The financial capital of the country, Istanbul, with its rich and vibrant economy, is now in line to become a World Finance Centre. The country’s banking industry demonstrated remarkable resilience with regard to the effects of the global financial crisis without any government backing, and Turkish banks are now regarded as the soundest in Europe. With service quality matching and exceeding international standards, Turkish banks are widely acclaimed as being fast integrators of technology into their services. Many foreign banks either operate directly in the country or entered the market via mergers and share acquisitions, providing services in all aspects of banking to individuals and investors alike. A wide range of insurance services and products are available for both individuals and corporations with very competitive premium rates.
The extensive and disciplined education system of Turkey underwent serious reforms in the last decade, including the compulsory eight-year education term, improvement of the overall quality of the Turkish education system, as well as the increase in the number of schools and related establishments. Many private and foundation schools, in addition to public schools, offer education services; moreover international schools, where only foreign nationals can attend, are present throughout the country. While schools providing education in European languages such as English, German, French and Italian are available, there are other institutions where languages such as Arabic, Russian, Japanese and Chinese are taught as well. From 2012 Turkey began to undertake a revolutionary educational initiative, the Fatih Project, which will equip all public school students with tablet PCs and classrooms with electronic boards. The aim is to increase the overall quality of primary education in the country, while setting an example for the world in the integration of the latest technologies into education.
The healthcare system in Turkey mainly operates within three different types of hospitals; public, university and private. While social and health securities are governed in essence by the state, it is also possible to have private health insurance. The majority of hospitals in Turkey, both public and private, are either meeting or surpassing international standards with regard to equipment quality and expertise.