Retiring to Turkey
There are around 35,000 British owners of property in Turkey and the vast majority of them have been drawn to the Turkish Riviera, the 1,000km stretch between Izmir on western Turkey’s Aegean coast and Alanya on the southern Mediterranean coast.
The Turkish Riviera takes in resorts such as Marmaris, Didim, Bodrum and Fethiye, all popular with British expatriates seeking coastal homes for a fraction of what they would pay in popular coastal areas of Spain or France. The Bodrum peninsula is equally popular with wealthy Turkish buyers, particularly those from Istanbul wanting a holiday home away from the city heat and noise.
Its climate and landscapes have a similar appeal to those of nearby Greece and Cyprus, but Turkey’s blend of eastern and western cultures provide it with a character all of its own. Istanbul, in the far north of this enormous country, links Europe and Asia with its mighty Bosphorus river. But that meeting of cultures exists throughout Turkey.
In recent years, Turkey has become an economic powerhouse, with great economic growth, booming tourism and a growing young, middle class population who are becoming wealthy enough to invest in property.
Turkey’s success has become overshadowed in recent years, however, by the chaos on its doorstep in Syria and Kurdish Iraq. A failed military coup in July 2016 also lead Turkey’s religious conservative president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to take an increasingly hardline Islamic stance and suppress dissent and freedom of movement of certain segments of the population, including academics, journalists and civil servants.
Many elements of daily life in Turkey are still notably cheaper than life in the UK or elsewhere in Europe. The ongoing costs that come with owning a home are prime examples. Utilities – water and electricity – are cheap, as is council tax.
Food shopping can be very economical if you pay weekly visits to local markets for fresh produce – far cheaper than buying in supermarkets.
Not everything is cheap in Turkey, however. Fuel and anything car-related – including MOT, insurance – is expensive. As a broad guide, the cost of living in Izmir is 62% cheaper than London, according to Expatistan. Housing costs see the biggest price difference – around 79% cheaper in Turkey compared with the UK.
Non-resident foreign nationals can stay in Turkey for up to 90 days with a simple tourist visa. Beyond that, you need a residence permit, for which you must have an appointment at the appropriate police station within a month of arriving in the country and take your Tapu (title deed) and other documents (including your tourist visa and bank statement). You should be able to collect your permit a week later. Without your permit, you cannot clear any personal goods, including cars, from Turkish Customs.
Each permit lasts for up to five years (your first application may be for two years). All the information you need regarding residence permits and visas in Turkey is available in English on the Turkish Ministry of Interior’s website.
‘Retiring to Europe‘ provides you with the key information you need to consider when planning your retirement to any of the most popular countries in Europe. The following subjects are comprehensively covered for each destination:
Cost of Living
Retiring to Europe
Europe remains a popular retirement destination for Britons. But where best to retire in Europe? The full-colour, 264-page book ‘Retiring to Europe’ considers the pros and cons of the popular options. It examines in detail climate, lifestyle, language, travel connections, the affordability of property, access to healthcare and the tax and other financial implications of residency in ten European countries.
It focuses on the areas of Mediterranean Europe that Britons prefer to retire to: France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Turkey and Croatia. It also looks at the UK as a retirement option.