5 Things to Know Before moving to Istanbul

5 Things to Know Before moving to Istanbul

The most effective tips to live in Istanbul

Moving to another world, no matter where you plan to travel is often a daunting challenge. Check out some of these realistic tips on finding a venue, residency, and work permits, and socializing with other expats. 


In today's article, I will tell you about my experience of moving to Turkey to live in Istanbul.  

5 Tips to Living Like a Local in Istanbul

1- How to rent a place in Turkey as a foreigner


Once in Turkey, you can exchange your money at one of the currency exchange offices (Döviz) at the airport.


However, you may want to keep most of your money and spend what you need at the moment, as you can get more competitive rates in the city centre and tourist areas. Banks and jewellery stores are also other sites where you can exchange foreign currency.


You have to buy an Istanbul transportation card available in all regions of tobacco and newspaper shops. You can also order it from a charging machine for 10 Turkish lira.


It can be a daunting and intimidating experience to rent an apartment in a foreign country, but it doesn't have to be. Here are a few basics you should know before you launch your house search.

How to find a home to rent ?


First off, you need to determine where exactly you want to rent the said domicile.


It is a very necessary step to find an apartment in Istanbul, and you can find many opportunities and announcements on Facebook  such as expat groups. The most popular websites to check for apartments online are Hürriyet Emlak and Sahibinden.

2- Residence permit in Istanbul for foreigners


After renting a house, you must not exceed the period of residence allowed for you in Turkey. In this period, you should apply for a tourist residence permit.


To apply for tourist residency in Turkey, you must:


  • Fill out the form, book an appointment through the immigration website in Turkey
  • Preparing the necessary documents for the appointment
  • The documents required for the tourist residency:

  - Residency photos

  - Health insurance

 - Paying the tax

 - The lease contract certified by the notary (copy)

 - The first page of the passport (copy)

 - The page of the date of the last entry to Turkey (copy)

  • Submit the file to the Immigration Department as per the date specified in the appointment.
  • Wait from one to 3 months for the arrival of the tourist residence to your residence. If you are not at home during the delivery, you will find your stay in the post office closest to your home "PTT".

3- Job opportunities in Istanbul for new foreigners


While becoming an advanced developed country, the Turkish economy is facing a sharp downturn due to the recent currency and debt crisis as it struggles to sustain its rapid growth.


The unemployment rate for the country's 82.7 million inhabitants reached 13.5% in December 2018, with only manufacturing, construction and the services sectors reporting any growth.


The capital city of Ankara, as well as the country's employment and international relations hub Istanbul, are the focal points of Turkish business.


  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • IT
  • Sales
  • Supply chain management

As a foreign worker, you'll be hard pushed to embark on some careers in Turkey due to government restrictions on recruitment - the legal, medical and mining fields are all off-limits to international applicants.


If you're hoping to teach English as a foreign language or enter the tourism industry, you're in luck - English-speaking foreign workers are particularly popular in these sectors. While you won't need to be fluent in Turkish, you'll still need at least a good grasp of the language to succeed in your work.


While the cost of living in Turkey is generally much lower than in the UK, most graduate position salaries cover basic living costs and not much else.


Turkey's location as the bridge between Europe and Asia makes it an enticing gateway destination for UK workers hoping to gain a global business perspective. Graduates may find work in Turkey through large UK companies such as Marks & Spencer, HSBC, Vodafone and BP.

How to get a job in Turkey ?


Your hunt for a Turkish job begins at home, as you'll need confirmation of work to secure a work permit before you arrive in the country. There are a number of job sites you can use:

4- Opening a bank account in Istanbul for foreigners


One of the things that make life in Turkey easier for you is opening a bank account. It helps you to conduct your financial transactions.


To open a bank account, you only have to submit an initial deposit that differs from one bank to another and a copy of your passport or residence card.


Opening a new bank account in Turkey with multiple currency options (USD, GBP, EURO) takes only 10 minutes, and supporting documents required are your original e-Passport + translation into Turkish from any Public Notary, and obtain a Turkish Tax Number from the local State Tax Department while you are local.


All Turkish bank accounts in Turkey are liable and insured by the Republic of Turkey government upto 100 thousand Turkish Lira.


Read also: All the details and procedures for opening a bank account in Turkey


Foreigners with a Turkish bank account may:


  • Buy an apartment or house, or any property in Turkey and easily transfer currency
  • Open a Turkish limited company as a sole or partnership, or business
  • Make extra monthly income by their savings account
  • Work at job in Turkey and get monthly salary deposit
  • Pay monthly utility bills, such as water and electricity, wi-fi etc.
  • Do shopping in Turkey with your bank debit Card

Banks in Turkey are open from nine o'clock until five o'clock seven days a week except for Saturday and Sunday "holidays" with a break period from 12:30 to 13:30 for those interested in conducting transactions at these times.


Among the most famous Turkish banks and the most popular with foreigners are “Kuveyt Turk Bank, Ziraat Bank, Ish Bank, Deniz Bank, Yapı Kredi Bank and Halkbank”.


5- Best Neighborhoods to Live

Istanbul has many neighbourhoods, ranging from young and bohemian to affluent and modern, so make sure you do your homework before finding a spot to settle down.


Apart from being close to your place of employment (or at least close to a source of public transportation), you can choose from young and trendy neighborhoods such as Galata and Cihangir in the city center, Şişli or Beşiktaş, and (depending on your budget) upscale neighborhoods such as Etiler and Arnavutköy. 


If you’re interested in the Asian side, check out available apartments in Kadıköy, especially Moda, the Asian side’s trendiest neighborhood.




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