Where to live in Turkey is a big question for anyone looking to move to Turkey.
This year we are asking ourselves the question, Where to Live in Turkey. Every 3 years my husband gets the option to transfer to another school, this year we can apply for a transfer. However we are not guaranteed a transfer and there is a lot of competition for the best places.
So When Turkey is your oyster where do you pick to live in Turkey, How do you decide where to live in Turkey.
We have had to consider a lot of factors. Currently we live in a city with no family and few friends around us. Its not a city with lots to do and though we are 2 hours from Istanbul we rarely make the trip. Our 3 years here have been pleasant, if a little restricted. We have made good friends and been made very welcome here.
So where do we go, do we move closer to family, do we try some strange outpost in the sticks of Turkey or do we head to the coast.
Some of things we have taken into consideration are
- Family, it’s nice to be near family for support and help and it would be good for our son to grow up around his family
- Somewhere we can settle with some permanency, at the moment we feel a bit like nomads wandering around with no place to call home.
- Schools, our son may only be 1 but its something consider when planning to stay longer term
- Activities and things to do, it’s nice to have the option of things to do, for me it’s horse riding. Access to the cinema and various sports activities, nice places to eat and socialise.
- Cost of living how much does each area cost to live i.e.rent and utilities and cost of socialising and entertainment.
- Do we want to live in a tourist resort or somewhere away from the madding crowd.
- Do we want to live near to expats or only within the Turkish Community.
- Airport access for getting back to the UK and for friends and family to visit
After considering these options one thing that became a huge consideration was our mixed cultured family. Sometimes it’s hard for me being in a completely Turkish community especially around holidays like Halloween, Christmas and Easter. It’s not much fun celebrating when everyone is carrying on with their day and how do I teach my son these traditions from my culture and for him to have an understand of them, if we are in completely Turkish Community.
Yes I have talked about how important it is to integrate into the Turkish Community and I stand by what I have said about that. However in Turkey it is possible to live in the best of both worlds.
There are lovely areas in Turkey where both the expat and Turkish Community integrate together and allow us to live in both worlds and allow our son to grow up learning both his cultures, being able to socialise with both Turkish and Expats from all over the world giving him a very diverse upbringing. Not many people have this opportunity in life to be able to live this sort of lifestyle yet here we are with this great opportunity at our door.
Where did we look at;
Dikili, Izmir – Dikili is a lovely coastal town near to Izmir and this is where my husband grew up and where his family lives, here we would have the support of family. However there are not many opportunities here and though it is a tourist trap in the summer, it turns into a ghost town for a good part of the year. It is only 2 hours to Izmir but so is Istanbul and how often do we make the trip!
Izmir City and Coast – Living within Izmir city or along its coastline is another option, we would be nearby to family, there is plenty to do and lots of options open to us. Having looked at rent and various other factors we think it might be costly for us and the City itself is very large with over 5 million living there, which is the same as Scottish population! There is an expat community and we would be able to integrate into both worlds, with various events throughout the year. An international airport with flights all year round makes access to the area excellent for us.
Bodrum – It is a beautiful area and somewhere very close to our hearts. But the cost of living is high and is very much an expat and holiday resort. Again we have the expat community. The airport tends to be more seasonal flights. There is limited option here for us and though we love the area for a holiday we don’t think we could settle here on a long term basis. Maybe when we are ready to retire!
Fethiye – I have yet to visit this area, however it is a favourite of my husbands. It has a very good mixed community with lots happening all year round. There are other opportunities here for us and the cost of living is reasonable with good rent prices. The area has a mix of city, beach life and countryside. Dalaman airport is within easy reach and has flights throughout the year.
In land Turkey – We have looked at several cities and areas away from the coast of Turkey and though some are affordable and offer many of the things we are looking for, they don’t appeal to us in the same way as our first 4 options. We have looked at Eskisehir, Diyarbakir, Ankara and several other places and all have their own pros and cons but we don’t feel these are places we could stay long term
Istanbul – Istanbul is a city that I adore but every time we visit I am also always very happy to leave. Istanbul is so big and busy and constantly changing that it overwhelms me when I am there. I love the atmosphere of Istanbul, the history and the people. But I think staying there for a long time would eventually become tiring and unbearable. Istanbul for us is a place to visit and enjoy not somewhere to settle.
After many discussions, speaking to friends and family. Looking at our options weighing up the pros and the cons of each place we eventually came to a decision that we are happy with.
We have decided on moving to Fethiye, though I have never been to Fethiye there are various reason that draw me to living there. My husband knows Fethiye well and knows that there are opportunities here for us in the future and somewhere that our friends and family will also enjoy when visiting us.
For me the mix, of city life, country and beach makes the area somewhere I know I can enjoy living. For our son we are able to bring him up in a place with that magical mix of both our worlds, where he can learn about both his cultures and integrate with both Turkish and Expats. Overall the pros for Fethiye well out way any cons.
We are not sure yet on when we will be able to move, we hope that a transfer will come our way this year, if not we will keep trying until we are able to move and hopefully one day soon we will be able to call Fethiye our home.
Where in Turkey would you move to and why? or perhaps you already call that place home tell us why it’s special to you.
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