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Kimac

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Kimac last won the day on March 6 2015

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  1. Hi, Thinking of returning to Turkey after a few years away and this thread seems the best place to get updateded on how the game has changed. I have my old Red Ikamet, but think I{ll be starting again from square one. I just read Kens posts on the various RPs and needed a bit of clarification/updating on these points: --- Criminal history checks. Im a US citizen but have been in Ecuador for the last two years. I{m thinking Ill need a CHC for my time here as well as from the US? Also, in the US there are state and Federal (FBI) CHCs. Ecuador required both to cover the range of ones potential criminality. What about Turkey: all three? --- Everything apostillized always, right? Although translations should be done in Turkey if nothing more than the cost. BTW: are there "official" translators one must use, and if so how do you know if they are recognized as such? ----How much $, specifically, is considered sufficient to support oneself if single? Im on US social security and its easy to download a letter from their website (to be apostilized!), but Kac Para? ---- What about health insurance for OVER 65? Seems like Id just sign up for SGK (forgetting my acronyms?). Earlier I{d used Ankara Sigorta and its minimal coverage was pretty expensive, relatively speaking, for even the minimal yabanci coverage. Ill read TC closer, but most mentions Ive seen for insurance refer to the requirements for those BELOW 65, so what are the current requirements on this front? The whole RP business is quite an adventure. Looking forward to an updates.
  2. Your experience is exactly how this game is played. My bank is TEB Bank, and the KEY is to get a New Account Manager with the experience to work their system! In fact, at the main TEB in my city I had the EXACT same experience as you. But then their sub-branch breezed right through the process. Its a matter of kissing frogs. Methinks the deal here is that they know they should be able to do it, but when they follow their system prompts things somehow just don't work out. The standard dodge in Turkey at this point, or whenever they don't have a clue how to do something, is to just tell you the system is down and to come back tomorrow. So.... I'd say try neighborhoods where banks are more likely to have dealt with foreigners: around a university for example. Look for a New Account Mgr with a little gray in their hair, metaphorically speaking....experienced. I had success at a TEB branch across the street from a university. The woman who did mine laughed when I told her my experience with probably 10-12 other banks, saying everything is easy once you know how. (a variation, I suppose, on the Turkish saying that the shortest route is the one you know).
  3. In case you haven't looked at these articles its worth the orientation: http://www.turkeycentral.com/topic/20624-residence-permit-articles-please-read-these-first/ As for Banks: I haven't heard of any problems since the new RP and I went with a friend who just opened one up. HOWEVER, years ago, I went through a dozen banks before finding this New Account Mgr at TEB who knew how to set things up in their system. Other banks, often as not, told me to come back tomorrow, not to mention the chicken & egg run-around with tax # (you DO need to get your vargi number and passport, but that's it). I think in some cases these people may just be afraid of screwing up the paperwork. Try around a university where they have dealt with foreigners, or a community with a lot of retirees. OF course, ask here, but look for a stray expat in your neighborhood.
  4. A big problem is how to judge the perspective of a given customer reviewer. You'd have to read a reviewer's history and hopefully have shared experience with which to test their observations: it'd take professional mental energy. When there's one person whose rap you know and follow (say Roger Ebert, RIP), you know how to filter what they say to make it pertinent for your own world.
  5. Good point. What we usually call dershane's (dershanılar?) are also private but their focus is teaching English, usually to college students and adults; it's the K-12 schools which are infamous for the reasons you note. Still, the K-12 schools typically strive to be something more, while the dershane's tend to be more opportunistic.
  6. If you really want to give Istanbul a shot things aren't going to be much different in 2016 than 2015 (politics and external factors aside). My sense is that with a BA (English and/or Teaching), you will have at least a chance at a univ if your timing is good, given that people with MA's are what they really want. Your 4 years of experience could help you land a spot at a univ, but the culture you're experienced with is different, so the impression you make personally is more likely to make a deal work. Or not. September is the month schools fill-out whatever slots are unfilled and where it seems you'd have your best chance. People will quit during the year, especially around New Years, but you want to show up when there are the most openings for folks whose qualifications may be considered a bit thin. If things don't work out you can walk into any one of dozens of private schools whose school years somewhat mirror that of the universities. You stand to make far less, and the whole deal may be less professional. Unless you do your homework you could also get screwed-over by some of these places, which often as not seem to be run by some pretty fly-by-night folks. Overall it'll be a mixed bag, so in any case you'd need to be flexible. While it's possible to swing something long-distance, I don't see many (any?) schools which will front you air-fare. Some will give you a "contract," but it'll be nothing more (really) than a written understanding, since you will not have legal recourse until you have a work permit. Reputable schools will help you arrange this: it can be done before hand from your home country but it's a pain in the *rse (and the laws are in-flux), so most people arrange for them once they arrive. Even with recent changes in the visa laws, this is likely to remain true. Again, it may be a looooong time before you find anyone who will hire you and arrange a WP beforehand on the basis of a Skype interview. That's for people being imported by Siemens or whomever, not English Teachers. When I first came to Turkey I had such a contract from Wall Street English, probably the most professional of the private schools, and they would reimburse airfare after contract completion. That deal feel through and in the spirit of Frog Kissing I went down the street to English Time, which has it's own pluses/minuses. I ended up with yet another school which worked out pretty well, but that place didn't appear until I was on the ground locally, walking and talking. If you want to do this you need to simply put your oar in the water. You've got 90 days on a basic e-visa and it shouldn't take you more than a few weeks to find a univ gig, or a private school to throw the dice on, providing you do your homework, show-up in September, and beat the bushes seriously.
  7. Ck-out Dave's ESL cafe http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewforum.php?f=22 forarguably the most pertinent blog. In these matters being there will always carry more weight and you're going to be able to size up potential employers better as well. Skype interviews are lame and may sometimes be necessary, but are not suffered gladly by employees or employers with a choice—those you are presumably interested in finding.
  8. For free, there's always Starbucks, including their shoppe in the international departures terminal. In the domestic terminal, I suspect you'll either get lucky or have to pay. In these cases its often better to fast for a few hours. I broke down at Heathrow once and took their "45 free-minutes" offer. I was so deluged by spam and various notices from the vendor, that ignored my many unsubscribe requests, that I had to change my email.
  9. Maybe some education is needed. Either that or we just have a problem with semantics. Whether you get 90 days under an eVisa like many people, or 90 days through some nameless other instrument, it makes no difference unless that other instrument has other stipulations. I cannot imagine being able to stay without ANY documentation except your entry/exit stamps (which practically if not legally serve as visas in many countries anyway). The eVisa website seems to sort people out by nationality, along with whatever special rules may apply. It all appears to go under the rubric of eVisa. Like I said, I'm open to being educated here.
  10. I'd opt against any hint of ambiguity when dealing with border people. Playing things outside the expected linear course of the border Police is used to seeing tempts fate when considering the mindset of bureaucrats and POLICE, of all people. They will not automatically get their head around what's going on, and it may well provoke a typical passport stamper to call over his boss to take a glance at something that seems, for whatever reason, to be "irregular," which is what this will be. However, if you just want a more interesting life, this is definitely the way to go. I'd simply plan on a day trip at the end of your RP and re-enter on an eVisa: one cleanly hands off to the other. In this way you also get the absolute max 90 day run. If it turns out there is a gap while you're out of the country when the RP expires, fine.
  11. When I went through this recently the carriers only offered one-year policies. That may be because of how these policies are specifically designed to meet RP requirements. One of the first lines in the explanatory notes on mine declares how it meets these requirements, referencing the pertinent law. (Its also worth noting that my policy, from Ankara Sigorta, was pre-translated into English). That said, I suppose you could buy a policy that exceeds the govt requirements. BTW, elsewhere on this blog you will find a slip of paper someone scanned and posted from the Polis in Istanbul, laying out the requirements in detail (and in Turkish), but it seems clear to me that the (competent?) insurance companies are well aware of what is required. I'll also say that when I first went with a Turkish friend to Allianz (sp?) Sigorta, where he had a friend (justifiably how Turks approach things like this), I was offered a 12-month policy for 3000 TL. I'm over 60 so my rate compares to a 24 y/old he earlier took to the same place who got her's for 800TL. So, on the recommendation of another friend I went to an AGENT who spoke English and who handles multiple insurance companies, as is done in the US, and got it for less than 2000 TL. Of all the lines she carried, only two would issue coverage to someone up to age 62, although they were renewable up to age 70 with yearly discounts depending on how many claims you made.
  12. In terms of Bang for the Buck, its hard to beat memrise.com: http://www.memrise.com There are many languages there, including Turkish. It uses a pretty slick algorithm to constantly test and reinforce new vocabulary and grammatical structures. In many cases the word/phrase is also spoken, which is also quite helpful. In Turkish, vocabulary alone doesn't get you as far as in other languages, given how words and associated elements are often recombined into longer words that take the place of sentences. A big weakness with memrise is that you must respond with keystrokes, which combined with brute force memorization is definitely not the easy or most effective way to acquire fluency. That said, it's a good compliment to a broad-based approach toward getting input from multiple sources, and that's why I use it.
  13. My original post was a bit stream of consciousness. Sorry. I was figuring that the surface rate via PTT for such a rug would be roughly the same as the max legal "luggage" box, described above. I have since managed to take a friend to PTT and learned that even a substantially smaller and lighter box (10K) would cost about 360 TL to the US. So much so for cost savings. It may be a pain to take another piece of checked luggage, and pay 100$, but the cost savings is compelling, especially if one wants to push the size/weight limits. I/ve done this before coming to Turkey, and you can pick-up a box at Home Depot that is the perfect size for 6$, rated for eighty-something lbs bursting strength. On two trips it worked fine in terms of holding together, using plenty of strapping tape. With a local box I just found, and VERY liberal use of the tape I brought with me, I'll be confident going it in the other direction, even if getting the box to/fro the AP is a pain.
  14. Hi, Was wondering if there's any current wisdom/experience with this issue. My object is to save the extra bag fee of 100$, plus the aggravation of lugging it through the system. The size limitation for airlines is 22K and 158 cumulative cm lxwxd, and I'll be pushing that limit. Straightforward cost-benefit problem, eh? Always with the details..... For a larger box this size will I pretty well need to take it as extra luggage to avoid some exorbitant charge? Someone must have shipped a rug to the UK or US. In my checked-past in the US I sold those things, and a typical 6x9 carpet would run 55 lbs (about 23 K). The local PTT office tells me for a box larger than the ones they offer for sale (like a boot-box), they will pack for you, and anything going abroad they will need to inspect before sealing anyway. I forgot to ask what extra charges would apply. What's this EMS business? Cargo companies like UPS tend to be competitive for comparable services, but PTT's surface shipment may be something these other guys don't offer. Oh, and my Turkish is so bad I barely got the above information. May have gotten it wrong at that..... It does seem I should have been able to get all the answers while there, but I'd run out of the novelty and charm one exudes being a clueless yabancı.
  15. Thanks for your links. I'd looked at a few "international" coverages, and the clearly credible ones were pricey. There are a fair number of pretenders out there, when you drill down to see actual customer experience. It seems to be an unregulated market,so naturally those are the "good" deals. I just got my RP and as I understand it won't be eligible for the SGK for a year, but I think there should be reasonable coverage local. It gets down to the provider. There's an Acıbadem hospital nearby and if I'm lucky there may be somebody there who can tell me who locally can be trusted. I'm keeping major medical/repatriation coverage, for the moment figuring I can self-pay for the usual stuff. At what, 230TL a month? SGK in the solution to hold-out for!
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