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Ken Grubb

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Posts posted by Ken Grubb

  1. You should be able to apply for a touristic short-term residence permit, then explain your situation to the immigration specialist when you have your interview. Then enroll in classes, then transfer to a student residence permit. There should be no need to cancel your admission.

    This is a very specialized question you're asking. So you should contact the immigration office at 157 to learn for sure what you must do.

  2. I see no reason to cancel your admission. You should just be able to apply for a short-term residence permit for touristic purposes, then transfer to a student residence permit if you have to. While students from outside of the country typically have to get a student visa, then a student residence permit, you can transfer to a student residence permit after you get a short-term touristic residence permit. Check with your student affairs department, and call the immigration office helpline at 157 to be sure.

  3. I can't find any information about that specific situation. The only thing I can find is that it doesn't matter if you live outside of the country. Take a look at the bottom of that article again and you'll see a link for the government organization to contact. You should get your information directly from them rather than taking the chance that some other information is wrong or outdated.

  4. I've lived in both Izmir and Kuşadası. If you can be more specific on what you're looking for, maybe I can help.

    As for the best places to live in Izmir, should you choose Izmir, I liked Alsancak because there's a lot of social life there, and a nice seaside area. My second and third choice would be Karşiyaka or Bostanlı. I lived in Alsancak and Bostanlı (among other places) while in Izmir. Bostanlı is considered a place where more rich people live, but you can find places that are affordable. Karşiyaka wasn't much different, but it seemed more concrete and crowded than Bostanlı to me.

    Alsancak is more expensive, but you can find less expensive places to live which are near Alsancak around the fuar (fairgrounds), where you can walk to the heart of Alsancak.


  5. I re-read my post and saw that it is confusing. I have re-written it to make it clear which bank is which. Instead of explaining the changes, would you please have a look at it again?

    In the Turkish banks, you can have multiple accounts in various currencies. In this case, in Turkish Lira and in US dollars.

    Any of these accounts can receive international money transfers.

    So as in this case, let's say you open a Turkish Lira account and a US dollar account. And you want to transfer US dollars from the USA. You can transfer the US dollars to either account.

    If you transfer the US dollars to your Turkish Lira account in Turkey, the money must be converted to Turkish Lira during the transaction. So the US bank would withdraw the US dollars, then convert it to Turkish Lira, during the transfer, then Turkish Lira would be deposited into your Turkish Lira bank account in Turkey. Yapıkredi charges no fee for this.

    You can also transfer the US dollars to your US dollar account in Turkey. In this case there is no conversion. It is sent in US dollars and it arrives in US dollars. For this, Yapıkredi charges a fee. Then, using the bank's website, you can sell your US dollars here in Turkey, and have the Turkish Lira deposited into your Turkish lira account.

    What I found is that if I did it the second way, USD account to USD account, then sell the USD and get the Turkish Lira here, the exchange rate was so much better it was more than worth paying the bank fee for receiving the US dollars.

    On the Yapıkredi website, once you sign in, there's a section for buying and selling foreign currency. So after I check to make sure the US dollars have arrived, I "sell" them in the foreign currency exchange section. Then the proceeds of the exchange, in Turkish Lira, is automatically deposited into my Turkish Lira account.

    I hope that makes sense... let me know if anything is unclear.

    I might have mentioned this before, but check out a site called Transferwise.com. They specialize in international money transfers and charge lower fees than typical banks. The only reason I don't use them is because I am a member of a not-for-profit credit union which charges the same low fee for all transfer amounts, and for the amounts I transfer it's about the same as Transferwise.

  6. I don't know about Ziraat Bank because I've never used them, but I'm happy with Yapıkredi.

    One important note here. On the first page of the Yapıkredi website, and I'm sure on every Turkish bank website) they have the rate they pay to buy US dollars. Note that before you make any transfers.

    If you transfer US dollars, to a US dollar account, Yapıkredi charges a fee (my bank in the USA also charges a fee, for me it's $30 USD regardless of the amount).

    If you transfer US dollars and have it changed to Turkish lira using the international exchange rate, there is no fee from Yapıkredi.

    However, The last two times I transferred money, the loss of value I would have had because of the exchange rate my US bank was going to use to have the money converted to Turkish Lira was far beyond the fee Yapıkredi was charging to receive US dollars.

    So everyone should be sure to check the difference in the exchange rate their home country bank will use and the exchange rate their Turkish bank will use, and compare the difference to the fee their Turkish bank will charge for receiving the money in foreign currency.

    For example, on 1 July 2021 I transferred $3,000 from my US bank to my Yapıkredi US dollar account. Yapıkredi charged me a fee of $31.80. to receive the US dollars. But if I had send the $3,000 and had it automatically converted to Turkish Lira and deposited it into my Turkish Lira account, I Yapıkredi would have charged no fee, but I would have lost hundreds of dollars because of my US bank using the international exchange rate. I don't recall the rate at the time but it was substantially different.

    So before you transfer anything, check the exchange rate your home country bank will use against the rate your Turkish bank displays on it's home page.

  7. When you take the course, please let us know how you liked it. Personally, I loved it. Throughout the course, I could understand everything being taught because it was presented so systematically, at just the right pace. If there was anything I didn't understand I could back it up a minute or so and listen again until I got it and it made complete sense to me. That didn't happen very often because the pace of the course was exactly right.

  8. I did some searching and couldn't find much but a visa overstay fine calculator, here:


    I don't know how accurate it is, it's by a private company. I know of cases where the visa violation office didn't charge any fine at all, after the foreigner explained their situation. But with the visa calculator I got a fine of ₺791,26.

    Go to the airport early to straighten it out, so you don't miss your flight.

  9. Something else that might help.

    I have taken lots of Turkish courses, although I often end up forgetting the more advanced stuff because the usual conversations I have don't require it. I think I have used practically every course out there!

    The best Turkish course I have ever seen, by far, is Kendi Kendine Türkçe. It takes you from level A-1 to Level C-1, which is considered advanced, C-2 is the highest level. It has high-quality online video courses, with a teacher presenting the lesson. Not just some guy in a classroom talking, but an excellent video presentation of the language.

    You can buy the book at http://www.speakturkish.org/.

    The online videos come with the book.

  10. What the notary can do is ensure delivery of your messages. They do this with a "notarial notice." You go to a notary and with them draw up what you need to tell the landlord or whoever you're communicating with. The notary then puts the notarial notice in the envelop and sends it, by registered mail, to the landlord's address, and they sign for it. In this way, the delivery and the contents of the envelope are certified by the notary, so there's no way the landlord can say they weren't notified or that the letter inside said something different. If they don't receive it there are other parts of the law which constitute a legal notification and delivery, so there's no way they can get out of it.

    I don't know if you would need this, since basically the landlord has no legal feet to stand on anyway. For example, my lawyer said I didn't have to do anything. Just keep paying the rent and pay any legal rent increase when it comes. So it seems to me (this is my opinion) that it doesn't matter if the landlord is notified of anything or not. The terms of the original contract stand, and the landlord signed it, so he's already "notified" of its terms. He can't just unilaterally change them later.

    If you want to find a notary, see this.

    The law concerning this is Law No. 6570.

    You can do some searching on it, but I think it best that our community lawyer, Mr. Ender Keleş, comment on this because laws get amended from time-to-time and it's best to get the most current advice.

    I'll send Mr. Keleş a message and notify him of this topic and ask him to comment. He subscribes to the legal forums and gets notifications of posts in them, but not to this forum.

    If you do find you need a lawyer, I highly recommend Mr. Keleş.

  11. I think you would need to visit Tömer or the other school to get more info, I'm sure both schools have brochures in their main offices (Tömer does), and of course people who can answer your questions.

    I went to Tömer and had difficulties. There were maybe 15 students in the classes, and a lot of them had Turkish spouses, so they spoke Turkish on a daily basis. Not having that luxury, I struggled to keep up. Later I went to the Turkish American Association (TAA), and ended up getting a private teacher. Basically they just called a certified teacher who worked freelance for them, and we had classes at the TAA.

    At one point, since it was only him and me, I suggested we meet at a tea garden instead. He agreed and the TAA had no problem with it, so from then on we met somewhere else for the classes.

    So something like that might work for you if you want to pay for private classes. The teacher could meet you wherever it's convenient. They might even have somebody in Konyaaltı.

    Tömer doesn't give private classes, so for that TAA would be your best bet.

  12. That happened to me. The landlord didn't raise my rent for six years, and I was paying rent way below what I should have been paying. In my case, I liked the landlord and understood his situation, so I agreed to a rent increase commensurate with what I would be paying (actually a bit less). Even though I could have refused and continued staying at a very low rent price, I personally decided to pay what I thought was fair. Besides, I wasn't planning to stay there more than one year, and I had been reaping the financial benefits of having a very low rent for a few years. It just seemed to be the right thing to do.

    Actually I forgot to mention an important point which may affect others who read this topic.

    A tenant can stay in a rental property for ten years and renew the contract every year, and can't be kicked out as long as they pay their rent and don't damage anything. After ten years the landlord can unilaterally end the contract and create a completely new contract, at whatever level of rent he or she wants. Regardless of the inflation rate.

    But in this case the tenant has only been there for five years, so the landlord can't do that. If they threaten to cut off the electricity, remove the toilets, doors, etc., which some landlords may threaten to do, that is also illegal.

  13. You can apply at any time you are within 60 days of the expiration of your visa or the day you reach the maximum number of days your visa allows you to be in Turkey. The sooner the better, since applications can take much longer in Istanbul than other parts of the country.

    As long as your visa is valid, you can leave Turkey and return as much as you want. It will have no effect on your application. Also the days only count off when you're in the country, the "clock" stops when you're not.

    Choose e-mail as your communications method when you apply online. That's because Istanbul doesn't give you an appointment at the end of the online application. They send it later by e-mail or SMS, so by using e-mail you can be sure to get the notification.

    I haven't heard about the processing time lately, but it will vary between the Istanbul immigration office branches there, depending on how busy they are. There may be some posts in the forum about the length of time if you want to search for "Istanbul" and "residence permit" (specify that you want both terms in the search). Or maybe another member has recently gotten a residence permit in Istanbul and can tell you.

  14. I looked at the İzban website and there is a video that plays explaining registering your HES code. It's in Turkish. Here is a page in English about it:


    Regarding your transportation card, it only works with municipal buses, and normally it's privately-owned buses that go from town to town. I don't know what the bus situation is at Hatundere, but if it's like any other place, it will be a privately-owned minibus that goes to Eski Foça from there, so you would buy a ticket at the bus station.

    Congratulations on your husband's birthday, I hope he enjoys it. Eski Foça will be a wonderful place to spend it.

  15. The landlord cannot by law increase the rent by that much. He can only increase it by the increase in the inflation index which averages the producer price index and the consumer price index.

    See these topics for more information:

    There's no negotiation involved, it's the law. The landlord cannot object, and no matter how aggressive he is, he doesn't have a leg to stand on with this. The law is on your mother's side.

  16. There are two schools I'd recommend.

    Tömer: This school is a part of Ankara university. You can even get a university degree in Turkish there after you complete 12 courses. If you complete eight, you can get a fluency certificate. They only do classroom courses.

    The second recommendation would be the Turkish American Association. They give both classroom and private courses up to and including advanced Turkish.

    I've been to both schools and can verify both are of high quality.

  17. OK I see now. What he did was go to a notary and sign a taahhütname, which is a legal declaration that you are staying with him and that he'll be responsible for any debts if you leave without paying them. It's standard when a foreigner uses a friend's home as an address.

    So what he probably did is go to the notary and rescind it. If it doesn't work on the day of your appointment, explain the situation. The immigration specialist will give you time to get the situation fixed.

  18. I've verified with the immigration office that they can issue a foreigner up to a two-year residence permit while staying in a hotel and looking for a place to live. So it's a good thing you're in an actual hotel. They also said, though, that it will always depend on what the immigration specialist decides. Once you find a place to live, you have 20 business days to report your change of address to the immigration office.

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