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General Advice About Istanbul Requested

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Good afternoon :)

I have just got a job in a nursery in Istanbul and will be moving in August, and wondered if people could give me some advice please?

Is 4500TL a good wage?

How do I go about finding accommodation? What are the start up costs like (e.g deposits etc)

Is the commuting really as bad as everyone says it is?

How do I go about getting a bank account?

Is it easy to make new friends?

What are the best supermarkets?

I know I have asked a lot of questions but I'm sure that you lovely people can help :wink:

Thanks in advance

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1. 4500 TL is enough for living in Istanbul. They always pay more to foreigners than native employees

2. It depends on which neighbourhood you want to live in.

6. There are tons of AVMs and supermarkets in Istanbul so you just pick where you want to go for shopping

I have no idea about other questions

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Hi Sam,

The wage doesn't seem too bad. Are the nursery applying for your work permit and are they paying for health insurance as well. Are they going to pay for your residents permit?

I would hope the nursery would help you with that. What area is the nursery in?

Deposits for apartments can be 1 month up to 3 months. If you go through an estate agent they will charge you a minimum of 1 months rent for their fee, sometimes it can be more. Also a lot of apartments come unfurnished. Don't forget to ask how much the aidat is and if it is included in the rent. Aidat is a monthly maintenance charge, most but not all, apartment blocks have one. You could try looking on this website for apartments:

Sahibinden.com: Apartments for Rent in Istanbul

Commuting can be a horror it's true, but it depends where you live and where you are going to.

If you have a Residents Permit it is easy to open a bank account. You will need to take your passport and get a tax number from the tax office, it's free.

Normally it easy to make friends especially if they can speak some English as they like to practice You will make more friends if you can speak Turkish.

BIM and A101 are cheap and you can get your basic things there. Migros, Tansaş, Carrefour are the largest ones.

Hope that helps, and other members will add their comments.

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Hi Samantha,

4500tl is a good wage for Istanbul. Where will your job be?

There are lots of website for accomm. hurriyetemlak.com and sahibinden.com are good starting points. Also maybe craiglist for shared accomm. and flats.

The commute can be long and tiring unless you live near your place of work. Will your nursery offer a service bus?

There are lot's of different supermarkets in Istanbul. Migros, Mopas, Bim and Sok are in all neighbourhoods.

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Good advice from forum members above. :D I agree that 4500 TL per month is a good solid income IF that is net not gross (before taxes). Most places pay net so that is in your pocket and taxes are paid by the employer.

I think finding and making friends, if you are a friendly, smiling and outgoing person, will be an easy task almost anywhere in Turkey. Turkish people are openly curious about foreigners even though so many come through so often. If you can learn a few words of Turkish and make yourself known among the local shop keepers of your neighborhood, you will find an amazing array of neighbours and friends willing to help in time of need. Local shops are everywhere in the old residential neighbourhoods. We almost NEVER had to lower ourselves to go into a supermarket! :( (I am a horrible shopper and dislike it very much) The fruit and vegetable vendors (manav), the small shopkeeper (bakkal), and other assorted shops, will make a far more interesting experience than a so-called "super" market. Once the markets get to know you, they may even be willing to bargain with you for various items, try it you may like it.

Apartments can be so unfurnished that electric wires will be poking out of the walls and ceilings. We moved into a place once in which we had to put in a kitchen sink and cupboards! :wacko:So inquire carefully. Ask if there is someone at your nursery who would put you up for a week or two, if not, ask if there is a temporary apart-hotel close by that you can rent by the week. THEN, get out your map and decide on the neighborhood in which you wish to live (see below). Find an estate agent (emlak in Turkish) in the neighborhood you choose and look at the rental (kiralık in Turkish) postings which are usually displayed on their shop windows. Perhaps your employer can recommend an estate agent?? Usual costs are a month or up to 3 rent in advance, with a month's rent in advance. If you rent through an emlak TRY to meet the owner, if the owner does not speak English take a Turkish friend with you to help translate. Make sure you understand your rental agreement before you sign it.

Commuting, even with a service bus provided by an employer, can be a horrible experience. :mad: You will consistently find your ground transport crawling along slower than the pedestrians, you will be eating smog and fumes and putting up with horns consistently honking. Best you try to find a place so close to your work that you can walk. It is easier to fight some traffic when you want to get out and explore the city on evenings and weekends than it is to die the slow death of commuting. Istanbul is a very hilly city and you can get some considerable exercise going to and from work if you desire.

IF your work place is close to a ferry stop (called an iskele in Turkish) consider looking on the Asian side for a place to live. Make sure the place you live is also close to an iskele. I always enjoyed the ride across the Bosphorus on the ferry, people watching, sitting down (you have to hustle to be on the boat first sometimes), warm inside in winter, in the open air in summer, nice.:closedeyes: The Asian side USED to be less expensive and a bit less of a hassle in which to live. It also has a coastline of small cafes and tea/coffee houses directly on the water which makes for a great afternoon out watching the boats go by. Our last Istanbul place before we moved to Kaş was in Çengelköy. Our apartment was a 2 minute walk from the iskele. Some tips on this page about Istanbul which may be of assistance.

Do keep your wits about you. Istanbul is a low crime city compared to most large US cities and probably many EU or UK cities. However, there are burglaries, purse-snatchings, scam artists especially bar scams, and other such low-lifes prowling the streets. Also watch out for the guy who comes across as a star-crossed lover, who may be legit or just may be out to get your purse!

Good luck.

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