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Hi all,

My husband and I are considering a move to Turkey from UK, London. The idea is to give our son who is 8 months old now a chance to be brought up in a quieter, more peaceful and less stressful life, and for us of course.

we are planning to make this move hopefully in a couple of years. I'm a doctor, psychiatrist who qualified in Egypt (my home country) and trained in the UK. My husband is an English native with Turkish Cypriot heritage. He works as a career advisor and apprenticeship consultant which he can't do in Turkey. He also has an experience in teaching and is planning to take CELTA so he can teach English. He has a University degree but we still don't know what are his chances with jobs and income.  I'm not sure what are my chances in practicing medicine in Turkey either.

we are planning on learning Turkish before moving. Many of my husband's family can speak Turkish so hopefully that will help us with our learning. 

We are looking into buying our own property to save on rent and have some stability. I have been checking prices and Antalya seems to be offering reasonable prices. Most properties seem to be in compounds with an urban style which is not what we have in mind. We are hoping to find a 2-3 bedroom villa or penthouse in a rural ish area. I think because we need to be in a place where there are jobs for my husband and hopefully myself as well as having that peaceful rural life. We are happy to be in areas where there is less western influence. 

We we also have 5 cats who are an integral part of our family. Any ideas how much it costs to take them all and if they will have to be put in a quarantine for 6 months ? This quarantine idea is horrifying for us let alone putting them in boxes with the cargo ! 

I would be very grateful if anyone has any tips or advice for us to help with the planning process. Hopefully meet with some of you in flesh in a couple of years.

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Hi Fil,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. 

I don't know it as well as the people living in obviously and hence I'm seeking advice :)

Well we are after some peace and this is the reason we are hoping to find a place a bit less urban and westernised. London is very hectic although vibrant. We will very much appreciate the advice and any suggestions are most welcomed. 

As for the education system, we have not looked into it much for our son since we are planning to go for home tuition. 

If I may ask, are you Turkish or have you moved to Turkey ? And if you did, where did you move from and what made you choose Turkey ? 


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Hi Gemfamily,

Unfortunately I can't answer all of your questions, but since you have multiple topics here, I would suggest reading the topics in various other forums, since we have forums for pets, Antalya, teaching English, etc... and a few of your questions have already been answered in those forums. If after going through the topics in those forums, feel free to post your own questions in those forums.


Want us to do your Tukey residence permit application, get your tax number and health insurance, and make the payment of your residence permit fees for you? Then visit our other website, TurkeyPermit.com.

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Hello Gemfamily,

Please excuse the brevity of my response last night, I shall try to be more helpful now.

It is difficult to see from your posts the underllying assumptions and reasons for considering moving to Turkey. I can understand that London is the opposite of quiet, peaceful and living and working there is certainly stressful, but so is living and working in Turkey. It is debatable which is more so, but it will be extremely hard to find peace and quiet in any big Turkish city, especially in Antalya. That is why I am wondering how much experience you have of life in Turkey, and if your experience is very limited I am wondering how you can be considering a move here. Is it a case of the other man's grass is always greener? Or familiarity breeds contempt, in terms of life in UK.

As far as I can see there are 4 types of people who leave UK to live in Turkey. 1- people with a Turkish spouse or partner. 2- people of Turkish heritage who wish to make contact with their roots. 3- English language teachers who want to live somewhere with a rich cultural heritage, probably for a short time. 4- retired people who want to live somewhere warmer and more economical than Europe. Of these 4 groups only the retired people have a lifestyle that could be described as calm, peaceful and stress free. In addition to these groups, recently 3 more groups have arrived in Turkey. 5- refugees mainly from Syria, 6- students, many from Africa, or Iraq, supported either by their own governments or the Turkish government. 7- economic migrants, most working at or below the minimum wage in carer jobs such as looking after children or disabled people. 

None of these groups find living in Turkey easy, expecially at first.

I am sorry, I have to go now, I shall continue later.


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As I understand you haven't decided yet where to move, I would say Izmir is greater than for both job opportunities and western culture you are looking for.

But all the criteria you are asking is hard to find in here, well, of course, there are quiet, peacefull places around here but all the places is touristic and can not provide enough what you are looking for.

You and your husband can apply for credential on this website: the process requires time and money.


For language, government provides Turkish courses at local points, and Tömer offers Turkish courses for foreigners, in case for Antalya for further information ; http://www.tomer.ankara.edu.tr/tr/subeanasayfa/5/antalya-subesi

Before buying a house, I think you should decide what city will you move ?  Then, think about economy issues.


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Thank you so much Fil, Ken and Greenstein,

please don't apologise Fil you have given me something to think about.

I'm incredibly grateful to you guys for taking time to write and give me advice. Fil you've given me food for thought which makes perfect sense. Well, I have been reading different topics on the website which are quite useful. But you are right Greenstein after all the reading I thought of writing here cause preliminary Antalya could be an option. I had to ask you guys cause I was not sure.

i have to admit my husband is the one with more confidence about the move but I'm still rather worried if not scared. It's such a big decision and we want to give our son the best environment with more outdoors and less Internet, TV, etc  :) 

Greenstein thank you so much I shall look into Izmir...

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You're welcome gemfamily. Thank you for giving a bit more background. I hope I can help a bit more.

To continue my earlier post, by listing the different categories of people who come to live in TR I am suggesting that everyone has specific reasons to come, and I have not met anyone (so far) who came to escape the ratrace or have a calmer life (apart from the retirees).

Now, in your case I think there are two things to consider, first how you see life in Turkey and second how your child's education may progress.

1- life in Turkey. I am wondering how much first hand experience your husband has of life and more importantly work in Turkey, and I am wondering why you are not considering a move to Cyprus. This may not be relevant to your case, but in the last few years, as customers at mrs fils nursery school, we have met several Turkish families from Germany who planned to make a life in Turkey. Some of them changed their minds after an initial exploratory visit, others returned to germany after a few months. The ones that stayed had little choice but to stay. The reason most did not stay is that they had an extremely unrealistic idea of what life in Turkey would be like; how they would be able to relate to Turkish people; prices in general and relative to salaries; working pay and conditions.

2- you plan home education for your child, which can be done, but there are consequences in terms of his social development and longer term education and employment prospects. I know it seems a bit early to consider a question like this, but what qualifications do you hope for? If you return to uk, then it will not be a problem, as children can slot back in to the system, hopefully making up for any lost ground. But if you want a life in TR, then he will need to graduate from elementary school and high school. Without the certificate, he will not even be able to get a driving licence, and will not be eligible for university. I believe there is a mechanism to enable home schooled students to graduate from elementary and high school though the open elemetary/ high school, which involves registering, following some courses and taking exams. This route is mainly used by adults who did not complete those schools at the normal time. I have not seen it used for home schooling, but I have read that it is possible.

Also, I am not sure what the status N. Cyprus have in TR- will you need a residence permit? Or are you regarded as Turkish citizens? 

Another consideration would be the chances of you being able to practice psychiatry. The authorities have been talking about recognising foreign doctor qualifications foor quite a time, but nothing seems to have happened. The only foreign doctors I know are those who have gained citizenship. You should also consider the language issue, as it is likely to take several years to reach a level of proficiency in Turkish that would enable you to conduct professional consultations.

I think that is all I can manage to say for now. Good luck in your choices.

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I have a moment to add a bit more now.

You say you hope to live somewhere that is  'a place a bit less urban and westernised'. There are certainly places like that, but you may find the lifestyle there very challenging and wearing. There are villages even near antalya and izmir where you will find houses with gardens. In the cities it is mainly housing estates, as you say. The trouble with living in a village is the expectations of the people who live there. If you want to integrate fully, it is difficult to make your own spaces fully private, people expect to be asked in (or barge in) to your house any time they call.

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Hi Fil,

i honestly can't thank you enough for your sincere advice and for taking the time to write in details.

you are absolutely right ... My main worry is the possibility that my husband may not have a very realistic view of the quality of life although i know he may also be more willing to compromise a bit more than me.

well, I read the citizenship law  and we believe he may be eligible to apply for citizenship yet he has no plan to do so. The reason is that he will be paid a lot less. On the other hand I will probably sacrifice my medical career, unless I come back to the UK regularly for locums which is not really a career but just to keep my licence and boost our income.

As for my son, we will probably need to think long and deep.

i will actually share your thoughts with my husband to help us with decision making.

can't thank you enough.

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I don't want to create too negative an impression. What you are thinking of doing is certainly doable.

People who are planning to settle in a new country and culture should take into account the stages that most people go through when living in a new culture. They are often described as five stages.

The first stage is a honeymoon period, when everything is new and exciting. It is a very busy period and there is not enough time to get fed up.

The second stage can be described as culture shock. Irritations and annoyance turn into complaints and rejection. During this stage many people choose the exclusive company of fellow expats, which is fatal as the culture shock may never pass.

In the third stage people learn how to live with the different culture. They find ways of dealing with difficulties, they accept that things are done differently and realise that they have to deal with it themselves, the host culture won't change.

In the fourth stage people come to value and appreciate aspects of the culture that earlier were not understood or accepted. They are comfortable with their original ways and the new ways. They can be described as interculturally competent.

In the fifth stage people find it difficult to fit back in to their original country. They may feel alienated from the culture and the people back home.

Even though this is all quite a well-trodden path it is always difficult to get through these stages. If someone is thinking of making a life in a new country, they need to be determined to get through these inevitable stages. It takes time. That is why I think you need to give it 4-5 years before you know whether you knwowhether you can settle long term. 1-2 years is probably not enough, and is likely to be when the culture shock stage is at its height. To get established in a job, or start a business, will take that much time, and leaving before that meamns you and the new country won't have given each other a chance.

If anyone wants to hear or read more about this subject there is an interesting series of radio programmes especially programme 11 at  http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/webcast/tae_whoonearth_archive.shtml

or just google culture shock.

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  • 4 months later...

Hello Gemfamily, have you decided something yet? very interesting discussions here.. I want also to buy an apartment or small villa in Turkey for long visits for relaxation and enjoyment, not for permanent stay. I share the same opinion with Fil, i think it is difficult for foreigners to find jobs in Turkey and also i agree about the education of your kid will be challenging. Anyway please share with us any conclusions you reach. Antalya seems like a very interesting city, but is it too crowded and noisy? is there another beautiful city which is not dead in winter and has the same facilities, beaches and entertainment, close to international airport but less crowded and noisy than Antalya? I think we both do not want to end up with a city like Alexandria in Egypt !!



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Hi Ayman,

Come and look around. Look at various cities, then maybe rent somewhere for a year to see if it suits you. If not then try somewhere else without the hassle, expense and commitment of buying. There are lots of villages within reach of Antalya that are quieter and cheaper to live in than the city itself.

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Ibrahimabi is right, you really do need to visit various places and spend a few days there looking around.


Antalya seems like a very interesting city, but is it too crowded and noisy? is there another beautiful city which is not dead in winter and has the same facilities, beaches and entertainment, close to international airport but less crowded and noisy than Antalya? I think we both do not want to end up with a city like Alexandria in Egypt !!

Antalya is a big city. There are actually four different Antalyas which you should see and consider.

Kaleiçi: Litterally, "inside the fortress." This is literally inside the ancient fortress walls, surrounding a harbor where fishing and tour boats come and go. A real maze of charming streets, restaurants, bars, and shops. This is where the tourists go, and where the best international food is. You wouldn't want to live there, though. It is very touristy and can be very loud at night what with all of the bars which have live music. But have a look around, since there are some great restaurants and cafes, etc. there.

Muratpaşa: City center. Just outside of Kaleiçi, you are suddenly in Turkey for sure. Along the roads just outside of Kaleiçi are still a few touristy places and modern restaurants. Beyond that, you could be in Adana or any other Turkish city. The people living in Muratpaşa typically have a traditional Turkish mentality, and the restaurants serve a LOT of kebap, köfte, etc... there is nothing touristy about it. It's more crowded and noisy than the other parts of Antalya, but the property prices and rents are lower.

Lara: An upscale, more spread-out suburb, with a sandy (well, sand and dirt) public beach. Farther east is where the posh beachfront, all-inclusive five-star hotels are, one after the other. Some excellent restaurants and shopping to be had there.

Konyaaltı: A second suburb, with Konyaaltı beach, a pebble beach. Roughly the same in description to Lara. A lot of the richer Turks live in Konyaaltı.

In both Lara and Konyaaltı, there are quiet residential neighborhoods, but both are more expensive than Muratpaşa.

It does quiet down during the winter, but most everything is still open year-round. Anyway, if you come to Antalya, you should see these three areas.

Also have a look at Alanya, which has a very international expat community, Fethiye, which has a mostly British expat community. Marmaris and Bodrum are also options, but they can be very touristy in the summer months.

You should also consider Izmir. Izmir has a much more western mentality, while not being touristy. If you visit Izmir, see Alsancak, and Karşiyaka, which are probably the best places to live in Izmir.

Want us to do your Tukey residence permit application, get your tax number and health insurance, and make the payment of your residence permit fees for you? Then visit our other website, TurkeyPermit.com.

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Thanks Ibrahim and Ken, I was mainly commenting on Gemfamily post, but as long as you are kind enough to give me such wonderful information i will seize this opportunity to tell you more about what I want or dream to have in Turkey. First, to introduce myself, my name is Ayman, 46, from Egypt and working now in Saudi in Finance.

I am looking for an apartment or small villa for long holidays and maybe for retirement. I am generally interested in:

Nature, forests, trees, flowers, lakes and animals. I love dogs and I have Kangal Turkish dogs in Egypt.

I love the sea and swimming and I can enjoy some finishing.

I go to gym 5 times a week. very important to me to find a good professional gym.

I like night life, maybe once a week,  and traditional and international restaurant, but not the most important to me, maybe for my wife in addition to shopping of course.

I like warm weather so that I can enjoy the sea and outdoors activities as long as possible throughout the year. A city which is not dead in winter.

I like quiet places and I hate traffic.

So you can say I wish for an apartment:

very close to the sea or preferably in a compound with private sandy beach

In an area 10 or 15 minutes away from the lively areas

hopefully there is a forest or green area with a lake not far where i can go there for a walk and explorations,

not over crowded by tourists and close to international airport.

For the sea and beach, I prefer not rocky beaches because i worry so much to step on something sharp even if i am wearing shoes. As i said i prefer having private beach, but also i would love to have access within walking distance to virgin beaches where there are no or little people .. where i can sit or walk and watch the waves and rewind memories. I dont like crowded beaches where everybody is stuck together and you have to compete so hard to find a place . Too much to ask? Maybe .. I am just telling you my dreams and you can tell me what is realistic.

Apartment or a villa? Although I can afford a small villa but as I am not sure about how often I will be able to stay in Turkey and where to stay there, I don’t want to make big investment there. On the other hand, if there is a bargain unique small villa with a garden and close to the sea, I still can consider.

I was before in Istanbul, Borsa and Bodrum, Bodrum is nice but the city itself is small.   Alanya, Marmaris, Fatihi, Izmir .. I'dont know .. i need insider information :) .. .. Izimir i saw videos about, seems more of a business city ..  Alanya maybe has the good things of Antalya and not the bad things? Maramris .. Fatihi .. maybe another city you know.. English or western community are ideal to me .. lovely Russians r so beautiful but maybe too noisy for me and dont speak English so cant make friends although my wife can being Ukrainian, but all communities i love and respect, Turkish .. I look Turkish anyway actually everyone in Turkey didnt believe i am not turkish until i start speaking English :) 

I can try to come and rent and try .. but then i will need few years because i cant come to Turkey often now due to work obligations.. so i need to count on readings, videos and honest advice from people like you :)


Many thanks

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Ayman, I just sent you a PM about this. :)


Want us to do your Tukey residence permit application, get your tax number and health insurance, and make the payment of your residence permit fees for you? Then visit our other website, TurkeyPermit.com.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, I am really reading every word of you guys, thinking of myself. I am also in a stage of transmission from an active professional, full-time working in London - to early retirement somewhere quiet nearby the sea. I am going through this transmission phase with some inside conflict, comparing my present financial situation as full-time professional with very little private pension when I actually get out work.

I simply can not imagine to continue working for more 8-10 years of my life until I reach official retirement age, commuting home-work-home everyday, non stop like MAD. 

Having in mined that we people get quieter and less active as we grow older, I am looking forward to enjoy my early retirement, get to know other places and enjoy the nature.

It seems a dream at the moment, but I hope I could get it realized one day.

About the Gemfamily topic, I guess you guys have to be more realistic. Firstly, on the aspect of your son's education, and secondly on the job and finance side. If you have a big bank account, I would say it is easier to move from a country like the UK to a country like Turkey, where everything is gone cost you money (SCHOOL & language courses. etc.).

If You do not have a big bank account behind you, I would say it would be more realistic if you can secure a job to one of you, let say your husband with good salary first, and a good school for your son. 

I would also use the advice given to me by the wise people in this forum, Ken & Ibrahim (sorry I cannot remember all the names). The advice was RENT BEFORE BUY. I will do this and not hurry to buy before I know the place, at lease to have an idea about it.

All the best  

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