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I was wondering, when some of you actually moved over to Turkey permanently, did any of you actually ship all your furniture over, or did you feel it was cheaper to buy everything from new..........

I've looked into shipping cost's and for a full container, and he said that was for a good size 3 bed house, as mine is the cost is approx

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Hi Debbie

My neighbours shipped the contents of their house from the UK to Turkey when they moved here 4 years ago. They said that they wouldn't do it if they had the chance again, because they ended up cluttering up their lovely new house with lots of old things they have never used since they arrived on Turkish soil! Also, of course they arrived several weeks before their container did and then it took even longer for customs to go through and check the contents, so they had to do without their crate of belongings for nearly two months after arriving in Turkey.

I think the upshot of this is that you need to be very careful with what you bring. Your furniture is probably chosen to furnish a British house of a completely different shape, not a mediterranean villa in the sun; 75% of your clothes will become completely redundant (I can vouch for that one myself - my wardrobe needs have changed COMPLETELY since moving here from London); half your essential fancy utensils will become annoying drawer-fillers because you'll change your eating habits to suit the warmer climate; your curtains won't fit your new windows or the style of your house and they'll disintegrate in the strong Turkish sunlight...

Also check very carefully about the import laws - they may not be waived for your husband, particularly if your goods were bought in the UK and not Turkey.

A ponder....

Often the desire to pack everything up and move it with you is a reaction to an underlying (and perfectly natural) anxiety that your new home will be too strange and unfamiliar, and that you won't like it! A good solution might be to make your move in two stages: start by putting all but the essentials in storage for 3 months - set aside only what you would take if you were going on a 3 week self-catering holiday. Then depending on how confident you are about your decision, either find a nice furnished rental property or arrange a furniture package for your newly purchased home in the sun. Remember, you can duck out at any time, and your beloved belongings from your UK home are safely in storage so you're not stuck with your "essentials" decision if you've made a mistake. But don't go back and bring more things over until the end of the 3 months - you might find you've changed your mind once you're more settled in!

You will probably learn a lot about what's really important to you - and you will almost certainly be glad that you didn't bother hoiking everything over in one big crate. Especially since there are no handy charity shops here to take all your unwanted brik-a-brak! And of course there are bound to be some things you regret getting rid of. But that happens even if you don't move house (unless you are lucky enough to have an infinitely large attic and an excellent archiving system so you never ever have to throw anything out!)


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My gosh, Lozengelegend, I think that's the best advice anyone can give! I would think you're probably more attached to the things you've accumulated than I am, being a single guy... in my case I had to make the same decision and decided to get rid of anything that I wasn't very attached to or didn't really need, and put the important stuff in storage. In the US it costs me around $50 USD per month for that, for one large crate in a warehouse. Everything I have here I bought new, rather decent furniture, and it cost me quite a bit less than your shipping costs would be.

The last time I went home, I gathered some things I wanted to have here such as personal effects, put them in boxes, and mailed them before I left. It would seem to me that a lot of the cost is because of the weight. Probably the best thing to do is look at the heaviest items first, and if you can part with them, sell them, give them to someone or put them in storage. Perhaps by doing that you can lower the cost and come to some kind of compromise.

That's a tough decision you have to make, I certainly understand your dilemma!

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Thanks Laura for all your advice.

I understand what you are saying, I have lived in Turkey before for nearly 2 yrs, but I didn't have any of my things with me, we just rented a sml bedsit apartment then a furnished 2 room apartment. (lounge kitchen and 1 bedroom)..............

The things that got me down the most was not having any of my own things, furniture etc....... I often use to think I wish I had this I wish I had that, in fact it got me down quite a bit sometimes just not having basic kitchen things and even my own bedding...... The Shipping company that I made inquiries to ....... advised that it wasn't that much cheaper to use a sml, part full container as it was a full one, and also if I only had half full container (or sml one) this particular comp. didn't make any arrangements to get my things from the Turkish port to my Turkish address I had to organize that my self..... so you can see my dilemma.

I did think of storing my things for a while until we found somewhere to live, but feel if I just left them in UK in storage it would be dead money, money we may need...... I didn't want to keep having to come back and forth sorting furniture storage out, but I will probably do this until we find somewhere.....

I'm in the process of sorting through the contents of my home room by room, I'm getting rid of anything I think I probably wouldn't use over there and anything I haven't even used here for 12 months or so..... but what I'm left with is still quite a lot, and I know some things I may not end up using but, I think in my case I'd rather take it then be left wishing I'd brought it........ We won't probably be living in some fancy villa, were going to be renting, and hopefully can find something with min 2 bedrooms, either dublex or large appartment....

I think what's swaying me to take more things is the fact that I was told it wouldn't be that much cheaper to take only half, and also trying to find someone over that end to collect all our things I may ring round a few more and see if they say the same,........... then there would be the question of getting rid of all my lovely things, (some of the big furniture I've only just renewed) wanted a more modern contemporary look, so I wouldn't be taking any old things......

Decisions Decisions

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when we sold up in the uk ,we looked at shipping ,we were quoted around

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Hi Steve You were very lucky to get rid and make enough to cover buying all new over in Turkey, bet you didn't get anywhere near as much as you paid for your things though, can be heart breaking sometimes having to let things go for next to nothing........as I say my stuff is faily new but certainly not antique, so if I tried to sell any of it I dont think I would make anywhere near enough money to cover the cost of replacing once we were in Turkey..... most of the things I would want to take are less than 4 yrs old, in fact I'm still paying for my sofa's as they were only purchased 1 and half yr ago....

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what broke my heart debbie ,was i had an original globe bar ,,i would have loved to bring that,i was qffered a

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You might want to check the main directory on the home page, under Government. In one of the subcategories for government organizations, there is an English-language site with a customs guide for foreigners, you will probably find some useful info there about what to bring and how much the taxes would be on electronic items, etc.

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Hi,Can anyone recommend a shipping company? Or are there any that should be avoided? We are not really taking furniture. Books and small household odds-n-ends mostly. And does anyone know about taking pets? I want to take a rabbit and a cat. I have been to Turkey several times and have never seen cat litter.....hmmmmThanks a lot! ^_^

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Firstly, welcome to the forum! If we don't have the answer here, I'll do what I can to get it for you...

I would think that you would need to contact a moving company in your country, but in Turkey you can find moving companies and relocation services in the main directory under "transportation," here:http://www.turkeycentral.com/directory/Tra...ation_Services/I've used both Istanbul Express and Star International and was happy with their service. They are listed in our directory at the above link. An international shipper would probably only do business with a reputable company in Turkey, the only time you would need to be concerned is when moving in-country, that is, some of the cheaper companies basically just have a truck and hired hands, without much training or emphasis on quality. So far I've moved about five times within Turkey, and I've never had any problems.

Regarding your cat, you need to have an Internationally-recognized health certificate that you can get from your veterinarian. I believe you have to bring the cat into Turkey within just a few days, so coordination is required. Your veterinarian can provide more information on that. I've got an article somewhere on bringing cats to Turkey, when I find it, I'll post it here. The rabbit I don't know about, I've never seen anything about bringing rabbits to Turkey, only cats and dogs.

They do have kitty litter here, it's called "kedi kum," translated "cat sand." The larger grocery stores have it, as well as cat food.

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  • 1 year later...


Hi All

Thought I would bump up my original thread and add some important info I have with anyone who may be considering shipping all the household goods into Turkey...

I have just discovered this info from another forum and to be honest it's now got me a bit worried as to whether we will be able to Ship all our furniture over at all...

From November 12th 2009 the importation rules for household effects will change.

There will no longer be a "Temporary Import" rule (Gecici Kabul) and a need to leave a security deposit etc.

The only tax now payable is the TRT bandrola tax for TVs, radios and other equipment capable of receiving TV and radio waves.

Documents needed for import are now as follows:

Residence permit


Lease or Tapu (rental leases must be for at least 24 months).

While I'm more than pleased that they have done away with the "Temporary Import" rule and obviously the money it incurred and the fact that now we should only have to pay Tax on our TV and computer..........

I am more than worried about is the Rental Contract they require 2 years min....... I mean how many people including Turkish citizens sign up to a 2yr rental aggreement...... I certainly didn't want to commit myself to a 2yr rental in one go... you just never know what may happen...

I'm in the process of trying to contact the Turkish Embassy in London as Abi said that with my Husband being a "Returning Turk" that the 2yr rule may not apply..... also that there may be different rule on Tax's etc for a "Returning Turk" importing furniture.....

At least since I first posted I don't seem to have half as much stuff as I though I would to ship over.....certainly no white goods..... we have 2 double beds 2 flat pack wardrobes, 2 large sofa's couple coffee tables small kitchen table & chairs and about 15 boxes with everything else......... so now I need to find out how much the shipping cost would be for this little lot..........

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  • 2 weeks later...

The last time I went home, I gathered some things I wanted to have here such as personal effects, put them in boxes, and mailed them before I left.

Ben, let say I have already rented an apartment in Izmir or Alanya and I put my two computers, monitors and fax machine in a box and mail them before I fly to Turkey (imitating what you did, basically). Do you think I will have any problems receiving them, considering the fact I won't be able to get my residency papers by the time I receive my stuff?. I know this is all hypothetical, but I'm trying to play it safe since I am in the process of selling my house here in US.txed
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