Worst things about living in Turkey…

Following on from my best things about living in Turkey post, here are a few of the not-so-good things. Life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies here.

1. Weather.
Sure, 5 months of the summer may be guaranteed sunshine, and we’re all grateful for the rain when it comes in November time, one thing that isn’t really prepared for the cold, wet weather though, is the houses. Turkish houses are designed for the summer, to keep the heat out, the walls are not insulated, the floors are often concrete or tiled, and the windows are not double glazed, it is extremely rare to find central heating too. Our house has real issues dealing with the rain, as you can see from the photo I will post below. When it rains, it really does rain, full of thunderstorms and bucket loads of the wet stuff, I think it’s impossible for it to just drizzle in Fethiye. The rain leaks through our roof and windows, and our windows and doors are all drafty so when it’s deep into winter, in January time, it really is freezing. Last January the thermometer on my balcony read -2 degrees on a few occasions, I remember walking along and finding frozen puddles and my dog’s water bowl iced over. We don’t have heating, some homes have a soba (a wood burner) which is fairly efficient at heating rooms, but all we have is an electric ‘UFO’ heater, this really uses a ton of electricity, so we only turn it on for a few minutes at a time to take the edge off (proud to say our electric bill has never been more than 60tl!) Honestly, I’m not a fan of it anyway, we just wear our coats inside, layers and blankets, it does the job and it feels so cosy. Last year my grandparents bought us a couple of onesies for Christmas, boy did they come in handy! (: It’s currently 01.25 and 29 degrees outside… -2 oC and snuggling up in a onesie sounds like heaven right now.
2. Electricity, water & plumbing.
This is probably one of the most irritating things about living here, but it has gotten a lot better over the years, at least in this area. There are often power cuts, during the infamous thunderstorms, a drop of rain and the electricity goes out in whole towns, always fun having to use a torch or iPod backlight to see what you’re doing! We learnt our lesson the hard way and always unplug electricals during storms now, once we left the internet modem plugged in and a power surge melted the whole thing. I don’t think electricity is the safest out here either. There are often times throughout both summer and winter where planned power cuts take place, as well as the water supply being turned off for maintenance work or because of reservoir issues. Nothing more irritating than having no water to flush the toilet or have a shower with for hours (or days) on end during the height of summer..stinky. The plumbing isn’t the best and it’s not advised to flush toilet paper as it causes blockages.

3. Not speaking the language.
I can understand a fair amount of Turkish, my issue is not being able to speak or write it. If I hear a word I can often recognise it but won’t be able to relay it back later, I think a lot of it has to do with confidence. My life here would be totally different if i could speak the language, because as I cant, I rely on Berkay for everything. When we’re with friends I’m sure I seem rude as I can’t join in conversation, I also feel isolated and left out when they’re all talking and often feel like I shouldn’t be there. This is my own fault though.

4. Driving.
Anyone who’s visited will know what I mean, no explanation needed. A lot of Turkish people drive like maniacs, even the transfer buses along the edge of huge mountain roads, taxi’s, dolmus drivers. They drive like lunatics, rarely, if ever, wearing seat-belts, and quite often with a cigarette in one hand and a phone in the other. These things are illegal but happen far too much.

5. No concept of health and safety.
Following on from the above… Turkish people seem to have no health and safety concerns, ever. Just a few of the gem’s I’ve seen.. People driving in cars with young babies on their laps, people putting their babies in carseats (rare!) yet not strapping the baby in to the seat, or the seat into the car. A whole 4 person family plus a giant water bottle and a watermelon all sat driving along on a moped, all with no helmets or bike gear on. People building houses with no safety equipment or hardhats. Here is a photo of my neighbour painting his house.. no comment.
6. Litter.
I don’t know about other areas but in Calis/Fethiye the litter is disgusting. We live on a main road and people must just drive along in their cars and throw rubbish out, cigarette packets, beer bottles, water bottles, food packets, nappies, everything. The bushes near my house are full of other people’s rubbish. It’s disgusting. If we wander down to the beach in winter on a Sunday after all the locals have been out for their weekly BBQ picnic, all we see are coals, bits of chicken bones, packets, smashed beer bottles and other things far too disgusting to mention. Of course my dog finds them all. I don’t know how people pride themselves in keeping their home’s clean yet have no respect for the environment.

7. Animal cruelty.
I don’t know whether it’s because they cannot afford pets, but a lot of Turkish people see dogs and cats as no more than a nuisance. We have a dog, but she isn’t allowed inside because our landlord thinks her fur is unclean…We had a rabbit but that wasn’t allowed inside for the same reasons. In general, a lot of Turkish people don’t respect cats and dogs at all. Often people will take in dogs when they are puppies and dump them back on the streets when they are no longer cute, or when they are no longer of any benefit (restaurants often take in dogs for the summer to attract tourists then ditch them when they close for winter). There are some good animal shelters around but the problem is far too large. I’m a huge animal lover and have bought canned food or given our leftovers to street dogs and cats before, at the beginning of the season we found three kittens, two of which were very poorly and took them to the vet. Sadly, there’s not much we can do, other than take a few into our own homes. I know several fellow expats who have 5+ dogs living in their homes as they just can’t bare to see them on the streets. I have heard far too many times that street dogs, or even people’s pets have been poisoned by pathetic excuses for human beings, who leave poison down. I have also known people, including my neighbour, shoot dogs on their land for fear they were going to eat their chickens. There really is no excuse for it.

8. Smoking.
I’m not against it, each to their own, but so many people smoke here it is impossible to walk down the street without walking into a cloud of smoke somewhere.

9. Running around.
The amount of running around it takes to do simple tasks is a real inconvenience. Doing anything official involves running around to several offices getting tons of papers signed and stamped by tons of people in offices miles apart from each other.. renewing residency, getting a new passport, starting a new job.. even going to the bank takes careful planning as they are only open for a few hours a day (oh how I wish Berkay worked in a bank!) On top of all this, the contradicting information you hear is ridiculous, very often the right hand really doesn’t know what the left is doing.

Reading this, I notice I have a few more negative points about living here than I do good (see best things about living here ) It’s always much easier to find negatives though, isn’t it? We take things for granted. These negative things are more just annoying inconveniences though. None of these things would make me want to move away from the country.. the only thing that is really a huge problem for us is the following:

10. Wages.
I’m sure people don’t realise, but a lot of Turkish people get paid pennies for very long hours at work. In big cities with people working professional jobs, I’m not so sure, but I do know that teachers are not all that well paid either. For those of us who work in, or who have partners who work in tourism, it really sucks. Berkay currently gets paid 1450tl in summer, this is the most he has ever earned (he got a pay rise this year, woo!) This is £483 a month, for 15 hour days, and no days off, roughly £1 an hour. This is ridiculous for the amount of work he does and the cost of living here. Despite what people think, the cost of living is not cheap (a post to come about that soon..) But he is lucky, some people only earn commission. In winter, Berkay does not have a guaranteed job, as most other people in the tourism industry, he has to walk around from door to door in winter asking if they need any new staff, the past two years he has been lucky and found work in hotels, both times only earning 750tl a month. £250. No days off, 18 hour days (how is it possible he works longer in winter than summer, I have no idea, but he does). I can tell you that it is almost impossible to live off £250 a month in Turkey, we don’t have any luxuries, besides internet (that’s where i draw the line!), yet cannot afford to live off that. Last winter his boss didn’t even pay him for two months, so we had nothing to live off, bosses take the p*ss in winter because they know their staff cannot afford to leave jobs that are very hard to find, they also know that as soon as someone walks out of the door, an equally as desperate person will walk straight in.
Last year we got ourselves into debt with friends and owed the local shop money as we bought food on a ‘pay-later’ promise. We spent the first few months of the summer paying back money owed from winter, and as a result have no money saved for this winter either. Vicious circle. Even if I were working here, illegally, for the same wages and same hours, we would never see each other, no days off, no holidays and still only have pennies to spare.

This is the one, big issue for us about living in Turkey, as long as we’re here we will never be able to move forward, never be able to save, marry, have kids. I think people moving here expect it to be like one big holiday , which it really is not. Once you’ve lived here for a few months, you really see the bigger picture and the real life problems that people face.

As always, I can only speak from my experience of living in Fethiye. I hope I don’t come across as too negative, I am just being honest. As mentioned in previous posts, I consider myself lucky to live here, there are many, many positives.

What are the worst things about living in Turkey for you?

72 thoughts on “Worst things about living in Turkey…

  1. Well if I was going to make a list Danni, it would be the same as yours. You’ve pretty much covered it. Our life is much like yours as you know. My husband has finally made the decision to get out of tourism, much to my relief. Constantly working these 18 hour days for commission only is just too much. He is going to have a go at working on the land we have (owned by his father). We won’t make much to start with, but it can’t be worse than things are. Tourism seems to be on the decline, and the stress for seasonal workers is immense. It certainly is not one big holiday is it?

  2. I don’t like as well how much it can cost, if you get ill. Even tablets can sometimes cost a hell of a lot, compared to how much they would cost you in the uk. When going from the uk to turkey I often bring a supply of meds for our house, and a friends.

  3. You covered everything I can think of and working here what a joke that is, they actually expect you to work for nothing and be happy for it. We go round in an endless circle of debt and trying to pay it off. Stress is an understatement and yet I don’t want to go back to what I experienced before in the UK either so here I am. I guess I am just going to have to try and get used to it, after 15 years you would think I would of by now, but no still stressed.

  4. Sorry but I have to disagree! My partner works in tourism as a doorman in a restaurant and earns @ 3500 lira per month from May until October. He has very little to pay out of that, so has plenty to last over winter. I also get a small pension from the uk. We have a great life!! My house is not damp/cold etc and I use electric oil filled radiators which are very cheap to run and my highest electric bill has been 120 lira juts for one month, normally it is 50/60. We don’t do without anything. maybe you are living in the wrong area but many here earn over 2500 per month in restaurants plus tips. Food, electric, water etc are all cheaper here.

    • I don’t know what you are disagreeing with, Im just stating how my life is, i’m not making it up, it’s the truth. And as always, I said it’s just based on Fethiye 🙂 where do you live? You are very lucky he earns so much and you have money coming in too, if we had that much we’d live like Kings! Unfortunately for a lot of the population of Turkey, your life isn’t the norm. Food, electric and water are cheaper here than the UK but in comparison to wages, they are not. UK minimum wage is 3x more than Turkey, which means cost of living here would have to be 3x less, I don’t think it is personally, just off the top of my head chicken here per kg is 8.50tl, in the UK is a kg of chicken 8.50£ ? i dont think so? and shampoo, toiletries etc here are all just as expensive as the UK x

      • Sorry…just had to jump in here in response to Fatma’s comment. I have to agree with Danni in saying that it sounds like your situation is not the norm for seasonal workers and their families. I would also be living a fantastic life if my husband earned anywhere near that amount, and so would many others, which they are clearly not. Consider yourself very lucky!

  5. Hey lovely I’m absolutely loving your blog and admire you for being able to stick it out! I did a winter out there with an ex of mine (still good friends) and it was such a struggle, you’ve covered everything going!! Keep up the awesome posts 🙂 and I hope this winter isn’t too bad for you good luck with your journey 🙂 xxx

  6. A good read Danni! Very true of the Fethiye area, unfortunately. We use a soba in the sitting room and an oil radiator in the kids room, in the winter. We get bills around 80tl pm. Not bad for us, a family of 4. It’s a hard life in Tourism here, as winter work is scarce, a months wages needs to cover 2 for the winter months! Brits that come here have a different story but in 11 years, nearly all have returned to the UK. They can’t afford to live here now. Keep up the good blogging xx

  7. I don’t live there but do spend 6weeks of every summer there and have a property which suffers from the extreme weather. We sometimes come out in early April too, and often use electric blankets at nighttime and halogen heaters to keep us warm on cold April nights. Fully agree re the rubbish, driving and health and safety. The litter infuriates me…spoils the most beautiful areas. Why oh why do they not see that they are jeapordising the tourist industry with the rubbish and health and safety issues? But then again these points can be said for many European and worldwide tourist destinations, so not just Turkey. Regarding the food…I find food shopping in Turkey much cheaper than Britain, if you are prepRed to cook yourself from scratch. The patlangic Saturday fruit market….heaven! A kilo of tomatoes for 30p….kilo of chicken fillet for £3…24 eggs for £3…..to name but a few of my purchases last week. And Bim for soft drinks, Tespo for shampoos and toiletries….I do find it all far cheaper than uk. Council tax….a fraction of the uk….I think ithe cost of living in turkey versus uk probably evens itself out somewhere along the way. But I do feel for those who have to work for small wages, such long hours in such heat. But then the same asin uk…some will earn a fortune, others a pittance….I could probably write a list as long as my arm on the worst things about living in Britain !! But is the grass always greener? I don’t know. Well done to you for sticking it out…I’m sure the positives make it worthwhile.

    • Yes I do agree with you, it is cheaper than the UK but minimum wage here is 3x less than the UK, so Im not sure that cost of living is really cheaper once you consider that, of course expats living here off pensions etc will have a far better lifestyle here than the UK though, for the same amount of money (:
      Oh there’s a million reasons I dont want to go to the UK too lol, grass is always greener yes though 🙂 xx

  8. I’m really enjoying reading your blog Danni,your experiences are very much the same as mine and I love your style of writing too. The one thing I would add to the downside is the cost of fuel,both for the home and for the car. I believe its the second highest worldwide which always surprises friend in the UK as they imagine any Asian country to have cheap fuel. Still totally in love with the place though even with all its faults,they’re nothing compared to the faults in Britain.x

  9. I can agree with everything you say Danni. You are really spot on. It is not easy to live in Turkey and the cost of living has skyrocketed. I wish my electric bills were so cheap. Normally in winter I pay around 350-450 liras per month. I don`t use electric heating either, but I do use my tumbledrier. A lot of ex pats here in Kusadasi say they only pay around 150 liras per month and have aircon on all the time and yet others are paying around the same as me or even more.
    I think it is a wee bit cheaper in villages (Linda, I think you will be able to correct me if I am wrong).
    I find winter here really difficult because I absolutely hate the cold. Even though I do have double glazing, I still often find my windows running with condensation. I also have central heating, but don`t use it much because of the cost of running it. I think most Turks tend to live in one room during winter, perhaps this winter Charlotte and I will do the same. It always feels much colder here than the UK, it penetrates the bones. I tend to go to be early because it is the only place I feel really warm, I use an electric blanket and could not be without it.
    With regard to the lady whose partner earns over 3,000 liras per month (I hope I am right about this!!!), this is very unusual in the tourists areas of
    Turkey. I only know one person who earns in excess of this and he works in Urgup and sells lots of carpets.

    • Oh my goodness, 350tl a month?! That’s how much our rent is! :O Ours has never been more than 50 and thats in the summer with the fan on all day, in winter it is normally 28-30tl. We dont have a tv, oven or many electrical things though, we use it for the washing machine twice a week, lights, laptop charger and internet modem.. oh and fridge of course!
      I don’t mind the cold, it’s the rain that bothers me. x

  10. I really enjoyed reading both the worst and the best things and agree with you completely. When I used to come on extended holidays, I used to marvel how cheap chicken, veggies, eggs etc were, but after a few years surviving on a tourism based wage, I am just thankful that they are still affordable, who would ever have thought a can of beans or tuna would be luxury items eh? Those lucky girls who have their retired expat parents living here too have it made…imagine living somewhere this beautiful, albeit a bit scary in many ways but having the support and comfort of your family close by.

  11. I’ve been meaning to comment on this post for days! Loved your list of great things, but am so saddened by this list because I see it getting worse before it – I hope! – gets better.
    My grandparents bought a house in a lovely, empty part of Kusadasi back in the 1960s and my entire life has been spent watching the neighbourhood fall to ruin around our place 😦
    There’s no planning, no forward thinking, no beautification, no village improvement societies…
    Visited Dover last year and besides the castle, the town was rather depressing, due to mismanaged building too near the sea and lack of jobs – but still not half as mixed up and messy as parts of Kusadasi!
    It’s such a shame, really, when the Turkish countryside is so lovely and the fruits and vegetables and all so abundant…
    If they’d upgrade the electrical grids then it might not be so hard to heat a home in winter! Sometimes I forget, living in Canada, how easy it is to get electricity when you have 1000 lakes and rivers powering your hydro-electricity – so much harder in places like in England and Turkey that have to rely on coal or a few dams, or even (eep!) nuclear power.
    But oh I miss those 30 degree sunny days!
    Thinking about the animal cruelty is just too depressing.
    But hey – on the language front – the time that my husband and I lived there year-round, he was teaching English at a few schools. It was a great way to meet people and make friends – both Turkish and expats. The best part was that not every school required a TOEFL certificate and they paid in cash!

    • Hey Denizb, I read your comment about Turkey and how they have pretty much ruined the once beautiful city that you family had. Have you ever been to the Turkish Side of Cyprus. Its basically the same as Turkey but what really struck me was the HUGE Cement Walls that they erected to Block you from walking or seeing the Sea. They Destroy the entire beautiful coastline…. That really made me feel bad. and its not in just one place. They love pouring that Concrete and cement all over the Natural Coastline. So much for the Natural Beauty that a lot of us Canadians enjoy.

      • Oh, it’s so frustrating when they do stuff like that! They did similar things in Kusadasi – when I was a kid, there was a lovely grass verge leading to the beach. Then they paved it all and made designated stairs going down at spots that they (who? the current belediye, I guess) decided on. No logical plan or any attempt at making it more beautiful, never mind keeping the natural landscape intact. The worst is that my mom remembers them dynamiting some of the offshore rocks when they were building hotels along one side. Argh! I get upset just thinking of it.

  12. Our electric bill is never under 185 lira but that’s for 4 of us (was slightly higher when son no.1 livedat home full-time. I remember the 1st year of being married only living on hubby’s wage and livong on a bare.minimum during the winter. I don’t find it cheap to live here anymore. Other than fruit & veg most things are on par with the UK….deodorant is extortionate lol!
    I found your comment about banks only being open a few hpurs a day strange as here in Kusadasi banks arw open til 5pm. Is it not the same in Ferhiye?

  13. Hi,
    To all im a new blogger and im considering buying an apartment to wish to use now as a holiday home, but ultimetly to retire to. All ive read is troubling me, i had no ideas that the winters were so cold and fuel so expensive. Ohh dear are there any parts of Turkey consistently warm ?? Urgent help please !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xx

    • Oh don’t let me put you off, there are plenty of good things too! 🙂 Erm, Antalya is slightly warmer but still cold at night and wet. Dont get me wrong, Its not unsual to have sunny days of 15-20 degrees in fethiye during the winter, but nights are ridiculous xx

  14. Carol X, we live in a large apartment which isnt really cold in the winter as we have upstairs and downstairs neighbours all year round. Klima is enough to warm the rooms but I also have an electric blanket n the bed wthat I put on for half an hour.

  15. “as long as we’re here we will never be able to move forward, never be able to save, marry, have kids.”
    I don’t understand this at all. What prevents you?

  16. I can relate with you on so many levels. My situation is kinda different than yours though. I’m a Canadian and I’m living in Erzurum in the Eastern part of Turkey. Yes I traded 1 cold place for another cold place. What was I thinking….. 🙂 Basically Erzurum sounds a lot like the rest of Turkey. Insulation here is called Styrofoam. Every house is built with Styrofoam and Cement with no Sound proofing. So you’ll always hear your neighbours. I’d say my biggest complaint about living here is how its slowly becoming more and more islamic. Freedoms are being removed one by one and its difficult to live here and be a part of that. I also don’t speak much Turkish so I can relate to feeling isolated. I have to ask, if your from the UK and you don’t like it in Turkey why don’t you move back to the UK? Me and my wife are moving back to Canada in Jan. 2015. So for all the negatives at least I know we will be moving back to Canada. Oh – Here’s another thing that I think could be added to your list. – The Lack of anything Imported. If you find something imported there is only 1 kind. I’ll give you an example, Limes. Limes in Turkey cost something like 4Lira per lime because they have to import them. 5 Star hotels put Lemon in their Mohitos. because Limes are to expense. Or Imported Beers. Everything is Efes. There’s no options. Only Turkish Cigars….. Have you ever had a Turkish Cigar? My god they are terrible. 🙂 – Anyways, enjoy Turkey for now, but eventually if your still unhappy you should consider moving back to the UK and just visit Turkey 🙂

      • Well my wife is Turkish, She is currently working at the University here is Erzurum. She wants to get a job in Canada, but its not that simple. She has to work here for 1 more year then we can go back to Canada for 5 years and not lose her job the University. While we are there is time hopefully she can get a job in her field. – But in the meantime for me living in Erzurum is not all bad because I have time to build my freelance business. The Cost of living here is nothing compared to Canada so its really like a breathe of fresh air. Very Stress free living at the moment. But at the same time when you have extra money there is nothing to do or spend your money on 🙂 haha

  17. I am originally from California, but I have been living in the Middle East. I was entertaining the idea of moving to Turkey one day, but the more I read experiences like this one it seems like just another copy of what is happening here! Thanks for the blog!

  18. Great blog. I agree with everything you say on here. I also have my own experiences and based on my experiences there are 2 more things that I would add to this list and they are: 1) lack of hygiene especially in restaurants. For example, giving left overs (bread, pickles, salad) to new customers (something I have witnessed in Izmir a lot), staff smoking or handling money, their mobiles, stroking stray, and then touching food items…etc. I understand that in the UK there are also unhygienic places too but here it’s on a larger scale. Is this something that you have seen or experienced? 2) Once you get to know Turkish people and make friends they can be nice friends. However, on the streets my experience shows me that it’s a different story…constant stares or dirty looks, being knocked into when u are walking, people pushing in front of u in queues. to me there seems to be no common courtesy unless you are friends. I find that most with most people I have come across in Izmir there is the same pattern of rudeness and lack of disregard for other people for example being pushed onto metros violently with no apology etc. Manbe it would be a good idea to do a blog on your honest experience of all aspects of Turkish people without the generalisations. It would be interesting to see if there are similar views.

    • Agree with you about hygiene, yes. Actually, Berkay used to work in a small fish restaurant, he said the boss used to shave and wash in the same sink food was prepared in, disgusting :/

      I havent noticed that really in Fethiye, but can imagine in cities like Izmir it would be like that, much like cities in the UK compared to small villages, I guess! I do find people rude and ignorant when smoking and blowing it right in your face, no awareness or effort to move whatsoever! xx

  19. I agree with everything you have written!!!!!!!!!! I live on my own in a 2 bed apartment on the top floor and although it has double glazing it is freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer – the building is about 20 years old so is considered old – insulation – what’s that? I go to bed with so many layers on and use a UK electric blanket (Turkish ones don’t seem to gt warm).
    Animal welfare – don’t get me started……
    Driving – I use a scooter – and every time I go out on it I experience nearly every hazard you can!! But then I never rode one in the UK and love having my dog on when we go longer distances, but with a fag and a ‘phone?!?
    BUT the WORST thing here is the lack of privacy if you see a doctor!!!!!!!!!! People barging in and out of the room with hardly a knock.
    Also – how loud are Turkish people???????? Especially when they are on the ‘phone!
    But – would I live back in the UK? Absolutely not – I chose to live in Marmaris and that is where I have been for over 4 years – there are SO many things I love about living here. xxx

  20. I don’t live full time in Turkey but spend Spring and Autumn there, a couple of months at a time. I own my own villain Ovacik and yes have had to have thing like the roof lifted and felt put under the tiles to stop the damp have stopped the rising damp so now dry but do agree that most properties are poor in the winter. I live in a Park Home in UK and have had temperatures over the last few years down to -18c …. Now thats cold …. lol …. I am or rather I should say we are retired and find that we manage to live (inc. all utilities, council tax etc.) very comfortably on a state pension. In UK we don’t eat out more than two or three times a month, in Turkey we eat out most of the time … Yes saleries are very poor in Tourism generally but catch 22 …. If saleries are higher, costs go up equates to less tourists. The root of the problem is greed …. Property prices for resteraunters is astronomical, most of those running these places are only interested in what they can pocket and can pick and choose from staff as many come from the interior and will work for very low wages which are still better than where they come from. In fairness the majority are really nice genuine people but like all countries you have your ‘bastards’ who will rip off anyone, Turk or Brit alike. Turish people hate spending money on property that they rent out so getting improvements done is an uphill struggle. There are loads of properties to rent at all price ranges so look around for the property configeration and price that suits. I know of two bedroom mid terrace villa/appts for 350 tlr per month.
    If I had a choice (my wife saysI haven’t … lol) between Turkey or UK, in my position Turkey every time ….

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  22. My wife, who is Turkish, and I will be moving to Kusadasi in June. We will be buying ahouse there and moving all of our belonging from Houston, Texas. We look forward to it, for I lived in Turkey for eight years but that was 22 years ago. We anticipate on having a good life for I do have retirement pensions that is about 8,000 TL per month.

  23. Great read! I know this story is ages old, but I am glad to see the struggles that can arise living in Turkey. I am planning to move to Turkey in the near future. After reading this, I consider myself lucky as I will have my rental income from here in the USA to live over there. My boyfriend will also try to find a job in his city as he has a masters in Engineering. I was a little scared about making over there but after your post…it made me realize that as long as you are with your loved one and happy everything else is secondary.

  24. Hi 🙂 sad to read about those type of exspiriance …
    I thought u might help me with my guestions…
    If I buy property in turkey , is it going to help me get residency permit ? And is it going to be helpful to get work permition ?
    Thank u ! And thank u for ur blog !

    • Hey no it doesn’t really help although its not very difficult to get a residency permit anyway, you need to show healthcare insurance and around 10,000tl in the bank for a years residency permit. Its not too hard 🙂 No, work permits are very hard to get, unless you can prove you’re doing a job a turkish person cannot do, for example, english teaching. etc.

  25. What a lovely post back 2013! It has really helped me to conclude on schooling. but not very much, because am going there next year for my degree. In Nigeria (where i was born), living large is quite high too, including job , most especially quality education. Please can you tell me a little thing about studying in turkey. my school of choice is EUL.

  26. Hi Danni,

    I have just stumbled accross your blog looking for recipes so sorry if my comment comes late, however, if you were interested in working in Turkey I’m sure you would be able to find work as Guest Relations in a hotel. I live in Antalya and have worked as Guest Relations for the last 4 years. It’s a very easy job if you can get along with people and you’ll find most hotels would be willing to snap you up as you are a British national. The fact you don’t speak Turkish (perhaps you do now) doesn’t always matter as the hotel would be more interested in you keeping the guests happy with your advice and being able to speak to guests in their own language always looks great for the hotel. I have a number friends who work in hotels and have very minimal Turkish. All you’d need to do would be to email a few hotels explaining who you are and that you’d be looking for a positon and you will get many replys, always works for me 🙂 And if you were to find a job you’ll find your Turkish will improve greatly, as has mine compared to when I first settled here!

    Again, sorry if this comes late, and your blog is great I can relate to everything 🙂 Do get in touch if you’d like to 🙂

    From a fellow English girl living in Turkey xx

    • Hi thanks for the comment, do you have a work permit? I find a lot of hotels say you can work there but very few of them actually go through the process of the work permit and letting you work legally. where abouts do you live? 🙂 x

      • Hi Danni,

        You’re right on that one yes! Some hotels can be, shall we say ‘slow’ on getting things done 🙂 I have a work permit yes, I always find if I do most of the organising myself and push the right person enough times I can get the hotel to cooperate.

        I live in Side, Antalya now but we used to live in Lara, a bit further down the coast.

        I’ve seen your recent post, good luck with all of that, i know how very hard it is!


    • imo this blog topic ought to be deleted. The only positive I think that could be obtained from it is sharing a common hardship. Other than that, it only seems to encourage people to focus on the negative.

      • This appears as a response to jil – sorry jil. It was mean for the entire blog. Not your *positive* post. 🙂

      • I got that 🙂 And I think we’ve all experienced the same thing. The point is: how will discussing these issues *benefit* people? (Which is something that the other post does 🙂

      • I have to say that I think Danni was completely right to post this one. I can see that this article was not intended to put people off Turkey, but just to express the fact that life has issues everywhere you live. I can see from the whole blog that Danni spends her most of her time in real Turkey, which is where I do. Most ex pats live like tourists here and will never experience these bad points. I thought it was great! As a fellow English girl living in Turkey it was really nice to read as it’s something I can relate to. It’s nice to feel that someone is going through the same things I am and experiencing the same feelings. Sometimes you can feel completely lost out here as a non Muslim, particularly being female and not Turkish; it isn’t always easy to make friends with people who are from your own culture. I absolutely love living here and love my Turkish friends and family but at the end of the day I have grown up very differently. The internet is great way to feel that you aren’t alone. Great post Danni and keep up the great work!

  27. I’m Turkish (but I’ve lived much of my life in the US) and I can agree to quite a few things…..

    Not sure what you mean by the weather situation unless you lived in older, more traditional houses. Most appartments and newer residences have good indoor heating (kalörifer systems) and most Turks often try to make their homes as warm as possible in the winter months (often too warm!).

    Electricity, water, and plumbing are issues. We had several water cuts in my area in Izmir and the electricity went out at least a few times in the year. It is frustrating dealing with this as it rarely happened in the States.

    Turkish is a hard language because it doesn’t share alot of similarities to many Western languages coming from an entirely different family of languages. Also, Turks often have trouble speaking English because of its drastic differences.

    Turks are not too health and safety conscious I agree. Many have an exaggerated sense that they are somehow not vulnerable to common safety concerns because they are “Turkish”. Never I understood this myself and have always found it retarded. The smoking thing is just part of the issue as are eating habits such as excessively fatty, overly burnt meat dishes (kebaps, doners), too many cured meats, and a diet of too many syrupy sweets (baklavas, etc…).

    Because they are often impatient and quick tempered, most Turks drive like idiots. Its a mentality thing. Everyone inherently believes the road belongs to them as they inherently believe that many things in the country belong to them. That’s why people fight and get into stupid arguments out here. No one respect other people’s views and do not have too much capacity to do so either. This is amongst the most frustrating aspects of living in Turkey.

    Litter is still a huge issue that is only gotten slightly better over the years. The country still hasn’t developed efficient means of getting rid of waste and often times public disposal bins don’t exist in many areas where they should. Even when do exist, people still manage to trash the place. The
    rise in consumerism in Turkey in the 2000s has made the litter problem somewhat worse again with people throwing so much plastic everywhere.

    The animal cruelty thing is getting somewhat better. I see now a days more people really trying to take care of street animals. However, the country lacks a functional humane society and hence the stray animals. This lack of such an organization is just one of the many things Turkish people seem to be apathetic towards. No one wants to create anything if its not going to monetary gain for them – at least that’s the mentality.

    Getting simple issues taking care of here is a pain because of all the bureaucracy. Just one of the issues of underdeveloped countries I guess. I think there are similarities here to many other developing countries.

    I’m currently working here and yes the meager salaries suck added on to the fact that Turkish currency is volatile and frequently looses value over time. This yet another aspect of how little value is given to human labor out here. That’s why people are often reluctant to work for an employer (especially if its someone they don’t know) and a great deal of mistrust exists between employers and employees. Many people end up doing their own self businesses, but that’s also often difficult with everyone else trying to do the very same thing.

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