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Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide

June 18, 2021
Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, is the only city of its kind that rests in the middle of two continents. Because it is the seat of power of the country, many are still confused as to which continent they consider Turkey to be in. Though it's practically universally accepted that Turkey is an Asian country, a lot still consider it as a European nation, particularly because of Istanbul. Regardless of that, the Turkish capital remains an influential city, not just on both continents, but around the world. That's why more and more people are moving here. If you're one of them, hopefully, this relocation guide can be of help!

Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide


Overview

Since Istanbul is the capital city of Turkey, it's to be expected that it's among the most populous in the country as well. As of 2021, there are around 15,415,000 residents living in the Turkish capital, a 1.48% increase from 2020. Because Turkey is located in the Mediterranean, expect the climate here to be warm and sunny, at times, even during winter. The hottest time of the year in Istanbul is often in July, with an average temperature of 23.5°C (74°F). On the other hand, the coldest month here is February, with an average temperature of 5.5°C (42°F).
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Getting Around

In terms of public transport, there are a ton of ways in which you can get around and reach your destination here in Istanbul. There's the subway system, the trams, and even the ferries too. For your convenience, you're better off getting 'Istanbul Kart,' (Istanbul Card), a travel pass that helps make paying for public transport easier and quicker. All you have to do is purchase it (it only costs ₺10.00 each) and deposit cash in it from time to time to help pay for your rides. Moreover, another great way to get around here is to use a transportation app.
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Where to Live

As the capital city that sits on two different continents, you probably already know that Istanbul is a pretty diverse metropolis, right? It's made up of various neighborhoods, each more different than the next. So when you plan to relocate here, you have to be wise in choosing which district you'll move to. Take into consideration everything, from where your workplace is in the city to the type of lifestyle you live. If you're relocating here with your family, you need to think about them as well! Nevertheless, there are some areas, like Besiktas, Cihangir, and Galata, to name a few, that are great for everybody, regardless of how you live.
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Real Estate

It's easy to think that, since Istanbul is a capital city, it's bound to be expensive here, right? Well, it depends. For a standard lifestyle here, it's safe to say that Istanbul is more or less affordable. Just take a look at the living costs here, especially the common rental fees. For the most part, the renting a luxury home costs around ₺1,000.00 to ₺7,000.00 a month. At first glance, they do seem like high prices. But when you take into account the fact that the average salary in Turkey is around ₺1,980.00 to ₺35,000.00 a month, they don't seem that expensive anymore.
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Employment

So, as already mentioned, the average salary in Turkey ranges from ₺1,980.00 to ₺35,000.00 a month. This also goes to show that the country's job market is doing pretty alright for now. However, the truth of the matter is it can and should get better. This is because, as of 2021, Turkey's unemployment rate is 13.4%, one of the highest in the world. It's also the highest it's been in a long time. But not to worry! Despite all that, there are still a ton of sectors that help stabilize Turkey's economy, including tourism, healthcare, manufacturing, and the like. All you really need to do is to find the job that best suits you!
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Education

Planning on relocating here with your kids? You have nothing to worry about! In terms of your little ones continuing their studies, Istanbul's international schools will surely offer high-quality education and provide the right space for them to learn, develop and grow. Some of them are even known to help kids eventually get into the top universities and colleges around the world. The likes of Istanbul International School and MEF International School Istanbul are all renowned for their excellent curriculums, top-notch academic programs, as well as providing ample opportunity for extracurricular activities. Your kids will be well taken care of here!
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Healthcare

Of course, another major concern for you would be healthcare, right? Well, firstly, you ought to know that Turkey's healthcare operates on a universal system. This means that the moment you become a legal resident of the country, you'll be eligible to get public health coverage. Whether you go with that or you get a private insurance plan instead, both will help minimize your medical costs. This will be very important the moment you get treated in any of Istanbul's finest hospitals. The likes of Medical Park Hospital and Kolan International Hospital can get rather expensive as they are some of the best of the best in Turkey.
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Safety

Now, let's talk about your safety in Istanbul. Based on the crime rates here, Istanbul is far from the safest city in the country. It's not exactly surprising considering that most capital cities around the world tend to have moderate-to-high general crime rates. For now, Istanbul's general crime rate is 51.46%, right smack in the middle of the scale. Meanwhile, the safety rates of walking around Istanbul are 70.85% during the day and 40.93% at night. Literally 'night and day,' you're better off exploring the city from the morning to the afternoon as it gets pretty dangerous come nightfall.
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Dickelbers


Taxes

Turkey's tax system should be one of the first things you study when you plan to relocate here. Though it may share some similarities to how other countries do their taxes, there are still some parts that they do that are unique from all the others. What the system does have in common with other nations is that your income tax rate depends on how much you earn in a year. When it comes to corporate tax rates, however, the rate is a flat 20% since 2020. As for the VAT, it's a flat 18% for most goods and services.
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Relocation Tips

You'd do well in 'localizing yourself' when you move to Istanbul. What does this mean, exactly? Firstly, learn Turkish! There are a ton of great language schools in Istanbul that can help you with that! Destroy the language barrier as much as you can so you can live a lot easier here. Secondly, set up your own local bank account to help you manage your finances better, especially your Turkish liras. And finally, join a local mobile network. This will help you stay connected and keep in contact with people, both here and abroad.
Moving to Istanbul: Your Relocation Guide
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Have plans on moving to Istanbul? It's definitely not gonna be easy. The Turkish capital is one of the busiest and most important cities in the world. Starting a new life here is barely a 'walk in the park.' However, this relocation guide can make it a little bit easier for you!




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