Turkey - Lifestyle and Things to do

Turkey in Short

A move to Turkey may be triggered by a desire for a change in lifestyle: a long awaited opportunity to change pace, improve the quality of life, spend more time with loved ones, or explore new ventures.

A big draw to the lifestyle is the relatively low cost of living. For example, fresh produce is high quality and good value for money, while dining out is extremely reasonable.

Some parts of Turkey enjoy a pleasant climate for most of the year and the country's varied geography, with over 8,000 km of coastline and mountain ranges further inland, allows for an array of recreational outdoor activities. The culture is a rich blend of European, middle Eastern and Asian influences steeped in centuries of history, and the cities offer all manner of diversions from art exhibits and world-famous architecture to a vast array of nightlife options.


ABOUT TURKEY – OVERVIEW

Turkey, country that occupies a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe. Throughout its history it has acted as both a barrier and a bridge between the two continents.

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeastern Europe. East Thrace, the part of Turkey in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus and the Dardanelles (collectively called the Turkish Straits). Istanbul, which straddles Europe and Asia, is the largest city in the country while Ankara is the capital. Turkey is bordered on its northwest by Greece and Bulgaria; north by the Black Sea; northeast by Georgia; east by Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran; southeast by Iraq and Syria; south by the Mediterranean Sea; and west by the Aegean Sea. Approximately 70 to 80% of the country's citizens identify as Turkish, while Kurds are the largest minority at anywhere from 15 to 20% of the population.

Turkey has seven regions: the Aegean, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Marmara, central Anatolian, eastern Anatolian, and south-eastern Anatolian. Records show that overseas home buyers rarely purchase property in the South-eastern, central and east Anatolian regions. As landlocked areas, foreigners who want to buy a property generally gravitate towards coastal destinations instead. Those areas are also culturally different and the housing market is far behind in terms of architecture, modern and new builds.

Instead three regions, in particular, stand out as the most popular.

Marmara: Rocking in at first place, the Marmara region is a significant player in its camp, namely Turkey’s most prominent and busiest city: Istanbul. As the centre of tourism, education, business, trade, economy, and health, investors are easily attracted.

Mediterranean: As the second most popular region for foreign house buyers, the Mediterranean coastline includes a splattering of towns, villages and cities that appeal to overseas buyers of many nationalities. The Antalya district garners fame as the most popular thanks to its large city centre and smaller coastal resorts like Belek that is Turkey’s golfing capital.

Aegean: Heading around to Turkey’s western coast, the Aegean is another favourite destination for European buyers with many purchasing holiday apartments and villas on the Bodrum peninsula. It’s easy to understand its appeal since, for decades, its hedonistic reputation has attracted carefree spirits from all over Turkey and the world.

Bodrum town centre offers upmarket homes for sale, but in recent years, its popularity as a luxury destination slipped to second place as Yalikavak overtook as the place to be seen and heard. Other favourite destinations in Bodrum include Gumbet, Golturkbuku, Torba, Bitez, Gumusluk and Gundogan.

Brits also dominate the house buying scene in Altinkum, a small Aegean coastal resort offering low prices per square meter. Otherwise, as people look to distance themselves from Istanbul, Izmir’s popularity is growing. The area includes Turkey’s third largest city but also smaller coastal resorts like windsurfing Alacati, and quaint Foca.


CLIMATE

Although Turkey is situated in a geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate, the diverse nature of the landscape, and the existence in particular of the mountains that run parallel to the coasts, result in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal regions enjoy milder climates, the inland Anatolia plateau experiences hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall.

Turkey is a year-round destination depending on your itinerary. Although the tourist "high season" (with associated higher rates) is from mid-June through mid-September, Spring and Fall are the best seasons to travel. The sun is warm and skies are generally clear. You can expect mild to warm temperatures and some rain during this time.


HOTELS

A rich mix of vibrant city life and laid back beach life, Turkey has something for everyone. And you’ll be pleased to hear that there are more than 3,000 Turkey hotels and apartments to pick from, which means you’ll never be stuck for a place to stay. There is so much to see and do in Turkey (if you’re feeling active) and it has some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the world, which is why it has been such a popular place for groups, couples and families alike, for so many years.

As Turkey has grown in popularity as a tourism destination, so the quality of the country’s hotels has improved. Much of Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coastline is dotted with mega-resorts, but there are also a growing number of independent boutique hotels, charming guesthouses, and private villas available to hire.


BEACHES

With the splendid Aegean and Mediterranean seas lapping the west and southwest coasts, Turkey doesn’t lack for beautiful beaches. With luscious coasts tucked between towering cliffs, quiet coves in the shadow of ancient ruins, and seaside breezes ideal for windsurfing, it’s not hard to find a beach in Turkey that perfectly suits your taste. So here are some of them:

  1. Kaputaş Beach:
    Tucked between two dramatic cliffs off the road between Kalkan and Kaş, Kaputaş Beach feels like stepping inside a photograph. With turquoise Mediterranean water, this beach is small but very popular, thanks to its convenient location near a major road. Because the beach is situated at the bottom of deep cliffs (hence lots of stairs going down), the noise from the road is a distant memory as you wade in the water.
  2. Butterfly Valley:
    Only accessible by boat or a treacherous climb down a cliff, the beach at the Butterfly Valley is situated in the bottom of a wide valley beneath the village of Faralya. Clear turquoise waters and lush nature attract a laid-back crowd. The valley is a protected nature area, in order to preserve the natural habitat of the valley’s eponymous butterflies, but boat tours depart daily from the port in Ölüdeniz, including a stop at the beach, or there’s a regular taxi boat service. Tour operators will also pick you up from any Fethiye hotel.
  3. Olympos:
    Perfect for laid-back travelers who want to stay in a tucked-away, rustic treehouse, the beach at Olympos is relaxed and lovely. The cove contains calm water, and the sandy beach gives way to sprawling ruins nestled in dense forests. Olympos is located on the Lycian Way, so there is ample hiking in the area for those who want to do some more extensive exploring.
  4. Patara Beach:
    Patara’s beach is the longest stretch of sand in Turkey, and one of the few for which you need to buy an admission ticket (5 TL – 0,5 GBP). This is because the beach abuts extensive Lycian ruins, which together make up a well-preserved open-air museum. Patara is one of the nesting grounds for the Caretta Caretta turtles, which are protected, so beachgoers are asked to plant umbrellas no closer than 20 yards from the waterline to protect nests.
  5. Ölüdeniz:
    This beautiful village is just a short ride outside the city of Fethiye is one of Turkey’s most iconic beaches. The long bend of sandy white beach against azure waters has been deemed the blue lagoon, which actually refers to the lagoon that’s mostly enclosed by the sandbar at the northern tip of the beach (it’s part of Ölüdeniz Natural Park). The long, beautiful shore and the near-constant winds have made Ölüdeniz a popular destination for both vacationers and paragliders, who take in the views of the beach from above.

FLORA AND FAUNA OF TURKEY

Turkey is a place with splendid beauty, has excellent flora and fauna. The geographical location of Turkey along with its favorable climate has made Turkey very rich about flora and fauna.

The rich Turkish flora includes more than 9.000 varieties of plants. About 3.000 of them are endemic to Turkey and grow in nature nowhere else in the world. Turkey is the only country in the world under the influence of 3 botanical geographical regions. Also famous bioclimatists concurred that Turkey is the only country in the world subject to three main climates. Turkey is the center of origin for more that 30 species of fruits, and also a centre for world's most important plant genetic sources especially for grains and legumes.

Turkey's fauna is so rich, different types of animals, beautiful birds, fish. 40.000 animal species found in Turkey are estimated to be over 80% of the ones found in the whole continent of Europe. The diversity of fauna in Turkey is even greater than that of wild plants. While the number of species throughout Europe as a whole is around 60.000, in Turkey they number over 80.000. If subspecies are also counted, then this number rises to over a hundred thousand.

Turkey is one of the most important bird migration routes in the world. The total number of migratory and local bird species are 456 in Turkey. Besides the diversity of species, Turkey is also an important habitat for breeding birds like, northern bald ibis, white headed duck, blue cheeked bee eater, spur winged plover and black francolin that are under the threat of extinction. Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean shores provide a refuge for Mediterranean monk seals and Caretta Caretta turtles. Today, the mountains and national parks still abound with wildlife, such as brown bears, wild boar, lynx, wolves, mountain goats, water buffalo, the occasional leopard and over 400 species of birds, several of them endangered.


SPORTS

Turkey is one of the rare countries in the world which has an article related to sports in her Constitution. Article 59 of the Constitution says, "The State takes measures to develop the physical and mental health of Turkish citizens of all ages and encourages the spread of sports among the masses. The State protects successful athletes." In recent years, with investments made in the field of sports, scientific research and the increase in importance placed by the State on sports policy, sports in Turkey became a well-liked and interesting event both as a performance sport and for the utilization of free time.

Although soccer is the most popular sport in Turkey, basketball, volleyball, handball, track-and-field and wrestling (which is considered as the ancestral sport) are also popular. Furthermore, important international successes have been attained in weightlifting, boxing, taekwon-do, judo and archery in recent years.


RESTAURANTS AND TRADITIONAL CUISINE

It is said that there are three major kinds of cuisines in the world; Turkish, Chinese, and French. Fully justifying its reputation, Turkish Cuisine is always a pleasant surprise for the visitor. In addition to being the refined product of centuries of experience, Turkish Cuisine has a very pure quality. The variety and simplicity of the recipes and the quality of the ingredients are guarantees of delicious meals.

Kebabs are dishes of plain or marinated meat either stewed or grilled. Almost every district of Anatolia has its own kebap specialty. Lamb is the basic meat of Turkish kitchen. Pieces of lamb threaded on a skewer and grilled over charcoal form the famous Shish kebab known in many countries of the world. Doner kebab is another famous Turkish dish, being a roll of lamb on a vertical skewer turning parallel to a hot grill. You should also try different types of Köfte as typical meat dishes.

Turkish sweets are famous throughout the world and many of these have milk as the basic ingredient such as Sütlaç, Tavuk gögsü, Helva, Kazandibi, Asure. Meanwhile the best-known Turkish dessert is Baklava.

Among the national drinks one can easily name the Turkish coffee and the Turkish tea, but also ayran, shira, salgam, sahlep and boza should be mentioned as well. Turkish coffee comes thick and dark in a small cup and may be served without sugar, with a little sugar or with a lot of sugar. Either way, it is truly delicious. If you like alcohol you can try Raki made of anise, which is called as "lion's drink" because you must be strong as a "lion" to drink it.

Mezes are "Hors d'oeuvres" or appetizers figuring mainly at meals accompanied by wine or raki . Eaten sparingly, they arouse the appetite before the meal proper. Examples of meze include gozleme, fried aubergines with yogurt, lakerda (bonito pre-served in brine), pastirma (pressed beef), kisir, fish croquettes, and lambs' brains with plenty of lemon juice. At many restaurants a selection of mezes is brought to the table on a tray immediately after the drinks are served for the customers to make their choice.


LOCAL PRODUCE

Agriculture is still the occupation of the majority of Turkish people, despite the share of industry and services are raising constantly. Turkey is one of the few self-sufficient countries in the world in terms of food. Turkey's fertile soil, adequate climate, and abundant rainfall permit growing almost any kinds of crops.

In terms of agricultural lands, Turkey is also one of the largest countries in the world. About 35.5% of the country are arable lands and 15% consists of forests. Around 18.4% of the cultivated land is irrigated. Vegetable products account for 76% of total agricultural production, then animal husbandry, meanwhile forestry and fishing contribute a minimal amount. Fruits and field crops make up the most of vegetable products, wheat being the leading crop. Turkey is the world's biggest producer of hazelnuts, figs, apricots and raisins, the 4th biggest producer of fresh vegetables and grapes, the 6th biggest producer of tobacco, the 8th biggest producer of wheat, and the 10th biggest producer of cotton. Tea is also large produced and exported.


NIGHTLIFE

If you're looking for a party during your time in Turkey, you most certainly will not be disappointed. The largest three regions for clubs and bars are Istanbul, Bodrum Resort and Marmaris (in Dalaman). Anyone looking to dance and drink the night away will absolutely love these clubbing havens; people from all over the world converge on these regions because of the famed nightlife, and you could be one of them this year!

Istanbul - Beyoglu Nightlife

The Beyoglu district of Istanbul is widely known as the club and bar central of the city, located across the river from the old city, near the modern region of Taksim. Beyoglu has fantastic transport links to the rest of the city and many of the clubs have fantastic views of the river and the rest of the city. Although there are bars scattered around Istanbul, Beyoglu is where the largest and most popular are clustered. Because Istanbul is such a large city, the alcohol and entrance fees will understandably be a little higher than elsewhere in the country, but if you know where and when to go, it will definitely worth it.

If you're looking for a diverse nightlife with a range of clubs offering a variety of music types and performances from DJ's to live bands and everything in between and a night you will never forget, Istanbul is the place to be.

Bodrum Nightlife

Anyone who has partied in Bodrum, or plans to go will think of one place - the Halikarnas Disco. It is Europe's biggest open air club and has one of the most historically beautiful settings in the area. The clubs and bars of Bodrum are all along a one mile stretch that runs parallel to the coast, with such a wide range of entertainment and music types that no one with a desire to dance through the night could ever get bored. Second only to Istanbul, Bodrum has an outstanding nightlife and should definitely be on your list of places to visit!

Marmaris Nightlife

If you're in Dalaman or more specifically Marmaris, and want to drink, dance and laugh the night away you're most certainly in the right place. With a stretch of bars and night clubs that almost rivals Bodrum, Marmaris is full of the best places to spend the night (and the following morning) partying. The nightclubs are fairly classic fun with an abundance of foam parties, podium dancers and cheap drinks, but that's part of the charm of a place like this. Marmaris might not be Istanbul, but you most certainly won't ever be bored in such a lively and active place.


FESTIVALS

To have a great time don’t miss out on the famous festivals in the big cities across Turkey, where in every area and every season of the year you can come across a festival, and you can color your holidays with different cultural activities. Especially during the summer and spring months, the emphasis is on metropolises and holiday resorts, where most festivals are organized. Nevertheless, even in the smallest part of Anatolian communities, local festivals are organized, and play an important role in promoting cultural traditions, local cuisine and agriculture products. Big festivals, on the other hand, usually draw big crowds of both locals and tourists. Depending on your holiday choice, you can attend these festivals and add a different sort of entertainment to your holiday experience.

Festivals that take place in Istanbul, with the emphasis on the classical music is the Istanbul Music Festival are jazz, blues and rock genres offer are on Istanbul Opera Festival and Istanbul Dance Festival, in the spring and summer months. Furthermore, attractive for younger generation is the Rock’n Coke Festival and Fanta Youth Festival. For those interested in shopping, in the month of June Istanbul Shopping Festival. For those following modern art, the İstanbul Biennale is held twice a year. For enthusiasts of independent cinema, in February the Independent Film Festival is held.

If you are spending your holiday in Mediterranean’s most beautiful city, Antalya, you have to visit Aspendos International Opera and attend the Ballet Festival organized every summer in an antique Roman amphitheater. The festival, among a historical ruins, presents visitors with extraordinary opera and ballet performances from the world’s most famous countries. Organized since 1964, Antalya International Portakal Film Festival, is internationally a well respected film festival and is recognized as an important international film competition bestowing Altin Portakal awards for superior film performances.


HONEYMOON

A huge wealth of historical sights, complemented by natural landscapes with sweeping highlands and pristine stretches of coastline, Turkey is a honeymooners’s paradise. Not just owing to the picture perfect locales, but the entire package, including the delectable food and the offbeat activities one can indulge in here. Let’s get a glimpse of how this country that stretches across two continents can make for a perfect backdrop for your honeymoon:

  1. Cappadocia: Cappadocia is one of those places that grows on you with every passing moment. An unruly, volcanic landscape to match your own racing hearts, Cappadocia leaves you enthralled, sure to cause a sensation on your honeymoon. Cappadocia is naturally blessed with caves, some of which have been transformed into unique hotel experiences. For a romantic honeymoon you can book a cave hotel for beautiful mornings in your sprawling cove, lazy afternoons at the spa, and evenings by the pool for a quiet, romantic cuddle. Make a Hot-Air-Balloon tour booking one that also includes a hotel pick-up and drop. You’ll witness not just the picturesque landscapes, but also an incredible view of balloons of various colors sprinkled across the skyline. The experience trickles down even after landing, with a bottle of champagne waiting to be popped.
  2. Pamukkale: Heard of the Hammam right? The traditional Turkish Spa-Bath in a heated marble-floored room is literally the star of Turkey. Now imagine the same in a natural spa, set in terraced hot-pools! Pamukkale, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, is Turkey’s very own backyard-spa. Dipping your feet in warm water, or lazing in abandon with the love of your life is what you’re going to take away from here. The best time to visit would surely be early morning before tourists start pouring in. Rich in minerals, these naturally occurring hot-water pools look like cascades of waterfalls. A picturesque sight, these cliff-like formations are white-water travertine pooled terraces, making them a site for many a romance flicks to be shot.
  3. Fethiye: All you thrill seekers can look to head to Fethiye for your honeymoon. It’s a nice mix of chilled beach scenes and magnificent mountains. This is a great chance to tick parasailing off your bucket list, as you get to zip and zoom across the Badabag mountains! Spot the Blue Lagoon near Oludeniz village on your trip to Fethiye that sits pretty on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. There’s more. The Gulf of Fethiye boasts of incredibly clear waters and happens to be a great site for underwater diving. Book a couples’ dive and enjoy this breathtaking experience together. Cruise boats go up and down the gulf, and hailing a private cruiser to profess your love mid-sea is no less of a plan either. Surprise your sweetheart with a day trip to the Greek Island of Rhodes. Fethiye provides entrée to the Rhode islands and a visit can be made in less than two hours aboard a ferry. Rhodes hosts awesome parties, and shaking a leg with your partner would be the perfect way to retire into the night.

HISTORICAL SITES

Renowned for its rich cuisine, warm hospitality, and thriving tourism, Turkey’s unique geography is also a bridge between continents and one of the original sites of human settlement. The landscape encompasses a vast and diverse historical collection, two Wonders of the Ancient World, and 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Read on to discover Turkey’s top ten treasures that have left their unique mark on world history.

  1. Archaeological Site of Troy – Çanakkale
  2. Ephesus – İzmir
  3. Hattusha: The Hittite Capital – Çorum
  4. Mount Nemrut – Adıyaman
  5. Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük – Konya
  6. Bursa: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire
  7. Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia: Nevşehir
  8. St. Nicholas Church, Demre – Antalya
  9. Göbekli Tepe – Şanlıurfa
  10. Hagia Sophia – İstanbul

FOR THE KIDS

Turkey is one of the most popular family friendly destinations in Europe countries with its fantastic services. Kids love Turkey, because there is plenty of fun for all the family. Over 3000 family friendly hotels, hundreds of activities for kids. Destinations that are sunny 300 days of the summer. 463 blue flag beaches and great memories. Over 30 kid friendly museums. Everything you want for a kid friendly holiday is here in Turkey. Let’s discover all the fun and adventure of a family friendly vacation in Turkey.

  1. Eat A Traditional Turkish Breakfast
  2. Take a Tiny Turkish Adventure at Miniaturk
  3. Spend a Fun Day at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
  4. Be Stunned by The Vast Aquariums
  5. Watch a Stunning Dolphin Show at Dolphinariums
  6. Brush Up on Some Adrenaline at Amusement Parks
  7. Get Them To ‘Play an Adult’ at Kidzania
  8. Spend Some Family Time at A Turkish Hammam
  9. Step into The World of Dinosaurs at Jurassic Land
  10. Explore Antique Toys at Toy Museums
  11. Ride a Submarine at Rahmi M Koç Museum
  12. Get a Taste of Turkish Street Food
  13. Take an Art Workshop at Modern Art Museums
  14. Check Out Vintage Cars at Ural Ataman Classic Car Museum
  15. Explore the Under-Bowels of The City at Basilica Cistern
  16. Glimpse the Ottoman Empire at Topkapi Palace
  17. Take the Bosphorus Cruise
  18. Take in The City View from Galata Tower
  19. Ride the Nostalgic Tram
  20. Indulge Their Sweet Tooth

SHOPPING

Turkey is a shopping paradise, from antique shops and chic designer boutiques to shopping malls, historical bazaars to local markets but you need to know some tricks of shopping. Shopping can be a very lively experience for those who have never been in the country before. Ever since the days of the Silk Road, Turkey has been a magnet for merchants purveying in the exotic and wonderful, and those in search of retail therapy. Shopping is a really nice thing to do in your spare time while you are in Turkey. Here are some of the biggest shopping malls in Turkey:

Cevahir Mall in Istanbul: Also known as Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre, it is not only the biggest shopping mall in Istanbul but also the biggest shopping mall in Europe. It is also the 6th biggest shopping mall in the world. Designed in traditional Arabic style, with palm trees inside; the mall is also home to cinemas, delicious food and entertainment.

ANKA Mall in Ankara: This is the second largest shopping mall in Turkey after Cevahir Mall in İstanbul. ANKA Mall hosts over 320 different brands including locally and internationally famous ones and it also offers a movie theatre with 10 halls and kids zone. It's an amazing place in Turkey to take your kids!

Mall of Istanbul: Mall of Istanbul is one of the biggest malls of Turkey and hosts the leading brands in the world attracting hordes of tourists every year. Because of the variety and the extensive numbers f stores it offers, the mall is amongst the most popular one in the country. Come here for some of the best shopping in Turkey.

Terra City in Antalya: Terra City is the most luxurious shopping centre located in Lara, which is the most prestigious area of Antalya city. With its 150 stores and 30 restaurants and cafes, it brings a new style of shopping concept. The shops are mainly high-end designer brands including the likes of Burberry, Hugo Boss, Façonnable, Gizia and more.

Agora Avm in Izmir: Izmir is an innovative and dynamic name of fashion and entertainment. From clothing, accessories, household textiles, cosmetics, to the number of restaurants offering international cuisines, it has become the largest shopping centre in Izmir.


UNIVERSITIES

Turkish people are known for being among the most hospitable in the world. The authentic multicultural life and the striking natural beauty of the country factors into the reasons as to why Turkey is increasingly becoming a popular study destination as well. When considering the large strides the country has made in drawing international students to its universities, it is primarily due to the efforts of the Turkish government, who intend to have around 350,000 students from outside the country.

As of now, Turkey is home to around 206 higher education institutions which provide education for over 8 million students. Additionally, more than ten universities have been consistently ranked among the top 500 universities in the world. Aside from its high quality education, the country is also known for its cheap and relatively effortless living conditions.

Turkey is home to numerous universities that offer very low tuition fees but they do not operate on a tuition fee-free basis. In general, the country is not known for expensive degrees and have several cheap universities in Turkey. If considering an average amount, tuition fees can range from 0600 to over 01500 in particular. As for the cost of living, with the easy conditions of living, students can expect to pay between 0300 to 0400 on a monthly basis.


MEDICAL SECTOR

Turkey is a leading player in the medical tourist/healthcare facilitation industry. It is increasingly emerging as the destination of choice for a wide range of medical procedures. Turkey's advantage in medical tourism is the high number of accredited hospitals in ophthalmic surgeries, bariatric and metabolic surgery, plastic surgery, transplantation and oncologic treatments as well as its affordable prices, high-quality service, and is a leading tourism destination with historical, cultural and natural attractions.

Medical tourism has become a booming sector in Turkey, with 700,000 people visiting the country last year. Many people come to Turkey due to the cost, quality, waiting period and ultimate facilities in the healthcare sector. The Joint Commission International has accredited 32 hospitals in Turkey; mostly located in Istanbul. In 2008, Turkey hosted 75,000 visitors for medical tourism. The figure has increased tenfold in 10 years and the expectation is 850.000 visitors for 2018.

Turkey provides better quality treatment at lower costs when compared to Europe, the U.S. and other western countries. Some surgeries are 90 per cent cheaper than other countries. However, the infrastructure and healthcare facilities offering world-class standards. Also, Turkey combines the best of healthcare with an exceptional holiday.

For example, the cost of angiography is 047,000 in the U.S., 013,000 in Singapore, 011,000 in India and 010,000 in Thailand, while 05,000 in Turkey. Similarly, the cardiac valve surgery is 0150,000 in the U.S. and 017,000 in Turkey. Furthermore, procedure waiting time was a maximum of two weeks excluding transplantation, but this process could reach 18 months in western countries.

Turkey was ranked third in medical tourism by the International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ). The U.S. was the first and South Korea the second in the list, while Thailand was the fourth and Germany fifth. On top of its impressive accreditation credentials, some hospitals have partnerships with top American hospitals such as Harvard Medical Center and Johns Hopkins and are staffed with many highly skilled, English speaking, and western trained doctors. Also, many hospitals offer 5-star accommodations for patients and their families.


LEGAL

Turkey is unusual in that its legislature has only one chamber. This ‘unicameral’ approach means that the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) deals with the entire legislative process. In most countries, there are two chambers – for example, the Senate and House of Representatives in the US or the House of Commons and the House of Lords in the UK.

The Assembly has 550 seats. Members are directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by a proportional representation vote and serve a four-year term. Laws may be proposed by members of the Assembly or by Council of Ministers.

The Council of Ministers is the body that exercises supreme executive authority in Turkey. It is composed of the heads of the major ministries. Ministers are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.


BANKING

Turkey's banking system offers a wide range of advanced and modern banking and financial services. All banks in Turkey are controlled by the Banking Association of Turkey to ensure compliance with regulations and quality standards.

Turkey's official currency is the Turkish Lira (TL), which is divided into 100 kurus (kurush).

All the banks provide websites, Internet banking, telephone banking and ATM banking services in English. There are also a number of foreign banks operating in Turkey such as Citibank, Eurobank Tekfen, Fortis Bank, HSBC, ING Bank. Anybody, Turkish or foreign; resident or not, can open a bank account in Turkey.


GETTING AROUND

Although Turkey is a big country, it is very easy and affordable to travel around the country. You can get around Turkey using the airplanes, public transport, rental cars, intercity bus services, high speed trains, ferryboats and walking routes.

There are many types of taxi, share-taxi and minibus in operation. Taxis are numerous in all Turkish cities and towns and are recognisable by their chequered black and yellow bands. Cycling through Turkey is entirely possible but cyclists are advised to make sure they are prepared for the heat, and ensure bikes are in good condition as the rough roads are frequent, especially in the countryside. There is an extensive bus network around Turkey linking the larger urban centres to smaller villages, and if you're willing to put up with long-distance overland travel, these can be much cheaper than taking domestic flights. Ankara has a four-line metro system; Istanbul's is more extensive but covers mainly the more central areas of the city. The Marmaray tunnel, an underground railway under the Bosphorus rive, connects the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side of the city in just eight minutes.

Finally you can find “dolmuş” everywhere in Turkey. A dolmuş is a collective taxi or minibus which follows specific routes. Each passenger pays according to the distance travelled to specific stops. The fares are fixed by the municipality. The dolmuş provides services within large cities to suburbs, airports and often to neighbouring towns. This is a very practical means of transport and much cheaper than a taxi. Taxis may turn into a dolmuş and vice versa according to demand.


COST OF LIVING

Turkey is the 2nd cheapest country in Middle East (9 out of 10). Cost of living in Turkey is cheaper than in 95% of countries in the World (83 out of 87). Family of four estimated monthly costs: €1,532.

So let’s look at some individual item costs :

Housing :

  • Monthly rent average 85m2 - 423 Euros, utilities (heating, gas, electric) - 73 Euros
  • Monthly rent studio/one bed 45m2 - 182 Euros, utilities 52 Euros
  • Internet 8 mbps monthly - 8 Euros
  • Flat Screen TV 40” - 308 Euros
  • Quality international microwave - 71 Euros

Transport :

  • 1 litre gas (1/4 gallon) - 0.88 Euros
  • Monthly ticket public transport - 24 Euros
  • Volkswagen Golf, standard – 22,589 Euros

Entertainment :

  • Dinner for two in local restaurant incl. wine - 30 Euros
  • Dinner for two in International restaurant - 50 Euros
  • 1 pint of beer - 2.85 Euros
  • 1 month gym membership - 24 Euros
  • Coffee Gloria Jeans – 1,89 Euros
  • 1 pack of Marlboro cigarettes 2.17 Euros

Food :

  • 1 litre milk - 0.62 Euros
  • 12 eggs – 1,5 Euros
  • 1kg tomatoes – 0,66 Euros
  • 500g boneless chicken breast – 1,65 Euros
  • 500g local cheese – 2,53 Euros
  • 1kg apples – 0,65 Euros
  • 1 kg potatoes - 0.50 Euros
  • 0.5 L Beer – 1,51 Euros
  • 1 bottle red wine (quality) - 9 Euros
  • Bread for one day (2 people) - 0.27 Euros

INFRASTRUCTURE

Turkey's developing economy offers lucrative investment opportunities in infrastructure across a wide variety of sectors including transportation, healthcare, and energy. According to the World Bank, Turkey ranks 3rd globally in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, with a total contract value of USD 165 billion from 1990 to 2015. With a successful track record of over 220 PPP implementations across a diversified portfolio of infrastructure assets, Turkey has been able to realize around 80 percent of those projects over the past decade.

Turkey has solid rationales for investment in infrastructure:

The Turkish economy exhibits a robust annual GDP growth rate of 5.5 percent on average. Turkey's 82 million strong population is growing by an additional 1 million every year; this is coupled with a rapid urbanization process that has resulted in more than 20 urban centers with populations over 1 million, and of which 9 of those 20 have populations of over 2 million. Turkey's growing international trade volume and strategic location compel the country to develop its infrastructure.

As a bridge between the East and the West, Turkey leads the Middle Corridor at the heart of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Hosting more than 600,000 foreign patients a year, Turkey has significantly improved the quality of its healthcare services and will continue to invest in healthcare infrastructure to catch up with OECD. From transportation to healthcare and to energy, ample opportunities from mega to micro projects are available in the pipeline.

Turkey has favorable investment legislation for PPP investments that may be realized through various models, such as build-operate, build-operate-transfer, transfer of operational rights, etc. Turkey's government provides various forms of support and incentives to accelerate the project development. Turkey's investment climate is further strengthened by domestic and international laws that protect investments and provide international arbitration. Turkey's macroeconomic policies, investments, and more importantly, strong public finance management, support PPP investments that require guaranteed purchase.


AIRPORTS

Turkey is a spacious country located between two continents, Europe and Asia. Thus, airports and air travel are among the best ways to maintain connections within the country. And also from all parts of it with the rest of the world. Currently Turkey has 57 major domestic and international Airports. You can be sure you will reach where you want to without any trouble as these airports are very accessible.

Airports in Turkey are famous for their modern and user-friendly architecture and facilities, making your travel an amazing experience. Airports in Turkey are very well oriented around the country. By facilitating trade and tourism in Turkey, airports and air travel generates economic growth and helps in providing jobs and moving cargos.

International Airports in Turkey

  • New International Airport, Istanbul
  • Sabiha Gokcen Airport, Istanbul
  • Adnan Menderes Airport, Izmir
  • Antalya International Airport, Antalya
  • Esenboga Airport, Ankara
  • Dalaman Airport, Mugla
  • Milas Bodrum Airport, Mugla
  • Trabzon Airport, Trabzon

New International Airport, Istanbul: The slogan of Istanbul New Airport is the “future of travelling”, and that gives air passengers a good idea of how high they are setting the bar for air travel comfort. The new airport opened its doors to the public on April 6th 2019, and so far, positive reviews are raving about the service, Wi-Fi connection, app, and impressive architecture.

Currently, passengers use terminals of the first construction phase, but there are still three more to complete by the final date of 2023. When this happens, a staggering amount of 200 million passengers will travel through it every year, and final construction costs will total 12 billion USD.


ECONOMIC SECTORS

Turkey’s largely free-market economy is driven by its industry and, increasingly, service sectors, although its traditional agriculture sector still accounts for about 25% of employment. The automotive, petrochemical, and electronics industries have risen in importance and surpassed the traditional textiles and clothing sectors within Turkey’s export mix.


SIX REASONS WHY FOREIGNERS LOVE TURKEY

In the last 30 years, dreams of living abroad have become a reality for many people. Reciprocal agreements between countries regarding property and travel, along with the internet and a more independent style of living have made all of this possible. One country frequently mentioned as an ideal foreigners’ destination is Turkey.

Thousands of foreigners live here, either permanently or splitting their time with their countries of origin. Including Asians, Russians, Westerners, Eastern Europeans, and Middle Eastern nationalities, demographics show that they settle mainly in the biggest city of Istanbul or along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Why foreigners love Turkey?

A Healthy Interest Rate on Savings: Currently, many banks in Turkey offer roughly 8 to 11% interest on savings and time accounts, dependent on the deposited cash amount. This in itself is an attractive lure for the many British foreigners who struggle to receive 1% interest on their UK savings accounts.

However, they take it one-step further because many of these accounts allow you to withdraw the interest on a monthly basis. This gives a living allowance without having to touch on capital and net worth. Foreigners who have sold property in their home countries take advantage of the interest rate by depositing the cash from their home sales in the accounts.

Low Cost of Living: Turkey has a low cost of living compared to many other nations. Although prices and the cost of living are higher in cities, in many of the smaller resorts, a foreigner who owns property, doesn’t drive or smoke and only drinks occasionally, can live on roughly 400 GBP a month.

You don’t need a television licence, and annual council tax charges are still a small fraction of that in the UK. Water is incredibly cheap with a single person on a meter averaging a bill of roughly 10 GBP a month, and unlimited monthly internet is approximately 10 GBP.

A frugal person will spot many opportunities while living in Turkey to adhere to a monthly budget, while others who are interested in the quality of life will get value for money.

Low Property Prices: The lure of value for money continues with low property prices, enabling expats who are downsizing from their home country to save thousands. A perfect example of a small coastal resort that attracts customers with ideal property prices is Altinkum on the Aegean coast. Also known as Didim, two bedroom apartments average at around £40,000. The Mediterranean coast of Turkey generally has higher property prices, but Fethiye also offers excellent value.

Including the districts of Ovacik, Oludeniz, Hisaronu, Calis beach, and the main city centre, the starting price of a home here is roughly £50,000. The Turkish real estate market is in full flow now with affordable prices and an abundance of choice whether buyers want off-plan, new build, or resale properties.

Summer Weather: It sounds cliché, but warm weather and hot summer days are still one of the top reasons why expats move to Turkey. While December, January and February can be dampening with rain and in some places snow, expats are prepared to wait it out for the gorgeous weather descending on Turkey from March to November.

July and August are the hottest months with temperatures sometimes reaching as high as 40 degrees Celsus, but the coastal resorts with their long sandy beaches, sailing and swimming opportunities are too hard to ignore.

Easy-going Lifestyle: Foreigners who do not work enjoy an easy going and healthy lifestyle, especially in the coastal resorts. For many years, scientists have promoted the benefits of seaside living including cleaner air, easing of mental disorders such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Couple this fact with Turkey’s insistence of eating a healthy diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, and fish, foreigners just have to do a little bit of exercise, and they have all the components for a healthy lifestyle.

The general vibe for someone without commitments is also a great lure as foreigners find themselves with more time to pursue hobbies such as walking, reading, golf, or photography. In many destinations, established groups offer help on settling in, navigating red tape or even just socialising with like-minded people and it is easy for a foreigner to adopt the more relaxed lifestyle than that of back home.

Turkey is a Beautiful Country: Lastly, there is no denying that Turkey is a beautiful country with scenic landscapes. Fethiye dwellers have the Blue Lagoon, the most photographed beach in Turkey on their doorstep while expats in Antalya are treated to spectacular views from places such as Tahtali Mountain.

Bodrum residents enjoy all the benefits of sailing the Turkish Riviera while Marmaris, nestled in a large bay is the typical picture postcard scene. Further, inland, the pools of Pamukkale are a natural wonder while the lunar landscape of Cappadocia has enticed many expats for a four day get-away.

On the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey, watching the sunset over the horizon is a favoured pastime while many of our expat customers love the sandy beaches and warm blue waters for swimming and sunbathing.


TURKEY FACTS AND FIGURES

POPULATION: 83.154.997
POPULATION VISITORS: 51,747,000
AVERAGE INCOME: Official 2,110 TL
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: $813,810 billion
REAL GROWTH RATE: 6%
UNEMPLOYMENT: 13.1%
INFLATION: 11.8%
INDUSTRIES/EMPLOYMENT: textiles, food processing, automotive, electronics, tourism, mining of coal, chromate, copper and boron, steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, and paper.
NATURAL RESOURCES: coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower
GOVERNMENT: republican and presidential parliamentary democracy
CAPTAL CITY: Ankara
LAND AREA: Turkey is 36th biggest country in the World– 783,356 km2
CURRENCY: Turkish Lira (TL)
LANGUAGE: Turkish, English widely spoken
RELIGION: Moderate Muslim
TIME ZONE: GMT+3
DRIVING: Right-side
DIALING CODE: +90
ELECTRICITY: 220 volts, 50 Hz, with round-prong European-style plugs that fit into recessed wall sockets /points.