Turkey is a large country of more than 86 million people located at the junction of Europe and Asia. The vast majority of local residents (99%) are Muslims. Turkish state has a great history, culture and traditions, mostly comfortable climate and beautiful nature. Immigration and life in Turkey for foreigners today is more attractive, even compared to some EU member states.

Over the past decade, Turkey's economy has grown rapidly and living standards have risen accordingly. Nevertheless, political tensions within the country and military operations near the borders somewhat restrain the well-being of the state. Let's talk about prices and costs of living, taxes, employment, salaries, higher education, medicine, and the pros and cons of living in Turkey in 2024.

Living in Turkey

Pros and cons of living in Turkey

Foreigners often visit Turkey for tourism purposes or for a short-term employment in the retail sector or at one of the many resorts. Many come to study in Turkish universities and engage in entrepreneurial activities. But not every foreigner plans to get a residence permit in Turkey and stay here forever. Let us highlight the positive and negative aspects of living in Turkey.

Pros of living in Turkey

  • Turkey has a favorable climate for life, many luxurious resorts, ancient architecture, interesting culture and delicious cuisine.

  • A large and diverse economy allows lucrative business in Turkey and provides jobs for both locals and migrant workers.

  • Most Turks are friendly and positive people.

  • Relatively low cost of living, especially compared to developed European countries.

  • Good service, both in luxury hotels, as well as in ordinary outlets.

Pros and cons of living in Turkey

Cons of living in Turkey

  • Turkey has a difficult military and political situation and a high risk of terrorist attacks.

  • A huge influx of migrants in recent years has put considerable pressure on the labor market and the social security system of Turkey. For example, according to statistics released by the Immigration Directorate of the Turkish Ministry of Interior, the number of Syrian migrants alone now exceeds 3.2 million.

  • High taxes.

  • There is bureaucracy and corruption in the legal system, and freedom of speech is infringed.

  • Instability of the national currency (the lira).

Prices and the cost of living in Turkey

The most expensive cities to live in Turkey are the capital Ankara and the country's largest population center – Istanbul. In addition, high living costs are fixed in the resort areas – Izmir and Antalya. By more affordable cities to live in Turkey include Bursa and Adana.

Important. Without regard to real estate rental costs in Turkey for one person is about 500 euros per month. In a city like Istanbul, you would need around 700 euros.

Renting a studio apartment in Turkey in the central part of the city will cost about 5,620 liras a month, and in remote areas about 3,625 liras. The price of a square meter of real estate in the center is 22,365 liras, and 13,590 liras in the countryside.

Prices in Turkey in 2024

  • Bread (500 gr) – 21.67 ₺

  • Milk (0.6 liters) – 26.15 ₺

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 49.35 ₺

  • Chicken fillets (1 kg) – 179.10 ₺

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 18.87 ₺

  • Turkish cheese (1 kg) – 233.32 ₺

  • Bananas (1 kg) – 43.19 ₺

  • Apples (1 kg) – 31.66 ₺

  • Petrol (1 liter) – 38.58 ₺

  • Cab (1 km) – 22.90 ₺

  • Public transport fare – 16.02 ₺

  • Monthly bus pass – 1,177.00 ₺

  • Utilities (85 square meters) – 1,914.06 ₺ per month

  • Mobile Tariff Local (month) – 238.02 ₺

  • Internet – 325.04 ₺ per month

Note. Prices are quoted in local currency – Turkish Lira (₺). The exchange rate of one lira as of 2024 is 0.03 U.S. dollars/euros.

Tax rates in Turkey

Tax rates in Turkey in 2024

Corporate tax – 20% (in financial services – 22%)

Dividend tax – 15%

VAT – 1, 8 and 18% (depends on the type of the activity)

Royalty – 20%

Real estate tax – 0.1 to 0.6%

Social insurance – 20.5% (joint employer and employee rate)

Income tax:

  • Annual income from 0 to 110,000 lire – 15%

  • Annual income from 110,000 to 230,000 liras – basic tax of 16,500 liras, plus the rate of 20%

  • Annual income from 230,000 to 870,000 liras – basic tax 40,500 liras, plus the rate of 27%

  • Annual income from 870,000 to 3,000,000 liras – basic tax 213,300 liras, plus the rate of 35%

  • More than 3,000,000 liras per year – basic tax 958,000 liras, plus the rate of 40%

Jobs and wages in Turkey

Despite the difficult economic and political situation, some sectors of industry and services in Turkey still need specialists from abroad. For example, this applies to the construction industry, information technology and tourism. Many foreigners from third countries, including Russians and Ukrainians find decent jobs in Turkey with high salaries, even taking into account the unemployment rate in the country at 8-10%.

One of the main requirements for foreign applicants is to obtain a work visa to Turkey. Unfortunately, very often migrant workers use the visa-free regime, which allows them to stay on Turkish territory legally for up to two consecutive months for illegal work in Istanbul or other cities. It is categorically not recommended to do so. Be sure to apply for a work permit and work visa.

According to official data from the Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the official minimum wage in Turkey in 2024, before taxes, is 20,002.50 lira per month, the equivalent of 580 euros. The national average now exceeds 1,000 euros, and after tax deductions is about 750 euros. Insurance, finance, information and communication workers earn the most in Turkey – an average of 1,250-1,350 euros per month.

Higher education in Turkey

Higher education in Turkey

Today at least 50 thousand foreign students study at Turkish higher education institutions. The prestigious QS World University Rankings® 2024 include 24 Turkish universities. The most famous are Bilkent and Sabanci Universities and Bosphorus University, which has close links with the American system of higher education.

In total in Turkey there are about 200 higher educational institutions, mostly state-owned. Many programs are presented not only in Turkish, but also in English. Cost of training at universities of Turkey depends on the type of educational institution, specialty and language of teaching, but on the average the sum ranges from 400 to 1,500 dollars a year.

Medicine in Turkey

Turkey has a highly complex system of health care. Citizens' right to medical assistance is enshrined in Article 60 of the Turkish Constitution. The state provides people with access to medical and preventive care, as well as constructs and operates public hospitals, controls private clinics, regulates the prices of medicines, and so on.

Turkey's social security system includes three organizations:

  1. Social Security Institution (SGK)

  2. Social Security Institution for the Self-Employed (Bag-Kur)

  3. Public Employees' Pension Fund (Emekli Sandigi)

Most modern hospitals with good equipment and highly qualified doctors are concentrated in major Turkish cities, particularly Istanbul and Ankara. In rural areas medicine is at a low level. Health expenditures account for only 3-5% of Turkey's total GDP. State hospitals are 83% funded by government appropriations.

To conclude, the average life expectancy at birth in Turkey in 2024 is 75 years, with women living about 78 years and men 73.

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