For many foreigners, Turkey is a great holiday destination for its great weather, amazing foods, and hospitality. But, culture shock can happen, and it is a serious decision if you wish to live in a foreign country for long periods.
Even though it sounds great to imagine living abroad, there are lots of things to consider before moving to a country you know nothing about or have limited information. Every decision should be personal and not an obligation.
There are serious things to consider. For example, the lifestyle of the country may not lure you once you move to that country. It's vital to take a moment and think carefully about every aspect of your decision. Once you make your move, there is no turning back.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of moving to another foreign country is learning the habits of that country. There will always be cultural differences and be prepared for these differences. You may encounter behaviors that are far from the habits of your country or you may be frustrated by these habits. In accepting this new country, you may be wondering how you can manage the habits of this new place, which is not at all like your home. We have prepared this article for those who want to move to Turkey.
Crowds and Small Communities
With a total population of 81 million people, and Istanbul housing 16 million of it alone, seeing large numbers of people can be intimidating even if you also come from a large city. At the same time, the larger population creates more opportunities to meet new people, finding new locations for a getaway or a new hangout spot.
As the largest city in the region, Istanbul is the perfect place to live for most. The large number of people living in a city that was established in the ancient times, creates the ideal environment for relaxation. Believe it or not, you can find yourself relaxing as you watch the sunset on the Marmara sea overlooking the city through a ferry as you finish work for the day.
In between the Asia and European continents, Istanbul is also the home of Bosphorus, where the Black Sea is connected with the Aegean through the Marmara. It is a city that gives you an option to cross continents in a matter of minutes through three different bridges, or ferries that you can also take to the famous Prince Islands.
Health and Safety
Turkish people aren’t that careful about their health and safety. You might come across a person cleaning windows hanging out. Expect to see more like these situations. Be careful around building sites. Be mindful around working sites around public places, because there is always a lack of caution signs. Well, at least there is Universal Health Care.
Turkey is like any other country in the world that has its problems. Crimes in Turkey are rare however it is important to know the statistics. Let’s make a comparison between the USA, UK, and Turkey. 2018 statistics show that from 4.1 to 5 reports that have been published about normal to extreme crimes, Turkey comes in 3.3 per 100.000 of those crimes. In the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, where most of the tourists are located, crimes are almost not existing and they are the most safe places even more than the large cities in Turkey.
As a foreigner, everything will be in your favor in Turkey.
Lots of people indeed say it's difficult to learn the Turkish language,
they say it's hard to remember words and master pronunciation. This solely depends on your native tongue. If you immigrate from a similar phonetic country, adapting to Turkish will be a piece of cake. Although Turkey uses the Latin alphabet, the pronunciation of letters is far similar to Japanese, then it is to English.
A Country That Never Lacks of Tradesmen
In general, if you see a construction worker, there is a good chance to find a group of people watching from the sides and giving their opinion.
Turkey also has an overpopulation of trade shops. You can and will find a small shop in every neighborhood (such as plumbers, carpenters, butchers, etc.). You can fix anything in your home by a professional with little to no effort into searching for one.
Driving in Turkey's largest city and center locations may look like finding your way in a forest. You may encounter lots of reckless drivers and some careless pedestrians even. Turkey's big cities are in a sense that no one cares about the rules. Be ready for unexpected lane changing and be careful around large vehicles like trucks and busses.
Always wear seatbelts, use your horn and lights if it's necessary. Don't lose your attention in any case, always pay attention to horns, unexpected passing or cutting.
At the same time, driving has more freedom, especially on the Highways while traveling across the country.
Feeling of Overwelcome
Turkish people can leave whatever they are doing to help someone who is in need. It could be as simple as giving directions to someone but they could change their mind and take you with them if they are going toward that direction as well. If you are hurt or injured, they immediately run to your help. If someone faints on the bus, the bus driver may completely change his route to drive you to the nearest hospital just to save their life. If they see a kid climbing to a window in an apartment building with no adult around, they do everything to catch the kid if he or she happens to fall. If someone’s purse is stolen, someone nearby will probably go after the snatcher to get it back. If a house or shop nearby is on fire, they try to help put it out or danger their lives to save someone trapped inside before the fire truck arrives. These are very simple yet good examples to show how the Turks care for each other and unite in the time of need.
When visiting someone’s house, whether it is a regular visit or not, the Turks bring gifts to the house they are visiting. The type of gifts they bring changes according to the person they are visiting or the reason for the visit. If you are visiting a close friend or a relative, the gift could be as small as a bottle of milk, fruit, cake, or chocolate. However, if you are visiting someone who has bought a new house or is newly married, then a gift which could be used in the house such as a decor object or a serving dish would be appropriate. If you are visiting someone who just had a baby, you need to bring gifts for the baby as well as some money or gold.
No matter whether in budget or an expensive manner, Turks love to celebrate their wedding parties. They love to enjoy their good times and invite their family and friends to increase the joy of their celebrations. They also summons foreigner real estate investors at their wedding parties to double their party blasts. However, if you don’t know about Turkish customs and traditions, we have the full guide to help you in our blog.
Although ancient, many people still act on the customs of old times out of respect for the families. The one major tradition, that is acted for continuing the tradition, yet holds a special place in the country's culture is the asking for the approval of the bride's family. It is quite an old school tradition, but it is customary for the eldest on the groom's side of the family to request the bride from her father. What if they are denied? Well, "kidnapping" the bride in the middle of the night is still an option, and a herd of occurrence especially in smaller communities.
If you have Turkish property, you will surely witness a wedding car convoy around your neighborhood, a celebration of “getting” the bride. It is a traditional practice that the groom brings his family to the home of the bride in a car convoy. The groom decorates his car with fresh flowers and other decoration stuff. Guests join the Convoy to ride around the streets and continue the journey to the bride's home.
Whether you apply for a work permit, importing a car or residency, you need to be prepared for long hours of document signings in government buildings. You might need to spend days just for a permit or you might end up running between departments.
Try and find a local who knows how to deal with the system and is willing to help you. You might need to pay a small fee but you can get things done very easily with a helping hand.
On another note, bureaucracy means, you will never lose a document. If you have to stop by a municipality, for the ID process or title deed for a property purchase, they will make a copy of all your documents. You will have more copies of your ID than you can count in less than 5 years of living in the country.