The Cost of Living In Turkey

Diverse landscape, beautiful weather, ideal geographic location, high standard of living, and the opportunities to get residence permit and citizenship – Turkey has a lot to offer to foreign nationals planning to relocate to another country. While these are the primary driving factors that compel a large number of foreign nationals to move to the Eurasian country, there are several more reasons why Turkey is considered one of the world’s best places to live, and the low cost of living is one of the factors contributing to this!

What Is the Cost of Living in Turkey?

There is no single, straightforward answer to this question because the cost of living (anywhere in the world) depends on several factors. Most importantly, it depends upon the city and area you want to live in, the size of your family, and your lifestyle.

However, the average cost of living in Turkey (even in Istanbul; the most expensive city in Turkey) is significantly lower than the US, UK, most European countries, and even some Asian countries.

Calculating the Basic Cost of Living in Turkey

To help you get an idea about the average cost of living in Turkey, here is the breakdown of the major expenses:

1. Housing

The cost of housing in Turkey can vary from a few hundred dollars every month to a one-time expense of hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on whether you are going to rent a place or buy a house. Visit our page The Cost of Buying Property in Turkey [hyperlink the page here] to learn more about the purchasing expenses.

If you plan to rent a place, expect to pay somewhere between 700 to 1,000 TL for a basic two-bedroom apartment on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. However, the rent is comparatively quite high in Istanbul. A studio apartment located on the outskirts of the city can cost up to 1,500 TL, whereas an apartment in any of the central districts, like Taksim Square, can cost up to 4,000 TL per month.

The figures may seem high in Turkish currency, but they are quite affordable for people from Europe and western countries. Let’s consider this to get a clear idea:

An apartment in the center of Istanbul will cost you about 4,000 TL per month, about USD 580.[1] This cost is negligible compared to the average apartment rent in New York. A studio apartment in Manhattan, New York, costs about $2,600 per month.

2. Healthcare

Health insurance is the second biggest expense for foreigners living in Turkey. The country’s law requires foreign nationals to have health insurance in order to qualify for a residence permit. As a foreigner, you can expect to pay approximately 7,000 TL (USD 1,000 roughly) a year for health insurance. This includes the application cost and renewal fees. However, the cost will reduce significantly once you obtain residence permit or citizenship of Turkey.

Residents that are registered with Turkey’s Social Security Institution, called GenelSağlıkSigortası (SGK) in the Turkish language, can get free medical treatment in certain hospitals. The cost of private insurance is also low for Turkish residents – you can expect to pay about 700 TL per year for that.

3. Transport

Turkey has an efficient system of public transport. If you choose to use Metrobus as the main mode of transportation, you will not have to worry about transport costs as Metrobus charges are very low. The cost of a Metrobus ticket can range from 1.75TL to 5TL. Children younger than 8 years can ride the Metrobus for free.

4. Utilities

All the basic utilities are incredibly cheap in Turkey. On average, all the utilities and apartment maintenance can cost you about 400 to 600 TL.

5. Food

You can go as low or as high in food as you want. In addition to your food choices, the places you buy food items from also plays a key role in determining the monthly food cost. But, you can save a handsome amount of money in food supplies by purchasing them from local markets instead of big supermarkets. A good selection of food items from local markets averages around 100 TL per week.

6. Yearly Insurance and Taxes

Earthquake insurance is mandatory for all properties in Turkey. Besides this, council tax can cost about 400 to 700 TL a year, which is negligible as compared to the US and UK.

These are the primary expenses you need to factor in when planning to move to Turkey. Overall, Turkey offers a good lifestyle at an affordable cost for anyone. However, for people from the US, UK, major European countries, and some Asian countries, like Japan, the cost of living in Turkey is very low.