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LIVING IN TURKEY

Communication & Media

The Turkish telephone netweork is operated by the state monopoly, Türk Telekom. Getting a line is relatively easy and simply involves taking proff of address, your passport and bank details down to the local office. Bills are issued monthly and can be paid in person at your local office or some banks, or from your bank account by direct debit.
Public card phones can be found in most public places, with credit card phones in airports.


MOBILE PHONES
Mobile phone networks are operated by several rival firms, with Turkcell, the first and largest company, providing the best coverage. As a foreigner you can have a standart account or a pay-as-you-go line. You can open a standart account at one of the many mobile phone shops in evey town, with proof of adress in Turkey, your passport and bank details. Bills are paid monthly. Pay-as-you-go lines are even simpler to open, requiring no identification or proof of adress, and they are recommended if you are only in the country for short periods of time, or you use the phone very little. On the down side, however, call rates are very high and it can be inconvenient trying to find a card (hazır kart) when your credit is finished. Cards are available at mobile phone outlets, corner shops and even some petrol stations. I enjoy most of your articles,the articles are so nice for readers. you can buy my watches here www.luxuryrolex.co.
Handsets are comparatively expensive as their price isn’t subsidised by the networks like in the UK. A British handset can be used with a Turkish SIM card only after is has been “unlocked” at a mobile phone shop.
If  you intend to use your British mobile phone in Turkey, remember to call your operator to call enable international roaming.


THE POST & COURIERS
The Turkish postal service, known as the PTT,  has post office across the country and delivers mail to your door. The service is quite slow and letters may take several days to reach their destination in Turkey, or at least a week to get to the UK. If you have an urgent letter or parcel consider sending in by the APS express service at a small extra charge. Courier companies such as DHL, FEDEX and UPS make international express deliveries, or inside Turkey you can use Aras Kargo, Yurtiçi or one of the other domestic firms for next-day deliveries.


NEWSPAPERS & MAGAZINES
Turkey has a lively press with a wide selection of national, regional and local newspapers. But unless you read Turkish they will be of little intrest to you. The country does, however, also have an established English-language daily, the Turkish Daily News, which includes both domestic and international news stories. British, Europen and some American newspapers are also avaible from some newsstands in the main cities, airports and tourists areas, though these will be at least a day old. Magazines such as Newsweek and Time are also often avaible.
Cornucopia, an up-market magazine about Turkey, can be found in the largest cities or can be delivered if you take out a subscription. Most international magazines can also be delivered to your home adress if you subscribe as an international reader. Atlas is a travel magazine, which,although in Turkish, is worth buying for the wonderful photography of the country.


TELEVISION & CABLE TVTurkey has a huge number of national and local TV stations broadcasting predominantly in Turkish, though several of the staterun  TRT channels have a few English language programs.
Türk Telekom offer a cable-TV service n many areas of the country. This is far  better for foreign viewers as it includes BBC, Prime, CNN, NBC and other Europen channels.


RADIO
The Turkish airwaves are choked with hundreds of radio stations playing every type of music. In some of the resort areas there are English-language local stations too. It also possible to pick-up the BBC World Service and Voice of America on short-wave radios, although reception can be patchy. With a broadband internet connection you can listen to a whole host of international radio, probably including your favorite station from back home.

 

 

 

 

Cost of Living & Money

The cost of living in Turkey is significantly lower than in Britain, and other Mediterranean countries,such as Spain and Greece. Prices for food and other consunable goods are much cheaper, while fresh produce is often grown locally and costs a fraction of what it does in the UK. However, there are marked differences in the cost of living across the country. Istanbul is the most expensive part of the country, but the cost of living is also higher in the coastal resorts. In these areas you can still dine out for £10 - £15 per head in a good restaurant, or eat for a faction of that amount in a local Turkish eatery.A typical weekly shopping bill for two is £40-£60, though it could be significantly more if you buy expensive imported goods.
Wage rates are very low in Turkey compared with Britain.A manual worker can expect to earn about £150 per month, while a school teacher takes home about £300 each month.
One of the things that is expensive in Turkey is petrol. For example, one litre of unleaded petrol is £1.05p, compared wiht 86p in the UK. Owning a car is a major expense,and one that may not be necessary if you are only using your property for holidays as public transport is so good.

BANKSThe Turkish banking system has been reformed in recent years by privatisation and tighter regulation. Still, at the customer level red tape and petty bureucracy can be much worse than in the UK. You will have a choice of banks in the most towns, with big names such as Iş Bankası, Akbank and Yapı Kredi on most high streets.
Before choosing a bank, it is a good idea to ask for recommendations from other foreigners locally. It is also wise to find out how much the banks charge for services such as receiving money transfers, as fees for these kind of things differ widely.
Although international banks such as HSBC have branches in Turkey, there is no advantege to choosing them over a Turkish bank. Even if you have an account with the same bank in the UK, international transfers are treated in the same way.
Banks in the main resorts will often have at least one English-speaking member of staff, altough you may need the help of an interpreter or a bilingual friend for more complex affairs. Also remember that smaller branches may not be able to offer a full range of banking services, which could be necessary  if you are planning to start a business.
Turkish banks offer a range of current,savings and deposit accounts, with credit card, debit card and overdraft facilities usually available. Despite interest rates having dropped dramatically in recent years, the time-deposit accounts and investment funds offered by many banks can produce excellent returns. However, you won’t be able to withdraw your money for a fixed term.You may prefer to open a foreign currency account, thereby protecting your money aganist any devaluation of the YTL. Most banks now offer U.S. dollar, euro and sterling accounts,with some banks such as Garanti Bank(www.garantibank.com) offering dual currency accounts where your balance is held in foreign currency, but you can make payments and withdrawals in YTL. Most banks now offer internet accounts, so you can check your account balance; transfer money between accounts; make one-off  payments or schedule regular standing orders online. Standart bank charges are levied on an annual or six-mountly basis, with extra charges for some additional services.

CASH MACHINES (ATMS)
Cash machines can be found all over Turkey with a wide choice of ATMs in most towns and resorts. Most ATMs can display in Turkish, English and other Europen languages. All operate with foreign credit cards and most with Maestro cards too. Most credit card companies and banks levy a charge for withdrawing cash.These charges can be as much as 2% of the amount withdrawn with a minimum charge of up to £2, so it is wise to withdraw a reasonable amount each time.
In addition to withdrawing money Turkish ATMs allow you to make deposits, pay bills and transfer money.

CREDIT  CARDSCredit cards are widely accepted in all but the smallest shops in Turkey. Many credit card companies make a small charge for each overseas transaction made. Once you have opened a bank account you may be offered a Turkish credit card.

BILL PAYMENTS
Regular payments for utility bills, maintenance charges or insurance premiums can be paid automatically from your Turkish bank account by completing a standing order form. It is a good idea to take your bill into the bank with you so that all the details are filled out correctly.
Most banks now also offer telephone and internet banking services including bill payment facilities. Despite this, some holiday home owners prefer to entrust bill paying to local property management company or a friend.

REAL ESTATE TAXCollected by local authorities, this annual tax is based on the declared value of property or land, which may be substantially less then what you actually paid for the property. The rates are currently 0.2% - 0.3% for land and 0.1% for residential buildings, with the payment collected in two instalments in March-May and November each year.

INCOME TAXYou have to pay tax on any income that you make in Turkey, from employment, investments or renting out your property. Income tax rates are banded according to your income and vary from 15%-40%.
Despite a pervasive culture of tax evasion, the Turkish authorities are slowly tightening up regulations in an attempt to raise more tax revenue. In the past, very few foreign property owners paid tax on their rental incomes, but a recent outcry in the press may well lead to a carck down on this practice. As a UK resident any income made on a property in Turkey would also be taxable by the British authorities.However, due to double taxation agreement between Turkey and the UK, any income taxed in one country will not be taxbale in the other.One advantage of buying a property with a Turkish company is the ability to offset any rental income aganist a large range of expenses related to the property.

CAPITAL GAINS TAX
As an indivial you will be taxed on any increase in the capital value of a property only if you have owned it for less than five years. Companies paying corporation tax do not have to pay capital gains tax if they have owned the property for more than two years.

CORPORATION TAX
If you established a Turkish company to buy your property you will be liable to pay a corporation tax of 30% on any profits,including from rental income. In reality, you can offset the profit aganist any expenses you incurred, such as furniture, utility bills and maintenance charges. You will also have to pay capital gains tax if you sell the property wihtin two years of buying it.

PENSION & BENEFITS
Moving abroad will not affect you state pension payments, however you will need to organise for the money to be transferred into your Turkish account. Bank charges on relatively small, regular transfers can become expensive, so think about pooling the money and transferring larger amounts less often. A British pension can support a comfortable lifestyle in Turkey due to lower cost of living.
If you have not yet reached retirement age you may want to consider continuing to make National Insurance contributions after you move to Turkey. This will ensure you are entitled to receive a full UK state pension when you are eligible. Some other state benefits are payable to British citizens who move abroad, but you should check this with the Department of Works and Pensions before you make any plans.

Food & Shopping

Turkish fruit and vegetables are generally far fresher and more tasty than those found in the UK. Particular species come and go with the seasons, rather than  being available all year-round. You will also notice that meat is a lot tastier, often because it is truly “free-range”. The Turkish staple is bread, although rice and potatoes are also widely eaten. Food retailing has developed rapidly in Turkey in the last decade with large supermarket chains now present in most resorts and towns. As well as a complete range of domestically produced goods – many of which are exported to Europe – supermarkets also stock imported foods, with some familiar British brands available in the coastal resorts. Among the most common supermarkets are Migros, Tansaş and Gima.
Modern shopping malls are a convenient place to shop in cities like Istanbul, Antalya and Izmir, as you can find supermarkets, clothes shops, bookstores and DIY outlets all under one, air-conditioned roof. Smaller shops, known as bakkal, are found on most street corners in towns and in rural areas. They have a smaller choice of produce, usually fresh bread, milk, tinned foods, cigarettes and newspapers. For fruit and vegetables you need to find the local greengrocer (manav). Most local shops do not accept credit cards and prices are a bit higher than in supermarkets.

The best place to buy fresh produce, and experience local culture at its most colourful, are the weekly markets (Pazar). These have dozens of stalls selling fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, cheeses, meat, fish, olives and nuts. Fun and interesting places to shop, local markets are also the most economical place to buy groceries. Shopping in local shops and markets is a good way to practice and Turkish that you have learnt. Most shop keepers won’t speak any English, so a few Turkish words and numbers are very useful.

DINING OUT
Most Turkish resorts and cities have an excellent choice of places to eat these days. Istanbul has many world-class restaurants offering modern dishes prepared to the highest standards.
Restaurants serving European-style cuisine, not always terribly well, alongside Turkish dishes are common in the holiday resorts. More traditional options include meat restaurants, called Ocakbaşı, where a choice of kebabs, chops and steaks are grilled on open coals. Fish restaurants are also very popular with Turks and foreigners alike, and you can normally select your dinner from a glass-fronted refrigerator. In both types of restaurant you can choose from a huge selection of traditional Turkish starters, known as meze. For a quick snack, buffets serving doner kebabs are on most street corners, or the restaurants serving stews, casserols and soups from stainless steel steam-trays are another good option for lunch.

Furnishing & Importing

FURNISHINGS
Good quality furniture and fitted kitchens are available from several nationwide furniture chains. You can visit one of the showrooms or look at their range on the internet first. Most large towns also have workshops turning out furniture, although the quality may be quite low. Whatever you want, your estate agent will generally point you in the right direction and most items can be delivered within days.

CUSTOMS
Anything to do with Turkish customs in notariously bureaucratic, so you should employ an experienced shipping agent to manage the importation process for you. You can import furniture and household items into Turkey without paying duty provided that you have a valid residence permit. Classed as a “temporary importation”, you will need a letter of guarantee from a Turkish bank to leave as a rolex replica deposit for the unpaid duty. The deposit will be returned to you if you leave the country with the furniture, or if you stay more than 5 years.

BESPOKE & ANTIQUE FURNITUREHigher quality bespoke furniture is available in the larger resorts and cities. The Çukurcuma area of İstanbul is particularly famous for its antique shops, but you can also find real and reproduction antique furniture in most of the resorts. Brassware is common and carpet kilims are a real local speciality, replica rolex which can add lots of  character to your Turkish home. Carpet shops also have inexpensive accessories like cushion cover and throws.

REMOVAL COMPANIES
If you are shipping furniture to Turkey, it is wise to use a well-established international removal company and a member of the British Association of Removers. Removal firms charge according to the location and the volume of goods to be moved, and will generally send a surveyor around to your home to give you a quote. As a rough breitling replica watches guide, the cost of moving furniture from a two-bedroom house to one of the coastal resort is £3,000-£6,000.

Getting Around Turkey

BUSES
Turkey has a very efficient private bus network with modern busses plying routes between towns and cities across the country. Because many people can’t afford a car, busses provide the main form of long distance transport and are very reasonably priced. They are generally air-conditioned and passengers are served hot and cold drinks onboard. Smoking is not permitted anymore, although busses make regular stops for refreshments. Longer journeys are often taken overnight, although traveling by train or plane is more comfortable. On some routes you may have a choice of companies, including one of the premium carriers, such as Varan or Ulusoy. Journey times are significantly longer by bus than car.

FERRIES
Turkish Maritime Lines operate ferries along the Black Sea coast from Istanbul to Rize and back each week in summer. Potentially more useful for property hunters is the overnight service between Istanbul and Izmir each weekend. This departs Istanbul Friday evening, returning again from Izmir overnight on Sunday. Contact a Turkish Maritime Lines agent in Turkey to make a booking.

TRAINS
Turkish trains, except for the modern expresses operating between Istanbul and Ankara, are slow, old-fashioned and frequently late. But they are the most comfortable and fun way of traveling long-distance in Turkey. Run by the state-owned TCDD, the train network also only gives scant coverage of the country, with no line along the western Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. The only routes that may useful to property buyers are those from Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa station to Ankara, and then Kayseri for Cappadocia. There is also a good over-night express between Ankara and Izmir.

DRIVING IN TURKEY
Thanks to huge investment the country’s road network, particularly around the main cities and tourist areas, has improved rately in recent years. The inter city highways are now mostly dual carriage way and the main coastal road has been widened for much of its length cutting journey times and making driving far safer. Even so, driving in Turkey can be quite a challenge thanks to bad road conditions and the poor standart of many drivers. Reckless and dangerous manoeuvres, such as overtaking on blind bends, are not uncommon, as is reckless speeding. As most of the country’s freight is transported by road, slow-moving, heavily laden trucks are another common hazard. Needless to say, the country’s accident rate is very high, making careful, defensive driving a must. However, once away from the main towns and cities, the traffic is light compared to the UK and driving can be extremely pleasurable.
If you enter the country on a tourist visa, you can bring a car with you and drive it for a maximum of six months in any calender year. Details of the car will be entered in your passport, and if you want to leave the country without the car during that time, it must be left at a custom’s office. You will be charged a daily parking fee for the privilege. In addition to your driving license you will also need the car’s registration documents and an international green card from your insurance company.
Longer term residence with a residence permit will need to re-register their car in Turkey and be issued with a blue number plate. To do this you will need a letter from your employer, a letter of guarantee form a bank, a valid residence and work permit.
There is nothing to stop foreigners buying a car in Turkey, although prices for new and second hand vehicles are often-higher than in the UK. It is more economical to opt for a car that is manufactured in Turkey, such as Renault, as the parts are cheaper and more widely available. Petrol is very expensive in Turkey, so running a car is a significant cost.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Turkey is a large country and flying is the fastest and most convenient way of travelling long distances. Turkish airlines operate an extensive domestic network with flights from Istanbul and Ankara to all cities and most provincial centers. Services to the main cities, such as Izmir, depart regularly through out the day. Smaller airports like Dalaman and Bodrum are served by fewer daily flights, which can become very booked up during the summer months and at peak times, such as at the weekend. Turkish airlines allow unconfirmed bookings for domestic flights to be held open until 24-hours before departure, meaning that even if a flight appears full you have a good chance of getting a seat if you are put on the waiting list.
A number of private airlines now operate domestic routes from Istanbul but the services are less frequent than Turkish Airlines. These include Flyair, with flights to Antalya, Bodrum and Izmır, Onur Air, with destinations including Kayseri (Capadocia), Antalya, Bodrum and Izmır, and Atlas who fly into Dalaman, Antalya, Bodrum and Izmir. Tickests range from £ 20- £ 45 one-way and can be bought online.

Health, Education & Crime

Turkey has three-tier health system with state hospitals (Devlet Hastaneleri) providing free health care to all Turkish citizens; hospitals that are funded by the equivalent of National Insurance and private clinics and hospitals (Özel Hastaneler). State hospitals vary greatly, but they are often poorly funded, crowded and may not have the most up-to-date equipment. Many staff will not speak English making communication extremely difficult. Having said that, in the event of a serious injury, you will probably receive completely satisfactory treatment in a government hospital. You will be expected to pay for any treatment that you undergo, but medical care is cheap by European standards.
Social Security Hospitals (SSK Hastaneleri) are only open to those who have paid into the Turkish social security system, however, conditions are often worse that in the state hospitals.
Standards of care are far better in the private sector, and there are many more English-speaking staff. An increasing number of “medical tourists” are actually travelling from Europe to take advantage of the excellent medical treatment available in Turkey. The cost of treatment is far lower than in the UK, however, you should check with your insurance company before starting any treatment.
In small towns and rural areas government clinics (poliklinik) are often the only source of healthcare. These clinics vary greatly in terms of equipment and standard of care, but are normally perfectly adequate for minor injuries.
Turkish doctors tend to specialise in one particular area of medicine and English-speaking practitioners can be found in most cities and the coastal resorts. Doctor’s fees are very reasonable with a standard check-up typically costing £30-£50, which will include a follow-up appointment, if necessary, after 10 days.

HEALTH INSURANCE
Private health insurance for people living abroad is available form UK-based companies such as BUPA. Similar to normal health insurance, international policies have varying levels of cover, with the additional option of repatriation to the UK if you should fall seriously ill. Treatment can be undertaken in any recognised hospital  or clinic, but  you must check with your insurer that your policy covers the proposed treatment before it gets underway.
Medical insurance schemes are also offered by Turkish companies, such as Axa Oyak.
If you travel to Turkey to look for property dont forget to buy travel insurance with sufficient medical cover before you leave.

 

LANGUAGE
English is widely spoken in the resort areas, particularly with Turkish people involved in the real estate and tourist industries. Elsewhere, far fewer people speak a foreign language, so it is a good idea to try learning some Turkish. Learning any foreign language requires hard work and perseverance, and Turkish is no different. As a member of the Ural-Altaic language family, which have very little in common with English and Latin-based languages, such as French and Italian, you will have to learn the grammar and a lot of the vocabulary from scratch. On the plus side, Turkish is a phonetic language, so once you have learnt the basic sounds for each rolex replica of the letters you should be able to pronounce words correctly. There are various self-study books to help you teach yourself Turkish, or you may prefer to enrol in a class at a language school in Turkey. There may even be Turkish evening classes near where you live in the UK.
One of the best ways of learning any language though, is getting out and trying to talk to people. Learn a few simple phrases to practice at the market or in your local shop. And no matter how bad the results are the fact that you are making an effort will really impress most Turkish people. Another good way to learn is to swap lessons with a Turkish person wanting to learn English.

EDUCATION
Turkey’s young and rapidly growing population puts immense pressure on the country’s education system. Turkish children must complete eight years of compulsory education, but the standard of schooling is often low due to large classes, poor facilities and chronic under-funding. The state school system is divided into Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools, with students normally attending classes either in the morning or the afternoon. Foreign nationals living in Turkey are entitled to send their children to Turkish state schools, although many choose instead to send them to private or international schools. These generally have much better facilities but are only located in the larger cities, such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya.

CRIME
Turkey is very safe with crime rates far lower than most European countries, including the UK. You should be wary of pick-pockets in major cities and tourist resorts, but street crime is actually very rare. Property crime is also unusual, but you should take the necessary precautions to secure your apartment or villa, particularly if it is empty for long periods of time. Get to know your neighbours and ask them to keep an eye on things for you. If you are the victim of any kind of crime report the incident immediately to the police, who will file a report that may be necessary for any subsequent insurance claim.

Renting Your Property

Most people buying in Turkey aim to rent out their property at least some of the year. The promise of solid rental returns on top of strong capital growth has attracted many investors; while those buying primarily for their own use often decide that a few weeks rental can cover the cost of maintaining their property.

Although the Turkish rental market currently far less developed than countries like France and Spain, there is huge potential for it to grow. Over a million British holidaymakers visit Turkey each year, the vast majority of them booking their through a travel agent in the UK. The fastest growing sector of this market, however, is independent tourists, who book their flights, accommodation and, perhaps, a hire car seperately, often over the internet. Some of these people already decide to rent a villa or increases, and the cost of airfares drops, so many more will choose to take that option.

At present though, the building boom along the Turkish coast has created a huge pool of rental accommodation, with an over-supply in some areas. This makes it very important that you choose the right location, and the right kind of property, if rental is a primary concern. In resorts, such as Alanya, Altınkum and Kuşadası, which are popular with families, apartments on complexes are the easiest to rent, because they are cheaper and have a range of facilities, much like a hotel. In resorts such as Kalkan or Kaş, which attract a wealthier clientele, private villas with pools offer the best rental returns. Wherever you decide to buy, think about the location and who your target market is very carefully. Easy access to the beach and facilities is important for most families renting an apartment, while those choosing a luxury villa will probably prefer a more secluded spot with a glorious sea view. The furniture in a villa should be carefully chosen to add character and atmosphere. In an apartment, the main concerns will be convenience and usability.

The rental season in most of coastal resorts is from June to the beginning of October, with the summer and autumn half-term holidays, along with July and August, the busiest times. A well chosen rental property, which is marketted successfully, should be occupied for 12-14 weeks a year. However in some resorts demand is developing for rental properties in the off-season, as a growing number of retrees look to escape the northern European winter. Winter lets, although at a lower rate, significantly boost annual rental returns. In the larger cities like Istanbul and Antalya, the rental market is much more established and year-round.

Wherever your rental property, successful marketing and developing is of key importance to achieving successful returns. Many estate agents and independent companies offer management services, which include cleaning, laundry services, airport pick-ups, maintenance and welcome baskets. Some are also marketing the properties through UK travel agents or their own websites. This is very convenient if you are not around to look after things yourself. The fee for these services is typically 15-20 % of the rental income.Several UK travel companies who specialise in Turkish villa holidays, such as Tapestry, Exclusive escapes and Cachet Travel, market suitable properties, paying the owner a percentage of the rental income. Owners must normally sign a contract for at least 3 years and they can reverse several weeks for their own use each season.

Lastly, lots of people choose the DIY approach, advertising their villa or apartment in the classified section of a local newspaper, or on one of the rental websites that are sprining up. Alternatively, they may rely on friends, family and colleagues to spread the word.

If you decide to take this route it is wise to prepare a website and osme simple promotional material, including photos of the property and rates. You will also have to organise for someone to guest in and clean up after they have left, if you are not around yourself.

Services & Utilities

Tap water in Turkey is chlorinated so it can be used for brushing your teeth, however, it is not recommended to drink. Instead you can buy bottled mineral water at shops and supermarkets. But it is far more economical, and environmentally friendly, to buy water from the local watershop. These supply spring water by the litre in large plastic containers. In towns and cities they will generally deliver to your door if you give them a call. Turks take water very seriously and people often travel long distances to fill up containers at a particular spring, whose water supplies are metered and water bills issued by the local water authority on a mountly or quartely basis. Bills can be paid in person at the water company offices or at some banks. It is much more convenient though,to set-up a regular direct debit from your bank account. There is a penalty for not paying on time, and your supply will eventually be cut off. Huge increases in demand in some areas have streched local water supplies to the limit.

ELECTRICITY
Most electricity in Turkey is supplied by the state-run company TEDAŞ. The supply is 220 volts and two-pin plugs, similar to those in other Eurpoen countries, are used. With a suitable adapter, electrical appliances from the UK can be safely connected to the mains.As with water, demand for electricity is growing so fast that the network cannot cope in same areas. This means frequent black outs and fluctuating supplies. Apart from some candles. it may be wise to invest in a voltage regular to protect computers and other sensitive equipment from power spikes. You may also consider investing in a uninterruptible power unit, which continues supplying electricity to sensitive equipment if there is a power cut.

NATURAL GAS
Apart from Istanbul, Ankara and some other cities with mains gas, natural gas for cooking and heating water is supplied in metal canisters. These are ordered from a local gas supplier, who will deliver it to your door. A full canister costs around £10 and lasts for 6-8 weeks when used for cooking. Empty canisters are exchanged for full ones when you run out.

 

Visas & Working

If you are only visiting Turkey for short periods then you only need a tourist visa, which is issued when you arrived. A tourist visa is valid for three months during which time you can come and go as often as you like. The cost of a tourist visa for British citizens is currently £ 10, which must be paid in cash before going through passport control. 
Many people who want to stay longer than 3 months simply leave and re-enter the country on a new tourist visa. This is simple in many of the coastal resorts where it involves little more than a day trip to one of the Grek islands. Staying in the country after your visa has expired will mean paying a hefty fine calculated on the number of days you have overstayed, when you depart.
If you plan to stay in the country for extended periods you can apply for a residence permit. This involves a visit to the Foreigner’s Section of the local police (emniyet müdürlüğü, yabancılar şubesi). In the main tourist areas the staff will be used to dealing with Europeans Applicans but don’t count on anyone speaking English. It is a good idea to have a Turkish friend accompany you, or better stil your estate agent, a solicitor or a specialist local agency can deal with the application for you.

Your application is forwarded to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (İçişleri Bakanlığı) for processing, which usually takes about 2 months. The initial residence permit is valid for 1 year, after which you can apply for a 2-year, than a 3 or 5-year extension. The fees are £ 415, £ 1,200 and £ 2,140 for the 1, 3 and 5-year permits respectively, plus you need to pay a £ 65 administration fee. A document certifying that you live where you say you do will also need to be obtained from the muhtar, and elected official in charge of your village or neighbourhood. This is a good opportunity to introduce yourself as well. Finally, you will need to proove that you have a regular income or sufficient funds to support yourself in Turkey. This can be done with bank statements or a work contract. Your passport must be valid for the entire permit period also. You can apply for a temporary residence permit at the Turkish Consulate in London before you travel. However, once you arrive you must stil go through the same process to obtain a full permit, so there is little point in the extra work and expense involved.
A residence permit entitles you tol ive in the country but not work. If you intend to work or set-up your own business you will need to get a seperate permit. If you are shipping your household possesions, you will be liable for import duty unless you have a residence permit.

WORKING IN TURKEYMany foreigners are employed by Turkish companies or choose to set-up their own businesses. In the coastal areas most employment is in the tourist industry, although with the current property boom there are also lots of jobs in real estate too.
Istanbul has far mor ediverse employment opportunities and wage rates are higher. However, the cost of living is also significantly higher than other parts of the country. Other large cities, like Izmir and Ankara, may also have a variety of jobs suitable for foreigners.
There is a long official list of occupations that a none-Turkish person can not engage in, including tourist guide and photographer. Work in other fields such as medicine, requires special permission.

Native English speakers are always in demand by private language schools and some Turkish universities. A degree and teaching qualification, such as a TEFL certificate, is generally required, although some schools may employ you without. Rates of pay are low by European standarts, typicly £ 400- £ 1,000 per month, depending on where you are and how much you work. But the schools often provide free accommadation and flights home on the successful completion of your contract.
To work in Turkey you or your employer will have to apply for a work permit (çalışma izni). The application process can take several months, or even longer, but you can normally start working while the application is in process. You can also apply in the UK at least two months before your departure.
Foreign nationals can set-up a limited company in Turkey, with or without a Turkish partner.

 
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