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Cost of living in Turkey

Posted by Tamer on June 20, 2019
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Cost of living in Turkey

If you want to know the cost of living in Turkey, we recommend that you read this article.

Undoubtedly, the cost of living in Turkey is a driving factor that helps expatriates to decide whether they should move here forever. The old saying that money makes the world go round is definitely true when it comes to our life choices, but Turkey can be an amazingly cheap place to live. Before we begin to consider average costs, it is necessary to consider some factors.

What is the minimum wage in Turkey?

The minimum wage is 2020 lire per month, while the employer pays all medical and pension payments, known as SGK. In this amount there will be only a simple lifestyle.

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Regional differences in cost of living

As in the whole world, living in a city is associated with higher costs. Turkey is the most expensive place to live in Istanbul, because it is a vibrant center of business, finance, tourism and the economy. In addition to higher rents, common daily expenses such as transportation, shopping and nightlife are more expensive. A family that does not need to pay rent or a mortgage can lead a good lifestyle for about 5,000 lira per month.

However, on the coast of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, the cost of living drops sharply. Compared to popular expatriates like Fethiye, living in Istanbul is about 20% more expensive. A couple of expats who own real estate in Fethiye can lead a middle-class lifestyle of an average of 3000 lira per month.


стоимость жизни в турции

High Interest Rates and Savings Accounts

Currently, many emigrants receiving a pension from their country lead a luxurious lifestyle thanks to the excellent exchange rate between the Turkish lira and other currencies such as the pound, euro and the US dollar.

If you receive a pension or monthly income in foreign currency and decide whether you can afford to live in Turkey, do not forget to take into account fluctuations in exchange rates.

Many emigrants also invest in high interest savings accounts and live off the interest they charge on a monthly basis. Starting from 8 to 10%, for those who have significant assets, this is a profitable way to finance living expenses.

So, let’s look at some numbers to find out what is expensive and what is cheap in Turkey.

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Breakdown of cost of living in Turkey

Smoke and drink

Over the past five years, Turkey has imposed higher taxes on alcohol and tobacco, which can significantly affect your budget. Anyone who smokes one pack of cigarettes a day and drinks one glass of alcohol will pay an average of 600 to 900 lire per month, depending on the brand.

Driving and Maintenance

Although the cost of gasoline is not as high as in European countries such as Greece or Portugal, it is still twice as high as in the USA and Russia. For this reason, many Turks drive diesel cars, the cost of which is lower. Car owners should also allocate about 4,000 lire per year for expenses such as maintenance, insurance and repairs.

Health & Residency

You need permission to stay in Turkey for more than 90 days, and if you are under 65, you will also need compulsory medical care. A couple buying a residence permit for a year and choosing a state SGK scheme for foreigners should receive about 7,000 lire per year.


household bills

It is here that the cost of living in Turkey looks bright, because housekeeping is extremely cheap. You do not need to buy a television license, and in certain areas outside of Istanbul and major cities, rent can be as low as 700 lire per month.

In most homes, gas is also bought in cylinders at local stores, and one large cylinder, costing an average of 100 lire, can be used for up to a year. (The following estimates are average prices.)

Electricity: 150 lira per month, but this can be significantly reduced by limiting the use of air conditioning.

Water and sewage: 40 lire per month

Public services: from 100 to 500 lire per month depending on the services offered.

Municipal tax: 200 lire per year, depending on the owners and the price category of your property.

Insurance: Deprem insurance in Turkey is required. Starting from 150 to 250 lire, the cost depends on where you buy the property and on its size. Fire protection, protection against theft and damage is optional, and the cost varies from supplier to supplier.

Telephone, Internet and satellite television: there is a price war between Turkey’s telecommunications and entertainment companies, which means there are some amazing deals. For example, Turk Telekom offers unlimited packages of Internet services, phone calls and satellite television, showing English and Turkish channels for only 73 lira per month.

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Additional Information: If you have not purchased property in Turkey, this article on expenses and additional expenses will help you. In addition, if you have any questions about living in Turkey, contact our sales representatives who will be happy to help.


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