The cost of living in Turkey can be one of the first few reasons a foreigner prefers Turkey. Of course, the low cost of living does not mean that Turkey's quality of life lacks. When price and standard are compared to other countries, it is reasonable to say that high standards can be achieved for low costs in Turkey. In this respect, living in Turkey can be the key to a more comfortable and quality life.
Living in Istanbul
The higher cost of living in big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir is not unique to Turkey. The cost of living in Istanbul, Turkey's leading city in economy, culture, art, history, and business among all provinces, is relatively higher. Istanbul is an expensive city, especially regarding rent expenses, food and beverage, and social life. The location to be chosen with the right investment proposal will also help an investor who will settle in Turkey to achieve the most suitable living standard for himself.
According to the Numbeo website, which compares their living costs, rents in Istanbul are 84% cheaper than London, 90% more affordable than New York, 78% than Paris, and 68% than Berlin. Istanbul has a significant advantage in this regard alone, as rent usually takes a large part of the salary. The second-highest expense, daily shopping fees, is 39% cheaper than London, 66% cheaper than New York, 57% more affordable than Paris, and 34% cheaper than Berlin.
As in any other country, rental prices in Turkey will depend on many factors. In particular, from the city and its area, type of real estate, area, characteristics of apartments, availability of communications, infrastructure, transport, and other factors.
The average cost of renting an apartment in Turkey 2 + 1 in one of the country's cities (Antalya, Alanya, Izmir) is about $250 per month without utility bills. Of course, there are options where the rent for housing starts from $350 and more, but these properties already belong to the category of prestigious real estate.
In Istanbul, the prices for renting apartments are much higher. In non-resort cities, you can rent a very high-quality apartment in excellent condition for 3-4 rooms for a relatively small amount. However, according to Numbeo, a number-crunching cost of living index collector, the city center of Istanbul is still roughly 148% cheaper than London. A startling aspect of Istanbul life is rent. The average expenditure for rent is $275 a month for a basic cheap 1+1 apartment in a small neighborhood on the outskirts, but this can rise to as much as $600 in a central location.
When buying own apartment, a foreign citizen needs to choose the most suitable place to stay. In metropolitan areas such as Istanbul, Antalya, Ankara, and popular resort centers, the cost per square meter is higher than in ordinary cities. If you cut across all country regions, the average price per square meter is approximately $ 350. For example, a 1+1 apartment in Alanya and Antalya costs $50-55K, in Istanbul – $75-80K.
If you buy a home at a price of $250,000, a foreigner can automatically apply for citizenship by investment using an accelerated procedure. Regardless of the price, acquisition of any property automatically allows the owner to obtain a residence permit in Turkey.
If you plan to rent a house, be prepared that the cost of electricity consumed will also be included in the month of living in Turkey. If the apartment has a centralized gas supply, the payment amount will be relatively small, especially in winter, when heating is required. If there is no gas, then the main electricity consumption will fall for air conditioning and heaters. Also, high costs are expected in the hot summer period, when the air conditioning system of the apartment is constantly working to cool the premises. Electricity tariffs in Turkey in 2020 inclusive of taxes – 0.92TL ($0.12) / kWh
In the presence of gas, the payment for electricity will be about $ 7 for a family of two. With the active use of the air conditioner, the average electricity bill is about $ 30 and more.
There are not many companies providing Internet services in the Republic of Turkey. This type of service can be obtained from three leading providers:
- TTNet (Turk Telekom);
- Superonline (Turkcell);
- Kablonet (Turksat).
For TTNET, unlimited internet traffics fees vary between 15 and 25 USD. In addition, the quality and speed of the internet are not at the highest level.
Turkey's food products are sold in shops, supermarkets (Migros, Şok, A101, Bim, and others), and the markets. As a rule, locals prefer to buy vegetables and fruits in the markets, associated with lower prices, bargaining opportunities, and a wide range of quality organic goods.
Food costs in Turkey depend on where you plan to eat – at home or in restaurants and cafes. By far the most economical option is to prepare meals at home. In catering establishments, food is good and tasty, although it will cost much more. Cheaper food in such places, if instead of a restaurant, finds a good cafeteria, which the Turks also visit. It is expensive to see popular fast foods, buy fries, burgers, and cola – here prices are much higher than in a regular cafe.
Estimated prices in shops in Turkey:
milk – from $ 0.46 per liter
eggs – from $ 0.94 for 15 pieces
chicken breasts – $ 2.45 – 2.92 per kg
whole chicken – $ 2.05 per kg
flour – from $ 0.70 per kg
white bread (250 g) – $ 0.18
beef – from $ 9.35 per kg
lamb – from $ 5.84 per kg
sugar – from $ 1,5 per kg
butter – $ 4.68 – 7.01 per kg
vegetable oil – from $ 1.05 per liter
pasta – from $ 0.18 for 0.5 kg
hard cheeses – from $ 4 per kg
tea – $ 5,5 per kg
fruits and vegetables – on average 2 to 5 TL per kg
beer – from $1.17 per 0.5 liter
juice – $0.23 – 0.35 per liter
cake – $ 2.92 – 4.09 per piece
cucumbers – $ 0.47 kilograms
doner kebab $ 4
lahmacun (Turkish pizza) – $ 0,9
As you can see, the most expensive categories of goods are meat, oil, and alcohol; the cheapest are vegetables, fruits, and all kinds of aromatic spices. The cost of products is approximately the same throughout the country.
In Turkey, 12 years of compulsory education is implemented from primary school to high school. Public elementary, middle, and high schools are free. Private pre-university school fees vary between 3,000 USD and 7,000 USD.
Public universities are very affordable, especially compared to similar institutions in Europe or the United States. The tuition fees in public universities to study in Turkey are almost free, ranging from $ 700 to $ 1500 per year. Disciplines like Medicine or Engineering can be more expensive. Private Turkish universities are more expensive than public ones. You can still find academic courses with reasonable tuition, but some degrees cost over 20,000 USD per year. Many universities in Turkey have scholarships or financial aid programs for international students. These can be merit-based or need-based. Getting scholarships from Turkish University scholarships is the most common way to study for free in Turkey.
As an international student, you can live in Turkey with a budget of 400–650 EUR per month. This is much more affordable when compared to other study destinations in the world. Your average living costs will go up or down depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.
Virtually the whole of Turkey is well covered by public transport, including long-distance buses, domestic flights, minibusses, and ferries. The aged train network is being overhauled, with new high-speed lines linking the capital Ankara with İstanbul, Konya, and Sivas. Car rental rates are reasonable if you look around, and low-season rentals usually considerably cheaper than in high season.
Life in Turkey is good in many ways, but it will seem expensive for the owners of their vehicles. Having your car in Turkey is chic because the country's fuel prices are the highest in Europe. For 1 liter of gasoline, on average, you need to pay about $0.9. The basis for such inflated prices for fuel is the amount of excise taxes, which are included in its cost.
The cost of a short taxi ride lasting 10-15 minutes will cost about $16-25. Buses are also widespread in this country; however, they are considered the most inconvenient mode of transport in Turkey. Firstly, they are often overcrowded, and secondly, it is tough for a foreigner to figure out from the signs where the bus is coming from and where it is going. The cost of a trip on a regular bus with a duration of 20 minutes will be about $ 0,7.