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Living expenses in Turkey

Living expenses in Turkey

How is life in Turkey?

Today, the cost of living in Turkey as a driving factor that helps foreigners to decide whether they should move here permanently. The minimun wage is 2020 lira a month with the employer paying all healthcare and retirement stamps known as SGK.

In terms of exchange rates, at present, many expats who receive a pension from their home country are enjoying a luxurious lifestyle thanks to an excellent exchamge rate between the Turkish Lira and other currencies like the pound, euro and American dollar.

In Turkey, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 33 604 a year. In terms of employment, 52% of people aged 15 to 64 in Turkey have a paid job. Some 71% of men are in paid work, compared with 32% of women.

Money Value

The currency of Turkey is Turkish Lira (TRY or TL in Turkish)

1 Euro almost around 7 TL. The exchanege rate changes daily depending on on the national and global economic environments.

You can change Euros or Dollars in exchange offices you may find almost everywhere in towns. Banks can also change your money but their rates and commision policies do not make them real option except emergency cases. Exchange offices are open 6 days a week from around 09:00 till 17:00. Opening hours may differ according to the season and the town.

You should be aware of the fact that Turkey might not be as cheap as you have been thinking of. Food and some basic things may be cheaper than many other European countries, but you will notice soon that there are many things especially electronics that are more expensive than many other countries.

Highlights of cost of living in Turkey

Household Bills: This is where Turkey makes up for high rent costs because household bills are incredibly cheap. Monthly fees include electric, water, sewerage, telephone, internet, gas and satellite packages. People living in apartment buildings with six or more residences will also need to pay apartment aidat, that is a fee towards communal services. Factor in between 300 to 500 TL a month to make sure your household runs smoothly.

Council Tax and Insurance: These yearly costs really make foreigners smile because they are a fraction of the charges in countries like the UK. Council tax is calculated on the official price band for your property, as well as how many people are on the title deeds. Earthquake insurance is compulsory and depends on the square meterage of your property. You can also upgrade to theft and fire cover as well. Factor in 400 to 700 TL a year for both these charges.

Eating and Drinking Out: A budget or fast food meal is 25 TL, leading up to 60 TL if you visit middle-class restaurants. Prices of beer in shops range from 8 to 10 lira but can cost as much as 20 TL if you visit a bar. Expect to pay 50 TL for a midrange bottle of wine.

Transport: If you plan to live in Istanbul, transportation is a major cost and using public services will set you back roughly 200 TL a month. Otherwise, the price of petrol hoovers around the 6-lira mark, and vehicle owners should also set aside approximately 3.000 TL a year for maintenance, insurance and MOTs.

Residency and Healthcare: This is a big cost for foreigners under the age of 65 because they need to have health insurance to qualify for residency. Including application and renewal fees as well as opting in for Turkey’s state-run health insurance scheme, a foreigner pays roughly 7.000 TL a year. Please note, SGK payment for couples are the same as a single person. Reduce this cost by shopping around for private health insurance.

Food Shopping: Single people or couples on a budget can save a lot of money in this area. Using local markets instead of the leading supermarkets for fruit, veg and dairy products is cheaper, averaging in at roughly 40 TL a week for a good selection of products. At present, lamb and beef are expensive in Turkey averaging between 60 to 80 TL a kilogram. Turkeys most widely eaten meat is chicken, that is roughly 15 TL for a kilogram.

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