Living in a foreign country can be a daunting experience, particularly if you are unsure of the living costs. In this guide, we focus on Turkey, a country known for its rich history, diverse culture, and fantastic food. It’s essential to understand that the cost of living in Turkey varies from city to city. However, in general, you’ll find that your money can go a long way here compared to many Western countries.
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of the cost of living in Turkey in 2023.
1. Accommodation Costs
Accommodation costs are one of the most significant expenses you’ll encounter while living in Turkey. Prices vary depending on the city, the neighborhood, and the size and quality of the property. For instance, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost you about $370 per month, while the same apartment outside the city center will be around $250.
If you are interested in purchasing property, prices vary as well. The price per square meter to buy an apartment in the city center is approximately $1.500 while outside of the city center, it is around $900.
2. Food and Drink Costs
Food is an essential part of Turkish culture, and the prices are as diverse as the dishes themselves.
Groceries are quite affordable in Turkey. For instance, a loaf of fresh white bread costs around $0.37, and a liter of regular milk is about $0.84. If you’re cooking at home, 1kg of chicken fillets will set you back $4, while the same amount of beef round costs around $14. As for fruits and vegetables, they’re pretty cheap, with 1kg of apples or oranges costing about $0.8, and 1kg of tomatoes is around $0.9.
Dining out is also quite affordable. An inexpensive meal at a restaurant will cost you between $3 and $10. If you’re planning a date night, a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant will cost you between $30-$50.
3. Transportation Costs
Public transportation in Turkey is efficient and quite affordable. A one-way ticket for local transport will cost you $0.36, while a monthly pass is priced at $28.
If you prefer driving, be ready for the cost of fuel, which is about $0.9 per liter. Regarding purchasing a vehicle, a new Volkswagen Golf or a similar car is around $50.000, while a Toyota Corolla Sedan or equivalent is priced at approximately $45.000.
The cost of basic utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for an 85m2 apartment will set you back around $60 per month. As for communication services, a mobile phone monthly plan with calls and 10GB+ data will cost you around $6, while unlimited data internet (60 Mbps or more) is priced at about $12-$15 per month.
5. Leisure Activities
Leisure activities play a significant part in the cost of living in Turkey and can add to your monthly budget depending on your lifestyle.
For fitness enthusiasts, a monthly fee for a fitness club will cost around $21. If you enjoy tennis, renting a tennis court for an hour on the weekend will set you back $11. Movie-goers will find cinema tickets reasonably priced at around $4 for an international release.
6. Clothing Costs
Turkey is home to numerous international and local clothing brands, and prices can vary depending on the brand and type of clothing. A pair of jeans similar to Levi’s 501 is around $35-$40, while a summer dress in a chain store like Zara or H&M costs about $27.
For shoe lovers, a pair of mid-range Nike running shoes is priced at about $65, while a pair of men’s leather business shoes will cost you around $50.
7. Healthcare Costs in Turkey
Healthcare costs form a significant part of the cost of living in any country, and Turkey is no exception. The good news is that healthcare in Turkey is relatively affordable, with a comprehensive system that caters to residents and non-residents alike. Whether you’re looking for public healthcare, private healthcare, or a combination of both, you’ll find a range of options to suit your needs and budget.
a. Public Healthcare
Turkey boasts a universal healthcare system, known as General Health Insurance (GHI), provided by the Social Security Institution (SSI). This system provides residents with access to a wide range of medical services at public hospitals and clinics across the country.
For residents, a nominal fee is charged for doctor consultations and treatments, making it a cost-effective choice. Non-residents who have been living in Turkey for at least one year and have a residence permit can also apply for the GHI. The monthly premium for this insurance plan varies depending on your income, with an average cost of around $120 per month.
b. Private Healthcare
For those who prefer private healthcare, Turkey offers a range of options. Private hospitals and clinics in Turkey are known for their high-quality care, advanced medical technology, and English-speaking staff.
However, the cost of private healthcare can be higher than public healthcare. A typical consultation with a specialist in a private hospital can range from $40 to $80. It’s also worth noting that many private hospitals in major cities offer packages for regular check-ups and health screenings at discounted rates.
While private health insurance is not mandatory, it’s a good idea if you plan to use private healthcare services. Various insurance companies offer different coverage plans, so it’s advisable to shop around and find the one that best suits your needs. Prices for private health insurance depend on your age, health condition, and the level of coverage, but a good and basic plan can start from as little as $250 per year.
Whether you choose public or private healthcare in Turkey, it’s reassuring to know that you’ll have access to quality care at a reasonable cost. However, like any aspect of living abroad, it’s essential to do your research and make sure you’re fully informed before making any decisions.
8. Childcare and Education Costs
If you are planning on raising a family in Turkey, it’s essential to consider childcare and education costs. For a full day at a private preschool or kindergarten, you can expect to pay around $250-$300 per month. International primary schools are more costly, with an annual fee for one child being around $5.000-$10.000.
9. Financial Aspects and Salaries
Salaries in Turkey can vary significantly depending on the industry and the level of expertise. The minimum monthly net salary after tax is around 11500 TL – ($440 – 07 July 2023).
In conclusion, the cost of living in Turkey is affordable and manageable compared to many western nations. However, it’s important to remember that these costs can vary significantly based on your lifestyle and the city in which you choose to reside.
To give you a more detailed idea of what living in Turkey might cost you, consider the following:
For a family of four, estimated monthly costs are around $1300 excluding rent. This estimate includes expenses like groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and leisure activities. Bear in mind that this is a rough estimate, and the actual cost can vary depending on various factors like the size of your family, your consumption habits, and the city you live in.
If you’re a single person, your monthly costs, excluding rent, are estimated to be around $600. This budget should cover your basic needs including food, utilities, transportation, and occasional leisure activities.
While these figures offer a general guide, the actual cost of living in Turkey can vary greatly based on individual circumstances and lifestyle choices. Hence, it is advisable to thoroughly research and plan your budget before making a move.
In essence, Turkey is a country that offers a good balance of affordability and quality of life. It’s rich in culture, history, and natural beauty, all of which contribute to an enriching living experience. Whether you’re considering Turkey for its cost of living, cultural experiences, or its welcoming atmosphere, this beautiful nation has plenty to offer.
Check the detailed list of Cost of Living in Turkey: Numbeo’s Cost of Living Index for Turkey
Also Check: Life in Turkey