Moving to Istanbul: housing, prices, jobs, people

Moving to Istanbul: housing, prices, jobs, people

“My husband and I have been thinking about moving for a long time, but we didn’t really prepare for it. We knew that it would definitely be Turkey, but did not decide on the city. They did not learn the language, although they were aware of the paperwork and legalization.

Our family is small: I, Olesya, work as a remote lawyer, my husband, Sergey, is a draftsman. We have a two year old son Plato. There was no way to try to live temporarily, I had to decide quickly. We sold the apartment and immediately moved, the choice fell on Istanbul.” Subtlety reader Olesya talks about moving to Turkey and what awaited them.

Residence permit

To obtain a residence permit, you first need to acquire housing (a lease with a long-term contract is suitable). The first residence permit is temporary, it can be obtained for a maximum of 2 years and further extended. After living in the country for more than 8 years, you can get a permanent residence permit. We signed a contract for 2 years, at the same time we received a residence permit. I will not describe all the procedures in detail, information can be found at the office. site.

To make it clear how much money you need to have by the beginning of the move, I will write down approximately our expenses :

  • The cost of renting an apartment in the Bayrampasa area is 500 USD (this is when concluding a contract for 2 years; the shorter the term, the higher the cost per month). They usually pay several months in advance, we paid 6 months of rent.
  • Utilities cost another 100 USD monthly.
  • All expenses associated with obtaining a residence permit for a family are approximately 300 USD . This amount includes the opening of an account, the purchase of a SIM card, translation of documents, payment of state duty, registration of insurance.

We like the Bayrampasa area: it is new, quite close to the airport, it is not a problem to get to the center. Yes, the sea is not so close here, but all the infrastructure is at hand: supermarkets, hospitals, schools, restaurants and Ikea! How we missed her! Although the Turks themselves do not shop there that often, there are many Turkish brands of home goods in Istanbul, which are much more budget-friendly.

Now we are selecting housing for purchase, looking at our area, new buildings. Today, for the price of one apartment in Moscow, you can buy a decent three-room apartment in Istanbul – under construction, you will have to wait a year or two. But this year, housing prices have almost tripled, if we had decided to move earlier, we could have afforded a business class apartment or an apartment with a sea view.

Today, for the price of one apartment in Moscow, you can buy a decent three-room apartment in Istanbul – under construction, you will have to wait a year or two.

Istanbul is a European city

There are very responsive and kind people, always ready to help. Even in the migration center, where now every second one is our compatriot, they are trying to help, suggest, many services have websites in Russian. We have never faced any negative feedback.


According to locals, food prices have risen a lot, but even so, food here is a third cheaper than in Moscow. In Istanbul, almost every district has sports and cultural centers for children, where you can take your child to swim, gymnastics or other activities. There are many private kindergartens with English-speaking teachers, there are even Russian-speaking ones, but we decided to take our son to the Anglo-Turkish kindergarten so that it would be easier for him to immerse himself in the environment.

My husband and I study Turkish 5 times a week online, after about a month I could already feel comfortable on the street, talk to taxi drivers, sellers, and even discuss the news with my neighbors.

To order a taxi, they use the Bitaxi application here: it looks like Yandex, only the price is indicated there, approximate, minimum and maximum. Do not be alarmed if the taxi driver offers to turn off the application and use the meter: the price will remain within the specified range. By the way, even in the early days, I practically did not get deceived by taxi drivers, perhaps control over their activities has increased, or ordering through this application helps. More often you can run into overpricing in the markets, the imposition of additional services in real estate agencies or a notary. Only knowledge of the language will help not to fall for such things: if you speak, it means that you are in the “friends” club.

There are traffic jams in Istanbul

Yes, this is a problem, but the main thing is that you always have a choice on what to ride. Public transport is very well developed here, even the most inexperienced traveler will not get lost. You can get to the same point in the city in several ways: bus, tram, metro, metrobus, marmaray (walks through the tunnel under the Bosphorus). It is very profitable to buy a travel card, now it is difficult and very expensive to buy single tickets. /f550x700/a2/9r/a29rr9stx60o4owosw0cs4sgw.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>

Moving to Istanbul : housing, prices, jobs, people

Samet Çolakoğlu


The biggest problem is the difficulty in finding a job. So far we are working for Russian companies, but it is becoming less and less profitable, and it is not easy to find a job here. If you do not work as a highly qualified specialist, the average wages here are very low. On average, in Istanbul, you can count on a salary of 500-600 USD, provided that you have a legal permit and speak fluent Turkish and English.

We will consider options for opening our own business. There are no ideas yet, and this issue has not been fully studied, but we do not see other ways to make money in Istanbul. traditions and customs. I can’t imagine how I used to live without these great Turkish breakfasts, weekend trips to the islands and hot bread from the bakery near the house.

Istanbul seems to me a surprisingly versatile, flexible city that does not dictate strict rules to you: everyone will find a place here.

What else to read about Turkey?

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  • We are like everyone else with a difference of 10 percent: a travel agent's review of a vacation in a new Turkish hotel
  • What to see in Antalya if you have been there a hundred times

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