Don’t Underestimate This Affordable Mediterranean Destination
A vast country, Turkey stretches from the turquoise and azure waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas–where you’ll find most expats–across towering pine-covered mountains, on to the rolling plains that mark the beginning of the great Eurasian Steppe, then on over lush green mountains to the Black Sea coast, legendary home of the Amazons.
Often overlooked in favor of more established Mediterranean destinations, Turkey offers a vast array of choice and bundles of potential for anybody willing to do a little homework and leg work. The country is immense, but, thankfully, you can focus your interest on four regions in particular: the Aegean coast, the Mediterranean coast, Istanbul, and Cappadocia.
Many of the villages and port towns of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts are already home to expats. Why? Warm seas, sunshine, and an affordable lifestyle aside, entire classical cities wait to be discovered among magnificent pine forests and olive groves–if you fancy a break from the beach, that is.
Along thousands of miles of coastline, you can find sleek resorts and modern medical facilities, just yards from the monumental remains of ancient Greece and Rome. It’s a country where the modern and the traditional are juxtaposed, at once familiar and excitingly different–and very affordable.
Though not the capital, Istanbul is the country’s beating heart. Istanbul offers the best of any European city–from lattes to the latest Hollywood releases (in English)–but with a superior nightlife. You really can watch the world go by beneath a skyline of minarets and modern office blocks as ships from all over the globe trundle up and down the Bosphorus, the narrow straits that divide Europe from Asia.
For something completely different, an increasing number of expats are opting for a new life in the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, where the earliest Christians once took shelter in mysterious underground cities and renovated cave houses complete a fairytale landscape that must be seen to be believed.
Property in Turkey–even in the most desirable Mediterranean resorts–remains affordable. It’s priced well below the cost of comparable buys in more established retirement destinations along the Med. Sun, sea, and sand in Spain? No problem if you have US$225,000, say, for a two-bedroom apartment in Malaga. Prices in Turkey can be less than half that, even in the most popular coastal spots.
Take a two-bed apartment in Fethiye, center of the Turkish Riviera, for example. Situated a short walk from one of the country’s top beaches, it’s going for US$100,000. That’s the norm.
|Population||78,785,548 (July 2011 est.)|
|Gross Domestic Product (GDP)||$960.5 billion (2010 est.)|
|GDP Per Capita||$12,300 (2010 est.)|
|Inflation Rate||8.6% (2010 est.)|
|Currency||Turkish liras (TRY)|
|Exchange Rate Versus U.S. Dollar||1.5181 (2010) Turkish liras (TRY) per US dollar –|
|Language||Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages|
|Population of Capital City||4,431,719|
|Time Zone||UTC/GMT +2 hours|
|Seasons||temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior|
|International Dialing Code||90|
|System of Government||republican parliamentary democracy|
|Name and Party Affiliation of Current Leader||chief of state: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (since 28 August 2014)|
|Income Tax Rate for Residents||15% to 35%|
|Property Tax||rates based on the value of land or building. 0.2% to 0.3%|
|Capital Gains Tax||Capital gains derived from the sale of securities and capital market instruments are subject to income tax|
|Inheritance Tax||1% to 10%|
|Rental Income Tax||0.1% – 0.3%|
|Sales Tax||18% – 8% to basic foodstuffs & others.|
|Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Property||Persons of foreign nationality may buy property in Turkey if reciprocity exists between Turkey and the country of which they are a citizen.|
|Local Chamber of Commerce||http://www.izto.org.tr|
|American Chamber of Commerce||http://www.turkishuschamber.org/|
|Residency and Visa Requirements||You need a passport and visa to travel to Turkey. If you are traveling as a tourist, you can purchase a 90-day sticker visa at the port of entry for $20 (U.S.) cash. The foreigners who will stay in Turkey for more than three months shall apply to security authorities and fill in a declaration in order to obtain a residence permit.|
|Special Benefits for Foreign Residents or Retirees||No, Foreign residents are generally subject to taxation on their worldwide income|