Waking up in Ankara – why do so many expats move to Turkey?

Ten years ago it seemed rare for many expats to move to Turkey, especially Ankara! But a new trend has seen more and more foreign nationals flocking to Turkey in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Turkey has become somewhat of a hot spot for tourism in the last few years, continually growing year on end. More expat communities have built up and Turkey has all of a sudden become “cool”. The growing Turkish economy and the weak Eurozone has seen many more expats finding themselves landing in Turkey for pastures new.

The obvious reasons for what attracts expats to Turkey would include the picturesque weather along the Turkish coastline in Mediterranean spots like Fethiye and Antalya – both with a bustling expat community. Ankara however is NOT along the Mediterranean.

Ankara is capital of Turkey, and the second largest city after Istanbul. Located in the center of Turkey, the weather in Ankara during the winter can be fierce, just ask anyone who has suffered through the snow in recent weeks!

The last few decades have seen a modernization of Ankara with a vibrant nightlife and plenty of historic highlights which attract many tourists and visitors each year. Just like any other major metropolitan area, there are plenty of consulates and government buildings for expats. There is a plethora of museums and attractions in Ankara, be sure to check out The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Ankara Citadel. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants serving traditional Turkish food to Italian and seafood. The future of Ankara looks bright.

But what exactly attracts EXPATS to Turkey? How is life different in Turkey compared with anywhere else in the world? For the most part, life in Turkey is a lot more simple and easy going than other countries. Many expats find themselves falling in love with the colorful Turkish culture and scenery. Also, Turkey is uniquely positioned in the world as a meeting point between the West and the East – this certainly has an effect on life inside Turkey.  Some say that living in Turkey is like living in a mini-world itself. Living in Turkey is something that truly can’t be explained until you have actually been there and done it!  The expat community in Turkey is friendly and open and helpful to anyone looking to make the big move to Turkey.

So whether you are moving to Turkey to buy a property in Turkey, to live the life in the sun along the Med, or simply to experience the advantages of life in Turkey, one thing is for sure – expats love Turkey. As for why so many expats are flocking to Turkey each year – well, most will have their own unique story to be told.

Written by guest blogger Ricky Carbis of Easy Move to Turkey.  Ricky is an experienced journalist who has traveled extensively and now writes all about Turkey.

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9 thoughts on “Waking up in Ankara – why do so many expats move to Turkey?

  1. Great article Ricky. I moved to Turkey to live with my Husband. I started coming to Turkey on holiday and that is how I met my husband. I don’t think I would have moved here if it wasn’t for my husband. It is a different life style in many ways and yet life is the same. You still have your daily routines work, shopping, house work but the good weather and more relaxed way of life here makes it different to Scotland and of course the weather makes a big difference to life. Well it will in the summer when all this snow goes away!

  2. Education should be mentioned here too, there are many public and private universities of prestige located in Ankara (for instance, Hacettepe’s medical school is the most renowned in the country, while ODTÜ is definitely the best to study engineering) and consequently the number of students in this city is high and ever-growing, probably generating more income than tourism-related activities.

    Not so many Europeans and Americans come to Turkey for education – except maybe as exchange students -, but definitely a lot of people from Iran, the Arab World and the Ex-Soviet republics as well as the Balkans attend Turkish universities and language courses.

  3. It is interesting Natalie. Why go to Ankara when you could visit one of the gorgeous seas? Or walk the path of St. Paul? There really is a lot ot see in Turkey. Although many come to Ankara for work at the Embassies or their own personal businesses. I guess not everyone can handle living in Istanbul!

  4. I expect that the future will see many more expats choosing Turkey as a destination. The next few years should see an interesting influx of foreign nationals to Turkey – good quality of life, stable economy etc. Turkey seems a safe haven for expats at the moment.

  5. I live in Mersin, and have not come across any other English expats there yet.
    I moved there a couple of years ago, my wife is Turkish and had lived in Mersin before so she had friends there.

    • Hi Peter and thanks for reading my blog! I hope you will keep coming back. I have never been to Mersin. Isn’t it right ont he water as well? If there’s no expats there, I may put it on my short list for vacation spots! I guess you miss having fellow-foreigners around. Whereas in Ankara, we lean on each other so much, we sometimes forget where we are!

  6. What do people think will happen in the future with expats coming to Turkey? More? Less? Why do you think that they will choose Turkey over other nations?

    I think Turkey will experience some, shall we say ‘golden years’ in the next few years. We expect some big things to happen in Turkey.

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