Living in Istanbul: Pros and Cons for Foreign Expats

There is no doubt that Turkey is a distinguished destination for many Arab and foreign nationalities because it is one of the most important emerging countries in the Middle East.
In recent decades it has attracted many tourists and visitors who are coming to settle for study, work or investment due to the several facilities and privileges provided by the Turkish government.
But we should not ignore the fact that Istanbul, which is one of the largest cities in the world, despite having many advantages that have attracted many citizens of the world, like any other large city, it has many negatives too that must be taken into consideration while residing in it.
So, in this article, we will list the pros and cons of living in Istanbul and what are the things you should pay attention to while staying in Istanbul.

The Advantages of living in Istanbul:

1- Istanbul’s distinguished location:
Istanbul is a modern and high-spirited city, that has a magical blend of Eastern and Western culture in addition to its deep and rich history.
Although it is not the capital of Turkey, Istanbul is still the cultural and commercial centre of the country and the whole world, being a meeting point between Asia and Europe, and for this reason, its location is considered a very strategic and important location.

2- The beauty of the nature of Istanbul:
The beauty of the nature of Istanbul cannot be hidden from anyone, and the tourist finds many and varied options in its charming touristic destinations, we can observe the intertwining of nature in the blue of the seas and the green of the trees, not to mention the famous lakes, forests, cultural monuments and remnants.

3- The cultural similarities between Arabs and Turks:
In Turkey, you will not experience the feeling of homesickness. because the customs and culture of the Turkish people are very close to the customs and culture of the Arab people, as Turks are stuck to their customs and traditions, and the values of eastern and Islamic life are also strong.

4- The plurality of universities and schools:
Universities in Turkey are divided into 2 types: government universities that provide education for free or at low costs for foreign students, or private universities that have a wide range of opportunities and tuition fees vary between one university and another, one major and another, and Istanbul universities occupy a high position on the global ranking of universities.
As for schools, the Turkish state has paid most of its attention in recent decades to developing the level of education in all its stages. Therefore, public education in state schools is no less important than private education. Public education characteristics are: being free, and the Turkish government allocates a large budget to develop teaching and tools in its schools, which you will see clearly when you visit one of these schools.

5- Facilitations for obtaining Turkish residency and citizenship:
Newcomers to Turkey can apply for a residence permit, depending on the reason for being in Turkey. The official website of the Turkish Ministry of Interior Affairs has classified the goal of foreigners residing on Turkish lands into 6 main types:
Short-term residence permit: includes tourism purposes, real estate accommodation, work accommodation, receiving medical treatment, and attending Turkish learning courses.
Family residence permit.
Student residence permit.
Long-term residence permit.
Humanitarian residence permit.
Residence permit for victims of human trafficking.

As for obtaining Turkish citizenship by investment: to live in Turkey, a residence permit must be obtained; However, some foreigners and their families want to obtain Turkish citizenship directly. Therefore, Turkey, and especially Istanbul, is the distinctive destination that helps you make a successful real estate investment and obtain Turkish citizenship. If you invest $400,000 or more in real estate and pledge to keep it for at least three years, you and your family can apply for Turkish citizenship and enjoy living and working rights just like the locals.

6- Multiple means of transportation:
The public transportation network in Istanbul is an integrated network that aims to provide transportation to all parts of the city smoothly, as the transportation network was established to accommodate the severe congestion within the city, as we find buses, the Istanbul subway line, Metrobus, tramway, sea ships and taxis, and other means that provides public services in Istanbul.

7- Distinguished medical services:

Istanbul is characterized by the availability of treatment centres and hospitals with a high level of medical care, and these hospitals and centres have become famous all over the world, especially in the field of cosmetology and treatment of baldness cases (according to New Turk News Agency), in addition to the availability of private centres and clinics that are wide-spread in Istanbul. These centres provide integrated medical services at low prices.
8- Cost of living:

Turkey can be classified among the countries whose expenses are balanced with its income. Living expenses are not considered exorbitant, but on the contrary, compared to other countries, Turkey is considered among the countries with a low cost of living. It is worth mentioning that: transportation prices, food and drink prices, prices Clothes, insurance prices and health care are lower than in other countries, which makes Turkey a destination for many foreigners and tourists. According to the Turkish news agency

Second: The cons of living in Istanbul:

1- The different language:

The difference in language constitutes a barrier and an obstacle for those who want to communicate in Turkey, as the Turkish people take great pride in their language, as they refuse to use a language other than their Turkish language with foreigners, so foreigners coming to Turkey should take into consideration learning the Turkish language to make sure they will not encounter any problems.

2- The element of safety:

Istanbul is one of the largest and most crowded cities in Turkey, and there are multiple nationalities in it. For this reason, there may be a fear of theft in some areas, especially the popular ones. It is not recommended to live in such neighbourhoods. On the other hand, it is recommended to live in areas such as Beylikduzu, Başakşehir, Bahçeşehir and others that provide 7/24 security and guard service and several other services where a mother and her children or the elderly can live safely and without fear.
We recommend opening an account in approved Turkish banks, depositing your money in them, using Visa Card (credit card) for purchases and withdrawing small amounts instead of carrying large amounts of money.

3- Expatriate issues:
Moving from one country to another may seem easy for some people and others may face difficulty in it, but these issues can be easily coexisted and dealt with by forming a clear idea about the living system, expenses, taxes, and residency laws in Turkey through extensive research Via the Internet.
Thus, we see that the pros of living in Istanbul are more than its cons because Istanbul has the elements of a comfortable life and a diverse movement of history, modernity and development, and ownership is an ideal option in it, in terms of prices and the many available options that suit all tastes and needs.

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