More than 1.1 million foreigners applied for Turkish residency in 2018-19 constituting a 40% rise on the previous year, and more than 50% of applications were submitted in Istanbul.

Turkey is a popular destination for relocation, either for a temporary job posting or for permanent residence, as it offers an abundance of opportunities for families looking for a new beginning in a welcoming and safe environment. Turkey enables people to easily start a business and enjoy a fantastic lifestyle with a relatively low cost of living.

Below, we present five top reasons that make Turkey an exciting and attractive destination for relocation.

1. Affordable, world-class medical care

With its multiple world-class hospitals (61 of which are JCI-accredited, the gold standard in global health care), highly skilled medical staff and affordable prices, Turkey’s medical care is undoubtedly one of its top attractions.

International insurance provider, Clements Worldwide, has stated that Turkey sits among the top 5 countries in the world for medical tourism with cardiac, cancer, and orthopaedic care, as well as laser eye surgery, as the most popular treatments.

Turkey’s medical industry is growing and presents an opportunity for foreign medical professionals to relocate to Turkey with their families, where they can easily find a job or start their own practice.

2. High-class education

Enhance your children’s future with Turkey’s high-quality state and private educational facilities for all ages.

Turkey is home to 180 universities, boasting modern facilities and campuses, with 51 universities in Istanbul alone. Turkish universities are increasingly gaining in reputation but remain much more affordable than other universities across Europe. Turkey attracts many international students seeking higher education advancement.

For those that wish to enrol their children into schools with an English language curriculum, there are more than 20 international schools in Istanbul, including the renowned British International School.

3. Business opportunities

The unveiling of Istanbul’s new international airport brings with it a multitude of business opportunities. This is now the world’s largest airport, with an astounding capacity for 200 million passengers annually. The airport is a fantastic tribute to a country whose national carrier, Turkish Airlines, flies to more destinations worldwide than any other airline.

The new airport goes a long way to making Turkey, and specifically Istanbul, Eurasia’s main hub and financial centre; it is a metropolis interconnected with the global economy due to its geographical location and outstanding infrastructure, providing a multitude of business opportunities.

4. Idyllic lifestyle 

If your dream is for a better lifestyle then look no further than the tranquil towns and villages along the Turkish Aegean and Mediterranean coast – the Turkish Riviera.

Resort towns, such as Antalya, Marmaris and Bodrum with its twin bays have been host to record numbers of tourists coming from more than 140 countries within the first quarter of 2019. Turkish writer, Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, known as ‘The Fisherman of Halicarnassus’, once said: “If you come to the top of this hill, you will see Bodrum. Don’t think that you will leave the same person as when you arrived. To all those who came before you, it happened that way: they lost their hearts in Bodrum.”

As well as consistently high numbers of tourists, tens of thousands of northern European retirees relocate to towns such as Fethiye with its natural harbour, crystal blue waters and numerous rock tombs, as well as to Bodrum, to take advantage of the wonderfully warm climate, low cost of living and access to excellent medical facilities.

5. Abundance of activities 

Aside from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul and its stunning palaces, bazaars, malls, shopping centres and mosques, for the avid golfer, another top Turkish destination is the city of Antalya which has 14 PGA courses to play golf throughout the year at reasonable prices.

In Antalya, you can also sunbathe on a pristine beach until the middle of December, where temperatures can still reach the mid 20s. You can also take a short drive into the nearby mountains and spend a day skiing at the Saklikent Ski Resort, which has spectacular, scenery rivalling most resorts found in the Alps at a fraction of the cost.

Turkey’s citizenship by investment program is extremely popular and these five reasons to relocate to Turkey demonstrate why so many people from a widening geographical area are opting for Turkey as a new place to live and work.

Turkey has attracted foreign nationals, not just from diverse ethnic backgrounds but also from diverse demographics – from migrant workers, to the CEOs and chairmen of multinational corporations such as former Chairman of Mercedes Benz Turkey, Mr Jurgen Ziegler, and the former General Manager of Renault, Mr Alain Gabillet, who both opted to remain in Turkey after they retired.

In 2008, US citizens constituted most foreign nationals living and working in Turkey, with 2,258 work permits issued. This is closely followed by Germans, French and British people. However, today, US nationals are not even in the top 10 of nationalities living or working in Turkey in 2019.

Today, most foreign nationals living in Turkey come from the Middle East, Russia and Turkey’s surrounding countries, with Chinese nationals now entering the top 10 with 2,659 work permits and a further 7,046 resident only permits issued in 2018.

It is worth noting that 235,000 applications of the 1.1 million for Turkish citizenship this year were rejected, largely due to procedural errors and incorrect paperwork. This highlights the importance of hiring professionals to conduct the procedure on behalf of applicants. That, or risk losing time, money and the chance to live and work in Turkey. To find out more about how Astons can help you start your new life in Turkey, visit:

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices worldwide, offering residency & citizenship investment solutions. For further information or to discuss your circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected].