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Old 17th June 2005, 13:03   #1 (permalink)
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Living in Turkey.... Costs....

The cost of living in Turkey really needs to be viewed in context with your lifestyle.

Life in Turkey can be a picnic however, the fantasy of 7 months sunbathing soon loses its appeal as does hitting the bar and restaurant scene every night.

The difference between living here and just popping over for a holiday is all to apparent and discussed previously in another thread recently "Living the Dream"

Hence, although I do not need to work, I choose to.

The main reason I choose to work is it installs a pattern of normal daily life that I was used to in the UK. Its not healthy to any relationship spending 24/7 together and I have seen some solid relationships go down the pan over here as a direct result of this.

Maintaining a lifestyle in Turkey costs money just as much as it can in the UK.

Afterall, if you are sitting at home every evening, the attraction to visit a bar or restaurant is very appealing.

Up until a couple of years ago, most tourist areas maintained 2 menus in bars and restaurants, one for tourists, and one for locals.

Obviously the tourist menu was a higher price. Nowdays, there is only one menu for all and over the course of a month you can easily rack up a significant bill that will eat at your budget.

If you can manage a life in Turkey without the "bar scene" then you will be pleasantly suprised just how far your money will go.

So, you have your property and have moved over.

Lets look at some of the recurring expenses over the course of a month....

Electric - If you are sensible here then you wont get any suprises.
The important thing is to remember that after 22:00hrs every day, the cost of using electricity dramatically drops - so this is the time to stick the washing on.

Dont even thing about using an air conditioning unit in the winter months to provide heat. Unless you pay premium prices for top mark models, they will barely provide enough heat to keep even the smallest room at an ambient temperature.

In winter, we convert a small bedroom in the house to our living room and use a wood burner. Its cost effective and will provide enough heat for even the coldest days.

A good alternative to air conditioning in the summer months is to get one of those lamp units with a fan. They dont burn much electric and do a pretty good job to distribute the air flow. Alternatively spend as much time at someone elses house who has air conditioning

Water
Metered or un-metered, you are only looking at around 25 lira a month for normal household usage, but this could increas dramatically if you use a hose to water a garden. Always use a neighbours hose if possible

Telephone
Cheap enough for calls on the same exchange as you but becomes very expensive if you call abroad. Use internet as much as possible for overseas conversations.

A house telephone is only important if you intend to use internet otherwise use just a mobile phone.

Furnishing
The bigger the house or apartment, the more furniture it requires.
If you are handy with a sewing machine then make all your own curtains and save a packet. If you dont know how to use a sewing machine, maybe go on a course at home now so you will be fluent when you live here.

White goods can be bought cheap enough if you know where to shop as can furniture and deco.

Electrical items
Whats essential? Music, TV and Satellite, DVD Player - again, all these can be sourced at very cheap prices.

Transport
Whilst the dolmus service is ideal in summer, the winter months can be difficult and the dolmus runs on a skeleton service. Bear this in mind when selecting your property and make sure it is convenient for both the local Migros/Tansas AND the local weekly food market.

Communication
Learn basic Turkish and you will be suprised just how much money you can save over the course of a few months. This becomes much more apparent when you require services ie. electrician, plumber etc. And the golden rule.... Always - I mean Always ask how much any job or service is going to cost BEFORE they start any work. Dont leave anyone to get on with the work and you keep an eye on their progress and to make sure the job is being done properly.

Foodstuffs
Buy a chest freezer and buy in larger quantities. Particularly meat.
Meat prices are always on the up and up. Find a good butcher and negotiate a good discount for a larger purchase. We buy 25kg of chicken at a time from one butcher and save 2.5 lira per kilo!

As in the UK some vegetables are seasonal and its a good idea to stock up on certain vegetables, clean slice and bag them for future use and store in the deep freezer.

Clothing
Every Turkish market has a market stall that offers really cheap clothing (2 lira) and these sort of clothes, albeit unstylish, are great for just knocking around the house. For decent clothes, buy summer clothes in winter and winter clothes in summer - saves a fortune!

Above all, try and learn the language, find some hobbies to keep you occupied or even get a part time job, dont live the bar scene and make your main friends Turkish.

Merv!
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Old 17th June 2005, 13:03   #2 (permalink)
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Kadin, by the time I had written this and posted, you had deleted the original question..... so here was my reply.

Merv!
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Old 17th June 2005, 18:30   #3 (permalink)
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hey merv thats very interesting ... steve
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Old 17th June 2005, 22:21   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Merv yes I deleted the post because I realised some of my questions had been answered in another area but thanks for this reply its very very useful.
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Old 17th June 2005, 22:25   #5 (permalink)
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I realise that a lot of the threads are all over the place at present but this is being addressed and with the new forum software that Mushtaq has invested in things should (will) be much better for everyone.

Merv!
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Old 17th June 2005, 22:48   #6 (permalink)
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Nice article Merv![^] We hope to retire in Turkey in 2-3 years and live there semi-permanently. You give an insightful persective. We were thinking we'd just hangout for our 1st year over there and then settle somewhere. Probably we'd find a niche of our own. Good tips on saving money, I'll use them. Thanks, Umit
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Old 18th June 2005, 21:09   #7 (permalink)
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mmmm friend of mine who I holidayed with last year in Alanya who owns her own apartment there just told me if she is not there then there are no bill?? How can this be? [:0]
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Old 18th June 2005, 22:49   #8 (permalink)
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Very interesting! How much room do you have to allow for a woodstove, I have no idea of the dimensions of them? Also, do people use electric radiators in Turkey?

ps...do you raid peoples hose pipes then, Merlin????[]
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Old 18th June 2005, 23:01   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by murdo
<br>Very interesting! How much room do you have to allow for a woodstove, I have no idea of the dimensions of them? Also, do people use electric radiators in Turkey?

ps...do you raid peoples hose pipes then, Merlin????[]
A small double bedroom or large single, upstairs is preferred Jackie. The wood stoves sit on a tiled base about 1m x 1m and you would normally position it somewhere near the middle of the room so you can move around freely without the fear of any accidents.

Electric radiators are available but prohibitive because of cost.

One thing you need to check Jackie, is that the terms of your purchase allows the use of a woodburner as not all new properties allow this.

I cant over empthasise the importance of making sure the chimmney is working well and I know we have discussed this before in another thread but get your chimmney stack fitted with one of those metal gadgets that prevents smoke from entering back down the chimmney in the event of high winds.

As for the hose..... [}]

Merv!
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Old 18th June 2005, 23:41   #10 (permalink)
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really great info Merlin, have you thought about writing a book with all of your info in[?] sure it would be a bestseller[8D]
Whilst we have a wood burner, is it possible to get one that you can open from the front to put your wood into and also to empty[?] it,s just that we have a lovely big fireplace and would like to set the stove into it.
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