CALL SUPPORT:   +90 212 809 65 64

E-MAIL SUPPORT:   info@turkishuniversitiesorg.com

Life in Turkey

As a student in Turkey, you’ll witness a modern country rich in heritage and tradition. According to Turkish tradition, a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered a guest from God. As a student in Turkey, you will often experience the cordial hospitality that is common here. This warm attitude not only attracts students but also many tourists. The beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts are especially popular among visitors and students.

Turkey’s currency is the Turkish Lira (TRY). However, in tourist areas, you may find shops and restaurants that also accept foreign currency. You can find plenty of exchange offices around tourist areas.

  • We suggest not to change a lot of currency at the airport since they charge an extra service fee compared to others in the city center.

Turkey is a democratic and secular country, part of the European Customs Union, and a candidate country for accession to the European Union.

Weekends and Workdays Saturdays and Sundays are weekends, although many people also work on Saturdays.

Women’s Rights Turkish women were among the first in Europe to achieve the right to vote and run for elected office through a constitutional amendment in 1930.

Cost of Living

Turkey was revealed to be Europe’s second most affordable country to live in and the 102nd cheapest of 132 countries worldwide. Many people who receive a pension from their home country enjoy a luxurious lifestyle thanks to an excellent exchange rate between the Turkish lira and other currencies like the pound, euro, and American dollar.

Housing The most significant expense, wherever you live in Turkey, is rent. On the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, expect to pay between 4,000 TL to 8,000 TL a month for a basic two-bedroom apartment. In Istanbul, a basic studio apartment on the outskirts can cost as much as 5,000 TL, with prices rising for homes nearer the center. Renting a flat in Taksim or other significant districts can cost up to 12,000 TL a month.

Eating and Transportation A budget or fast food meal is around 100 TL, leading up to 250 TL at middle-class restaurants. In Istanbul, transportation is a major cost, with public transport roughly 600 TL a month, but a student monthly transportation card costs just 120 TL. Petrol is around 30 TL per liter, and vehicle owners should set aside approximately 10,000 TL a year for maintenance, insurance, and MOTs.

Food Shopping Single people or couples on a budget can save money by shopping at local markets instead of leading supermarkets for fruit, vegetables, and dairy products, averaging roughly 400 TL a week. Lamb and beef are expensive, averaging between 300 to 400 TL per kilogram, while chicken, the most widely-eaten meat, costs around 75 to 100 TL per kilogram.

The Turkish Healthcare System

Healthcare in Turkey is part of the country’s social security system. With one single contribution, you are covered in case of illness, accident, or retirement. All these insurances are organized by the same institution, SGK (Social Security Institution), and the Ministry of Health sometimes runs its own medical establishments. If these facilities do not provide sufficient services, patients can be transferred to other hospitals or clinics.

Private health insurance is also available, allowing access to private hospitals equipped with modern facilities and high-tech equipment. The Turkish healthcare system has significantly improved in recent years, making health tourism a significant income source for the Turkish economy.

The Transportation System

Turkey has a vast public transport system including local buses, taxis, minibusses (dolmuş), trams, and metros. Your choice of transport depends on how quickly you want to get from point A to point B.

Local Buses All towns and cities have plentiful local buses which are cheap to use. You can purchase a smart ticket for a small deposit which, once loaded with credit, can be used on buses, the metro, tram, and ferries.

Minibusses (Dolmuş) Minibusses are useful alternatives to local buses and run on standard routes posted on the front screen of the vehicle.

Taxis Taxis are plentiful and can be boarded at designated taxi stops. Payment is according to the onboard meter, and all taxis are required by law to have an onboard meter. You can also use apps like BiTaksi or iTaksi, where you can add your credit card and avoid worrying about payment and route.

Metro Turkey’s metro system is rapidly expanding, with major cities now having underground metros. A smart ticket is needed to travel by metro.

Tram Several cities have overground trams, offering a quick and efficient way of getting around.

National Holidays

Religious Holidays

  • Ramazan Bayramı: A three-day festival celebrating the end of Ramadan, also known as “Şeker Bayramı” (Sugar Feast) for its tradition of offering sweets to visitors.
  • Kurban Bayramı: A four-day festival where sacrificial animals are slaughtered and their meat distributed to the poor.

National Holidays

  • Jan 1: New Year’s Day
  • Apr 23: National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Grand National Assembly)
  • May 1: Labour and Solidarity Day
  • May 19: Atatürk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day
  • Aug 30: Victory Day (victory over invading forces in 1922)
  • Oct 6: Liberation of Istanbul (celebrated only in Istanbul)
  • Oct 29: Republic Day (anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic)

Major Cities

Turkey has a total of 81 cities, including:

Adana, Adıyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Ağrı, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydın, Balıkesir, Bartın, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingöl, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Çanakkale, Çankırı, Çorum, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Düzce, Edirne, Elazığ, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gümüşhane, Hakkari, Hatay, Iğdır, Isparta, İstanbul, İzmir, Kahramanmaraş, Karabük, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kırıkkale, Kırklareli, Kırşehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kütahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Muğla, Muş, Nevşehir, Niğde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Şanlıurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Şırnak, Sivas, Tekirdağ, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Uşak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak.