Make Turkey Your Home
Turkey is often described as a bridge between the East and West. Okay, that might be something of a cliché - but it does help to illuminate part of the enduring and endearing mix of cultures that pervade this fascinating country.
Istanbul - which is sometimes mistakenly considered to be the capital of Turkey - does indeed lie on two continents which are separated by the Bosphorus Strait. The popular tourist attractions such as Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque lie on the European side in the Sultanahmet district. That, however, is just a tiny fraction of the whole country; the balance of Istanbul and the rest of Turkey lie entirely in Asia. The actual capital, Ankara, is in central Turkey but has a population less than half that of İstanbul.
The time in Turkey is two hours ahead of GMT – but time is often not such an important part of life in Turkey. ‘Turkey Time’ is a phrase you might often hear an expat use to describe the laid back nature of the country. However, it is not as pronounced a trait as the stereotypes of other nationalities.
The official currency of Turkey is the Lira. Living here just a few years ago it was easy to feel like a rich person. You didn’t need much money in Turkey to be a lira millionaire; just one British pound or a single American dollar would mean you had millions of lira in your pocket. Now, the excessive zeros have been removed making the currency much easier to understand.
The Turkish language is difficult to learn (at least for this writer) but some effort to use a few of the basic phrases will be both rewarding for yourself and will show a level of respect for the Turkish people and their language.
Turkey’s climate is beautiful all year round. It can get a little hot in July and August but that is only to be expected. Plus, there is always somewhere that you can find some shade or air-conditioning to cool you down. Winters can be cold at times in Istanbul, Ankara and the East – but areas further south such as Fethiye and Antalya are temperate the whole year round.
If you are thinking of coming to Turkey to live, or even just fancy holidaying here, then you will find lots of helpful information and lifestyle guides on the expat blog website. These will help you get a feel for Turkey before you’ve even set foot in the country. One great blog about what it is like to live as a foreigner in South-West Turkey is Turkey’s For Life – but you’ll find lots of other good ones in the expat blog directory for Turkey. Many of these can help you with the ‘How To’ side of life in Turkey.
Guide section: Generalities
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