I first came here sixteen years ago and did the back and forth thing for a couple of years before I decided that it was where I wanted to be and made the decision to ‘up sticks’ and move permanently.
What area of Turkey do you live?
A small fishing town called Eski Foça which is an hour or so away from Izmir.
Why did you decide to live in Turkey?
The pace of life mainly. I am a writer and need quiet and a relaxed atmosphere.
I have a virtually stress free existence here.
What did your family and friends think about moving to Turkey?
Not pleased at all. Very concerned that I was coming alone to a country where I could not speak the language and knew virtually no one.
What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome living in here in Turkey?
It was a major achievement on my part to sort out housing and basic utilities to be honest.
I smile when I think about it now but all that time ago Turkey was a bit of a minefield for a lone female.
What are the good things about living in Turkey?
The weather obviously, although to be honest it can be very cold in winter.
The availability and low price of fresh food. No ready meals to pop in the microwave.
And of course the people. Turks are a very kind and supportive race.
What do you miss the most from home?
Nothing really any more, apart from family of course. Some things you take for granted in the UK are quite expensive here, but for me the advantages far out weigh the disadvantages.
Have you found it easy to integrate into the community?
Absolutely. We do have ex-pats living here but to be honest I hardly interact with them at all. My friends are Turkish, I am on speaking terms with the supermarket checkout workers and I attend concerts and plays put on by the local schools.
In your opinion is Turkey a cheap or expensive place to live?
It’s becoming more expensive. When I first arrived her it was costing me about four hundred pounds a month to live a very reasonable life and want for nothing.
We do live in an expensive area housing wise and most I think will agree with me that the price of meat and some of the basics have rocketed of late. You can still however buy a vast array of fresh fruit, salad and veg at the market for next to nothing
How do you find living with the difference in culture?
I have no problem with it at all. I simply respect what is requested of me when the need arises.
Have you managed to learn Turkish, do you find Turkish easy or hard to learn?
I am far from fluent (my husband speaks English fluently, so makes me lazy) but I am capable of holding my own in a conversation and understand almost all of what is said to me.
As with any language you have to want to learn it, and need to speak it as often as you can.
Would you recommend others to come live here in Turkey?
I think many youngsters who visit resorts on holiday and have a ball think they would love it. Life however is not a holiday and two weeks frolicking does not give you any real idea of how life can be here.
I think it is a beautiful place to retire to but I would avoid resort life at all costs. (Bet I didn’t say that sixteen years ago..)
If you had to do it all over again would you do it all again, and what would you change if you would?
Yes most definitely. I don’t think I would change anything to be honest.
For anyone who is planning to make the move to live in Turkey, what would your top 3 pieces of advice be for them?
1. Work out you budget thoroughly. Electric is expensive in the winter. Be sure to allow for all the hidden extras, insurance for example.
2. Visit different regions until you find one that suits your needs.
3. Learn something about the culture and master a few basic greetings in Turkish – it will go a long way to helping you gain respect.
Do you have any other advice you would like to add?
Turkey is a vast country and the style of life can change from one city area to the next. Do your homework..x
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