After living in Antalya, Türkiye for the past three years, I have grown to love many attributes this country offers. Situated on the Mediterranean coast, Türkiye attracts people from all over the world who want to enjoy the abundance of natural beauty it has to offer all year round. In addition, the cost of living is low, high-quality healthcare is affordable, and there are lots of opportunities for an active social life.
I could go on and on about why I love living in Türkiye, but here are my TOP reasons:
I must say that Türkiye has the most helpful and friendliest people I have ever met from all the countries I have visited around the world.
HOSPITALITY is what Turkish people are known for and will make you feel welcome, whether you are a visitor or a resident. A warm welcome will be offered to you when you step into their shop by offering you a cup of tea (chai).
They are GENEROUS in sharing a meal with you or offering you a place to stay. Being invited into a Turkish home is like visiting family with open arms. When it is time to leave, they will ask that you stay longer!
I love their CURIOSITY as they often will ask you many questions about your family, where you are from and want to know what kind of work you do, and they are not shy about asking you how much money you make. They’re also curious about why you moved to Türkiye. In addition, they love to learn about other cultures and people’s way of life.
Once becoming acquainted or befriending a Turk, you will find they are very WARMHEARTED in speaking to you using terms of endearment such as abi (brother), cenim (my dear), or abla (sister). Their kindness comes across in how they make you feel in communicating with you
Those looking for sight-seeing by water, land, or air will find no shortage of activities in Türkiye. From PARAGLIDING, cruise liners passing through ancient ports, a balloon ride in Cappadocia, trekking the Lycian Way, or a winter train express from Van, you will indeed find Türkiye has something for everyone.
If you want a mental escape or a place to relax, visit the stunning WATERFALLS throughout Türkiye. These waterfalls create some of the most beautiful sounds in nature and make you want to stay for hours to admire their beauty.
Hiking is an excellent exercise and a great way to unplug from the world. With over ten different MOUNTAINS, filled with lush piney green forests to hike all year, and most likely you’ll find people enjoying a picnic in the woods. When the mountain tops are covered in snow in the winter months, you can enjoy winter sports or admire the panoramic view.
With all the mountain ranges throughout Türkiye covered in snow during the winter, in the Spring the snow melts filling the rivers with crystal clear water, making these rivers and their estuaries great for RAFTING the rapids.
I could go on and on about the fantastic geography of Türkiye. Depending on your desired activity, Türkiye has much to offer, no matter the season.
After God created man, he created Turkish cuisine, rich and savory. A meat-lover country, Turks have been grilling up kebab skewers since the Ottoman era. With their rich agriculture, you will find a variety of fruits and vegetables freshly prepared at your table.
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. Turkish BREAKFAST is something everyone should experience. The table will be covered with many dishes offering you meats, eggs, vegetables, cheeses, honey, nuts, and more.
The fresh produce used in making Turkish dishes makes them taste so delicious. A visit to the FARMER’S MARKET will help you understand why Turkish food is flavorful. After sampling a few strawberries, you will quickly recall the sweet juicy flavor you most likely won’t’ find anywhere else in the world.
I like that most of the dishes are made with SIMPLE INGREDIENTS. With so many fresh herbs available at the market and seasonally grown produce, it is understandable why their dishes taste so good!
When I say Turks ENJOY MEALTIME, I genuinely mean it! When eating out at a restaurant or in someone’s home, you are never rushed to finish your meal. Savoring every bite and socializing makes mealtime truly special. You may spend over two hours or more at the table. After a satisfying meal expect to sip on a cup of tea before you leave the table! Sharing mealtime has made me appreciate eating and enjoying time spent with others.
QUALITY OF LIFE
The quality of life depends on many factors that meet your expectations of activities, cost of living, medical care, and more. Before moving to Türkiye, I had created a checklist to help me assess the quality of life in a country/city that was being considered for our move. After visiting several countries, talking with expats living in these countries, and doing lots of research, we decided Türkiye checked the most boxes on the checklist.
It has not wavered!
As I shared above, you will find ACTIVITIES and more to do and keep you busy in Türkiye. The Turkish government offers free classes for learning languages (Turkish, Russian, German, Arabic, etc.), dancing, various crafts, gardening and more to enrich your life. In addition, there are excellent walking trails near our home, and all the beaches have free access. There are plenty of activities to keep us busy in Türkiye.
MEDICAL CARE is easily accessible in Türkiye. As a foreigner, I found the service and quality are as good if not better than in the United States. One crucial factor is that it is affordable! Purchasing health insurance is reasonable, and the cost of services is a set price, so no guessing games when it comes to having a medical procedure.
The Turkish lifestyle is simplistic. Turkish people, in general, are not materialistic; therefore, most Turks do not get caught up in buying unnecessary things just because everyone else has one. I find that the MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE has freed me from clutter and given me more freedom to joy life!
Spending time with friends and family is vital in Turkish culture. Therefore, whenever possible, the Turks will find a reason to get together and socialize. We have an extensive network of friends that we socialize with weekly. This might mean meeting up for coffee, going to an invite, dining at a restaurant, or visiting someone’s home. I admire how much they value FRIENDSHIPS and getting to know you as a person.
ABUNDANCE OF HISTORY
I wouldn’t consider myself a history buff, but I do enjoy historical buildings and architecture, as well as learning about historical events. Türkiye has a fascinating history dominated by Greeks, Persians, and Romans. Once known as the Byzantine Empire, Türkiye has had a turbulent history of the Seljuk and then the Ottoman Empire. It wasn’t until the early 1920s did Türkiye modernize into the secular state it is today.
One of the most notable historical sites is EPHESUS, built in the 10th century BC.
The most photogenic structure in Türkiye is the famous BLUE MOSQUE in Istanbul.
A fascinating site located high in the mountains is MOUNT NEMRUT, where you will find several large statues believed to have been erected around the 1st century BC assumed to be royal tombs.
GÖREME NATIONAL PARK
Within the GÖREME NATIONAL PARK is famous for its underground cities and is home to fairy chimneys.
I could list many more sites as Türkiye has 19 historical sites listed on UNESCO and 77 sites on the tentative list for approval. The land of historical significance, a nation with deep cultural roots, makes Turkey so attractive to millions of tourists who visit year after year.
ANCIENT CITY OF PERGE
Of course, I love many more things about Türkiye, but I wanted to share my TOP five that stand out. If you haven’t traveled to Turkey, it surely needs to be on your list. You can visit my website to read more about PLACES in Türkiye, and I also share about being an EXPAT in Türkiye and providing TRAVEL TIPS.