So you’re thinking about moving to Antalya, Turkey.
Below we have outlined to various requirements and steps for your first step of applying for a Turkish Residence Permit. Please be aware that the application process would vary slightly from province to province and additional requirements are needed if applying in Istanbul. The steps below are based on a guideline for Antalya city center and valid as of May 2019.
1. Apply for your Tax Number
This can be done at the local tax office in approximately 15 min and free of charge.
You’ll need to walk with your: Original Passport, Copy of Passport photo page, Copy of Arrival Page stamp into Turkey.
2. Translate your documents
For passport holders with documents in a foreign language or non-latin characters; your passport would need to translated. We have found a very convenient and professional service from ALP Translation which is less than 1 minute walk from MarkAntalya. Cost for each translation is approximately 50TL.
Marriage certificate would only need to be translated if the name of your spouse is not included on the rental contract or TAPU. So to save time and an extra translation document, just have both names included.
3. Apply for health insurance
As an added convenience, an insurance broker is within the same building as the translator! They will search for the best rate and prepare the documents on the spot along with providing your insurance cover in English & Turkish. (Rates vary according to age and length of time)
4. Notarize your documents
Keeping things central and convenient. The Noter5 office which has a good working relationship with (xxxx) is located approximately 3 min walk from the translator’s office. Just follow the tram route from outside the office headed away from the city and the Noter5 office would be on your right. It’s generally not too busy, so just take a ticket and wait for your number to be called. Process takes less than 10 min and cost averages 60 - 100TL for each document.
Document which MUST be notarized: Marriage Certificate + the Rental Contract would need to be a “true copy” as opposed to "notarized".
5. Complete your online application
Many places offer to assist in this process and also for all of the above steps so far. Their fees have ranged from 1000TL to well over 2000TL…. avoid them! The whole process can be done online and by yourself without spending the extra money. Our real estate agent also suggested this service because it was “much work” and many things have changed. You may hear the same and it’s just a big money making commission scam!
This online process would be your longest bit so far but just follow the steps provided in the official videos and you should be good:
Short Term Residence Permit (First Application) VIDEO
When making your appointment be sure to leave at least 2 days from the date you’re doing the application till the date for your physical appointment. You will need to pay your registration and ID card fees during that time. It is possible to pay for it the day of the appointment but personally more convenient to pay prior.
At the end of the process you will need to print the document (appx 7 pages) or save it to PDF and have it printed somewhere.
6. Pay for your application and card
Many sites list select banks as options to pay these fees however we have checked numerous banks and none accept it….including Hallbank. Your best and most reliable option would be back at the Tax Office or the GOC where your appointment would be held. There’s a tax office at the side with usually no lines and a quick process.
Most difficult part is trying to let security understand that you’re just going to pay the registration.
Fees vary but average of 500TL for one year and 89TL for the card
7.Photocopy, photocopy, photocopy
Depending on the number of pages you need to have copied and number of persons it may be easier to just buy a cheap printer/scanner combo (if you’ll likely use it during your stay).
Documents to be copied
Entry stamp page into Turkey
Passport translation (if applicable)
Payment receipt for application + ID (will be one document if done at the Tax Office or GOC)
Health Insurance (if English duplicate not previously provided. They will take the original Turkish version at interview)
Notarized rental contract / TAPU
*If renting you may be asked for a copy of landlords TAPU and ID
Marriage certificate & translated copy (if applicable)
Proof of funds (approximately $6,000 USD per year)
8. Application Day
Finally it's time to go to your appointment.
Show your application page to security and then proceed to the office. From there you'll be given a number and relax until it's called. The interview is relatively quick (10-15 min) while they verify your documents etc. You'll then be asked to go back to the same information desk to get another number, this time for fingerprints and photos.
Finally you'll take the print out given during the fingerprint process back to the interviewer and you're all done!
You may check the status of the application online, however once successful you'll receive your residence card by registered mail within one month.
Things to be aware of before moving to Turkey.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS
Turkey has no limit on the number of real estate agents / agencies; each one pushing for the sale over the next. The majority of these agents however only speak Turkish and will need a secondary person along to help translate any details. These may be friends of the agents, co-workers, family or in even more than case a neighbor to the property.
With that in mind, contacting agents in English will usually result in about 80% no reply rate. We recommend Google Translate with WhatsApp (as most agents list their cell number and almost all use WhatsApp).
The most popular site to search for real estate sales/rentals would be on www.sahibinden.com. This is an excellent site for seeing property details, photos, locations and contact details. You will need a Turkish phone number to register and send messages directly from the site but you may browse any listings without registration.
TURKISH CELL PHONE
As one of the few countries in the world with a “strict” visitor cell phone policy, your options for cell phone usage would be a bit limited. Visitors are allowed to purchase a travel SIM from TurkCell for approximately 125 TL (absolute rip-off) for one moth service of data and calls. You may continue to use your cell phone with said SIM or any Turkish SIM for a maximum of 90 days.
Many website, posts and Facebook groups have mentioned the high cost of registering your cell phone (500TL+) and if not it'll be locked should you keep a Turkish SIM in it after 90 days.
However... if you purchase the said TurkCell SIM this includes the initial registration of your phone's IMEI # and copy of your passport with entry date. Approximate 3 weeks before your 90 period is up, you'll receive a text message requesting you submit your Foreigners Identification Number (either online or in-store).
**Update** The latter has again been revised and to maintain your SIM and unlocked phone would be a fee of approximately 1500TL!!
By this time you would have received your IKAMET card and you can take this along with your phone to any TurkCell outlet and they'll enter the info in the system. Takes no more than 3 minutes, no cost and no need to pay the high fee mentioned in other posts. You can add more credit to your number if you wish or just keep it to receive & make calls.
Other option may be to purchase a cheap phone just to have with a Turkish number as most places require a number (banks, deliveries, registrations and the Residence Permit).
If you rely heavily on internet usage; photographers, videographers etc or you’re coming from a country with “above average” internet access…. you may be in for a big surprise. After traveling around the globe and constantly having to rely on the internet; there’s no doubt that Turkey (at least Antalya) has the absolute worst residential internet connection service.
What has been now dubbed #WorstInternetService was experienced in Antalya from TurkCell “SuperOnline”. No idea what the “SuperOnline” portion was to refer to but maybe just put there to reference the upgrade from “NoOnline”. The package our real estate agent signed us for was supposed to be one of the better ones and paid an additional 10TL per month for a total of 89TL for 15MBS UNLIMITED. The speed never got above 8MBS on a fast day and at most times averaged below 1MBS. Remote countries with “dial-up modems” possibly have a better connection.
The service at TurkCell is equally as poor, so be prepared!
Battled with them for over a month trying to get a number changed, the agents have no general idea about the service and to top it off they had no idea where to pay the bills.
On the matter of bills, if you’re going to get a real estate agent to handle your utility connections, make sure they are professional and knowledgeable about providing the necessary information. An agent we used kept the internet contact number as his own and we never had access to the account for payment or rates until it was disconnected. Mentioned this and nothing was still done. Had to contact the company directly to make them understand the situation and the number provided wasn’t our actual number. Needless to say TurkCell also couldn't change the number without approval.
Other item to note. Turkey has somewhat strict internet freedom laws (not as bad as North Korea but equally concerning). As such, some of your regular websites may be blocked from access. These include: Wikipedia, some international news sites, some external pages linked from Facebook for news, TuneIn via the web and a host of others. One way to get around this would be a VPN but an unnecessary hassle.
Be on the lookout for these things.
Now on to the positives…..
Turkey remains to be one of the most economical countries with regards to overall cost of living.
2019 AVERAGE PRICING
2 - 3 Bedroom UNFURNISHED Apartment (Antalya city center) $200- $300+ per month
2 - 3 Bedroom FURNISHED Apartment (Antalya city center) $500+ per month
2 - 3 Bedroom UNFURNISHED Apartment (not in the city center) $100+ per month
Real estate fees: 1st month rent, 1 month security + 1 month real estate commission
2 Bedroom UNFURNISHED (Antalya city center) … average 80 - 110 sq. m $25,000+
If renting an unfurnished apartment they are numerous furniture and appliance (white goods) stores within the area. Best street for a wide selection of furniture stores would be Aspendos Blv. Tram stop Meydan and walk in the direction of out of the city.
Average pricing: bedroom furniture, major kitchen appliances, washing machine, living room (sofa, table, TV) and dining room table: $2,000 USD.
Fast food (1 person) 15TL+ (2persons) 28TL
BigMac meal 18TL
Restaurant dinner for two 150TL+
Large and small supermarket are in abundance around the city and prices vary according to you specific needs.
Most popular brands would be: Migros, Carrefous, SOK, Bim, A101