Cost of Living in Turkey

Students will discover that the cost of living in Turkey is significantly lower than in neighboring European countries. Because the country has not yet been admitted to the EU, those with foreign purchasing power can stretch their money further, even if they live in popular expat areas or coastal resort towns.

Living cost in turkey
Istanbul Turkey

Istanbul, the country’s largest expat hub and most expensive location, was ranked 173rd most expensive expat destination in the 2021 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, out of over 209 cities evaluated. As is the case in most places, the cost of living in Turkey is highly location- and lifestyle-dependent. Rural villages are less expensive than urban areas.

Turkey’s property market, both for buying and renting, is generally more affordable than markets in the United Kingdom or the United States. There is a wide variety of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, ranging from extremely expensive villas with expansive views and expansive outdoor spaces to sparse apartments with only the bare essentials.

Monthly utilities are not always included in rent, so expats must budget for water, electricity, and gas. Although these bills are typically low, the cost of heating during the winter significantly increases utility expenses during this time of year.

Apartment Type Monthly Rent (YTL)

3-Bedrooms – City Center 

3-Bedrooms – Outside City Center 

1-Bedrooms – City Center 

1-Bedrooms – Outside City Center

9,000

5,300

4,800

3,000

In Turkey, shopping for food can still be done at weekly local markets, which sell inexpensive locally sourced seasonal fruits and vegetables. While modern supermarkets do stock the imported goods that many expats crave, these foreign foods can be quite costly. A single jar of peanut butter can be as expensive as the ingredients used to prepare an entire meal by a local.

While this may seem strange in the country that popularized the doner kebab, many expats will discover that red meat is extremely expensive in Turkey.

Bottled water is an unexpected food cost for many expats. While drinking tap water is generally safe, many foreigners still prefer bottled water. The good news is that a 19-litre water jug is reasonably priced. When possible, expats should purchase in bulk.

Grocery and Food Items Price (YTL)

Dozen Eggs

Milk (1l)

Rice (1kg)

Loaf of Bread

Chicken (1kg)

McDonald’s Big Mac

Coca-Cola

23.30

12.40

18.10

05.50

50.00

45.00

09.15

 

Turkey’s public transportation system is constantly evolving and improving while remaining extremely affordable. Buses are the primary mode of public transportation and are generally efficient and cost-effective. Both government-sponsored entities and private buses charge flat, low fares for single journeys. Dolmuş, which are informal, shared taxis that connect commuters travelling short distances, are also extremely inexpensive. The fare is determined by the length of the journey.
For expats who prefer to travel by car in Turkey, the cost of purchasing and maintaining a vehicle is slightly less than in the UK or the US, but petrol is expensive.

Transportation Type Cost (YTL)

Taxi rate per km

City centre public transport fare

04.00

05.50