Moving to Turkey... A guide to relocating to Turkey


There's a lot to think about when you're planning your move to Turkey. Relocating permanently means that you'll need to know about everything from from residency to visas, schooling to healthcare and more! And because there's a lot to think about and prepare for, we've put together some of the information you'll need - read through the sections below to get prepared to make that move to Turkey.


The Turkish universal healthcare system - the Genel Sağlık Sigortası (GSS) – was began in 2006 and provides a range of medical services to all residents. It is completely free to adults: around 77.5% of health expenditure is government-funded, with the rest paid by the public, either through private insurance or out of their own pockets. Part of the cost of prescription drugs and outpatient services are payable. The quality is improving but varies depending on your location and whether you are using the public system, or the private alternatives – there have been new private hospitals in Ankara, Antalya, Izmir and Istanbul with modern facilities.

Turkey is fast becoming known for its growth in areas such as cosmetic surgery, dentistry and fertility treatment. Hair transplants have been one of the popular examples of health tourism. Turkish is the main language spoken by medical staff at public hospitals and clinics, but expats are more likely to fi nd bilingual English-speaking professionals in privately-run establishments. Expats will need to take private health insurance for at least the fi rst year, and it’s necessary to have it if you are obtaining a residence permit. Turkey and the UK do not have reciprocal healthcare agreements, and EHICs are not valid either. Expats may begin paying into the system, the SGK (Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu), the national social security system that is contribution-based and available to all residents, through employment. But they will usually stick with treatment at private hospitals where they can access superior facilities and well-trained staff who are more likely to speak English.