Tag Archives: moving to fethiye

Does Anyone Know What’s Happening?

It’s a time of uncertainty for those who want to become residents of Turkey.

It was announced some time ago that new regulations would come into force around April 11 and that everyone making a first application would have to apply in their own country. So far, we understood.

But this did pose challenges. For example, to obtain residency you need to show proof of having somewhere to live – a rental agreement or tapu (property deeds). Under the proposed system, rather than simply travelling to Turkey on a tourist visa, finding somewhere to hang your hat and then popping down to the Passport Polis (as many people do) you’d have to come back to the UK and hang around for up to 90 days. Surely there was a way of working round this?

Unfortunately, the Turkish Consulate had no answer to this or any other of the questions those of us planning to move had (and still have). They were seemingly unaware of the changes and simply told everyone they still had to apply in Turkey as usual, while the Turkish authorities said people should make appointments at the Consulate.

The result was a lot of wannabe ex-pats running around like headless chickens trying to find out what on earth was going on, what they were supposed to do and when they were supposed to do it.

Come D-Day and some polis stations refused new applications for a while, which caused particular problems for those on tourist visas about to expire. It was announced there’d be a delay before the changes were introduced; then that there’d be a “transition period”.

So does that mean business as usual for now? Er, no. One British applicant reports that some of the new requirements are now in force, such as having to provide a translated copy of your passport. But someone else says their local polis aren’t bothering with that bit.

Official notification has been woefully lacking and the upshot is that we’re all as much in the dark as ever. Which is why I’m glad I got my own residency sorted out a couple of months ago.

But we still need to sort out two other members of the family, and I’m not sure what to do for the best. My ‘final’ flight out is booked, and I need to arrange theirs too. Do I just go ahead and trust that they’ll still be able to apply in Fethiye when the time comes? What if they can’t and have to come back again to apply in London – missing most of the summer and with nowhere to live? Do we hang on to see what happens next and run the risk of them not getting a flight around our chosen dates?

It’s hugely frustrating but very typical of the country we want to call home. Disorganisation, miscommunication and lack of information are very definitely its bureaucratic strong points.

Time to grit our teeth and remind ourselves – this is life in Türkiye….




Taking Up Residence

So another month has gone by…. So much has happened and yet there’s so much still to do!

I’ve been back in Fethiye for two weeks, the aim being to get the house ready and make sure we’ve got services like internet and electricity in place. I also wanted to apply for my residency permit, so that at least one of us can come and go as necessary.

I expected to have tales of a long and tortuous process to tell, based on what I’d heard from others. But, yet again, my Turkish heroes rode to my rescue – and it proved so simple as to almost be an anti-climax!

We collected the list of what was needed from the Passport Polis office and returned just an hour later with the necessary admin and paperwork completed. Handed it in, along with my passport, and received a slip of paper to help locate my documents when I returned. Job done. It’s amazing what happens when you have people who know where they’re going and who the need to see.

For those that aren’t so fortunate, you can hire people to help make it equally straightforward. (I’m not sure so don’t quote me, but I think it’s about 150TRY.) You can also, of course, do it yourself – but it can get complicated. On the day I collected my permit, a fraught-looking American lady returned for the fifth time trying to put in an application for her son. On each occasion, there was something just not quite right and she was nearing the end of her tether.

No matter which route you choose, remember you need five passport-style photographs of yourself – they will take them all but for some reason you’ll get one back with your permit – and a photocopy of your most recent bank statement, showing you’ve got sufficient funds to support yourself. I’d read initially that you needed a Turkish bank account in order to get residency, but that’s not true. In spite of my earlier post, my optimism proved somewhat premature and, more than two months later, ours still isn’t up and running. It would have been quicker to do it in person. However, for residency purposes, a UK account with a lump sum in it was fine.

I was thrilled to collect my little blue permit that said I was entitled to stay in Turkey for three years (assuming I don’t break any rules!) and I’m rather looking forward to the next time I come through Turkish passport control!



Home is Where the Heart Is

So much for good intentions. I’d planned to write more frequently while I was away, but that didn’t happen. I was so happy to be back in Fethiye that – as well as the various bits of running around that had to be done – I got a bit lost in just enjoying it.

I’d also intended to be incredibly choosy when it came to finding somewhere to live. We have a track record of going for the first property we look at, because it ticks all the boxes or just feels right. I was determined that wouldn’t happen this time.

And it didn’t – I went for the third place instead! A gorgeous house in Kaya that was pretty much exactly what I’d imagined, if at the top end of our budget.

If you’re looking for somewhere to live in the Fethiye area – obviously I can’t speak for anywhere else – I would say there’s no shortage of people offering to help. There are numerous Facebook groups, forums and websites where you can post your requirements and you’re guaranteed offers of assistance. Be wary, though. Ask questions. And don’t trust someone just because they’re friendly. Property agents have a bad reputation anywhere, but as a yabanci you are a prime target for those without scruples. Emlaks are supposed to be regulated, as I understand it, but it seems almost anyone will claim they can help you.

It’s also worth noting that things can move pretty quickly. I started putting out feelers a good couple of months before my trip, but it quickly became evident that was far too early. Everything I liked was gone within days and, with my own house, I said I wanted it on a Tuesday and signed the rental contract the next day. Make contacts, by all means – but don’t set your heart on anything too far in advance.

I’ve been very lucky in having a couple of good Turkish friends who were willing to help me. They’d found a dozen different places for me to look at and helped negotiate an acceptable price. They’ve also come with me to get my tax number, recommended tradesmen and will keep an eye on things while I’m back in the UK. They are invaluable, and ask nothing in return but a large bottle of Jack Daniels!

Renting a house feels like a huge step towards our final move and I’m so excited. I’ve already booked my next flight when I’ll sort out a few more things – crossing my fingers I can actually stay there when I go!