Last Updated on Şubat 12, 2024 by Aydoğan Aknar
Information and support groups for Expats living in Turkey
Are you an expatriate living in Turkey and looking for information or support groups? Whether you need news portals, helplines, expat blogs or Facebook communities, there are numerous resources available to cater to your diverse needs related to life in Turkey or the Anatolian region. Turkey is a popular destination for people from all over the world, with young professionals usually attracted to bustling Istanbul and retirees, especially from Europe, to the tranquil southwest coast. However, as a foreigner in a new country, you may face certain challenges and may require the assistance of fellow expats at times. Fortunately, many resources are available for Expats living in Turkey.
The Turkish government has set up two telephone helplines specifically for foreign nationals. The Department of Immigration (Göç Idaresi) operates a 24-hour helpline that can be accessed by dialling 157 from within Turkey and +90 312 157 11 22 from outside the country. This helpline is available in Turkish, English, Arabic, Russian, Persian, and German and can assist with questions related to entry, stay, exit, and residence permits. Should you have inquiries regarding social security and working in Turkey, the Family, Labor, and Social Security Communication Center helpline (dial 170) has English-speaking operators who can help you. In case of emergencies, including COVID-19 concerns, you can call the 112 Emergency Call Helpline, which will connect you to the relevant assistance based on your region.
Expats Helping Expats:
In Turkey, the “Doc Martin’s Surgery for Expats in Turkey” blog and Facebook group, led by British expat Martin Redman, are great platforms with tens of thousands of expat members. They cover a wide range of topics, including legal concerns, and offer information on visas, residence permits, buying property, opening bank accounts, and more.
Besides, the Foreign Citizens Advice Centre in Kuşadası provides free assistance, and you can ask your inquiries online at adviceturkey.org or through their helpline. News outlets such as Ege Eye in Kuşadası and Fethiye Times, initiated by British expat Lyn Ward, offer English updates on various topics concerning the Turkish coast and expat life.
Expats in Istanbul can join Yabangee and Inter Nations for events and connections. The International Women of Istanbul (IWI) is a community for foreign women, organizing special interest groups and charity events.
Numerous Facebook groups cater to expats living in Turkey. These groups include general ones such as “Foreigners in Turkey” for Alanya and “Expats in Istanbul,” as well as location-specific groups such as “Expats in Bodrum” and “Foreigners in Fethiye.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, groups like “Coronavirus Turkey-UK Information” provided daily updates, while community initiatives like “Corona Caring Community” in Fethiye offered assistance to those affected by lockdowns.
Animal Welfare and Environmental Initiatives:
Numerous Facebook groups focus on assisting street animals in specific areas, with expats actively volunteering and organizing fundraisers. Examples include “Cihangir… Cool for Cats” in Istanbul, “Yalıkavak Street Animals” and “Turgutreis Animal Shelter Supporters” in Bodrum, and “Animal Friends of Fethiye” in Fethiye.
A notable mention is “Tidy Turkey,” a Facebook group and website initiated by Australian expat Lucy Tooze, organizing “Clean Up Events” and fostering a sense of community through shared experiences online.