Guidance

Living in Turkey

Official information British people moving to and living in Turkey need to know, including residency, healthcare and driving.

Before you go

See our travel advice for Turkey for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

British nationals need a visa to enter Turkey – see entry requirements for Turkey in our travel advice.

If you plan to stay in Turkey longer than 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit before the 90 days ends or apply for a longer-stay visa before you travel – see information about residence permits.

You will need a residence permit to import your personal belongings or car – we recommend you contact the Turkish Consulate General in London for information.

You do not need a residence permit if you hold a valid work permit – see work permit as a residence permit.

If you are required to provide UK criminal records as part of your residence permit application, contact ACRO Criminal Records Office.

Healthcare

See our travel advice for Turkey.

Turkey and the UK do not have reciprocal healthcare agreements. You should buy comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you enter the country.

European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are not valid in Turkey.

You should also make sure you’re covered by health insurance for UK treatment or you’ll be charged by the NHS for any care you receive in the UK.

The NHS has information for people moving abroad.

You can find English-speaking doctors in Turkey. You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Turkey.

Turkish universal healthcare

You can join the Turkish universal health scheme (Genel Sağlık Sigortası, GSS) if you have been resident for 1 year or more with a residence permit that is still valid.

Married couples may qualify for joint membership where one is the policyholder and the other is the dependant spouse. However, a British national who receives a UK state pension can only be a member of the scheme as a policyholder, not as a dependant spouse.

You should contact your local Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu (SGK) office for more information on the scheme.

Working in Turkey

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

See how to apply for a Turkish work permit. You must apply for a work permit from the UK at the nearest consulate (London or Edinburgh). You will need to make an appointment at the consulate and both you and your employer will need to submit information.

Employees in Turkey must pay part of their earnings into the state-run social security scheme (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu, SGK). However, British nationals working in Turkey but paying UK National Insurance contributions do not have to contribute to SGK because there are reciprocal social security agreements between the UK and Turkey.

Tax

See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Turkey.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

Pensions

See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Benefits

See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

If you contribute to the Turkish social security scheme (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu, SGK), you, your spouse and your children are insured for:

  • work injuries and work-related illnesses
  • medical care
  • illness and pregnancy care

Only Turkish citizens can get disability benefit.

Driving in Turkey

See driving abroad and road travel in Turkey.

See taking a vehicle out of the UK.

If you are bringing your car into Turkey, you need:

If you have a valid Turkish residence permit, you can keep your car in the country for 2 years. After this your car will have to leave Turkey for at least 186 days before you can bring your car back for another 2 years.

See bringing your car into Turkey.

Voting

See voting when you’re abroad.

British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

Births

See register a birth abroad.

Deaths

See what to do after someone dies.

See also:

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).

Pets

See travelling with pets.

Emergencies

Turkey uses the emergency number 112.

If you need urgent help, contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

Accommodation and buying property

See:

Other useful information

See:

Returning to the UK

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Turkish authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 25 March 2013
Last updated 5 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  2. Residence Permits section is amended
  3. "Driving licences" part is updated
  4. Information about the residency permits is updated
  5. "Residency permits" part is amended due to the updates
  6. Updated guidance on Living in Turkey
  7. Update on "entry and residence requirements"
  8. Updates on "entry and residence requirements".
  9. update
  10. First published.