In part 4 we look at the reasons why expats have settled in Turkey.

The reasons for settling in Turkey were measured by a ten point scale ranging from 1 as ‘Unimportant’ to 10 – ‘Very Important’.  Respondents could choose to grade any or all of the responses and the results are set out below.

 

Sea, sun, climate

Cheap & comfortable life

Warm social relationships

Relatively stronger family ties in Turkey

To set up a business

To work

Responses

470

453

433

374

323

319

Mean

8.05

7.31

7.36

4.22

2.08

2.20

Median

9.00

8.00

8.00

3.00

1.00

1.00

Sea, sun and climate together with a cheap and comfortable life rank high whilst setting up a business or working would not seem to be important – this would seem to fit with the age profile of the sample as a whole.

We also asked a set of questions around property ownership, language skills, intercultural marriage, contact with the country of origin and contacts with the local community in order to measure different levels of integration.  Of the sample of 504 some 360 people (71%) owned their own home in Turkey; 111 were in rented accommodation which may seem a large number, but we believe there are several contributory factors.  Firstly this figure could include newcomers to Turkey who are still deciding what and where to buy.  Some members of the sample said it was taking them a long time to decide to invest in property in Turkey, and they wanted to wait until they felt absolutely sure of their decision.  Secondly, older members of the sample found renting gave them more financial flexibility: rather than tying up their capital in the purchase of property, they rented and had money to travel. Finally, some older people with adult children living in the UK, worried about their offspring inheriting a possibly unwanted Turkish property.  By renting they could ensure their children inherited capital, not bricks and mortar in a foreign country.

Types of dwellings occupied by the members of the sample are shown below:

Type of dwellings

Frequency

Percentage

Apartments within a gated community

135

26.8

Apartments elsewhere

111

22

Detached houses within a gated community

48

9.5

Detached houses elsewhere

94

18.7

Bungalows

31

6.2

Other

39

7.7

Missing

46

9.1

Total

504

100

The information on types of dwellings not only gives us hints about the socio-economic status of the respondents, but also tells us much about their relationship with the local Turkish community.  A total of 58% of the sample lived in apartments, a decision that may have been made because of budget constraints.  Life is certainly simpler in an apartment, which may be a factor for older, retired couples: no garden to maintain and neighbours close by for emergencies.  Living in a gated community can also provide the added element of security and recently the more luxurious gated communities have started to provide other services to attract foreign buyers.  There may be a doctor on site at certain times, there will certainly be a communal swimming pool and 24-hour security staff. 

Settled foreigners from some countries only want to live with their own country’s citizens.  One researcher noted that in Alanya there are communities that have been built exclusively for Norwegian and Danish residents and are advertised as such.  This limits contact and interaction with the local Turkish community.  In Fethiye, it would seem the British also tend to settle in locations where their compatriots are already settled.  It could be said that whilst they did not buy or rent in an area advertised as being ‘exclusively for Britons’ they are, perhaps subconsciously, creating their own ghettoes.

For official Turkish figures on property ownership watch out for Part 5.

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