Next up I’ll cover a recent purchasing experience and how moving away from the centre of town can often save a packet!

Hi, John Cash here again with my money mutterings. This time my topic is all about heating and my recent experience of buying a multi fuel stove and how moving away from town can save serious cash.

A Soba-ring Experience

When I first moved to Turkey I underestimated just how cold the short winters can get. Day time temperature are fine, but once the sun goes down and I settle down in the house the cold starts to bite at my feet. So my mind turned to the best way to keep warm. I’m not going to run through all the pros and cons or the various heating options here but I’ve tried most of them from small fan heaters to air-con but none provides that nice all round warmth like a real fire!

So I did my initial research to find out what I could do. I could build an open fire place, install a wood burner or get a Turkish Soba which is an enclosed fire similar to a wood burner.

First to be struck off my list was building an open fire as it would be impractical for my place and, from previous experience; most of the heat goes up the chimney. So I moved on to the next option on my list – the log burner.

Traditional European style log burners are nice, but as I found out, are expensive to buy just like in the UK. There are shops that sell them around town and some of them are stylish and, so I am led to believe by the shop owners, efficient. Prices range from around £300 up depending on the size and quality you desire with installation on top. However, many are only designed to burn logs and not coal. Logs are relatively expensive and their heat output is variable depending on the wood type. A good hard wood will set you back around 230 – 250 YTL per tonne with pine a little bit cheaper. But a tonne of logs isn’t very much so running costs could escalate. So, I put the log burner on the back burner, so to speak, and moved on to my next option, the Turkish Soba.

The Soba is the Turkish way to keep warm during the winter. It is an enclosed fire, just like a log burner, but with more emphasis on practicality rather than style, and the style was my first problem! It seems the Soba manufacturers followed the Henry Ford book of marketing – you can have any Soba as long as it’s brown! I say brown but it’s more like a dirty tan colour and not to my taste. However, I had spotted a nice cast iron Soba in a friends house in a similar style to a wood burner found in the UK so decided to track one down.

{mosimage}Armed with my trusty note pad and pen for writing down the prices I headed for the various Soba shops. I started off in the centre of town and worked my way around eventually ending up on the road out towards Karachula. Most shops only stocked the brown style Sobas but promised they could get me the one I wanted from their catalogue on a matter of a few days. However, I know what a few days means around these parts – any where from 1 week to many months, so I moved on until I could find one in stock. My hard work paid off and I found the exact model I wanted in stock in a small hardware shop on the main road near to Karachula.  It cost 350 YTL for the soba and a couple of Lira for each of the stove pipes needed to connect to the chimney.  This was much cheaper than all the other shops in town who wanted as much as 450YTL for the same model. The soba was delivered half an hour later and installed for me. I had to pay extra for installation though – the grand sum of 4 YTL! So, it appears that moving away from town can save money, at least in this case.

I’ve been burning coal on the Soba as it’s the most cost effective fuel – remember I said logs were expensive. I’ve clubbed together with my neighbour across the street and we negotiate a bulk discount and even get the guys to bring it up the stairs to our place. A 25kg bag of 4kw great quality coal costs just 6.50 YTL per bag – around £2.25. One bag lasts around 4 days. A 45kg bag of kindling to get the fire started can be picked up from the industrial estate for 10YTL – around £3.50 – and that lasts 2 – 3 weeks. The free newspapers also make a great free kindling – and one even has ‘lights’ written on it! So all in all it costs around 60p per night to heat. And there’s a nice spin off too – we always have a kettle of hot water on the soba for tea or the hot water bottle.

Until next time, stay warm and remember CASH is KING!


  1. Hey just discovered you and I’ve been in Turkey for the last 29 years.
    Good site with lots of useful info in a language I don’t have to grapple with. Thank you.
    Your article on heating was just what I was looking for. I don’t want a soba so I am going to look at the fires which are now on sale in Turkey.

    • Hello Sema

      Thank you for your feedback.

      We are delighted to hear you find our articles informative and useful.

      Kind regards