Our annual review of the cost of living in Fethiye compared to the UK shows it is still cheaper to have a life in the sun but only just and it isn’t helped by the weak British Pound.

Each year Fethiye Times compares the costs of a number of common things we buy or have to pay with those in the UK. These include household costs of council tax and utilities, transport costs of petrol, car tax and bus fares, entertainment costs including ADSL, telephone and TV, and finally food costs. We collect the costs of the same items each year, apply a consistent expected usage and then compare them.

The comparison is useful not only for those people wishing to retire to the area from the UK and want to know how far their income will go but also for those already living in the sun.

In previous years we have seen that overall costs have been as much as 40 percent cheaper in Fethiye compared to the UK. But the trend over the last few years has seen the gap closing.

This year we have found that the gap is now only 13 percent or £1,181 cheaper than in the UK.

That will probably come as shock to many who think Turkey is a cheap sunshine destination to live in.

But the combination of a weakening British Pound, the ongoing effects of a higher level of price rises in the Turkish economy and tax increases really has closed the gap.

Another major impact on the reduction this year has been the doubling of the residence permit. In 2009 household costs included in our sample were half those of the UK but the increase in the residence permit charge has slashed that to just 24 percent so it’s now only 618 GBP less than the UK.

Transport costs are also rocketing in Turkey as higher taxes on fuel feed through to the pumps. Petrol is now 46 pence more expensive in Turkey than in the UK at £1.60 a litre.

In addition food prices have been steadily rising and now the savings in Fethiye only amount to 580 GBP per year.

In 2006 it was significantly cheaper living in Fethiye than in the UK. But to get back to those days the British Pound would need to buy 3.50 Turkish Lira, a situation that seems some way off.


What’s Included in Our Figures?

Our comparison is in no way statistically robust but more an indication of the likely costs of living in the UK and Fethiye, Turkey. We have made a number of assumptions as shown below and an individual’s cost of living may be more or less:

  • That you buy a residence permit rather than stay in Turkey on a tourist visa;
  • That you own and run a car;
  • That you shop in Migros in Fethiye or Tesco in the UK;
  • That you eat meat a number of times a week;
  • That you drink coffee as well as the cheaper tea.
  • That you are fit and healthy and don’t need medical services.
  • We have excluded the costs of tobacco and alcohol and the cost of buying property or renting in our comparison.
  • And, we have also excluded the ‘perks’ of living in the UK such as the winter heating allowance for older people, free bus travel that is available to retired persons and of course free health care.