This article was written for Fethiye Times by Sian Midgley
Most foreigners who have property or business interests in Turkey, or who have reached the excellent decision to make Turkey their home, will no doubt have come across the online information centre called ‘Doc Martins Surgery for Expats in Turkey’. But who is the man behind the myth and why does he want to help us? Read on to find out…
So, Doc, how long have you lived in Turkey and what made you move here?
We moved over from the UK on December 24th 2008. I had my own business for years but on the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2008 I suffered two heart attacks within four hours and ended up in Papworth Hospital. I ended up having three stents inserted into various arteries.
Ironically, just three months later I was approached by a guy who was interested in buying my business whenever I wished to sell. We had already bought our house in Bodrum back in 2006, so worked out the finances and went ahead and sold the business on December 17th 2008.
What did you do, work wise, before moving to Turkey?
I had been self employed for 30+ years in the automotive glazing repair & replace industry and also had a 4 x 4 accessory business too.
When and why did you start up Doc Martin’s Surgery?.
Always having been in the service industry, I got bored here as I retired at 58 years of age, so I needed something to do. At first I simply assisted locals in Bodrum when they needed to apply for their Residents Permits at the Port Polis office. Then on March 21st 2014 I decided to set up the Doc Martin Group and before I knew it foreigners were asking to join from all over Turkey.
So much information on various topics was being lost on the normal expat Facebook pages so I began by saving the information and links.
I received so many links on various topics that I decided I needed a dedicated site away from Facebook to collate all the information I was gathering so that I could refer to it quickly. This ended up with me writing the files website and, to save myself time answering individual questions and the many private messages I received daily, folk could check the information for themselves.
Where do you get your information from?
Some from people’s experiences but most of my information comes from official sites in Turkey; GOC, MFA, DGMM, CSGB Turk Touring, SGK…the list goes on and on depending on the subject matter.
What’s the most common question you get asked?
Various Resident Permit application problems but the most regularly asked questions concern Visa dates…where some folk can’t work out their 90 days in 180.
What’s the silliest question you’ve been asked?
As the group title is Doc Martin…I’ve had a few ask for prices of breast augmentation..haha…
In relation to the information you provide, what’s your biggest bugbear?
New members to the group who simply just ask questions before looking at the Surgery page to see if the topic have recently been covered, and/or not reading the Group’s pinned announcement post where the link to the files website is. Even as I type this now I’m answering a private message where all the information they need is in a file, but sad to say, some folk are lazy and will simply send me a private message rather than look themselves – but that can backfire on them as I often just inform them where the info is.
What’s the best way to access the information?
The most direct route is via the following link:
But if you are a Facebook fiend you can also check out my page here:
(When a member asks a question on the Facebook page, it is a pending post and 99% of the time will answered by Doc Martin or Elaine in private message via Messenger.
The only posts now on the group page is information from Doc Martin regarding any major changes / implementations happening).
How much time per week do you spend in The Surgery?
Except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day my admin (the marvelous Elaine) and myself are always around.
Personally, I tend to switch on my laptop at around 10am and will answer questions until 10pm. If I’m out and about I usually have my phone with me to answer any emergency questions, such as if someone has a problem and they are sitting in their Residence Permit interview at that very minute…other than that we usually answer questions within 1-5 hours of being posted.
What do you do in your spare time?
The files website gets an average 7-10,000 hits every month since its inception, from countries such as Turkey & UK, who are consistently the top two each month, to oddball countries as Sri Lanka, Bosnia, Australia, the Congo and the like. So, to answer your question…what spare time?..lol…
…So, there you have it, the mystery is solved…now I just need him to tell me where I can go for bigger boobs…
Sian Midgley moved to Fethiye from the UK in 2013. She’s previously been involved with 3Cs, Animal Aid (now Hayed) and the Çatalarık Kedi Evi. Now she jointly runs the Sustainable Living in Fethiye Facebook page where people ask questions and give advice on how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.Having discovered a love of the outdoors in recent years, more often than not, you’ll find her cycling or walking around the local villages or participating in various fitness classes. In her downtime, she likes nothing more than to be at home with her three pets, including her 4 year-old rescue dog who she openly admits is the love of her life.