Turkey Everyday Life

Housing and supply

Vacant apartments can be found in English-language newspapers such as the “Turkish Daily News” or on the Internet. The most common variant is to use a broker (emlakci) who is informed about all kiralik daireleri (apartments to be rented) in his district. He gets a monthly rent for his services. The rent can usually be negotiated, e.g. if you pay several months in advance. Sometimes the landlord demands his money in foreign exchange. It can also happen that foreigners have to pay a higher rent.

In the big cities there are districts that are very European / international in character. Gated communities can also be found. In addition, some foreigners deliberately seek out the Turkish Mahalle (Turkish city district) as the center of their lives, in order to be able to immerse themselves deeper in local events. The topic of “demarcation and proximity” to the neighbors can take on an enriching and restrictive dimension.

In the meantime, almost all international products are available in Turkey, at least in the centers, so that you don’t have to go without food you are used to. Supermarkets like Migros are available in X, XL and XXL formats. There is also a bakkal (grocery store) on every corner with a large selection in a small space, fresh bread is always available. Often the purchases are also brought home.

Lush fruit and vegetable markets

The Manav (fruit and vegetable dealer) has also opened its stall for its customers until late at night.

There are often weekly markets that offer not only fruit and vegetables, but also clothing, household goods and other groceries: e.g. Cuma-Pazari (Friday market).

Bread (Ekmek) is available from the baker (Firinci) and must always be fresh.

Opening times in Turkey are very different. Serve as a guide:

  • Banks: Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Agencies, authorities, offices: Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1.30 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Grocery stores: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
  • Post offices: Mon-Fri 8.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 1.30 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Shops: Mon-Sat / Sun 9 am-8pm


According to pharmacylib, there are four German schools abroad in Turkey:

  • Private school of the German Embassy in Ankara – Ernst Reuter School
  • Branch of the private school of the German Embassy in Istanbul
  • Branch of the private school of the German School in Izmir
  • German Department of the State of Istanbul Erkek Lisesi in Istanbul

The German-Turkish university started operations in April 2014. German-speaking kindergartens can be found mainly in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. There are numerous other international kindergartens and schools in these cities.

Stay healthy

Medical care is available nationwide. Nevertheless, the medical standard is very different depending on the region and district in terms of hygiene, equipment and level of training. State facilities are often overcrowded and their equipment is usually not up to date. Private hospitals guarantee a better standard.

Often you can find information about German or English speaking doctors in the local communities. Many of them have been trained abroad, their knowledge and competence is international. In the meantime there is already laser and dental tourism to Istanbul.

A possibly existing valid health insurance cover (foreign health insurance) is often not sufficient. It is therefore strongly advised to take out private travel health insurance and reliable travel repatriation insurance. Depending on the insurance situation, the treatment must first be paid for, and only then does the doctor begin the examination.

You can get medication in the “Eczane”. Many drugs are available without a prescription. Unlike in Germany, antibiotics can also be obtained without a doctor’s prescription.

Nationwide, there is a high risk of infection for hepatitis A and a medium risk of infection for hepatitis B.

Telecommunication and internet


The country code for Turkey is 0090. The prefix for the European part of Istanbul is 0212, for the Asian part 0216 is to be prefixed.

Further area codes for the larger cities:

  • Adana: 322
  • Antalya: 242
  • Bursa: 224
  • Izmir: 232

Emergency calls

  • Police: 155
  • Ambulance: 112
  • Fire department: 110

Post, telecommunications and internet

Türk Telekom is the Turkish fixed line operator. Taking over an existing connection is no problem. An invoice from the previous person and a copy of the passport are sufficient. A new application is often more complicated.

Vodafone, Avea and Türkcell enable mobile telephony. They offer prepaid cards (to be topped up in supermarkets and kiosks) and contracts. For the latter, a stay in Turkey is necessary.

Internet providers in Turkey are Turkcell or Turk Telekom. DSL is easily possible in the big cities. In the periphery and in rural areas, the connection is rather slow and not always stable. Internet cafés can be found everywhere and allow access to the network without a separate connection.

The Turkish PTT, i.e. post, offers its services in the areas of post and payment transactions. The post offices are open Mon-Fri: 8.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 1.30 p.m.-5 p.m.

Public holidays

State Holidays

  • New Year: 1.1.
  • Day of National Sovereignty and the Child: 23.4.
  • Labor Day: 1.5.
  • Day of Youth, Sports and Ataturk Remembrance: 19.5.
  • Day of Democracy and National Unity: 15.6
  • Turkey Victory Day: 30.8.
  • Republic Day of Turkey: 29.10.

Religious holidays (moved 11 days forward annually)

  • Ramadan and Sugar Festival: April 12-11, 2021
  • Sugar Festival: May 11-13, 2021
  • Kurban Bayram: July 20-23, 2021

National passions


The most popular sports are soccer, basketball, volleyball and oil wrestling in the Thracian part of the country.