Why Turkey is a great destination for digital nomads

The fastest growing profession these days must be that of the digital nomad, a development accelerated by climate and pandemic crises. These days, financial independence and the ability to work from anywhere – that is, to conserve valuable resources by working remotely – makes good sense.

The term “Digital Nomad”, which has only existed since the start of the new millennium, refers to people who are not tied to a particular place and who remotely use telecommunications technologies to make a living. Thus, digital nomads have the freedom to choose where they want to live and how they want to work. You may have seen these “nomads” squatting in front of their computers in coffee shops or at trendy new coworking rhythms, shared offices popping up all over the world. These days in Turkey they are everywhere.

People of all ages are on the bandwagon of the digital nomad, aka the remote working lifestyle. From young entrepreneurs and online teachers, to professionals and semi-retirees who run their online businesses and snowbirds, to those looking for warmer climates to settle in, the possibilities are endless as long as there is one. access point that connects you to the World Wide Web.

For nomads in general, the most important factor in choosing the next destination has always been the climate, and it is no different for today’s digital nomads. In addition to finding the most accommodating weather, digital nomads look for destinations where they can easily get visas and health care, and which offer affordable living options. For many savvy digital nomads, Turkey offers just that! From the beautiful and bustling Istanbul to Izmir and Antalya, with its modern cities located on the coast to popular vacation destinations such as Bodrum, Fethiye and more; a growing number of digital nomads are choosing to make Turkey their home base for the time being.

Whether for short stays out of season or year round experiences, Turkey has a lot to offer the digital nomad. First of all, Turkey’s southern coast remains relatively sunny throughout the year and experiences at most a mild summer of rain and hail. You can swim comfortably in the sea for six to eight months a year depending on your heat threshold. Many households in this region will use a reverse air conditioner or electric heater for easily accessible heat, other more traditional households will use “sobas”, which are wood or charcoal stoves that can be used as an oven. In Istanbul, most apartment complexes have central heating. So, although temperatures are lower in the big city, which sometimes sees snow, heating is usually not a problem as it is usually part of the accommodation. Otherwise, you can always buy a “UFO,” the name given to practical vertical heaters that can reach scorching temperatures in confined spaces.

If it’s wood you are looking to burn or need water for, a maintenance worker or whatever, the local community and the market, the latter called in Turkish ” bakkal ”, will usually give you all the information you need and more. Turks are renowned for their hospitality and generosity and it starts with your neighbors, so just know that if you move into a house or apartment in Turkey, you are part of a community. This means that if you want to, you could potentially be surrounded by people all the time, which is good as loneliness is one of the main complaints of those who embrace the digital nomadic lifestyle.

In addition, Turks are friendly and spontaneous, which means that when the lights go out for most of the other professionals in the world, in Turkey the partying and general fun, called ‘keyif’, begins. In most cities of Turkey there is a vibrant nightlife and big parties and live music can play an important role any day of the week. So, I can almost guarantee that you will have a great time and make lifelong friends at any nomad stopover in Turkey. Maintaining a strong sense of self-discipline is integral to the digital nomadic lifestyle, so keep in mind that while Turks are used to enjoying late nights and getting up early to work, life is exciting here. can wreak havoc if you don’t. Don’t pace yourself.

Istanbul has dozens of shared coworking offices. (Photo Shutterstock)

From a practical standpoint, there is a wide variety of resources for expats in Turkey established and managed by seasoned expats. Several social media groups, online journals, published books, blogs and podcasts all follow and trace expat experiences in Turkey for the layman. Whether you have questions about residence permits, finding accommodation, driving, etc., I can pretty much guarantee that the answer will have been presented to you as well if you explore the wealth of information provided online by expatriates in Turkey.

For a quick recap, you have: Yabangee, which is an online and event community for expats, the Doc Martin’s Surgery for Expats website provides the answer to almost any practical question a foreigner might have, Fethiye Times and The Ege Eye are newspapers that can be found online and Bodrum Echo Community provides detailed information for expats on the Bodrum Peninsula. Other more localized expat Facebook groups can also provide valuable information on community-related issues such as housing, internet service, and blackouts.

There are many internet options in Turkey ranging from fixed cable connections to satellites and mobile broadband packages, which are a great option as modems provide strong signals in most parts of the country and can be transported, but are also more expensive and can be a challenge to obtain. In my case, it was a snap; I was even given a test box for a day to make sure the signal was sufficient for my needs.

In my opinion, the healthcare system in Turkey is miraculous. Public and private hospitals can be found in almost all districts. There are several insurance options for foreign residents, but it is nonetheless common to see a local doctor at Sağlik Ocağı, which are medical centers dealing with basic complaints, or to visit any public hospital and receive affordable, personalized and fast service.

Finding accommodation can be taxing anywhere and Turkey is no different, hammering the pavement in the neighborhood you want to be in goes a long way in a house hunt here as long as you ask local vendors and neighbors if they know something to praise. In vacation destinations, off-season rentals can be affordable options, but keep in mind that you must be prepared to move out when the summer season arrives. Most houses and apartments in Turkey are also furnished, which has its pros and cons, but of course is convenient for the digital nomad. Volunteering on farms or participating in a workaway exchange are also potential opportunities for temporary housing possibilities.

Where to work as a digital nomad in Turkey?

There really is a wide variety of places in Turkey to work for digital nomads. Coffee culture is alive and well in Turkey and many cities and neighborhoods will have specially designed tea gardens to spend the day. Otherwise, the truly mind-boggling number of upscale cafes and cafes you can connect to will almost always offer free Wi-Fi and in Istanbul there are also a number of 24-hour libraries. coworking is booming in Turkey, with multiple creative venues offering innovative shared workspaces and opportunities to socialize with other professionals and digital nomads through a variety of specialist events.

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