14. Can I reside permanently in Turkey and what can I bring into the country?

14) Can I reside permanently in Turkey and what can I bring into the country?

If a foreigner wishes to reside in Turkey permanently they are required to apply for a RESIDENCY VISA from their home country at least 8 weeks prior to entering the country. The necessary documents should be sent to the Turkish Consulate General in London.

Alternatively, an application may be made whist in Turkey; information can be obtained from the local police headquarters.

After receiving your finalised visa, registration to the local authorities must be made within one month informing them of your residency and address details.

If you wish for your household or office goods to be shipped to Turkey, a residency visa of at least one year can be used to apply for TEMPORARY IMPORT permission allowing only your own personal items to be brought into the country (not new items or items for sale).

PETS can also be brought into Turkey on the following conditions:

• The pets have a veterinary health certificate issued no more than 10 days before arrival into Turkey
• Rabies vaccinations are administered no more than 6 months and no less than 15 days before arrival
• Notarisation of these documents unless the pets are accompanied by their owners
• That no more than one cat, one dog, one bird or ten aquarium fish are brought in

Your CAR or VEHICLE may not be brought into Turkey unless you are retired or hold a work permit. If employed, your employer must write a letter guaranteeing customs duties will be paid on the vehicle once employment has ceased. Also an application for a special licence plate will be required to show the car is owned by a foreign worker.

If retired and hold a residency visa, you have permission to keep your car in Turkey for the duration of your stay. An application must be made to the Turkish Touring and Automobile Club to get a temporary entry merchandise permit for a foreigner. The following documents will be required:

• Vehicle owners Passport
• Vehicle owners Residency visa
• Vehicle owners Translated retirement documentation
• Car registration documents
• A guarantee confirming that the duty will be paid if the car remains in Turkey in the event of the vehicle owner leaving the country (cash or letter from your bank)

Alternatively you may BUY A CAR in Turkey and register it in your name. You may do this if you have a residency visa, insure your car fully and hold the appropriate driving licence. You may either take a Turkish driving test or apply for your foreign licence to be replaced by a Turkish one. This can be done by submitting the following:

• Your foreign licence translated into Turkish and notarised
• An application form from your local Drivers Association
• Residency Visa
• Medical report from the local hospital
• Blood group certificate (available from the local hospital)
• Three passport photos

Using your MOBILE PHONE in Turkey is an option as Turkish mobile phone operators do allow roaming services in partnership with foreign operators but this can be an expensive choice. Alternatively, a Turkish SIM card can be purchased to use in a foreign mobile phone. The phone must be registered with the Information Technologies and Communications Authority to make this option viable. As of 2008, travellers to Turkey have permission to register one foreign mobile phone every two years. Any additional phones will be subject to a customs duty charge.

To register a foreign mobile phone in Turkey, the following documents must be submitted to the Information Technologies and Communications Authority within one month of entrance into the country:

• For Diplomats – Passport or ID
• For Students – Student ID
• For Foreign Residents – Residency Permit
• Passport
• Details of the phones IMEI number (may be found on the sticker under the phones battery)

There is not limit to the amount of CASH brought or transferred by bank into Turkey but the country the money is coming from may have some restrictions as to how much can leave the country at any one time (the UK has a limit of 10,000 Euro). Check with the relevant department to confirm the maximum limit before you leave the country.

Similarly there is no restriction as to how much cash can leave Turkey by bank transfer but an important note is that only an undeclared amount of 5000 Euro can leave the country when travelling. If however, more than 5000 Euro was declared when entering the country, then the declared amount can leave Turkey without declaring it to customs.

If the customs authorities have proved that you have breached this rule the monies could be seized or a fine could be enforced.

JEWELLERY to the value of 15,000 U.S Dollars can be brought into Turkey as long as the intention is not to sell the items. More can be brought into the country if declared to the customs authorities.

PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE is available for a reasonable cost in Turkey. They cover a wide range of treatments and diagnosis in modern private hospitals and medical centres. There is no waiting list and treatment can be carried out by English speaking doctors and nurses.

Firstly though, a check can be carried out to see if your current social insurance scheme (if applicable) in your home country covers any treatment costs while you are in Turkey.

If you are employed in Turkey you will be covered by Turkish Government Social Health Insurance which covers all health services needed.

The local chemists in Turkey are trained to offer a basic consultation for any medical or prescription queries. Most medication can be bought over the counter for a reasonable fee so, there is no need to bring many of the basic medications over to Turkey when you travel.

The statements written in the questions & answers section guide relate to any land or property purchased by a non-Turkish national such as apartments, flats, villas, beach front homes, stone-built village property, holiday complex property, investment rental property with or without swimming pools, gardens or access to beaches.