Expat guide to Turkey, written by women for women!



If you are (or plan to be) an expat living in Turkey, please find below a list of expat clubs, schools, general links for women living in this superb location- you'll find country information and more...

Turkey Rumelian Castle

Expat Clubs

International Professional Women of Istanbul Network (IPWIN)

Launched in October 2008, IPWIN is a place where professional women in Istanbul can come and share stories and experiences, tips and information. We would like to see it as both a professional and social network.

 Website: www.iwi-tr.org


International Women's Association of Izmir (IWAI)

Non-profit women's association in Izmir

Website: www.iwaizmir.com


International Women of Istanbul

We all know how hard it is to move to a different country. Even though some companies help us with the general problems like finding a nice house, settling the kids in an appropriate school, getting a car (and a driver) to go around, the success of an expat adaptation depends on our own personal effort as well. Sooner or later it comes to the point where getting used to the new city or feeling misplaced is completely up to us. To help in overcoming the "cultural clash" or the feeling of "missing old friends", there is nothing better than getting engaged in something.

 Website: www.iwi-tr.org


Newcomers Club

The Newcomers, Moms, Dads & Women's Club Worldwide Directory was created to help you locate clubs and organizations designed to give people new to the area or parents the opportunity to meet and develop friendships with others who live in the area.

Website: www.newcomersclub.com


Professional American Women of Istanbul, PAWI

PAWI is a network of American and Canadian women living in Istanbul. We strive to empower and support our members by promoting professional and personal growth. We inspire each other to achieve and share success. PAWI meetings are held the second Saturday of each month, perfect for women with job obligations. Each meeting features a guest speaker, and locations alternate between the European and Asian sides. We look forward to welcoming you!

Website: www.pawistanbul.com

International Schools 


IICS Istanbul International Community School

IICS is a not-for-profit institution that has maintained a long tradition of academic excellence since its establishment in 1911. With our campuses in Rumelihisari and Buyukcekmece, we are the only international school in Turkey fully accredited by International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), Council of International Schools (CIS) and New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). IICS is one of the first schools in the world to be fully authorized to provide all three International Baccalaureate's (IB) programs: the Primary Years (Early Years - Grade 6), the Middle Years (Grades 7 - 10), and the Diploma (Grades 11 - 12). As an international school, we welcome children of expatriates living and working in Istanbul, and currently, have students from more than 60 nationalities.

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate (IB): Primary Years Program (IB PYP), Middle Years Program (IB MYP), Diploma Program (IB DP)

Address: Marmara Campus: Karaağaç Köyü Mahallesi, Kahraman Caddesi 27/1 Büyükçekmece, Istanbul

Tel: +90 212 857 8270

Hisar Campus: Nababa Sokak No. 6 Rumeli Hisarı Sarıyer, Istanbul

Tel: +90 212 287 2770

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.iics.k12.tr


MEF International School

MEF International School, provides a fully authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) & IB Diploma Program (IBDP) in the secondary school, is structured to provide quality education to students from ages 3 to 18.

Curriculum: International Baccalaureate

Address: Ulus Mahallesi, Oztopuz Caddesi, Leylak Sokak, 34340 Ulus – Besiktas

Tel: + 90 212 287 6900 x 1343

Fax: + 90 212 287 3870

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.mefschools.com


British International School Istanbul

The British International School Istanbul has a worldwide reputation for the education it provides.  It is a leading private international School in Turkey, offering a modified English National Curriculum, IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.  We are an academic school and we send our graduates to universities throughout the world, predominantly to the UK and USA.

Curriculum: English National Curriculum, IGCSE and IB Diploma

Tel: +90 (0) 212 202 7027

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.bis.k12.tr


Istanbul International School

Istanbul International School began originally on Bagdad Avenue, Istanbul as a language service for children which developed into a bilingual Pre School in the suburb of Kozyatağı. Following the success of the Pre School parents were keen to have a Primary School and in 2002 Dr. Mustafa Karadeniz and Mr. John Lees co-founded Istanbul International School in a green district of Çamlıca, on the Asian side of Istanbul. The school started with 12 students and by 2013 the numbers had reached 300. The school provides currently educational services from Pre-School to age 14 and expects to open a school in the near future to address secondary school needs.

Curriculum: English National Curriculum

Address: Turistik Çamlıca Cad. No:12 Büyük Çamlıca, Istanbul

Tel: +90(216) 335 00 50

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.istanbulint.com



Oasis International School

The mission of OIS is to instill in each student a character-based worldview in an environment of academic excellence and a respect for people of all cultures and religions. OIS utilizes an American-based curriculum that has been refined to reflect the Turkish environment in which we are located. Core subjects include English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Curriculum: American

Address: 1550 Cd, 1558 Sk, No.5, Karakusunlar / Cigdem Mah, Ankara

Tel: +90 (312) 286 0560

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ivsaankara.org


Bilkent Laboratory & International School (BLIS)

Bilkent Laboratory & International School (BLIS) is a proud member of the Bilkent family. Located on the rolling hills of Bilkent University high above the city of Ankara, BLIS provides a rigorous academic program from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program in Kindergarten through the 12th grade IB Diploma. A school for international students and Turkish nationals, BLIS provides a unique blend of national and international education, preparing leaders of the future.

Curriculum: K-12

Address: East Campus, Bilkent, Ankara

Tel: +90 312 290 53 61/2

Email: [email protected]

Website: blisankara.org

Local News in English

Hurriyet Daily News

Our unique readership and our unique status as Turkey's oldest and most reliable source of English news offer advertisers a great opportunity to market their brands, causes and products to a whole new base.



Today’s Zaman

Today's Zaman, with an open-minded and visionary perspective, was born out of this necessity as an English-only newspaper in 2007. Within a year of its launch, Today's Zaman became the most-circulating English-language newspaper in Turkey, scoring substantial distance from its closest competitor. Its excellence was also confirmed by the presentation of 21 awards in the Society for News Design's (SND) annual "The Best of Newspaper Design Creative Competition." Today's Zaman won an "Award of Excellence" in the contest in 2008, following closely some of the world's most prestigious newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Guardian.


Country Information 

Location:  Europe/Asia

Capital City:  Ankara

Other Important Cities: Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya

Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)

Language: Turkish

Calling Code: +90

Internet TLD: .tr

Electricity: 220V 50Hz

Emergency Numbers:
  • Electricity 186
  • Emergency 112
  • Fire Department 110
  • International Operator 115
  • IGDAŞ Gas Leak 187
  • Police 155
  • Traffic Police 154
  • Telephone Inquiries 118
  • Telephone 121

Embassy Information

Find your local embassy in Turkey...


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Expats wishing to live and work in Turkey are required to obtain a residence permit within a month prior to the commencement of their work.

If you are an expat looking for a long-term residence in Turkey, you can submit the following documents to the local Police Department:

  • 4 Passport-size photos
  • Photocopies of the passport, last entry stamped page and validity of the passport
  • Bank statement or currency exchange slip showing an asset in the amount of USD300 for every month

Documents required to apply for residence permit for work purposes:

  • Passport
  • 4 Passport-size photos
  • Photocopies of the passport, last entry stamped page and validity of the passport
  • Original work permit issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security


Are you planning to work and live the expat life in Istanbul? This captivating city boasts royal palaces, frenzied markets, and modern art and entertainment. You will find Istanbul a vibrant and multicultural city where the East meets West.

The cost of living in Istanbul is expensive compare to the rest of Turkey. However, the city is cheaper than most Western countries. There are different types of accommodation available in Turkey. If you are looking for expat communities, check out the districts of Nisantasi, Tesvikiye and Cihangir. These places offer a good range of accommodation options. We've listed a few online portals for you below.


Expat Turkey

Real Estate in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir

Website: www.expat-turkey.com

Driving License

If you are an expat in Turkey with EU, US or International driving license, you are allowed to drive provided that a notorised translation of the license has been done. You can check out a Turkish translation firm offering notarisation and certification services or through embassy in Turkey for a small amount. You can confirm the vehicle insurance company whether your license should be exchanged for a Turkish one.


Healthcare quality in Turkey varies from region to region. As an expat in Turkey, you will enjoy an affordable healthcare across the country.

No vaccinations are required to enter the country though it is advisable to have your Hepatitis shots, Hep. A and Hep. B as it is not safe to drink the water. It is advisable to drink the bottled waters which can be bought everywhere and exercise normal caution with food in open areas.

An expat /family working for a company is best covered by their private or company health insurance. The private hospitals are very good and the health care at private hospitals is recommended. There are many doctors who speak English, German and French and it is best to find them through local contacts.

There are many Pharmacies (Eczane) and you can find all sorts of medicines as well as products. You do not need a prescription for most of the medicines.

There are several public and private hospitals in Turkey and they offer good quality care. Turkey is starting to make a name for itself as the medical tourism destination. We've listed the private hospitals in major cities in Turkey.



American Hospital

At the American Hospital we offer you a homely world so you'll feel at home. We will help you reach your health while your here as a guest.

Address: Guzelbahce Sok, No. 20, 34365, Niantasi, Istanbul

Tel: +90 (212) 444 3777

Fax: +90 (212) 311 2190

Website: www.americanhospitalistanbul.org


Medicana International

Among pioneers of private hospital business in Turkey, Medicana Health Group sustains the progression on the way to determine standards of future healthcare services, thanks to the growth strategy aiming to involve all regions of Turkey as well as constant investments and advances made to reinforce our strategy.

Address: Beylikdüzü cad. No:3 Beylikdüzü, İstanbul

Tel: 0212 867 7500

Fax: 0212 867 7672

Website: www.medicana.com.tr


Hisar Intercontinental Hospital

Hisar Intercontinental Hospital based in İstanbul, is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive private hospitals, with offers highest quality diagnosis and treatment in the most comfortable, safe and patient-oriented environments, employing the latest and best medical Technologies.

The Hospital was founded on closed area of 30,000 square meters and it offers services in Ümraniye, İstanbul. That is only 20 minutes to Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, 5 minutes to Bosphorus and at the joint of the continents, Asia and Europe.

Address: Alemdag Cad. Site Yolu Sok. No:7 34768 Umraniye, Istanbul

Tel: (+90 216) 524 13 00

Fax: (+90 216) 524 13 23

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.hisarhospital.com


Anadolu Medical Center

Affiliated with Johns Hopkins, Anadolu Medical Center is located in Istanbul. This JCI-accredited hospital has 209 beds and has been operating since 2005.

Address: Sağlık Anadolu D:Çayırova Mh., Merkezi Hastanesi

Tel: +90 262 678 5507

Website: www.anadolumedicalcenter.com


Neolife Medical Center

NeoLife Medical Center is a specialized oncology center, equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology and internationally renowned physicians and other medical professionals, utilizing the most up-to-date treatment protocols with compassionate care for the patients we are privileged to serve.

Address: Yücel Sokak No: 6 1. Levent Nisbetiye Mahallesi 34340 Beşiktaş, İstanbul

Tel: +90 212 385 3100

Fax: +90 212 269 0120

Website: www.neolife.com.tr



Medicana International

Among pioneers of private hospital business in Turkey, Medicana Health Group sustains the progression on the way to determine standards of future healthcare services, thanks to the growth strategy aiming to involve all regions of Turkey as well as constant investments and advances made to reinforce our strategy.

Address: Söğütözü Caddesi,2165 Sokak No:6 Söğütözü 06520, Ankara

Tel: 0312 292 92 92

Website: www.medicana.com.tr


Insurance Companies

Cigna Global Health Options

Cigna provides international insurance coverage for expats. International medical evacuation is also available in cases where emergency treatment must be sought outside of the host country.

Website: www.cignaglobal.com