British expat in Turkey now considers the UK a foreign country – ‘no intention of leaving’

Turkey is an ‘increasingly significant power’ within EU says expert

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British expat Michael moved to Turkey with his Turkish wife and settled in Antalya. He had “no intention of leaving”, he said, and now felt like a foreign in the UK.

Michael said: “The main reason for moving to Turkey was because my wife is Turkish.

“Once she had introduced me to her country I fell in love with it and decided to pack up and move here.

“I had previously worked and lived in the USA and couldn’t really settle there.”

Moving to a holiday destination had its perks, with Michael’s friends and family visiting often.

He said: “All my immediate family live back in the UK. Although they bring themselves here on a regular basis for holidays!

“It is always great to have a place they can relax and enjoy.”

For an expat, however, it was important not to treat his new home as “a permanent holiday”.

Michael said: “Do not treat it like a permanent holiday, you need to have stability and a regular life to make it work.

“Also, although difficult try and refrain from making cultural comparisons from your old culture to your new one.”

Michael loved Turkey and recommended “people travel within the country and see the amazing cities here.

“In my eyes, it would be impossible to be bored here. Travel in Turkey is pretty cheap.”

Daily life in Turkey was great for Michael, who praised the “community feel”.

He said: “I love waking up and seeing the Taurus mountains and jogging early morning along the beach.

“That makes you appreciate how lucky you are to live in such a beautiful place.

“The people mostly are incredibly respectful and kind.

“People here have not lost that community feel, where we live within a short distance walk we have, two newsagents, butcher, baker, hairdresser, tailor, cafes, restaurants – all privately owned and all serving the community.

“Everyone knows each other and crime is incredibly low.”

While Michael’s life was great now, he said the first year was “difficult”.

He explained: “The first year was difficult, as much as I loved being here, I did miss the family connections and the familiar things from my own culture.”

He continued: “Although it is exciting you are also a little uncertain of what the future holds.

“It’s like having a 1000-piece jigsaw of your life and not being able to fit all the pieces together.

He also warned: “The biggest negative I can find is when moving here, it is incredibly hard to find suitable work, and when you do, getting paid can be a nightmare.”

Way past his first year in the country, Michael was now perfectly settled in Turkey.

So much so that he felt like a foreigner in the UK.

He said: “I now have Turkish citizenship, and regard Turkey as my home. 

“When I travel back to the UK, I feel that I am abroad and miss Turkey very much and cannot wait to return.”


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