Best Guide To Expat Networking In Turkey In 2024

Expat Networking In Turkey

Are you looking to expand your network by socializing with fellow expats in Turkey but don’t know how? Then keep reading because, in today’s post, I have explained everything about expat networking in Turkey for you!

From important networking places to significant social events, I’ll walk you through the important things you’d be needing to know about the expat life in Turkey. So, let’s get started!

Expat Networking In Turkey

Here are some platforms and events you can join as an expat and start networking with other expats in Turkey:

1. Yabangee

Yabangee is a volunteer-run English website that offers listings, reviews, and advice on events in Turkey. It also acts as a community platform for expats and globally-minded residents by hosting a diverse range of event series.

Apart from arranging the monthly Expat Spotlight talk series, where six foreigners each month share their experiences and knowledge based on various themes. Yabangee also arranges monthly trivia nights and music-themed evenings at Beat in Beyoğlu on Sundays and Thursdays.

2. InterNations

Surprisingly active, the Istanbul branch of InterNations, the largest professional networking group for foreigners worldwide, hosts frequent get-togethers at some of the trendiest locations in town. A variety of member-only special interest groups are available, including ones for kids’ playgroups, jogging and walking clubs, literature clubs, and even karaoke.

3. IWI (International Women of Istanbul)

Abbreviated as IWI, it is a nonprofit social organization with a membership basis that offers a network of support to foreign women living in Istanbul. They offer a wide range of events throughout the year, including art and cultural tours, seminars, cooking classes, meetings, and brunches, in addition to their two main annual charity events, the winter bazaar and the spring ball.

Istanbu Galata Towerl
Galata Tower, Istanbul

4. Istanbul&I

The mission of Istanbul&l’s volunteer youth community is to empower multicultural youth by improving the lives of underprivileged and displaced populations. They offer a variety of events from their base in Karaköy and have close to 300 members representing more than 50 different nations.

Istanbul&l organizes many informational and cultural events, has a seminar series called ÇayTalks (Tea Talk), and has a weekly speaking club in Turkish, English, French, and Spanish for expats in Turkey. They are hosting a new member orientation on Saturday, October 6th, from 7 to 9 pm for new members or anyone interested in finding out more about their activities.

5. Open Mic Nights

Many expats have benefited from Spoken Word Istanbul, a weekly English-language open mic series held in the city. At Arsen Lüpen in Beyoğlu, anyone is welcome to perform for six minutes on Tuesday nights in front of the public. It’s an amazing chance to showcase your talents and a fun event for the audience.

A number of English-language stand-up comedy events, such as Standup Turkey and the Meeshy Variety Show, which both include international stand-up and improv comedians, have also arisen from the performances at this weekly event. Every two weeks, Istanbul’s first English-language stand-up open mic night takes place on Sunday afternoons at Kaset Kadıköy.

6. Tidy Turkey

Tidy Turkey is an Istanbul-based organization founded by an expat. Members meet monthly to pick up garbage, making their community more beautiful while being socially engaged and a great opportunity to get to know new people.

7. Pop-up Dinners

Members of Istanbul’s expat community host and participate in two distinct pop-up dinner parties. A former restaurateur from Singapore who is Dutch hosts Pop-up Dinners Istanbul from her Cihangir house. Dinners have themes, such as Saturday’s “Around Singapore” dinner. Casablanca Cuisine is a more recent addition to the scene. She is a home cook who serves the authentic flavors of her country Morocco.

Where Do Most Expats Live In Turkey?

Most expats in Turkey live in these cities:

  • Istanbul
  • Ankara
  • Izmir
  • Antalya
  • Bodrum

Most expats in Turkey reside in Istanbul, the most crowded city with numerous amenities and a vibrant cultural scene. Ankara, the capital, is also popular due to its embassies and international organizations. Izmir attracts those looking for a coastal city with a relaxed lifestyle, while Antalya, known for its beautiful beaches and warm climate, is a favorite among retirees. Bodrum, famous for its nightlife and stunning coastline, is another top choice for expats.

a man working on his laptop by the sea as an Expat Networking In Turkey

Is Turkey Good For American Expats?

Turkey is a good destination for American expats. The cost of living is generally lower than in the US, making it an attractive option for stretching retirement funds or reducing expenses. The climate is diverse, with coastal regions enjoying a Mediterranean climate and central areas experiencing more continental weather.

The rich cultural heritage offers a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences, and learning some Turkish phrases can enhance the experience. Healthcare in Turkey is good and affordable, with excellent private healthcare widely available. Safety varies by area, but staying informed and choosing the right location can ensure a positive experience.

How Do You Say “Expat Networking” In Turkish?

Expat networking, which means yabancı ağı in Turkish, refers to building and maintaining professional and social connections among fellow expats. It involves creating a supportive community where expats can share advice and experiences to help each other adapt and succeed in Turkey.

Business Networkİş Ağı

Frequently Asked Questions About Expat Networking In Turkey

1. What Is Life Like In Turkey As An Expat?

Life in Turkey as an expat can be a great experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Making an effort to learn Turkish and understand local traditions and customs can help with a smoother integration. There are active expat communities, especially in major cities and coastal areas, that provide support and social connections.

The cost of living is affordable compared to many Western countries, with housing, food, and transportation being generally cheaper. Daily expat life offers access to modern amenities, diverse cuisine, rich cultural experiences, and a slower pace of life in many areas. Challenges include complex bureaucratic processes and a period of adjustment to cultural differences.

2. How To Work As An Expat In Turkey?

Working in Turkey as an expat requires having a work permit, which is typically arranged by the employer before arrival. Job opportunities can be found in multinational companies, English teaching positions, and sectors like tourism and IT.

While English is widely spoken in business circles, knowing Turkish is a significant advantage. Networking by joining expat groups of friends and professional networks can help you find job opportunities and understand the job market. If you haven’t started yet, start learning Turkish with the Ling app!

3. Is There An Expat Community In Turkey?

Yes, there are active expat communities throughout Turkey. Various social media groups, forums, and websites cater to expats, offering advice, social events, and support. Many cities have clubs and associations where expats can have meet-ups for social activities, cultural events, and networking.

Regular events like meet-ups, cultural festivals, and language exchange programs provide opportunities to connect with other expats. Support services are available to help with settling in, finding housing, navigating legal requirements, and adapting to the local culture.

To Sum The Expat Networking Scene

Expat networking in Turkey can be exciting and challenging, but having the right connections makes all the difference. Turkey has a lively expat community with plenty of events and groups to help you feel at home.

Whether you settle in the bustling city of Istanbul, the historic capital of Ankara, the sunny beaches of Antalya, or the vibrant nightlife of Bodrum, you’ll find support and friendships. Learning Turkish and getting to know local customs will make your life here even better. With a welcoming expat network, you can enjoy all the amazing experiences Turkey has to offer.

Since you have read this post, you may also be interested in becoming a digital nomad in Turkey. Check out my guide on how to become a digital nomad in Turkey!

Leave a Reply