FAQ’s: Retiring to Turkey


Retiring to Turkey, or for that matter deciding to spend your retirement anywhere abroad raises many questions. Oceanwide Properties have sold many Turkish properties to Brits and Europeans that have decided to make the jump and retire to Turkey. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions:

Can I claim my UK pension in Turkey?

Yes, UK citizens living in Turkey are still entitled to receive their state pension. Before your move to Turkey you need to speak to the UK department for Working, Jobs and Pensions and make them aware of your intentions. Do however keep in mind that, although you will be residing in Turkey, normal government cost of living with adjustments may still be applied.

How do I claim my UK state pension whilst living in Turkey?

Four months prior to reaching retirement age you can contact the International Pension Centre in the UK and discuss your wish to retire to Turkey and claim your state pension from Turkey. Please see the following address and links for up to date information and procedures:

UK Address for Enquiries: International Pension Centre, The Pension Service 11, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1LW. Tel: +44 (0)191 218 7777 (Mon-Fri 8am to 6pm)

Best website for information: https://www.gov.uk/claim-benefits-abroad 

Can I still get NHS treatment whilst living in Turkey?

The NHS is a residence based healthcare system meaning you are not entitled to treatment if your permanent residence is  in Turkey. This matter is currently under discussion and Brits living abroad, that have paid over 7 years National Insurance contributions, may be entitled to free NHS care in the near future.

We have heard of many cases where ex-pats living in Turkey, who retain a registered UK address and GP, still receive NHS treatment on their visits home. This may be possible but is not officially allowed.

Does my NHS entitlement affect my SGK insurance in Turkey?

Yes your NHS entitlement could affect your SGK entitlement. The SGK health insurance policy clearly states that to qualify you should not be entitled to any other state or government health scheme overseas.

I’m over 65, do I need Turkish health insurance to apply for residency in Turkey?

At present, it is not compulsory for those over the age of 65 to take out Turkish health insurance, or join the SGK system, in order to apply for short term residency. The residency laws are changing so this may not be the case for very long.

retiring to Turkey
Put your feet up and retire to Turkey

Is it cheaper to live in Turkey than the UK?

Generally yes, the cost of living in Turkey, especially along the coast, is still far cheaper than the UK. Rises in inflation have pushed prices up over the past few years, but daily living expenses, groceries, utilities and Turkish property prices are still low in comparison. Your pension will stretch far further in Turkey! It is worth keeping in mind though that Istanbul, like London, can be pricey. Those looking to retire to Turkey normally choose to reside in areas along the Southwest coast like Fethiye, Calis, Ovacik, Kalkan and Uzumlu. Here the Turkish property prices, costs of eating out, alcohol and daily living can be very reasonable.

Do I need to make a Turkish will?

Inheritance laws in Turkey are different to the UK. We at Oceanwide Properties advise our clients with Turkish properties to have a Turkish will drawn up to avoid any complications should anything unforeseen happen. Under Turkish inheritance law, a spouse is only entitled to receive 25% of the estate, the children receive an equal share of the remaining 75%.  A UK will should be accepted in Turkey, but organising it’s acceptance can be a lengthy (and costly) process therefore it is far better to have a Turkish will in place.

Our FAQ’s concludes our February 2015 focus on retiring to Turkey, we will however re-visit the topic throughout the year so please keep tuned to this site, and sign up to receive our posts by email as they are released. As a reminder of other articles you may find of interest, please read though our recent posts; Top reasons to retire to Turkey and our case study with Mike and Dilys now happily retired and permenantly living in Fethiye.

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