Transport here is both cheap and efficient, with most buses air-conditioned. As an example of costs, a ticket from the city of Antalya to Kemer, a distance of approximately 50km, is around £2 ($3.25). Apart from buses, Antalya has a metro system, which is inexpensive to use. In Istanbul, one has a wide range of available transportation. There are buses, metro lines and ferries. You can also use a Dolmus, which are basically mini buses that carry around 10 persons. These are both a cheap and efficient way of getting around to various places. All taxis here are fitted with meters. For crossing to one side of Istanbul to the other, one side being in Asia and the other in Europe, a great number of ferries, run frequent services. It costs approx. 80p ($1.30) to cross from one side to the other, and takes around 35 minutes. There are also long distance air-conditioned and comfortable coaches, that operate between all major cities. The costs of which are very reasonable. For air transport, there are several airline companies, with Turkish Airlines being the largest. They fly to many international destinations as well as local ones. There is also Pegasus and Atlas Jet, who fly to both international and local destinations. Apart from these, EasyJet flies from England to Turkey, as does Thomas Cook.
The roads in Turkey have much improved over the past years. Many roads are now dual carriageways and a new motorway now connects Istanbul to Ankara. On the minus side, fuel prices here are even more expensive than in England. Also car prices are higher, with second hand car prices extremely high compared to those in England & Germany. Due to import regulations, it is a bit complicated to bring your own car into Turkey. Unless it is a left-hand drive and fitted with air-conditioning, I would advise against bringing it here. If you decide to, it is best to contact the Turkish Automobile Organization for the latest rules re importing cars into Turkey. If you have a residence license, you need to either have an international driving license or a Turkish one. The latter is fairly easy to obtain if you already have an English license. For other countries, it is best to check on what is required to obtain a Turkish license. Again the T.A.O can advise on this. One has to be careful when driving here. Even when the traffic lights are in your favor, always check before attempting to cross the road. Also, take care when using pedestrian crossings, as traffic does not take much notice of them.
There are many new shopping centers throughout the country. You can now buy most things except pork, which is only available in a few places. When shopping outside of the major shopping centers, you can try to barter down the cost. In many places this is expected, especially in tourist areas and open markets. Some of the best buys in Turkey include gold & silver jewelry, which is of excellent quality and design. Leather is also of high quality and of the latest fashion. Turkish carpets are known worldwide for being of high quality. However, when buying one, you should always barter down the cost.
There are many water sports available if you decide to live on the Mediterranean or Aegean Coast. There are also many excellent marinas, both in the large cities and hidden away in numerous well sheltered bays. For the golfer, there are over 12 top quality golf courses in Belek designed by a world known professional golfers. This is approximately a 30 minutes’ drive East down the coast from Antalya International airport. There is also a course in Bodrum, with three courses in Istanbul. Films are available in English, in most cinemas throughout Turkey. By using a satellite TV system, you are able to view English films and several International News channels.
If you are over 65, and want to get married to a Turkish person, the process is quite involved and requires various forms and signatures.
A word of warning. If you are thinking of working here, you must have a work permit. If you are caught working without one, you will be deported. Also, never go into business without first consulting an Avukat (lawyer). I myself have not had a problem re this, although my late wife and some friends lost money by not consulting an Avukat, before parting with their money.
In general, I think Turkey is a good place to retire. What with beautiful weather, and living costs being quite reasonable, one can enjoy a relaxing and healthy lifestyle here. Also, Turkish people are well known for being very hospitable and friendly. If you happen to have a problem, there is usually someone who will help you out. It is also quite safe to walk around here. As for crime, apart from once catching someone trying to pick my pocket, I have never had any problems whilst living here.