How We Got Our Residency In Turkey…The Gentle Way

Turkish Residency Permit

Turkish Residency Permit

As of last Thursday, we are now proud owners of the little blue book that makes us official residents of Turkey. It’s taken a while but, in our defence, there were a few factors that prevented us from getting residency sooner. Thanks to a drastic reduction in residency fees by the Turkish Foreign Ministry earlier this year, we were able to consider our options and, around three weeks ago, we decided it was time to start the process.

We needed to make this as gentle as possible rather than a day of tedium (for us), traipsing around the various official buildings of Fethiye – bureaucracy and officialdom is our pet hate. As a British passport holder, if you know what you’re doing, it’s completely possible to go through all the necessary channels of obtaining residency…in one day…independently…but that was just never going to happen for us.

Our Turkish Residency Process

Here’s what we did over the course of gentle few days:

Step 1: Eight Passport Photos
We knew we needed at least 5 passport photographs. There are many foreigners in this area of Turkey who have gone through the process of getting residency so it’s difficult not to know a few of the necessary steps. We were in Fethiye one day doing a bit of shopping so we bobbed into Hakan Photography and had the photos done. Of course, passport photos come in sets of 4 so we had to have 8 each taken.
**Point to Note: All 8 of our passport photos were used up during the process (maybe someone just liked our faces) – so when you start the process, have them all with you, just in case.

Step 2: Current Bank Statement

You need to be able to show you have enough money to keep you in Turkey throughout the period of your residency so you need to provide an up to date bank statement with your current balance. Going to the bank fills us with dread! Queues that never go down. But we were brave and we boldly entered where thousands of others have dared to enter before us. The bank was empty! Straight in, straight out. Great!
**Point to Note: Tell your bank that you need the statement for your residency. They will sign and stamp the statement for you.

Step 3: Tapu or Rental Agreement

Naturally, the Turkish authorities would like to know where you’re residing throughout the period of your residency. If you own a property, you need a copy of your tapu (deeds). If you’re renting, you need a rental agreement saying how much rent you pay. (We were pleased with life for this step as we already had a copy of our tapu that we’d had done for some other long-forgotten reason).

Step 4: Go to your local bar and mention you’re going for residency!
This is Turkey. Everyone knows someone who is in a line of business that just might sort you out. ‘We’re thinking of sorting our residency soon,’ we mentioned.

‘Oh, Volkan has just started a business doing that. I’ll call him now. He’ll help you.’ We were in Cafe Pazar and Volkan was called. ‘Come to my new office,’ Volkan said, and we’ll sort it out.

2Gether Office In Fethiye

The 2GETHER office in Fethiye

2Gether is in the centre of Fethiye in the new building above the Dikmen change office. We went there the day after….

“You need your passport, tapu, bank statement, tax numbers and photos.”
“Got them.” (We’re feeling happy now as we hand them over).
“Right, now you just need to register with the muhtar.”
**Point to note: 2GETHER then very kindly took us to the muhtar to negotiate the ‘fee’ for registering. The fee varies from muhtar to muhtar and we were in no mood for negotiating alone.

Step 5: Give Everything to 2GETHER. THAT’S IT!!

“That’s it?”
“Yes, we’ll do everything else. Wait a couple of weeks and then go to the passport police for your residency.”

We waited a couple of weeks and then went to the passport police. ‘Thank you for your residency,’ the officer said as he passed us our passports and residency booklets.
“Thank you for having us,” we replied.

And, that’s that!

We do feel different…

How Much Did It Cost Us: 2011 (Per Person)?

8 passport photos
= 10TL
Residency Fee = 152TL (This fee is for 12 months’ residency and may vary slightly depending on exchange rate. Official fee is in Euros.)
Residency Booklet = 150 TL (Your residency booklet is valid for 5 entries)
2GETHER’s service fee = 50TL

TOTAL COST = 312 TL (Around £110 at today’s rate of exchange)

  • Next year, we won’t have the residency booklet fee or the one-off muhtar fee. We’ve not included the muhtar fee here as it appears to be very negotiable. We were glad of a negotiator! Prices seem to range between 10TL and 30TL per head.
  • There are a few companies in Fethiye that will arrange residency for you. We used 2GETHER as we already knew Volkan, the owner.
  • We chose to use a company to arrange this for us for 2 reasons. One was admittedly a bit of laziness on our part – but the main reason was, should anything go wrong, we would have someone to go to to help us sort the problem. Some things we just don’t want to take chances with and residency is definitely one of them.

NB: As of January 2014, the fee for the residency booklet has increased to 198 TL from 150 TL.

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  1. Congratulations.

    We did ours ourselves in Izmir. It went very smoothly.

    Glad to hear yours went equally well.

    – Ashley

  2. @ omentide: Nice to have the little blue book in your possession isn’t it? We would have never have gotten round to it if we did it on our own. 🙂

  3. Easy as that…Wow! Try doing that here it will cost you 1,000’s..unless you arrive by leaky sinking boat!

  4. Congratulations. The process sounds a lot easier than other countries

  5. Well, that was easy … amazing! Congratulations!! Now you’re officially Turkeys … I mean, Turkish. Heh, sorry, couldn’t resist. Lame, I know. Sigh.

  6. Thanks for this advise, will store it for future use. If anyone deserves residency it’s you two, your contributions, with this blog to fethiye, and your obvious love for the place, comes across to your readers.
    You are not politically influenced, and give a very positive view of life in turkey, thank you.

  7. @ Jim: Yeah, it’s taken us so long to get round to it and we should have just done it a while back. All over and done with really quickly. 🙂

    @ Jenny: It appears so. We’re definitely happy with it, anyway. 🙂

    @ Ping: Well, someone had to say it, didn’t they? 😉

    @ Jan: Awww, thanks for the lovely comment – we’ll get you a beer when we see you next. 😉 Nice feeling to be officially resident though.

  8. Congratulations. When we applied for residency in Turkey 25 years ago, it was impossible, and the only option was stamp renewal travels over the border to Greece every three months(Would be hard from Fethiye, I guess)

  9. @ Italian Notes: Easy from Fethiye as we can get to the Greek islands of Rhodes and Meis but the visa rules are going to change soon so we wouldn’t have been able to do it for too much longer. Glad the residency process is easier now than it was 25 years ago. 🙂

  10. Kaya Koyu Walker says

    Believe it or not the Kaya Koyu Muhtar was charging 500 TL per person about 5 years ago. The money grabbing Fustard !

  11. @ Kaya Koyu Walker: We’ve hear all sorts of stories and price ranges – that’s why we took someone with us. We knew it would be an impossible task alone. 🙂

  12. The process sounds relatively easy. Turkey is such a wonderful country (as you obviously already know). It’s tempting to just stay here. Love Volkan and his business 2gether. Such a great idea. Cheers!

  13. @ Mark: Sounds like you’ve got the Turkey bug. Maybe you’ll need to go and visit 2gether soon. 😉

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