«You will never want to leave this place.» The wonderful story of a family from Cherepovets who moved to Turkey 2022
«You will never want to leave this place.» The wonderful story of a family from Cherepovets who moved to Turkey 2022

«You will never want to leave this place.» The wonderful story of a family from Cherepovets who moved to Turkey

Sometimes we all miss magic, and it seems impossible to break the vicious circle of bad news and grey everyday life. But there are people who look at life differently, and they are the ones who usually manage to find their place in the sun (literally). Today we will tell you the story of one family who moved from an industrial city in Russia to sunny Turkey. It’s all about family ties, challenges, a positive outlook on life, and buying real estate as an investment. 

«We couldn’t go to Thailand, but we had to leave Cherepovets»

Tatiana is one of the very famous Russian hair-tattoo stylists. Now she lives in Turkey with her husband Konstantin, and generously shares her experiences on her personal Instagram page. The story of their move to the sunny country has lasted for several years and even several moves. Tatiana confessed that sometimes it seems like it all didn’t happen to her, and she would have never believed it was possible if someone had told her this story 10 years ago.

— We are from the city of Cherepovets in the Vologda Region (about 600 kilometres from Moscow). It is a small monocity that was formed around large enterprises: the metallurgical plant «Severstal» and two chemical plants. Besides, it is a northern region where you cannot see the sun from October till May. Can you imagine the environmental situation there? People are often not in the mood, they have a lot of illnesses, but they get a good salary, and alcohol is in easy reach. Basically, all of this is nothing new for practically any industrial town in the Russian provinces. 

Most surprisingly, we never thought about moving — mostly because of my parents, who needed our attention. At the same time, my husband Kostya, the teacher of the English language, could have moved to the United States as part of a student exchange program while he was a university student. However, at that time we were rejecting any opportunity. I worked as a hairdresser in Cherepovets, and Kostya worked in real estate and construction after university graduation.

We lived in our industrial hometown as a completely ordinary family minding our own plans. However, when our son got a little older, we started travelling. At first, we went, like many people, to Sochi and the resorts of Egypt, Turkey. Then we went to Thailand and we fell in love with it! We liked it so much that we decided to visit it as often as possible. Every year we tried to go there for at least a month or two, enjoying it to the maximum. After each trip to Thailand it was very difficult to come back to Cherepovets. It was then that we had our first thoughts about moving.

We found out that an English teacher is almost the only one profession which allows you to work legally in Thailand and get a work visa. Such a prospect seemed very attractive, especially considering that my son had already grown up (he was in 10th grade) and was going to enter a university. The plan was as follows: my son would go to university and live in Cherepovets, while my husband and I would move to Thailand. That was 2015.

As a result, in 2016 my son went to a very cool military university. In simple terms, it was IT in the defence sector. He lived in a barracks dormitory and felt great there. We started preparing to move actively. And then it turned out that we couldn’t go to live abroad, because in this case my son would have no future in the military sphere — they just would not let him sign a «secret» in his third year. What could we do? Of course we couldn’t go to Thailand, but we had to leave Cherepovets. The reason for such a desire was simple: I found out that I had cancer, and staying in a town with so many factories was simply unbearable.

So we quickly re-oriented ourselves to Sochi. To be more precise, my husband moved to Sochi, while I went to Moscow for treatment after the operation. In fact, I never made it to Sochi, but at that time Kostya got a job at a real estate agency there and thus managed to find out all the information about the most promising construction projects in the region. We succeeded in buying a new-build apartment in Sochi, but we stayed in Moscow and spent four years there. To be honest, I loved the city, even despite the chemotherapy and treatment. In my opinion, Moscow clearly shows who you really are and puts everything in its place. 

Very quickly I got a job at Top Gun and began to grow as a specialist. I learned the art of hair-tattoo, and just enjoyed every day of my life. It’s been an amazing time with incredible people around me! I worked with celebrities, people who seemed unreachable; I was trained by the specialists; and gradually I became a kind of celebrity in the art of hair-tattoo myself. I was invited to work in salons in different countries, even in the U.S. There were several invitations with the promise to pay whatever it took. I could not believe that all this was happening to me, an ordinary woman, who was no longer young, and who had come from Cherepovets to Moscow for treatment.

«We always knew we were the guests of the native people, or how I ended up in Turkey»

— At a certain point I got very tired of the pressure at work, and we decided that I needed to go on vacation to Turkey, at least for a month. In November 2020 we bought tickets, and on the day of departure we started looking for accommodation. A friend, who had already lived in Turkey for several years, told me: «You’re going to love it here so much you will never want to leave this place.» At the time I thought it was silly, and I never imagined that these words would be prophetic. 

We rented an apartment in Alanya, in the Mahmutlar district, and drove half the country in a couple of days by rental car. When we were in Cappadocia, we finally saw how beautiful this country is. How cool it is to have fresh fruits and vegetables, be able to swim in the sea any day and enjoy sunshine and beautiful weather practically all year round. I clearly realised that I didn’t want to leave. And at the same moment Kostya decided to sell his apartment in Sochi and buy a place in Mahmutlar.

We bought an apartment in Turkey from our acquaintance who had just decided to sell it. It was not an easy story either, because another buyer had already paid a deposit for the apartment, but after a while the apartment became ours. That is how we almost spontaneously stayed to live in Turkey. Sometimes it all seemed like a long vacation, but it was so wonderful that we didn’t want to interrupt it. Kostya found a job in a real estate agency in Alanya, and I sometimes worked part-time at a local beauty salon, and we enjoyed the lovely climate, friendly people, amazingly delicious and natural food, and the sea. 

Mahmutlar district is ideal for Russian-speaking people, because even the signs here are in Russian — there are no barriers. One might even say that there are elements of life that we are accustomed to. However, we had a clear understanding that despite the fact that we live in Alanya and have our own apartment here and residence permit, we are just guests of the local people and there is no need to set or dictate your rules. Maybe that is why the adaptation was as easy as possible and we didn’t meet any negativity or anything of that kind. 

By the way, in the third year my son refused to sign a «secret» and quit the university. He managed to get a job in the IT-sphere, and, as soon as remote work became possible, he also moved to live in Turkey. That is how it turned out that the whole family moved to live by the sea.

«There are very few apartments under €95,000 left on the market»

— Lately everything has been sold out on the real estate market,» says Konstantin. — At the moment the prices for real estate in Turkey are growing at unbelievable rage. I work in a real estate agency and I always get requests for apartments in Alanya at a cost of around €95,000. There are very few offers like this on the market, they are almost non-existent. With €100,000+ budget you still can find something to choose from, but up to €100,000 there is practically nothing.

If we are talking about approximate prices, the apartment in Alanya (2 +1) costs about € 150,000. You can buy an apartment of the same size for €100,000, but it will be in an old building, and require renovation. In the super old Turkish houses you can certainly find options for €75,000 but you have to understand what kind of housing it is. 

In general, I recommend you consider Turkey from an investment point of view. I’m an investor myself, and «go in» on construction sites where the minimum threshold is € 50,000. At the end of construction, I’m sure this apartment will be worth at least € 80-90,000. At the same time, the new buildings in Mahmutlar, for example, even at the start cost €100,000.

In short, I would like to note that the land suitable for construction in Turkey is getting less and less, but the political influence and confidence in the future of this country is growing. In the near (and not very near) perspective, real estate prices are not going to go down.

Tips for those who are going to Turkey

— The first and the most important is obtaining a residence permit. Residence permit allows foreigners to reside in Turkey legally. In Turkish it is called Ikamet (ikamet). There are two types of it:  

  • Short-term. In case of:
    • purchasing real estate, or arrangement of a long-term apartment lease;
    • marriage with a Turkish citizen;
    • commercial ties and setting up a business in Turkey, 
    • studying, student exchanges, internships;
    • medical treatment.
  • Indefinite:
    • Issued to people who have lived in the country for more than 8 years, provided they have not left the country for more than a year.  

What are the benefits of a residence permit for a foreigner:

  • the possibility of treatment in local hospitals,
  • you can apply for loans and mortgages,
  • the opportunity to buy a car, get a local licence,
  • you can educate your child in a public school,
  • you can study English or Turkish for free,
  • you can take advantage of discounts to enter places of interest at prices for citizens,
  • you can get a Schengen visa,
  • you can get a permit to use drones in Turkey,
  • you can buy a SIM card of the Turkish telecommunications operator without term limits, which is cheaper than the tourist option.

Important: Turkish residence permit doesn’t give the right to work (you can only work under a work contract, drawn up by the employer).

The latest updates. If you decide to stay in Turkey for a long term and want to rent a flat, then this information is important for you: since February 10, the terms of applying for a tourist residence permit have changed. It is issued only for 6 months.

According to the new rules, foreigners must open an account in a Turkish bank and deposit the amount equal to 39,000 liras. The amount can be deposited in liras, euros or dollars. This money can’t be withdrawn immediately after receiving a bank statement, but you have to use it during the time of residence in the country: pay in stores, withdraw cash and so on. Card transaction history will be required for reissue of the residence permit. 

Real estate owners and their relatives are not obliged to make bank deposits. Also, Ukraine citizens are allowed to get a residence permit for up to 2 years, and they don’t need to open an account and deposit 39000 liras.

— Another important issue is purchasing real estate. Regardless of whether you buy on your own, or ask for professionals’ help, the procedure will consist of the same steps: 

  • Signing a contract of sale,
  • Documents preparation for transaction registration,
  • Payment,
  • Transfer of ownership and obtaining the TAPU,
  • Registration of utilities contracts.

What is TAPU? It is the only document certifying ownership of real estate. In fact, it is an indefinite, absolute right of ownership, which, once obtained, cannot be challenged in court. What is important to know:

  • The TAPU can include up to 10 people who will be property owners;
  • The TAPU does not include the total area of the apartment, but the plot of land;
  • Also TAPU does not prescribe the address of the house/apartment/villa, but indicates the cadastral number of the plot;
  • The authenticity of the TAPU is verified in the cadastral office. Notaries do NOT have the right to execute and register transactions;
  • even without a will, property rights pass to your heirs.

In this case, foreigners register property under the same conditions as the citizens of Turkey.


Do you want to buy an apartment in Turkey? Go to the «Property in Turkey» section on Realting.com and choose from thousands of options.

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