Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and 5th largest city proper in the world. The economy of Istanbul has always been the centre of Turkey's economic life because of its location as a junction of international land and sea trade routes. Istanbul is also Turkey's largest industrial centre. Istanbul and surrounding province produce cotton, fruit, olive oil, silk, and tobacco. Food processing, textile production, oil products, rubber, metal ware, leather, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, glass, machinery, automotive, transport vehicles, paper and paper products, and alcoholic drinks are among the city's major industrial products. Turkey is in South Eastern Europe and South-western Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria. Temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior. High central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges. The official language is Turkish. Most business people and administrators have a good working knowledge of English or German. Most hotel clerks and company receptionists are easily versable, and visitors are unlikely to encounter language problems. A few words of Turkish will always be appreciated. The main religion is Islam. The economy of Turkey is largely dominated by modern industries and the services sector. The country is among the world's leading producers of agricultural products; textiles; motor vehicles, ships and other transportation equipment; construction materials; consumer electronics and home appliances. The security risk for expatriates in Turkey is low overall, but medium to high in some areas, such as the border with Syria. Risks include petty crime (such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching, over-charging and a variety of scams), road traffic accidents, and domestic terrorism. The population in Istanbul is 13.3 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 9.16% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Istanbul as at 1 April 2015 is average in comparison to other places in the world. In Istanbul, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: Low 7) Healthcare: Average 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: High 11) Recreation & Culture: Average 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Average 13) Transport: Average Istanbul is for example -14.2% cheaper than Montevideo for groceries, 13.9% more expensive for household costs than Durban, and -1.5% cheaper for transport costs than Athens. Istanbul is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Istanbul for an expat from Zurich is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Istanbul) premium of 30% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Istanbul? Register subscribe to your home location and Istanbul and run your personalised reports.