Teach English in Turkey: Financial Snapshot

Turkey - Financial Snapshot

Salaries in Turkey are quite sufficient considering that the cost of living is rather low. Therefore, ESL teachers are normally able to save some funds while working in this location. With salaries typically starting at 2,400+ TRY per month, and a population of approximately 84 million citizens, Turkey will continue to be a top pick for TESOL/TESL/TEFL graduates searching for positions within Europe.

Living and Teaching in Turkey
Turkey: At a Glance
Turkey: Living in Turkey
Turkey: Teaching ESL in Turkey
Turkey: Financial Snapshot

Banking in Turkey
Costs in Turkey



 Banking in Turkey

When working in Turkey, there are a few banks that one may encounter frequently, these include: Yapı Kredi Bankası-Koçbank, Türikiye İş Bankası (Isbank), Akbank, and Garanti Bankası. No matter what part of Turkey you are in, one of these banks should be present.  Many sources have suggested that Garanti Bankası makes a strong effort to offer English-speaking staff at most branches.

There are foreign banks in Turkey as well, including: HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, and J.P. Morgan Chase. Banks will require that you have a residency permit before you can open an account in Turkish lira, but some may make exceptions for customers making larger investments. If you don’t have a residency permit, many banks will be happy to open you an account in Euros, British pounds or US dollars. The disadvantage to foreign currency accounts is that they pay less interest. In order to open an account one will first need to register for a Tax Number. Upon completion of the required application form and the presentation of one’s tax number, an account may be issued.

current account is one that allows people to store and transfer money, as well as complete online banking so that you can arrange automatic bill payment. A savings account is another option, but please note that these accounts typically need to remain open for a minimum of one month and that all interest earned is subject to a 15% withholding tax, which should be included in the interest rate quoted by your bank.

Most banks operate between 9:00am and 5:00pm, and during these hours you will have full access to all bank services. They typically remain open during lunch hours, but they have been known to have longer wait times during this time of day.

Costs in Turkey

Expected Apartment Costs

As with anywhere in the world, various factors influence the cost of housing in Turkey, including city, neighborhood, and size. Many employers will pay for housing or provide a stipend which will help any ESL teacher’s saving potential.  Although, if this benefit is not provided one should consider that as a foreigner it can be extremely difficult to find accommodation in a specific location that is affordable, safe and close to your place of employment. If the school does not offer housing assistance one should be sure to do thorough research on the location in which they will be living. Cost of rent in major cities within Turkey ranges from 1,500 TRY – 2,400 TRY per month.

Food Costs

The following table provides ESL teachers with the approximate costs of food in Turkey. As a whole, it is cheaper to eat Turkish food rather than to purchase Canadian-style food or to eat at Canadian-style restaurants.

  • Average restaurant meal:
    Cheap – 35 TRY
    Mid Range – 75 TRY
  • 12 eggs – 15.66 TRY
  • Litre of milk – 6.68 TRY
  • Loaf of fresh bread – 3.28 TRY
  • Domestic beer (500ml bottle) – 20 TRY

Other Eastern Europe Countries:

Bulgaria ~ Czech Republic ~ Georgia ~ Hungary ~ Poland ~ Romania ~ Slovakia ~ Turkey