Turkish cities

If Turkey is the country of your expat dreams but you’re not sure where to settle then read all about the country’s top three cities!


The ancient majestic city of Istanbul has been the imperial capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires and is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the heart of the nation’s culture, economy and history.


Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles two continents, Europe and Asia. It was for this reason that the Roman Emperor Constantine built the city.

Originally the city was called Byzantium before being renamed Constantinople and was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and its successors until 1453 when it became the Ottoman capital.

The famous bronze horses decorating the San Marco cathedral in Venice were stolen from Istanbul when the 4th crusade sacked the city in 1204.

Grand Bazaar is the biggest old covered bazaar in the world, with over 3.000 shops.

It was the most crowded city in the world in 1502 only being surpassed by London in 1840.

Main attractions

Thanks to its long history and geographic location Istanbul is filled with spectacular sights. The most famous landmark in the city is the national Mosque of Turkey, known as the Blue Mosque it incorporates both Islamic and Byzantine design and is one of the largest mosques in the world. The Hagia Sophia is also a must see. This ancient church was built in 537 and was the largest Christian cathedral in the world for over a millennium. As well as religious and historical buildings the city is a melting pot of Islamic culture and hosts the largest outdoor bazaar in the world drawing 500,000 visitors every day.


The capital of Turkey and the second largest city in the country is located in central Anatolia and is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the centre of the Turkish government and houses all foreign embassies. Its location makes it an important crossroads for trade, transport links and defence. As of 2011 the population of Ankara stood at over four-and-a-half million people.


The legendary King Midas is often credited with founding the city

The city has been control by many different civilisations, from Persians, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Byzantines, Mongols, and Turks.

Ankara’s leading modern monument is the Atatürk mausoleum, completed in 1953

It became the nation’s capital in 1923

Main attractions

Like most of the Turkish cities in Anatolia, Ankara is the home of many historical sites including the Roman ruins of the Temple of Augustus and Roman baths. In the oldest area of the city is the citadel of Ankara which hosts a variety of cafes and restaurants. Modern attractions are the water park, Youth Park and the resting place of the nation’s founder, Ataturk.


For expats seeking a place to retire too you can do a lot worse than the small city of Fethiye. The city is one of Turkeys well-known tourist centres and is especially popular in the summer months. Over the last decade British expats have been moving to the city in ever increasing numbers to enjoy the climate and natural beauty of the area.  Over 7,000 British citizens permanently live in Fethiye, while approximately 600,000 British tourists visit the town every summer.


Fethiye is located on the ‘Turquoise Coast’ on Turkeys Aegean shore, an area renowned for its natural beauty.

The city is situated between Antalya and Marmaris and is considered one of Turkey’s most beautiful beach resorts.

The city’s population is around 30,000 people

The city was formally named Makri before being renamed Fethiye in 1934, in honour of Fethi Bey one of the first pilots in the Ottoman air force who was killed on a mission.

Many earthquakes have struck the area in the past but after 1961 the town was rebuilt to withstand tremors.

Main attraction

Fethiye is well known for its beaches and taking a boat trip along the coast is an absolute must! For fans of history you should check out the Tomb of Amyntas a relic of the ancient city of Telmessos on which Fethiye is built upon.