±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Finding Employment

Turkey - Finding Employment

Turkey does not have many employment opportunities for foreigners. The country does not allow foreigners to hold jobs in the medical and legal fields. In addition, many available employment opportunities for foreigners offer poor pay.

Turkey has strict laws that bar foreigners from working in medicine or law. The laws also determine the type of products that expat businesspeople are allowed to sell. This is because most products, such as fixed telephone lines, are monopoly products sold by the Turkish government. However, some of the monopoly products are presently being de-regulated.

Expats who are married to Turkish citizens are not affected by the country’s labor laws. Foreigners who are married to Turkish citizens or those who have obtained Turkish citizenship and cannot speak fluent Turkish have limited options as far as employment is concerned.

Many foreigners come to Turkey each year to work. Some foreigners come to Turkey to work as a result of transfers by foreign firms, NGOs, and embassies with a presence in Turkey. People who move to Turkey without secured jobs might face challenges earning a living in the country.

There are two major sectors that normally absorb foreigners in Turkey: tourism and teaching. Teaching languages in Turkish schools is one of the most popular jobs for foreigners in Turkey. Although the vocation does not pay well, foreigners can at least make decent enough money to survive.

Foreigners who are fluent English speakers can provide private English lessons and make around 30 Turkish lira per hour. While it is true most Turkish employers are looking for English speakers, most of them will not offer decent enough pay to sustain a living.

Foreigners can find good jobs in the hospitality industry in hotels and resorts. Consider starting up your own tour agency if you have adequate financing. However, this does not necessarily mean the venture is easy. Operating a business in the hospitality industry requires patience and persistence. Some expats opt to be nannies or journalists while in Turkey. Getting a job in the journalism field is not easy, however, because the profession is not popular in the country. Being a nanny is a tiring and hectic job for foreigners in Turkey because it is very demanding.

Speaking fluent Turkish is a major asset for any foreigner looking for employment in Turkey.

How to find a job in Turkey

Getting a job in Turkey will depend on the location you want to work and the type of work you are looking for. The best place to start your search is on the internet since most jobs are posted online, especially part-time tourism jobs.

Expat teachers may have to visit different schools in person to look for teaching jobs. It is always advisable to find a job before traveling to Turkey. This will not only give you peace of mind but it will also give you ample time to obtain proper permits, a visa, and other travel documents. English teachers looking to find employment in Turkey can check out online portals like Dave’s ESL Café and TEFL, which offer a wide range of up-to-date job listings.

Expats can find information about job vacancies in Turkey by reading the classifieds sections of magazines and international newspapers. Prepare yourself for an arduous job hunt if you arrive in Turkey before securing a job.

Part-time work

Foreigners who want to work in the tourism sector will find readily available jobs throughout the country. Most jobs in the tourism industry are offered in March and April. Therefore, consider starting your job search during this time. Do not be afraid to visit restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels to look for vacancies. They are the best places to land part-time tourism jobs.

These types of jobs are good for young people who are not looking to save since they do not pay well. For instance, foreigners who work in a bar may be paid enough for rent only. It is important to know that most part-time jobs are paid in cash. Another downside about part-time jobs is that the employer may not sponsor your work visa.

Teaching English in Turkey

You will have to visit Turkish schools in person and ask for openings if you get to Turkey before securing a teaching job. You will require a teaching certification and a formal degree to secure a good position. There are other positions available to applicants with fewer qualifications. Private schools also offer numerous vacancies for English teachers. Any foreigner looking for an English teaching job should ensure that they have a passport, a teaching certificate, a copy of a degree certificate, a resume, and a passport size photo.

Formal job applications in Turkey

The job application process in Turkey is similar to job application processes in other countries. You will be required to have your curriculum vitae ready. Your CV should be easy to read and well organized. Ensure that all details like your name and contact information are listed in the CV, along with your education and experience in chronological order.

Turkish employment contracts

In Turkey, employment contracts are referred to as “service contracts”. Ensure that your contract is in writing if you are planning to be in employment for more than a year. According to the Turkish Labor Code, an employer should give his employee a 2-month probation period before presenting them with a written contract.

Employees are free to ditch employment without penalty or prior notice during the 2-month probation period. A contract should reflect your salary, vacation time, working hours, and benefits.

Recruitment Agencies

Marmaris International Recruitment
Marmaris International Recruitment Ltd works with a host of companies and employers in Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and Europe. It is one of the leading recruitment agencies in Turkey.
Skype: Marmaris Recruitment

Nicholson International
Nicholson International is an international HR consulting firm that deals with HR advisory services and executive searches. The firm was founded in Istanbul in 1991 and has worked with some of the world's leading multinational companies and Turkey's leading companies.
Telephone: +90 (0) 212 347 7107
Fax: +90 (0) 212 347 7108

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.