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Settled Foreigners in Turkey Problems and Opportunities

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					2007



   Settled Foreigners
   in Turkey:
   Problems and
   Opportunities
   Summary of the Study and Case Studies

   SPONSERED by TUBITAK (Turkish National and Scientific
   Council) Project No: SOBAG-105K091




                                                       USAK
                                         [Şirket adını yazın]
                                                  01.01.2007
                                                               The settled foreigners in Turkey have some
                                                               problems in obtaining residence and work
Settled Foreigners in Turkey: Problems
                                                               permits. Some of them complain about the
                  and Opportunities
                                                               relations with their neighbors. For some, the
(Türkiye’deki Yerleşik Yabancıların Türkiye                    process      of   acquiring    a    property,     its
Toplumuna Entegrasyonu: Sorunlar ve
Fırsatlar)                                                     maintenance, the relations local shop owners
                                                               and other sales persons are problematic. This
(01-01-2006-01-01-2007)
                                                               study will analyze the problems they suffer
                                                               most, and recommendations will be offered to

Abstract                                                       solve these problems.


In Turkey, in recent years, the population of                  Another aim of this study is to explore the way

the settled foreigners from Europe, especially                 in which foreign settlers would participate

from Germany, the United Kingdom, the                          into social, economic and political life in

Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Ireland and                      Turkey. Could settled foreigners be a bridge

Russia has increased and the great majority of                 between Turkey and the European Union?

them       have       become         residents     in    the   What can be said about the role of settled

Mediterranean          and         Aegean   coasts.     This   foreigners    in Turkey regarding Turkey’s

movement has been encouraged by some of                        accession to the European Union?

the European governments as well; therefore
                                                               In this project, we will try to find out new
the number has been increasing.
                                                               ways to increase good relations between the

In      this     project,      the     phenomenon         of   Turkish citizens and the foreign settlers. We

“international             residential      tourism”      is   also aim to provide a suitable ground for

analyzed. How are the settled foreigners                       international      cooperation.       International

treated by the Turkish community? What is                      cooperation on settled foreigners is significant

the attitude of the Turkish governments to                     for Turkey, because there are a significant

settled foreigners? In this context, we are                    number of Turkish people living in the EU

trying to collect the data regarding the                       countries.

number of foreign people who live in Turkey.
                                                               What must be done to eliminate the gap
The data will also include the locations they
                                                               between the resident foreigners and the
live and their living conditions. The level of
                                                               Turkish      society?   What       kind   of    legal
their     satisfaction        or    dissatisfaction     with
                                                               regulations are needed to be introduced?
Turkey         will   be     examined.      This    project
                                                               What is the situation regarding current
attempts to determine social, economic and
                                                               regulations? Are they implemented properly?
political difficulties they confront and their
problems concerning integration into the
Turkish society.

                                                                                                                 2
    International Retirement Migration in         from north to the south.           4The    European
                    Turkey                        people and retired citizens mostly prefer the
                                                  destinations,    typically    in    Mediterranean
The last one or two decades have witnessed an
                                                  coastal regions like Spain, Greece, Italy and
important change in migration trends and
                                                  Turkey, nowadays.
character. One aspect of this new migration
trend is reflected through the means of           In addition to that explanation, Dwyer
movement of the old population, especially        identifies two different groups of retired
the retired persons, who migrate more than        European      Union       migrants:      the    ‘post-
the adults or youngsters even though older        retirement migrants’ and the ‘returnees’. The
people generally move less than any other         first group are those who migrate to a second
groups in the society. 1                          country following retirement. The second
                                                  group is nationals of one state who had
The transitions between each stage in the life
                                                  migrated to another state and then return to
course have become much more complex, for
                                                  their country of origin. The returnees group
example, in England over the last two decades
                                                  can itself be further differentiated into two
the duration and concept of ‘working life’ has
                                                  subgroups: ‘returning workers’ and ‘returning
changed. Significant numbers of men and
                                                  retirees’.5
women nowadays retire before the state
pension age as well as they can retire later      There are many scholarly researches on
than the date the state implemented for them.     settled migrants, in other Mediterranean
This retired population generally prefer to       countries like Spain, Greece, Italy and Malta
move rural areas2 or abroad3 as alternative       some of which will be sequenced in the
lining    places.   This   second     migration   bibliography. However, it is not easy to reach
movement generally takes place in direction       reliable data about retirement migration and
                                                  settled immigrants in Turkey, as easily as
1Andersson, Johanna, Retirement Migration:
Motives for Migration to Warmer Climate and       acquiring     available    data    for    the   other
Housing Needs
                                                  Mediterranean countries. Yet, fortunately
A study of Scandinavians in Costa
Blanca,Göteborg, Sweden, 2002, pIII               4Andersson, Johanna, Retirement Migration:
                                                  Motives for Migration to Warmer Climate and
                                                  Housing Needs
2 Lowe, P. and Stephenson, M. (2003)
‘Demographic Ageing and Rural Areas’, Regions     A study of Scandinavians in Costa
for All                                           Blanca,Göteborg, Sweden, 2002, pIII

Ages Conference, 11 March 2003, Birmingham.
                                                  5Dwyer, P. (2000) ‘ Movements to some purpose?
                                                  An Exploration Of International Retirement
3www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/state_pension            Migration İn The European Union’, Education and
/rp902.pdf                                        Ageing, in Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 353–375



                                                                                                     3
there has been growing academic interest in            warm climate to make it a popular destination
the subject. International Strategic Research          but this is only part of the story as some older
Organization     (ISRO)       is    one     of   the   people currently living in Spain, who have
establishments seriously dealing with the              lived there for some considerable length of
issue. Nevertheless, the quantity of similar           time, are unable to address their own needs,
works    is   insufficient.   For    this    reason,   either as a result of health problems or lack of
depending on the similarities between Turkey           finance. 7
and the other countries of the Mediterranean
                                                       Another study employs both qualitative and
cost, the most appropriate research method
                                                       quantitative approaches were conducted in
would be to get benefit from the findings of
                                                       the coastal region of Costa Blanca in Spain.
the works and researches issue the EU
                                                       Scandinavians in the area were interviewed
immigrants and retired immigrants living in
                                                       and asked to fill in a questionnaire. This study
these countries. What is more, the reason for
                                                       shows        that   the   main      motives     for
moving to these Mediterranean countries
                                                       Scandinavians       migrating    south   following
resembles, the studies on those countries are
                                                       retirement are the climate, economic issues,
helpful for the academic research and work in
                                                       health reasons and life cycle issues. After
Turkey. 6
                                                       careful consideration, the elders decide to
A noteworthy work of Irene Hardill et al. in a         move to the other countries for various
paper titled “Retirement migration” issues             reasons rather than just one. The study also
English speaking migrants who retire to                shows that two main factors drive the market
Spain. They concluded that in northern                 for housing for migrants from northern
European countries like Britain, the older             Europe in the Mediterranean coasts: the rise
adults approach legal retirement age in                in international retirement migration (IRM)
England, the more expectations for further             and a rising demand from older people who
lives. One half of men and one third of women          already live in the area. This study has also
now retire before the state pension age. They          shown that coincidence affects many of the
became desperate as a result of this insipid           choices and decisions about migration.8
situation. Migration to Spain has been
perceived to offer value for money because
property is cheaper than in the UK, and the            7Hardill, Irene et al. ,Retirement migration: the
cost of living is less. This is coupled with the       other story. Issues facing English speaking
                                                       migrants

6Disney, R., Grundy, E. and Johnson, P. (1997)         who retire to Spain, (Paper presented at RSA
                                                       Conference, Europe at the Margins: EU Regional
The dynamics of retirement: analyses of the
                                                       Policy, Peripherality and Rurality and Ageing
retirement survey, DSS RR42, London: DSS.              Session University of Angers, April 16th 2004)

                                                       8
                                                        Angeles, Maria et al., Northern European
                                                       Retired Residents n Nine Southern European

                                                                                                           4
All the same, the main reasons for migrants to            of all, the settled foreigners do not acquire a
Turkey from western and northern Europe                   residence permit. They can choose to stay in
states are stated in ISRO report, which are the           the country having just a tourist visa and it is
mild climate, sea, sun and low cost of living.            easy to extend the duration of this visa.
There are now significant numbers of British,             Henceforth, they are not settlers registered to
Dutch, German and Scandinavian citizens                   live in Turkey; it is very hard to follow their
settled    along      Turkey’s        Aegean       and    traces from bill accounts since they do not
Mediterranean coasts; many of these migrants              have accounts as well as a result of their
having originally discovered Turkey as a                  unregistered position. Although it is hard, in
holiday destination. For long years, ‘settled             the light of the recent research conducted by
tourism’ is considered as limited to Spain,               ISRO, some definite conclusions can be
Greece and Italy. Interest in Turkey is                   reached. For example; according to the
relatively new when considered in this                    National Police Records on March 1st 2007
context. (ISRO) After Turkey discovered its               there      were    202,085    foreign    holders    of
potential at the beginning of 1990s, it became            residence permits in Turkey who can be
one of the primary destinations for the older             grouped under different headings for example
citizens   of   “colder     European        countries”.   in terms of the places they live in, the highest
Retired    people     can     enjoy     a     healthy,    number of foreign residents in any one place
comfortable, better life on the shores of                 is the 106,156 in Istanbul; followed by Bursa
Turkey. Turkey, achieve big progress in EU                with 16,772; Antalya with 13,832 and Ankara
road, so it would seem to have become more                with 12,157. In terms of reason to stay they
attractive for both tourists and foreigners               can vary for work and study, according to
settling permanently in the country. 9                    their origin from the total number of
                                                          residence permit holders 93,724 were from
Most of these people chose to do for its                  EU countries.          Bulgaria has the highest
natural beauty and rich culture although they             representation        with   51,787;    next   comes
also   comment      on the need         for     better    Germany with 9,902 and thirdly Britain with
infrastructure and changes in the legal                   7,940. As a matter of interest the EU country
system.10 Because of this growing interest,               with the least residence permit holders in
scholars, state and private organizations                 Turkey is Luxembourg, which has a mere 3
should work on the subject. However, to                   citizens holding permits. The 504 people who
conduct a study on foreign settlers in Turkey             completed         questionnaires   comprised       304
is very tough case due to some reasons. First             women and 194 men – with 3 people not
                                                          answering the gender question. 11
Areas: Characteristics, Motivations And
Adjustment
9
  Elder Europeans migrating to the Mediterranean: the
Turkish example, ISRO, p14
10 Ibid 15                                                11   Ibid p5-6

                                                                                                              5
This group aforementioned above can not be          Indeed, it would seem that we need to look for
considered       as   homogeneous   group   with    a way to create a ‘cultural mix’ or ‘middle way’
different ages which consequently cause             that can satisfy both Turks and settled
different desires and needs and their feeling       foreigners. But this cannot be forced upon
about the host country. However the main            participants        and    must   be     achieved    by
possible reason for why retired people from         voluntary, democratic means. It would seem
northern and Western Europe preferred to            clear that the flow of migrants to Turkey will
settle in Aegean and Mediterranean coasts is        continue      and        the   numbers     of    settled
to take advantage of a better climate and enjoy     foreigners will grow. For this reason it is vital
the sunshine as one element of a healthier,         that a democratic model of participation is put
happier lifestyle. 12                               in place. To ensure continuing good relations
                                                    between           foreigners    and     the     Turkish
In the report of ISRO, solutions for the
                                                    community, we must embed the foreigners’
potential problems resulting from this foreign
                                                    perception of ‘belonging’.13 For example, in
settled population were released. If the
                                                    another research of Hardill, it is pointed out
numbers of settled foreigners continue to
                                                    that Age Concern España was established by
grow then certain actions need to be taken in
                                                    members of the British community to provide
the      areas   where    they   reside.    The
                                                    information         and    services    on healthcare,
announcements made on a daily basis via
                                                    benefits and local services in Spain. Four
public address systems, should sometimes be
                                                    indicative case studies of those requesting
in German or English, as well as Turkish,
                                                    assistance and classified as being of ‘serious
where the subject is of interest to foreign
                                                    need’ are presented.14
residents. At one time Didim Council issued
water bills to settled foreigners in English, but
                                                    Since       the     EU     member      Mediterrenean
they have now discontinued this practice in
                                                    countries like Spain and Greece are two
the hope it will encourage more people to
                                                    destinations which have been at the top of the
learn Turkish. It would seem that some local
                                                    Northern Europeans’ lists for a long time, it
administrations with large numbers of settled
                                                    would be sensible to expect that they will
foreigners have started to employ German
and/or English speakers – a move that has           13   Ibid
surprisingly been criticized by some settled
                                                    14
                                                      Hardill, Irene et al., Severe health and social
foreigners. It has to be agreed that to live in     care issues among British migrants who retire to
Turkey with anything approaching ease,              Spain (2005)

settled foreigners need to learn Turkish. Local
authorities should offer Turkish courses.



12   Ibid, p15

                                                                                                         6
review their position of those immigrants               south of Turkey, Antalya and its districts,
sooner than Turkey. So, Turkey can benefit              especially Alanya, Manavgat, Kemer and Kaş,
from the Spanish and Greek experience and               are the most important visited locations
even, they can establish contact units in both          preferred by the foreign residents. There has
state and NGO level.        As the governments,         been an international residential tourism
policy-makers, practitioners and the people             movement to Alanya. The Germans’ prime
working on the issue increase, it will have an          destination is Alanya. Alanya has about
increasing awareness of the positions of the            100,000 inhabitants. This number increases
settled migrants so the reasonable progress             five times in summer time.
would      be     ensured   concerning        retired
                                                        Along the shores from Kemer to Alanya,
immigrants in Turkey in short period of time.
                                                        between 10,000 and 12,000 German people
                                                        live. They have residential permits. Some
         Foreign Residents in Turkey:                   Germans have also Turkish citizenships. Every
                                                        year, nearly 5 millions of German tourists visit
                   Case Studies                         Antalya. The Germans prefer to live in the
                                                        sub-provinces    of   Antalya.   Most       foreign
           The Germans in Alanya
                                                        residents live in Alanya. The numbers of
Tourism,        international       tourism      and
                                                        foreign   residents   in   Alanya    are:     2412
international residential tourism have become
                                                        Germans, 521 Dutch, 417 Norwegians, 405
important phenomenon for individuals in
                                                        British, 339 Russians, 263 Swedes, 240
modern industrial societies. In Europe, since
                                                        Azerbaijanis, 203 Danish, 148 Ukrainians, 111
1960, intensive migration from southern
                                                        Georgians.
countries to the industrial northern countries
has now been reversed. Now, people are                  German residents in Alanya are usually more
migrating from the northern countries to the            than 60 years old and they are retired. Some
southern. In this respect, the Mediterranean            of them have been living in Alanya for 10
coasts     have    become       a   very      popular   years. The number of the Germans who decide
destination. Spain, France, Italy, Greece and           to settle in Alanya increases every year.
Turkey are attracting millions of people every
                                                        In Alanya and Antalya, the number of German
year. Now, international residential tourism is
                                                        residents in business sector is very low.
very popular in these countries.
                                                        Germans who have businesses usually live in
The climate, sea, sun, cultural heritages and           Istanbul. There are also German women who
natural beauties tempt foreign people to                are married to Turkish men.
choose Turkey. In Turkey, living expenses and
                                                        Why do the Germans prefer Turkey, especially
the prices of houses are cheaper than other
                                                        Antalya and Alanya? Financial reasons, good
Euro-Mediterranean countries. Situated in the
                                                        climate, sea are the main reasons. With a

                                                                                                        7
monthly income of 1000-1500 Euros, Alanya              In which social conditions do they live in
offers a very good standard of living. Turkey is       Alanya? Do they feel lonely and isolated? Do
not an expensive country like Spain, France            they want to have some sort of relations with
and Greece. The income of the majority of              the Turkish community? How often do they
German residents in Turkey is low.                     visit Germany? What other problems do they
                                                       have? Some Germans have relations with their
Living in a foreign country has also some
                                                       Turkish neighbors. Even they exchange what
disadvantages. Germans in Alanya are not free
                                                       they cook. They have Turkish friends and they
from some problems: language, bureaucracy
                                                       meet regularly. Flight fares are very cheap to
and traffic. Bearing the sense of exacerbation
                                                       visit Germany. Even, sometimes, a return
in    mind,   according       to     the   Germans,
                                                       ticket available for 29 Euros. This enables the
‘everything is possible’ in Turkey. To cope
                                                       German settlers in Alanya to visit Germany
with this atmosphere is not very easy for
                                                       twice or three times a year.
citizens from European countries where life is
well-regulated. Surprisingly, these problems           Like in every society, ‘fear of crime’ is the
do not discourage them to continue to live in          main concern for the Germans. Comparing
Alanya. Furthermore, some of them want to              the issue of personal security, living in Alanya
live, die and to be buried in Alanya.             In   is safer than living in Germany. Another issue
Alanya, there is a special graveyard for the           is the health services. The health service in
Germans and there are nearly 100 graves                Alanya is not a concern for foreign residents.
belonging to the Germans.                              Private   health    services’    standards       are
                                                       considered at the same level of many
Are the sea, sun, sand, climate and cheap
                                                       developed European countries. Most doctors
living conditions the main reasons for this
                                                       studied medicine in Germany, and they can
phenomenon?         Are   there        some    other
                                                       speak. This results in confidence in Turkish
explanations regarding this movement? The
                                                       doctors and the health service. The Germans
rise of individualism, the decline of family ties
                                                       want Turkey and Germany to have bilateral
and the widening distance between parents
                                                       agreements enabling the Germans’ social
and    children   are   the        other   important
                                                       security to pay their health expenses, as it is
developments that result in retired Germans
                                                       the case between countries in the European
to migrate to Alanya. They have chosen to live
                                                       Union.
their own life. In Alanya, only a few young
families have small children with them. In             The other issue which the Germans complain
Istanbul, there are many German families               is bureaucracy. Of course, bureaucracy is
with small children. In Istanbul, there is             criticized in any society. For the Germans,
‘German School’ for German children.                   things are done very slowly in public
                                                       institutions   in   Alanya,     and   they   add
                                                       surprisingly that they are getting used to it.

                                                                                                        8
The Germans notice the existence of “good
human climate”          in Alanya.      By ‘human
climate’, they mean “warm and friendly
relations between people”. They believe that,
for a society to maintain its existence,
“common shared values” must be protected.
For them, the main threats to a society are
breaking    families,     bringing      up    children
without parents, and evaporation of values.

Foreign residents can affect societies in
positive    and    negative         ways.    Societies’
development levels increase socially and
economically. The sense of understanding
“the others” develops. People discover the
common points, rather than differences.
Resulting    in   mutual      understanding       and
tolerance, exchanges between cultures, beliefs
and traditions continue. The host societies
realize their cultural and natural heritages.
Social, economic and political institutions try
to reach in better standards. Foreign residents
can be envoys of their own country and they
can act as bridges between their own country
and the host country.

In Germany, because of the high number of
Turkish inhabitants, Berlin is regarded as
‘Small Turkey’. Turkish and German social,
economical    and       political    processes     will
determine, if Alanya is to become a ‘Small
Germany ‘or not.




                                                          9
Another Case Study: Settled Foreigners                all came up with the same conclusion: once
in Kas, Antalya                                       one has been in Kas, one gets addicted to this
                                                      relaxed and natural atmosphere.
Lucinda Ruth de Boer
                                                         In conducting research I had to rely on the
26-30 June 2006
                                                      so famous Turkish method of networking. And
*Most names in the following article are              it worked. Helped by my foreign background
fictitious.                                           as well, being a Dutch woman, the research
                                                      started off. The people felt free to talk to me as
                                                      I find myself in the same situation as theirs.
Once arrived in Kas, an adventure had started.        They were not afraid to make critics about
The set target was to find as many foreigners         Turkey and what come along with it. The first
as possible, who reside or better to say, are         interview to conduct was supposed to be with
settled in Turkey, and to have a chat with            a Dutch man living together with a Turkish
them or subject them to a questionnaire.              lady in Kas. But plans changed. Sitting in my
Finding people that are settled in Kas is not         bikini enjoying the sun, not yet prepared for a
the most difficult job to do. There is the            first    interview,        the   first      participant
burning sunshine, the relaxed atmosphere at           approached me instead of the other way
the Elit beach which might be the best place in       around. His name is Gerhard and he is a 40
the world to conduct interviews, and the              years old German, but not for much longer
people that are willing to help you any time.         any more. He likes to have a Turkish passport.
Conducting research in a little place like Kas
                                                         Born in Germany and travelling to Turkey,
might not prove to be the most representative.
                                                      he saw the adventure in living a life in Kas.
Kas differs from the rest of Turkey. Everybody
                                                      That was already more than 10 years ago and
here feels free from the opinion and control of
                                                      by now he watches the Turkish Parliament
the other. Free to wear a bikini, headscarf,
                                                      meetings at the television, knows how to find
walk hand in hand with foreign boy and
                                                      his way to find a solution to a problem, and
girlfriends.    The   people   from     Kas   have
                                                      speaks     fluent    Turkish.    Striking      in   the
accepted the foreigners as a part of their world
                                                      conversation with him was the willingness to
and not necessarily as their source of income.
                                                      fight    injustice    in   Turkish       systems.   His
Nevertheless this is the truth. Tourism is
                                                      adventure started off when he had decided to
booming in Kas and even though the people,
                                                      build a boat in Turkey and to life on that same
foreigners and locals, like to stop it, people
                                                      boat for more than six years. He found himself
feel   like    hypocrite   talking    about   their
                                                      confronted with harbor masters that dared to
frustration about other foreigners that would
                                                      ask for thousands of dollars for matters that
like to eat a piece from this cake. Kas is
                                                      are worldwide being fixed at 50 dollars.
beautiful and the people that I have talked to
                                                      Through secret tapping of conversations with

                                                                                                          10
these harbor masters he found himself saved         him. Thereby he gives most of the soldiers in
as this was only one of the many examples           the village every year 5 kilos of olives etc. as
that followed.                                      Gerhard thinks that having good relations is
                                                    essential in being successful in Turkey. When
  By now he has his own properties in the
                                                    Gerhard was faced with unfair treatment by
form of houses in Kas and surroundings. His
                                                    the local government authorities he saw
current project as he tells me consists of
                                                    himself backed up by the chief of these
creating an ecological kind of camping in one
                                                    soldiers of the village. And these events are
of the villages outside of Kas. The problematic
                                                    where Gerhard lives for in Turkey. He points
with the obtainment and maintaining of such
                                                    out that whatever dream he has; they can
property lies according to Gerhard mostly in
                                                    come true here in Turkey. The country offers
the fact that one can not speak of legal
                                                    the possibilities and even though it might take
securities. Every year or even months he sees
                                                    a lot of time and effort, in the end one can
himself faced with differing laws. As it was last
                                                    achieve the thing one longed for. He saw the
year possible for foreigners to buy property in
                                                    things change for the better over time. This is
the above mentioned village, it is not this year.
                                                    what makes him stay here in Turkey. But
And even if so, some are faced with the
                                                    because things become so much easier when
obligation of maintaining this property for at
                                                    he would have a Turkish passport besides his
least five years with paying taxes in advance.
                                                    German one, he decided to opt for this
This might be the biggest problem for him to
                                                    possibility. Gerhard will continue to return to
face, but at the same time this is the challenge
                                                    Germany as one month of working there will
why he decides to stay in Turkey. He thinks
                                                    cover six months of life expenditure in Turkey.
that he possibly can change this mentality and
                                                    As long as he has not finished business in
attitude against foreigners. Nevertheless he
                                                    Turkey to make a living out of it, he will
adds that it is not exclusively foreigners that
                                                    continue to come back to the European
are faced with a non-transparent, slowly
                                                    continent. At the same time he would not like
working bureaucracy. The natives as well are
                                                    to see Turkey becoming an EU member. He
subjected to power games and the advantages
                                                    comes up with the urgent question to ask for
of having good money. To the question
                                                    European politicians what exactly must be an
whether he sometimes makes use of bribes,
                                                    advance for Turkey joining the Union. A
Gerhard argues that one have to do that in
                                                    positive development       in the negotiation
order to get things done. But he found a way
                                                    process though, he finds the notice for the
in the middle that for him proved to be very
                                                    human    rights   situation   in   Turkey.      But
effective and successful. In case he would like
                                                    moreover    he    thinks   that    there   is   an
to have something done, he promises most of
                                                    unbalanced situation in which the European
the times material things after the job is done.
                                                    Union is clearly the side that will obtain most
As he points out that giving “presents” instead
                                                    advantages and that a European Union
of money takes the feeling of guilt away from

                                                                                                    11
without Turkish membership will not be a           with them as well. Although he might not be
thinkable and workable Union.                      accepted by her daughter, Peter quite frankly
                                                   does not care whether he is accepted or not.
On a personal level he agrees to the opposite.
                                                   Because he runs a café, he knows a lot of
A Turkish female partner for the German
                                                   people with whom he gets along very well. The
Gerhard does not lie within possibilities. He
                                                   people see and consider him to be someone
argues that differences between the two
                                                   from Kas. The friendliness of the people is
partners would be too big to make such a
                                                   what Peter likes from the little spot he resides.
mixed relation work. This in contrast to the
                                                   Nevertheless    he      doubts   sometimes   the
second participant Peter, a Dutch man who
                                                   genuinely of this friendliness as well. Striking
lives with his Turkish girlfriend and her
                                                   in the interview that I had with Peter, at least
daughter in Kas.
                                                   different from the other participants is that he
  The meeting with Peter was a rather              does not think that differences are big
pleasant one, as he had nothing to complain        between Europe and Turkey. He actually can
about really. He does not see his life in Turkey   hardly think of any. But he does not
as a challenge to change the country for the       necessarily want Turkey in the European
better. He is here to relax and enjoy.             Union; although he thinks that they are ready
                                                   for it.
  Peter had lost his wife and came for a
holiday to Turkey. Once arrived he decided to         Peter does not speak the language fluently,
stay for 15 months. After meeting his current      but he thinks that because of the mimic in the
girlfriend and having had a taste of the life in   Turkish language, these language problems
Kas, his decision to stay here more than those     can be overcome easily. What cannot be
15 months changed his life. While talking to       overcome easily is the fact that Kas changes in
Peter it becomes clear that although Peter         his disadvantage because of the booming
likes everything there is in the country, his      tourism. But at the same time, everybody
main reason to settle here was because of his      admits that it is quite normal that everybody
girlfriend. As he said: “It could have been        would like to return to Kas as they do
anywhere.” He does not encounter those             themselves. Eventual increasing price levels in
difficulties as Gerhard does, since everything     Turkey could in the future influence Peter’s
goes through his Turkish girlfriend. At the        decision to stay here in Turkey. Besides that
moment they have a pool café, which is             he is not certain whether he will spend the rest
registered at her name. The same goes for          of his life in Turkey, but he does think that it
other official things. His position is quite       might be good if there would be nursing and
distinct as he makes clear that he does not        caring homes for the older foreigners in
only live together with his Turkish girlfriend     Turkey. He explains that people sometimes
without being married, but her daughter lives      cannot    return   to    their   home   countries
                                                   anymore as their incomes do not suffice

                                                                                                12
nursing care and life expenditure there.             When I asked them what made them decide
Thereby the people that are looking for this       to settle in Turkey, they pointed out to me that
kind of care in Turkey are faced with the          they have always had the desire to obtain
language barrier. Setting up special nursing       property abroad. Therefore they have been
and caring homes for foreigners in Turkey          looking at a lot of possible place but could not
would therefore provide a good and essential       find what they were looking for. They enjoyed
facility.                                          going to Spain, but a nice apartment there was
                                                   very hard to find. Italy as another option
   If I ask Peter about his contact with other
                                                   proved way too expensive and scared them
foreigners, he responds to me that he does not
                                                   because of the high taxes that one might have
feel the need for such contacts. Through his
                                                   to pay once settled there. When a friend of
café he, naturally, finds himself among
                                                   them, already having her own apartment in
foreigners but does not prefer that. Certainly
                                                   Kas, invited them to come over to Kas for a
he does not want to participate in activities
                                                   holiday, they fell in love with the place
that are organized by foreigners for foreigners.
                                                   immediately. It remembered them of how
He came to Turkey and wants to life the
                                                   Greece once was. Through real estate agents,
Turkish life. He left The Netherlands behind
                                                   that took the couple around at their apartment
him and does feel as comfortable and at home
                                                   hunting trips, they eventually found their
in Turkey than he did in his home country.
                                                   apartment in the centre of Kas next to their
   The next people I would speak to is a           friend’s. Factors that helped them in their
retired English couple. They already told me       decision were the always shining sun, the
that I could find them at the beach every          friendly atmosphere in the place and of the
afternoon as they think it is too hot for any      people, and the nice apartment for relatively a
other activities. They will leave soon again for   good price.
their return to the UK. This couple therefore
                                                     They encountered no problems at all in
does not stay in Kas throughout the whole
                                                   obtaining property as they did everything by
year. They are planning to spend mainly the
                                                   the book. Their real estate agent made sure
winters in Turkey and part of the spring.
                                                   that everything got arranged and through
Although they bought an apartment in Kas,
                                                   lawyers and official translators they finished
this certainly does not take away their lust to
                                                   the deal quite quickly. Nowadays they have
travel to other places as well. They are happy
                                                   asked     for   the    help   from   a   “home
to have bought property in Kas, but do not feel
                                                   management” office that takes care of all their
bound by it. Thereby they point out not to be
                                                   worries       and     problems.   The    “home
willing to leave to UK permanently as they
                                                   management” for instance makes sure that
miss their family and dogs. Periods of
                                                   things are ready whenever the couple is
residence in Kas therefore are restricted.
                                                   planning to come to Kas, they look after the
                                                   property when the owners return to their

                                                                                              13
home countries again and take care of              coming to Turkey as the increasing group of
electricity and water bills etcetera. There is     settled foreigners spoils her holiday feeling.
nothing left to worry about for the couple, but
                                                     Judie came for the first time to Turkey
to find a good way to relax.
                                                   when she was only a little girl from 7 years
   Although the couple does not speak the          old. With her family she spends her holidays
language fluently, they certainly make their       in Turkey and when her mother decided to
offers. They tell me that they try to organize     buy a house in Kas, they got settled there. By
dinners and invite their Turkish neighbors.        coming to Turkey ever since she was little, she
Communication then goes through the little         feel at home in Kas. She knows now all the
English of the Turks, the little Turkish of the    people and speaks a bit of Turkish. Quite
English and the dictionary. However they do        naturally she returns every year. In the
not feel that this language problem puts up a      meantime their property in Kas increased to
barrier. The man illustrates this by telling me    three. One of those Judie herself bought with
that they have managed to buy furniture and        her brother. Judie’s main complaints are
everything that one needs to establish a           about the slow bureaucracy and the lack of
household. Recently he bought a bunch of           English speaking people at high positions. She
wood to build his own pergola.                     makes clear those simple acts sometimes
                                                   takes weeks of her time.
  Both assure me that they feel absolutely
very secure in Turkey, but then at the same           Asked for the main differences between
time remember me of the fact that they are         Canada and Turkey, Judie laughs and says
together most of the time. It seems that I have    that everything between those two is different.
spoken to a very happy couple; happy with          She misses culture in Canada. This kind of
each other, happy to be in Kas and happy to        culture that she does find in Turkey. Besides
be able to enjoy life. In a couple of weeks they   that she loves the hospitality of the Turkish
will return again to the UK and make               people. She tells me about her last couple of
themselves ready for their next trip to another    days. She hadn’t been feeling very well and
destination. But as they tell me, one thing will   stopped eating. All her neighbors at least once
be certain: every time they come to Kas, they      a day stopped by, offered food and showed
think it is even nicer than last time.             their concern. This is why she loves Turkey
                                                   and the Turkish people.
  That last thing does not count for everyone.
I spoke to the 32 year old Judie coming from          She spends her time in Kas mostly by
Canada. While she earns her money in the           relaxing, going to the beach and trying to fix
winter months in Canada, she spends her            occurred problems which take a lot of her
summers in Kas. But doubts cast her mind.          time. But besides that she sometimes tries to
She does not know how long she will be             earn a little bit of money by giving English


                                                                                               14
language lessons. She does feel at home when           that had lost their relatives, friends, houses
she is in Turkey.                                      and property were not overwhelmed by
                                                       feelings of grief, but were happy to have found
  Reasons for her not to return any more to
                                                       places which offered shelter to them. The
Turkey would be increasing life expenditure
                                                       positive attitude of the people was the factor
and further increase of settled foreigners.
                                                       for Claudia that made her decide to live in
Judie, contrary to most of the interviewed,
                                                       Turkey. She likes to see the glass half full
tells me that life in Turkey for her is not
                                                       instead of half empty. It made her “open her
cheap. It is around and about the same as in
                                                       mind.” She personally feels at home in
Canada. So a strong increase of costs might
                                                       Turkey, but states that this will be different for
influence her decision to return to Turkey. But
                                                       everybody.    At     least   high   or   low   life
the main obstacle would be the other
                                                       expenditure did not and will not influence her
foreigners. She remembers Kas as a small and
                                                       choice for Turkey.
lively little fisher’s village, whereas now
everybody can witness the still stripped villas           Claudia is back in Germany a teacher and
and apartments that are building up against            works for the state. Instead of retiring early,
the mountains surrounding Kas. Judie said              she decided to take two years off already now.
that she is afraid for a development as already        Claudia will return to Germany a couple of
took place in Fethiye or Kalkan. When she is           months later. She will go back to Germany in
in Turkey she does not want to have the                order to make a living and after another two
feeling that she is finds herself in an English        or three years in Germany she hopes to come
speaking country. Therefore she definitely             back to Turkey for good. But she will always
does not exclude a permanent withdrawal                keep a bound with Germany as she does not
from Turkey.                                           want to loose all her property there. Just to be
                                                       sure.
   In the afternoon I was supposed to have an
interview with Claudia. Claudia is a German               Claudia learned Turkish already back in
lady in her fifties. She did show up, but              Germany, which she thinks is a major
proposed me to meet in the night as she would          advantage. She has her own apartment in Kas
introduce me to other foreigners that come             and a house in a small village. When she
together     most   of   the    evenings    in   the   bought the latter, she was necessitated to put
Kapadokya café.                                        the property on the name of the lawyer. But
                                                       Claudia emphasizes that the inflexible and
   Before we headed to Kas’ nightlife, I talked
                                                       slow attitude of the government and other
to Claudia personally. Claudia came to Turkey
                                                       official authorities is not only towards the
after   an    earthquake       disaster   and    was
                                                       foreigners. Natives are faced with the same
positively shocked of the attitude the people
                                                       attitudes.
took. Claudia told me that most of the people


                                                                                                      15
   With Claudia I did not talk so much about           The other complaint we talked over was
concrete problems or advantages. Claudia told       that   there   is   not   anybody    in   official
me more about the changed pattern of people         institutions that knows either English or
that reside in Kas and the increasing               German. In order to help foreigners these
insecurity in the once so peaceful and secure       institutions depend on official translators.
village. A couple of weeks ago, she tells me,       This is not very much in favor of Kas; a place
there had been a very bad rape and Claudia          where nowadays a lot of foreigners reside. If
herself as well has had some bad experiences.       you do not have “home management” taking
She thinks that the growing insecurity has to       care of your businesses, Claudia argues that
do with the ‘insaat’ projects that attract men      one really has to fight in order to survive in
from small villages and the East of Turkey.         Turkey.
These men experience some sort of a shock
                                                       After having talked to Claudia personally
when they see foreign women wearing skirts
                                                    we moved       to   the city centre.      Claudia
and walking in the streets at night. She does
                                                    introduced me to other foreigners I might
not blame these people, but she blames the
                                                    have a chat with. It was a stunning discovery
local authorities for not taking care of these
                                                    for me to see the amount of settled foreigners
workers. Claudia says that it would be good
                                                    in a small place like Kas! People really were
when    local   authorities   would   somehow
                                                    very willing to talk to me as they saw it as a
prepare these men for the environment they
                                                    good possibility to throw their problems out in
are going to work in and provide these men
                                                    the open with the hope that maybe I could
good facilities to live in. She expounds that the
                                                    change something for them. Certain cafes are
workers are staying sometimes with 20 men in
                                                    full with mostly settled foreigners, whereas I
one    room.    These    circumstances     cause
                                                    also met a lot of foreigners having their
problems as it affects the mentality of the
                                                    business over there in the light of a restaurant,
workers that are faced with barely naked, rich
                                                    a bar and even a silver shop. Possibilities to
European or Western women.
                                                    have interviews seem limitless, but my time is
   One of the complaints that Claudia did rise      not. Therefore I made one appointment with a
is the fact that in the touristy places, the        Dutch lady who works in Turkey as a tour
Turkish population starts to deal in Euros.         leader. We planned to meet two days later.
When she went to Side to have a holiday with
                                                      The next day when I just had my morning
her daughter and granddaughter there was no
                                                    cup of coffee, a lady sat down next to me. She
possibility for her to pay in YTL’s. The
                                                    had seen me the other night and was willing to
problems that come forth from these practices
                                                    talk to me as well. The woman was named
are that different Euro currency rates are
                                                    Heather and she was the third woman in line I
being handled. Claudia says that this practice
                                                    talked to. Heather is in her sixties and comes
creates a ghetto for foreigners in which the
                                                    from England. She is a single woman and
normal Turk has no place.

                                                                                                 16
rents an apartment in which she resides a             Another problem for her is the fact that life
couple of months a year for already more than      in Kas becomes every year more expensive, as
10 years in Kas. She sees herself faced with an    does her rental price, for which they ask her to
every year increased rental price and she has      pay in a foreign currency and not in YTL’s any
had enough of Turkey. She is thinking about        longer. Thereby she does not have the same
moving forward to another country.                 view anymore than she had when she first
                                                   came to Turkey. Standing on her balcony she
   Although she says she loves Turkey, the
                                                   no longer enjoys the view of the sea, but
Turkish people and the Turkish food, she says
                                                   rather that one of an apartment block as she
to have lived the Turkish life fully and is kind
                                                   lives in herself.
of fed up with it. Because she comes already to
Kas for so many years she says to be able to          Because of the fact that Heather has a lot
disguise certain kind of patterns which she        of contact with other foreigners she hears
absolutely does not like. She knows that           about their problems as well. Heather says
Turkey is known for its hospitality but she        that other people’s problems make her tired.
doubts whether this is true compassion or an       She does no longer want to listen to problems
ever lasting attempt to get more money out of      that concern people’s pools or different kind
the foreigners. This former she knows to           of licenses. She no longer feels the excitement
substantiate by countless examples.                of coming to Turkey and learning new things,
                                                   as she already comes here for a lot of years.
  One of the most famous is of course the
older, rich ladies all trying to get a young          A striking subject on which Heather fills
Turkish man. Or is it the other way around?        me in is the misuse of “home management”
Heather has a lot of contact with other foreign    services. She told me that a lot of her friends,
settled women in Kas and saw them almost all       including herself, that trusted other people to
having a Turkish boyfriend. This sickness is       look after their property took advantage of the
not a problem for Heather personally; the          situation. A situation that happened to
problem is the fact that she herself is single     Heather herself was that the man who looked
and feels like being hunted every minute of        after her apartment during the high season
the day. The pointed out that she now sees         rented out the apartment to so-called friends
through the pattern of approaching foreigners      from him. Friends of her also are faced with
by the Turks. She tells me that through kind of    ‘care takers’ that throw big parties in the
trick questions the Turkish people try to find     houses they look after and drink all the
out if you have a lot of money and if so that      alcohol they can find in there. For Heather
they do not let you go any more. She feels         this “home management” business is one big
disturbed by this mentality. She says that she     nightmare. She therefore takes the key of her
had lost her innocence to enjoy this kind of       place back with her to the UK and lets nobody
overwhelming friendly approach by the Turks.       enter the place without her presence. This

                                                                                               17
year will probably be the last time she takes      positive impacts on a village like hers.
back her key. She thinks of going back to Italy    Creating jobs like the one from Mechmet and
and spends her free time there; the country        teaching him English are only a small part of
she lived in when she was in her twenties.         them. Desire herself is planning to make the
                                                   people in the village conscious of the
   By now the time came that I could meet
                                                   surrounding they live in. Through certain
the Dutch lady Desire, who I met while going
                                                   themes she wants to highlight natural beauties
around with Claudia looking for more ‘victims’
                                                   that the people in the village themselves got so
that could be subjected to my questions.
                                                   used to. She thinks of organizing for example
Desire is in her forties and lives together with
                                                   a “year of the bee”, in which the man that
her Dutch boyfriend in an apartment in the
                                                   works with the insects and sells the honey
centre of Kas. Next to this they bought a piece
                                                   products will have a chance to emphasize his
of land and an old house in a village about 25
                                                   job. Next to these kinds of possibilities she
kilometres from Kas. Desire works in Turkey
                                                   would like to make her contribution to the
as a tour leader for a Dutch company, as does
                                                   village school by teaching the pupils English.
her boyfriend, and travels nowadays mostly
through Eastern Turkey.                              With Desire I talked about the difficulty of
                                                   cooperation between Turks and foreigners.
  Desire has travelled all over most over the
                                                   She pointed out that she, as a woman and as a
world but felt really happy to be in Kas. After
                                                   superior, does not feel welcome in this
renting an apartment for a couple of years, she
                                                   country. The former stops Turkey’s process of
wanted to have a piece of land as an
                                                   moving forth Desire thinks. Desire explains
investment and as a substitute for their
                                                   that although men are quite willing to learn
apartment. When she got her boyfriend
                                                   from and to accept differences, she absolutely
convinced, they bought the piece of land. The
                                                   does not feel accepted by most of the Turkish
idea now is to create a kind of alternative way
                                                   women. She feels as if a barrier is being put up
of camping with big nomad tents located at
                                                   and that a mix between Turkish and foreign
peaceful and serene places, where possibly
                                                   women is hard to make. The same goes for her
yoga sessions can take place. Desire told me to
                                                   job. Stacked with a Turkish guide, that is
have followed the whole process of renovation
                                                   obliged to come with Desire on her journeys,
and building through close friends that bought
                                                   she is constantly aware of the feelings of this
a house in the same village. These people,
                                                   guide. They make her feel as if she took their
after encountering quite a lot of problems,
                                                   jobs from them and that she is not wanted in
met Mechmet. Desire explains that Mechmet
                                                   Turkey and certainly not to be obeyed to.
could not speak English at all, but by now he
is very capable of understanding what her            But at the village she is bound to settle she
friends and she wants. Desire thinks that the      feels more than welcome and there she hopes
settlement of foreigners does have or can have     for a mutual understanding, which so far took

                                                                                               18
place already. Thereby Desire also pointed out        use the money. Besides that Jose tries to keep
that being in a different country also asks for a     the group of foreigners in Kas together as she
different behaviour and attitude of the               organized dinners every week for them. Lately
foreigners. She says that this might be a major       she is not so active anymore as personal
mistake that most settlers make. They come            problems hinder her. In another two weeks
without any clue of the history and knowledge         she will go back to the Netherlands to visit her
about the country, decide to settle her, buy          son and his family. They visit Jose usually
property and then expect everything to go as it       every year. She tells me that she will always
goes back at home. Desire certainly does not          feel connected to the Netherlands somehow,
so. She accepts the differences and only hopes        but that the beautiful weather and the
for this mutual understanding. She will not           atmosphere in Kas keep her here in Turkey.
ask for the plumber in the middle of July to
                                                        At my last day of research I met with yet
come at 2 o’clock to fix her problems. As one
                                                      another Dutch, Martina. As my research
cannot expect people to these things in their
                                                      started off with interviewing men that have
home countries to do these things, why would
                                                      completely different ideas about their Turkey
one expect this in Turkey? Desire even thinks
                                                      experiences, women finished off.
of introducing the Turkish siesta.
                                                        Martina is a Dutch lady in her thirties
   Desire proposed me to go to Jose, another
                                                      married to a Turkish man and last year their
Dutch lady, 60 years old, that lives in Kas.
                                                      baby was born in the hospital of Kas. Martina
Together we went there and after being
                                                      and Ismael are already together for more than
welcomed Desire told Jose about the positive
                                                      thirteen years but now got married only last
development      that    Desire    will    receive
                                                      year. Martina does not want to go back to the
electricity soon; important, because this
                                                      Netherlands. She wants to raise their son in
recognizes Desire’s house. It only cost her 100
                                                      Kas, Turkey.
YTL to get it done in 10 minutes. Jose thought
that this surely had been a good deal.                  By coincidence Martina came to Turkey.
                                                      Together with a friend of hers they were
  Jose has her own atelier in Kas in which
                                                      planning to go to Tunisia. After being told that
she teaches pottery to adults and children that
                                                      this might be too dangerous for two girls
live in Kas. She lives in a village just outside of
                                                      alone, they decided to come to Kas, where she
Kas. The meeting with Jose was rather short
                                                      met Ismael.
as she was quite busy. But in the time I had
been into her atelier it became very clear to           For a long time Martina travelled back and
me that she is fully integrated in Kas. She           forth to Turkey. By working a couple of
works with and for the locals as she organizes        months a year in the Netherlands she spent
every year art festivals. The money that is           the rest of the time in Turkey. No reason to
raised goes to special projects in Kas that can       ask for her reasons to settle in Turkey. This

                                                                                                 19
reason was by no doubt her husband. And             techniques of the Turks as she still, after 13
now, after having had her first child and           years, cannot get used to that. The “not getting
speaking fluent Turkish she wants to raise her      used to” does apply to the Turkish way of
child in the beautiful surrounding of Kas, next     organization as well. Martina her way of
to the sea in the hope that he might learn          organizing and working still has not adopted
three languages at the same time.                   the Turkish style and by now she thinks that
                                                    this might be something genetic, rather than
  Martina has few things to complain about
                                                    adoptable.
as all property is registered at her husband’s
name. She herself does not even have a                Besides these people I talked to and wrote
residence permit. She told me that every three      about there were many more opportunities for
months she goes to the Greek island of Meis to      me to talk to settled foreigners. There was
renew her three- monthly visa. This proves to       nevertheless one lady I would really like to
be the most simple, comfortable and cheapest        talk to in conducting my last interview. She is
way to legalize her stay in Turkey. She does        the   lady   behind    one    of   the    “home
not have to go from one place to another            management” offices in Kas. Her name is Liz
waiting in dark hot offices, but simply gets on     and she is originally from Australia. Liz is a 43
the boat to cross over to Meis. Thereby, as         year old Australian married to a Turkish man
Jose already pointed out, a residence permit        and together they have two children. After
for five years cost not less than 2150, - Euros.    living in Australia and coming to Turkey a lot,
                                                    they decided to settle here permanently. Just
  She regrets the fact that it is so difficult to
                                                    because it fitted them better as she explained.
establish   contacts    between    foreign   and
Turkish women. Since last year she tried to set       Friends of her husband did more or less a
up a small group that comes together every          kind of a home managing job and this is how
week to have a coffee and do something              they got involved with this practice. By now
productive. By making and selling handcrafts        they are looking after foreigners’ property,
they already were able to buy new materials         paying their bills and going to local authorities
like scales for hospitals.                          to solve other problems. They do not
                                                    encounter bribing practices as they are
  As I already made clear in the above,
                                                    coming in the name of their company. Their
Martina does not feel the need to return
                                                    business is flourishing and I have not heard
permanently to the Netherlands as the feels
                                                    Liz   complain    about   formality    problems
very happy in Kas. But she likes to go back for
                                                    concerning her business. The thing she does
a change. She only would like to see a bit more
                                                    regret is that nobody at authorities knows the
of social contacts between the foreigners and
                                                    English language. She said to feel sorry for the
the Turkish people from Kas. Thereby she
                                                    people   that    did   not   ask    for   “home
wished for an abolishing of the bargaining
                                                    management” help and try to struggle with the

                                                                                               20
problems themselves. She speaks the language          was     little   to   be    done.   Problems   with
by now and thereby does her husband, a Turk,          bureaucracy she does not know of, only by
take care most of the above mentioned                 hearing saying. She went to official authorities
procedures.                                           only once to sign some papers. She has
                                                      enjoyed living in Kas to the full as their other
  Personally Liz’ main concerns point at the
                                                      problems are taken care of by Liz and their
schools. With her two children going to school
                                                      “home management” office.
in Kas, she criticizes the educational system
and at most the little attention that is paid to         She does not want to life permanently in
English lessons.                                      Kas, but because her husband is from the UK,
                                                      popping over is very easy. This is what she
  Liz told me to more or less stick to the
                                                      thinks a big advantage as Liz and her family
group of other foreigners. Through her
                                                      return to Australia only once in a couple of
husband she of course also has contact with
                                                      years. For them it is too expensive to return
Turkish people, but her best friends in Kas are
                                                      every year. Both ladies made clear that feeling
foreigners. She regularly has a cup of coffee
                                                      safe and secure in Kas was another very
with them and as happened when I went over
                                                      beneficial factor for their stay in Turkey.
to Liz’ her office, they visit her at the office as
well.                                                    Both of them, as most of the other people
                                                      as well, took a very positive stance towards
  Liz her visitor was another Australian. She
                                                      this survey. They do agree that foreigners have
is in her fifties and recently bought together
                                                      to deal with a lot of problems if they want to
with her husband an apartment with a
                                                      take care of things themselves. The lack of
wonderful view on a hill just outside Kas’
                                                      English speaking personnel is de biggest
centre. She says that she loves Turkey for its
                                                      denominator that the participants come up
everlasting   sunshine    and    that   Kas    has
                                                      with. Furthermore I have heard a lot about the
everything they were looking for. In first
                                                      problems concerning their property and
instance they bought the apartment as a pure
                                                      property rights. The diminishing security of
investment, but by now she loves the place
                                                      the little town itself was also mentioned quite
and tries to spend as much time as possible
                                                      often, although this still is very relative.
there.
                                                         Doing a survey like I did in Kas, was a
   This Australian does not know the Turkish
                                                      wonderful experience. After five days of
language and when I asked her whether it was
                                                      working on the interviews and spreading
decisive for her to have some “English
                                                      questionnaires, people started to know me
security” in the form of Liz’ presence, she
                                                      and approached me themselves. This is what
answers in the affirmative. As they looked for
                                                      made and makes Kas a wonderful place for
the house, she explained, their real estate
                                                      doing     research     or    surveys;   the    small
agent was fluent in English. For them there

                                                                                                      21
community, the beautiful surroundings and
the relaxed atmosphere.

  The thing that positively surprised me was
that the people were so helpful. Even though
most of them had their holidays, they all made
time for me to talk over their positive and
negative experiences. One interview led me to
the other and in the end I could no longer
walk anonymously in the streets.




                                                 22
          Evaluation of the Study                      rejected the idea saying “We just want to live
                                                       here quietly.”
   Settled Foreigners: Belonging and
             Participation
                                                       We even encountered different reactions
                                                       within the same family. A mother and father
Halil İbrahim Bahar
                                                       refused to complete questionnaires, but their
01-08-2006                                             young daughter agreed to fill one out saying
We were in Alanya working on the ‘Settled              “I’d rather complete a questionnaire than look
Foreigners in Turkey’ project funded by                at the shelves in the supermarket.” Our task
TUBITAK in 2006.          As you will be aware,        was to find a balance between trying to get as
Alanya is the area with the largest number of          many     people       as    possible   to   complete
settled foreigners, and we duly carried out            questionnaires, whilst not upsetting anyone in
interviews and administered questionnaires.            the process.          In their home countries
In the context of settled foreigners completing        Europeans       can    be     asked    to   complete
questionnaires, it would seem that the targets         questionnaires on a regular basis, which could
we had set were too high. It could be that we          explain some of the irrational reactions we
didn’t allow for the fact that, in July and            received. Some people complained that they
August, settled foreigners often prefer to             were always filling out questionnaires, but
return to their own countries, thus having a           nothing ever seemed to happen as a result of
negative effect on our sample size. Certainly          their effort.
those settled foreigners who tried to escape
                                                       Due to the physical similarities between
the heat in Turkey this summer, were in for a
                                                       German, English, Danish, Dutch, Irish and
surprise when heat waves hit other European
                                                       some Turks, we sometimes approached a
countries.
                                                       person we believed to be a foreign resident,
Questionnaires were both completed face to             only to discover that they were Turkish.
face, or picked up for completion at pre-
                                                       Resident foreigners would seem to live in
arranged points and handed back later. To
                                                       different locations according to age and social
ensure that the questionnaires were taken
                                                       class. People with money have cars and seem
seriously, we used established newspapers,
                                                       to prefer houses with gardens and swimming
organizations and businesses as distribution
                                                       pools outside central Alanya in the districts of
points.   In Alanya questionnaires were also
                                                       Avsallar, Oba or Mahmutlar. People without
completed    in   the     café     attached   to   a
                                                       cars choose to live nearer to the center of
supermarket. This was decidedly not an easy
                                                       Alanya, or other towns, where they have ease
methodology.            Citizens     of   different
                                                       of access to shops.
nationalities reacted very differently when
faced with a questionnaire. Some people were           To study the buying of property in Turkey by
very happy to complete questionnaires; others          settled foreigners consideration must be given

                                                                                                       23
to the concepts of ‘risk and trust’.       Buying    they ask how safe it is to buy property here.
property in Turkey can be a risky undertaking.       How prepared are we, as a nation, to answer
You have to be in the right place, at the right      that question?
time   and   deal   with     the   right   people.
                                                     Relationships between settled foreigners and
Foreigners buying property will use a Turkish
                                                     central   and     local    administrations      are
acquaintance as a ‘go-between’. And there are
                                                     extremely limited.         In a general sense
instances of foreigners being badly treated by
                                                     administrations should exert influence to
such an acquaintance that they have trusted.
                                                     ensure successful outcomes for both buyers
The bad treatment does not just come from
                                                     and sellers. Foreign companies who organize
Turks. It is also possible to find instances of
                                                     tours of Turkey from Europe introduce people
settled foreigners preying on each other. Risk
                                                     to the real estate market.      In this context,
and trust are inextricably entwined and real
                                                     should not potential customers have free tours
estate companies with a foreign interest must
                                                     of Turkey?
be made reliable.     Real estate companies
owned by a foreigner married to a Turk, or in        We came across many organizations and
partnership with a Turk would seem to have           associations, sometimes set up by foreigners
the greatest market share.                           alone, and sometimes by foreigners and Turks
                                                     working together. Some associations would
In general settled foreigners’ opinions of
                                                     seem to use influence for their own benefit.
Turkey and the Turkish community would
                                                     The   functions      and   activities     of   some
seem to be satisfactory. There are issues over
                                                     associations are open to challenge. Who set
the foreigners’ understanding of Turkish rules
                                                     them up? Who are the leaders and members?
and regulations. They complain about road
                                                     Are they open to the public or can only certain
safety, environmental matters and littering.
                                                     people join?      How were the association’s
Noise and ill treatment of animals were also
                                                     leaders chosen? What kind of influence does
causes for complaint.          It would seem
                                                     one organization have over another? How far
infringement of regulations has become
                                                     is it possible for associations to have a shared
accepted in Turkey.        According to settled
                                                     vision or mission?
foreigners the worst thing is the acceptance of
such infringements.                                  It would seem necessary to aim for a model of
                                                     democratic      participation   to      help   solve
A Model for Democratic Participation
                                                     problems arising between settled foreigners
We must accept that the number of settled            and the Turkish community at all levels and
foreigners in Turkey is growing daily.         In    across social, economic and political arenas.
Europe, the number of people thinking of             The model would allow settled foreigners,
buying property in Turkey would also seem to         Turkish community organizations, together
be increasing. When you meet such people             with representatives of local and central


                                                                                                    24
administrations to meet and determine a           We must smooth the way for Turks and
shared policy acceptable to all. The level of     settled foreigners to meet on an ‘equal
influence between settled foreigners and local    partnership’ basis. Some associations should
authorities is severely limited. For the past     be run jointly by Turks and settled foreigners.
2.5 years it could be claimed that this matter
                                                  Turks and settled foreigners can take part in
has been addressed, but where is the
                                                  activities together: picnics, celebrations of
evidence?     What agreements have been
                                                  national holidays such as Children’s Day on
reached, what systems have been put in place?
                                                  April   23rd;   being    included   within   the
To what extent have any agreed systems been
                                                  framework of such activities can only increase
tested? These questions cannot be answered
                                                  the settled foreigners’ feeling of ‘belonging’ in
either on the internet or by any other means.
                                                  Turkey. They will feel they are truly part of a
We have heard of websites where it is stated      community.        Once     Turks    and   settled
“Don’t sell real estate to Turks”. In Alanya,     foreigners are working in partnership, their
and other places where foreigners have            efforts must surely result in a better working,
settled, there are wealthy landowners. Due to     and living, environment.
lack of education and experience, money they
make from the sale of land is not used
productively. Instead it is spent on cars, a
luxury lifestyle and generally ‘putting on a
show’. This frittering away of money, instead
of productive investment, will also have a
negative effect on the next generation. It is
clear that, unless the children of those who’ve
become wealthy from land sales are educated
in the productive application of money, they
will face an economically impoverished future.

However, it is wrong to consider settled
foreigners purely in an economic context. We
should try to broaden contact between settled
foreigners and the Turkish community by
looking to benefit from the settled foreigners’
strengths and the level of their education. In
Alanya the private schools offer Turkish
courses for the children of settled foreigners.
They should also be a source of information
and support for EU projects.

                                                                                               25

				
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