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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Istanbul: Lack of Safety Is a Major Concern ...

... and expats aren’t necessarily happier with other aspects of life abroad in Türkiye’s largest city, either.

Istanbul places 43rd out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023. Expats struggle when it comes to the local Quality of Life (42nd): they don’t feel safe getting around on foot or by bicycle (41st), and they are unhappy with the urban environment (40th).

Expats in Istanbul are also affected by the lack of personal safety (41st), poor political stability (49th), and the inability to openly express themselves and their opinions (47th). It’s no surprise then, that the city ranks last globally in the Safety & Security Subcategory (49th).

In the Working Abroad Index (47th), Istanbul comes in the bottom 3. The city ranks last in the Salary & Job Security Subcategory (49th): the poor job security (48th) and the state of the local economy (49th) are especially concerning. Results in the Work & Leisure Subcategory (47th) are not much better, as 32% are unhappy with their working hours, double the global average (16%).

Istanbul places midfield in the Personal Finance Index (33rd) and in the bottom 10 in the Expat Essentials Index (40th). Among the expats there, 15% feel that their access to online services is restricted (vs. 6% globally), and another 36% face difficulties when opening a local bank account (vs. 22% globally). Overall, only 60% of expats are happy with their life in Istanbul, compared to 72% globally.

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