Thursday, September 15, 2011

Moving to Istanbul

Today we look at moving to Istanbul in Turkey from Damascus in Syria. We highlight cost of living and other major differences likely to be experienced in our series of short blogs on moving between different international locations.
In Istanbul people speak Turkish. In Damascus people speak Arabic.

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and 5th largest city proper in the world. Damascus is the capital and largest city of Syria. The economy of Istanbul has always been the centre of Turkey's economic life because of its location as a junction of international land and sea trade routes. Istanbul is also Turkey's largest industrial centre. Istanbul and surrounding province produce cotton, fruit, olive oil, silk, and tobacco. Food processing, textile production, oil products, rubber, metal ware, leather, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, glass, machinery, automotive, transport vehicles, paper and paper products, and alcoholic drinks are among the city's major industrial products. Damascus is home to a wide range of industrial activity, such as Textile, food processing, Cement and various Chemical industries. The historical role that Damascus played as an important trade center has changed in recent years due to political development in the region as well as the development of modern trade.

The overall cost of living rank in Istanbul is 114 out of 300 global locations, which equates it with middle cost of living locations.  An expatriate moving from Damascus to Istanbul will experience a change in cost of living of 10.5%.
In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, Istanbul is ranked as a high degree of hardship location with a hardship index of 30% the same as Damascus.

Source: Cost of Living Istanbul Turkey as at July 2011.