Why Hijra to Turkey? Well, Covid 19 together with the conspiracy theories behind it and the possibility of forced vaccinations has played a big part in changing our lives in one way or another for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It has caused a significant impact on our emotional, physical and phycological health and way of thinking. This all plays a part in some way or form to push a good number of us towards a religious awakening. Combined with other testing problems Muslims are facing in the West today, such as RSE being made compulsory in schools and Hijab restrictions & unnecessary Mosque raids taking place in France. It’s not surprising for many Muslims to start pondering over the idea of Hijrah. So, for today’s post, we wanted to explore the benefits of making Hijra to Turkey.
It’s only natural that many of us will be focusing on the quality of life that we are living, giving more thought in how we can maintain our way of life in a foreign country or what changes we can make in our lives to achieve a positive difference. However, it’s important to note the significance of prioritising one’s life according to the Quran and Sunnah.
Sometimes we will have to make sacrifices for the sake of Allah SWT in order to achieve a greater peace in other, more relevant, departments of our lives. For example, you may give up living in a more convenient, well maintained area so that you can avoid racism or be able to wear your Muslim clothing at greater ease, safety and comfort. Some families might have to pay more than the value of a house just to live closer to a Madrassa for their children to attend etc. Nothing is perfect in this life, we will all have different priorities and different goals, but for anyone intending to make Hijra, that ultimate goal is always Jannah.
What is Hijra
Hijra is a religious migration from your home country to another country for the safety and ability to fulfil your religious requirements and obligations openly without restrictions or fear.
We have to bear in mind the conditions of Hijrah, think about how we would qualify for it and purify our intentions in fulfilling it.
The requirement of a holy migration depends on whether one is able to practise Islam openly and worship openly. If a person cannot do that where he is living and he fears fitnah (tribulation), then it becomes compulsory for him/her to migrate; if however, he is able to practise Islam openly but he is capable and has the means to migrate, then migration is mustahabb (recommended); if he is able to practise Islam openly and he engages in da’wah and teaches the Muslims, then he may stay. And Allah knows best. May Allah help us all to do that which He Azzawajal loves and keep us all upon the path that pleases Him.
Turkey is classed as a secular country and does not govern under Muslim law. However, due to the majority of its population being Muslim, it offers a safe and convenient environment for Muslims to practise their religion with no restrictions, racism or fear.
In sha Allah, today we wanted to cover some of the benefits of making Hijrah to Turkey. However, as we all know, every country will have its pros and cons, so you may also want to read: Important things to know before moving to Turkey.
So, what can Turkey offer Muslims making Hijrah that sets it apart from everywhere else?
1. Housing Is More Affordable in Turkey
There is so much potential for first-time as well as repeat buyers of all nationalities. Within the last decade, the Turkish land industry has grown tremendously & foreigners have actually played a considerable part in its growth.
The real estate market of Turkey was late to enter the international market; hence the low prices of homes quickly attracted foreigners from many different nationalities, and Turkeys low house prices have enabled many people to pay for their property upfront without a mortgage or bank credit.
This is probably one of the strongest advantages of buying a property in Turkey, and one that is always considered when looking to buy any property. Turkey is well known to offer foreign investors good value for money.
I know good value for money can change from one person to another, however, I’m sure everyone will agree that because Turkey has an expanding range of properties suitable for all budgets Muslims wanting to avoid buying their homes with a mortgage can do so with their savings, when it’s at a more affordable price .
2. You Can Enjoy Freehold Ownership
Whenever you buy a property in Turkey, you buy the whole property and get the full ownership of it!
This means you are not buying just a share in the property, or just taking over the lease of a property, or renting it out for an X number of years from the local government.
The Turkish government have made the laws & regulations regarding buying a property exactly the same for foreigners as they are for full Turkish citizens. You will have full ownership & rights of the property as well as the land that it is built on until you choose to sell it. If you will own a Villa or house, you will have full ownership of the land that this villa or house is built on, however, if for instance you have an apartment, you will have a share on the land where the complex has been built on.
3. A Quick & Easy Ownership Process
It wasn’t until 2001 that foreigners were able to start buying property in Turkey and ever since then authorities have continually been revising & simplifying the process. This in turn attracted more foreign investment in the housing market. Turkey has made it so easy for foreigners that they are even subject to the exact same laws and regulations given to Turkish locals. So, owning a property, the procedure and completion can take a as little as a few days providing you have all the relevant documents prepared.
Need help? Have questions? Don’t worry, Turkey Property Beys are here to walk you through every step of the process to owning your own home in Turkey.
4. Residency & Citizenship Benefits & Rights
Among other methods of gaining Residency & Citizenship, one of the easiest & safest ways to secure a permanent residency in Turkey is through property investment.
Current laws allow anyone owning property the right to apply for a permanent residency. This right applies not only to the person whose name is on the title deed, (aka TAPU in Turkish) but also to their spouse & children under 18yrs of age.
Moreover, you can also obtain citizenship by renting a property in your name & living there uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 years. This can be through working on a working visa or registering your own business as well as being a student. In addition to this, unlike in some other countries, the Turkish government doesn’t place any restrictions on foreign settlers to have only one citizenship. If you’re happy to keep your existing citizenship you’re more than welcome to do so and enjoy the best of both.
4. Central Location
Turkey is a big country which is divided between the continents of Europe and Asia. It has a small part, called the Thrace in Europe while a larger part, Anatolia is present in Asia. It is situated between Greece and Syria bordering the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Turkey is the 37th largest country in the world and divided into seven geographical regions with a mass of seaside towns scattered from east to west, mesmerising more and more foreign buyers every year.
Turkeys fertile lands are fruitful and gifts its inhabitants plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables year after year. Fresh dairy produce is produced and sold in ample varieties and at very affordable rates. In addition to this, Turkey’s economic outlook takes pride in producing & manufacturing its own products. If you pick up any item from a variety of different departments, from food to clothing and kitchen or bathroom accessories or appliances, you are sure to read ‘Made in Turkey’ on it. Which makes a nice change from ‘Made in China’ 😉
Seeking aid and attracting western investors is not a problem for Turkey, its central location and short distances from countries allows it to have increased foreign export making it one of the major economic forces in the international market.
5. Rich History
Aside of the amazing scenic mountains, the Mediterranean Sea & coastal breath-taking views, Turkey is also known & respected for its history. Thanks to Turkey’s geographical location & position, it’s been home to many cultures throughout history, from Troy to the Ottoman Empire. Turkey has invested in many museums and educational resources to seep the benefits of this. Beautiful antiques are also widely bought and sold in the region. It has much to offer all history enthusiasts and curious souls.
6. Turkish Culture
The welcoming culture of the Turkish people has always been one of the many reasons’ tourists like to revisit and then eventually settle in Turkey.
Muslims love to bargain and it’s no different in Turkey. Turkish prices are already very cheap as compared to other European countries. But they are almost always set ready to haggle, especially in the marketplaces. So, don’t be shy to slice the price in half in an offer before coming to an agreement, and don’t be surprised to be offered tea while coming to an agreement 😉
(Check out this blog post on Money Matters, Haggling & Tipping In Turkey)
The Turks like to invite & socialize, so when you are invited to a Turkish home for dinner, make sure to go with an empty stomach. There will be a huge spread of food and it is offensive to not taste a little of everything unless you are allergic or something.
It is common for the host to continually offer you more food. Don’t be offended by this, it is just their hospitality and they assume you are too shy to eat. This can be very similar to many other Muslim cultures too, so many Muslims would be able to relate to this.
Things like lack of timing and always taking your shoes off at the door is also another familiar custom Turks have that is common in other Muslim countries, accept Turks will always have spare or guest slippers at the door to offer you on your arrival.
Coffee shops are used in similar ways to pubs in the Muslim world. However, you will see plenty of Tea Houses in Turkey too. Turks love their chai just as much as their coffee and use Tea Houses in a similar fashion. It’s a place for people to casually meet and chat with friends, colleagues and family. They can sit there for hours and hours sipping on chai and chatting so if you are invited there don’t be expecting to be leaving anytime soon.
The Turkish culture holds very high respect for the elderly, in fact even the Turkish language reflects this, where they add suffixes to certain words to make it sound more formal and respectful specifically when talking to them. This works well with the Islamic ethos and teachings of taking care of our parents and having respect for those older than us. Turks greet their elders by kissing their hands and follow this by placing their foreheads on the place they kissed.
In Turkey and in the Muslim world this can easily be seen as a great sign of respect, a symbol of humbleness and being grateful to elders, whereas in the Western society this has been made to feel degrading and backwards. Parents, teachers and the elderly living in most western societies definitely do not hold this same value and respect.
7. Enjoy All Four Seasons
Turkey is among the few places where you can fully enjoy all 4 seasons all year around. Whether you are a summer or winter kind of person, each season is thoroughly experienced with all its seasonal fruits & vegetables, comforts & joys. Cultivation is certainly advanced with this. In some parts of Turkey, selected areas may be hotter or colder than others so you can choose your preference & enjoy!
Turkey is the meeting point of several different cultures and the living environment consists of beautiful communities built on many diverse beliefs living harmoniously together. You are unlikely to find yourself alone or among the few of your ethnicity, however some areas will have more or less of a certain national, as cultures have built communities and grown you will find more brits on one side than another and Arab communities and Pakistani or Indian communities in others parts. But in general you will find Turk locals everywhere and very welcoming and accommodating.
Practising Muslims have found Uskudar, Fatih and Basaksahir in Istanbul very accommodating in respect to local Madrasas and finding English and Arabic speaking Quran and Arabic teachers, there is definitely a growing UK Muslim community in these areas of Istanbul in addition to places like Antalya and Bursa.
9. Welcoming Laidback Environment
Turkish life is very laid back, much slower paced and people like to smile, help, socialise and share as well as learn more about each other.
Thousands of Expats have already bought homes in Turkey, as aside from the low property prices, rent & low cost of living, the laidback lifestyle undoubtedly lures them here for a more permanent peaceful and relaxed living along the coastal towns of the Mediterranean.
Turkish culture & hospitality embraces foreigners like no other, they have an old proverb saying every stranger is a friend, and you certainly feel this in Turkey.
You have to bear in mind that as with many Muslim countries, not all Turks are practising Muslims, however, they all have high family and moral values and stick strongly onto their culture. They are still united and stand by what’s right, living peacefully with each other and others around them.
In result of this, many nationalities feel welcomed & enjoy indulging in Turkey’s fruits and way of life along with the delicious Turkish food. Turkish cuisine focuses heavily on fresh ingredients to make mouth-watering homecooked meals, it’s very similar to the Mediterranean diet & often called the healthiest in the world.
10. Living Costs Are Lower
We as Muslims all know that big families are very common in our culture & traditions, so for most of us, it’s easy to understand why every penny counts.
When it comes to living comfortably on a budget, Turkey is definitely the best place to be. From day to day food shopping and utility bills to eating out, shopping & enjoying pretty much all aspects of life, it’s fair to say, Turkey is relatively cheap and offers a competitive advantage compared to other European countries especially UK.
The low cost of living is definitely one of the main reasons for most Brits to choose Turkey for Hijrah over other Muslim countries. Pensioners, for example, are especially getting a good deal because the exchange rate from their currency into Turkish lira is allowing them much more than the average cost of living.
There is no TV licence needed in Turkey and the council tax is just a fraction of what it is in the UK, on top of that, your water bill can work out to be as little as £7 a month depending on usage and electricity is much cheaper too. You can spend even less on your weekly shop by visiting the local markets for fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese and olives. So, you can enjoy eating healthier and it works out to be more affordable as well.
11. Turks Love Animals
Animals are very well taken care of in Turkey. If you are Muslim, you will surely know how important this is in Islam. Our blessed prophet Mohammad (PBUH) often spoke about being kind to animals and gave us good examples of how we should look after them. He (PBUH) told us of many hadiths explaining Allah’s (SWT) punishments and rewards in doing so or not doing so. He (PBUH) explains how one woman entered Jennah for feeding thirsty dog water from her sock and how another woman entered hellfire for not feeding her cat or allowing it to feed itself by letting it out.
There are plenty of both cats and dogs that roam freely on the streets of Turkey and they are all well cared for, fed, cleaned and played with by the community. You may also notice that they might have ear tags, this is because they are also officially looked after by an animal welfare organisation, sterilised and immunised, and are regularly checked according to their tag colour and number.
The community also have the opportunity to help the organisations looking after the stray animals by donating and volunteering, in addition to adopting a few animals as pets as plenty of expats do.
12. Good Education System
Another good reason to choose Turkey for Hijrah is that we tend to think a lot about our children’s future and Islamic upbringing. This pure tarbiyyah that we want to offer our children is supported with good education.
The Turkish government has been making more improvements and changes to the education system in the recent years. One of which is implementing academic studies in Imam Hatip schools, that have been multiplying many folds all over Turkey. Imam Hatip schools were originally Islamic schools teaching Islamic and Arabic studies to young men with an aspiration to become an Imam.
However, now they are known to be academic schools teaching all topics of modern interest as well as Islamic and Arabic studies. Imam Hatip schools are government schools that are taught in Turkish and are free for foreigners with residencies and citizenships to attend in addition to the locals.
Turkey also has many famous universities known worldwide, there are so many foreign students going to Turkey to complete their studies. Tuition fees and the cost of living are lower in Turkey than in most European or American countries, yet the quality of education is still high. There are also scholarships available that cover not only tuition fees but accommodation, insurance and travel costs.
Private universities set their own fees and charge up to $20,000. Public Universities on the other hand are much cheaper, although maybe harder to get into. Public universities, tuition fees are generally more expensive for study programs in English, ranging from $600-1500, while the same courses in Turkish are around much more affordable at only $240-750. I think this could be because Turkish teachers don’t require as much pay as foreign teachers that are required to teach in English, but I could be wrong.
13. Good Medical Health System & Facilities
There are plenty of good hospitals in Turkey. Turkey has a good reputation for its medical care, their professional doctors and expertise in many different fields of the medical industry. They have high quality, advanced materials and systems and many foreign residents decide on coming to Turkey for their medical treatments for successful results at affordable prices.
There is also a very good government health care system in place for all residents. The government hospitals are all just as good, however, they can be much busier than private hospitals.
For more information on health in Turkey you can also read:
“Medical Care in Turkey – A Health Guide For Tourists”
In addition to good medical care, it’s also helpful to mention that majority of housing compounds in Turkey all include a gym, sports hall and basketball or football courts for residents to use and encourage physical activity. They also have parks or green space for walking or sitting outside without leaving the compound. Some compounds also include swimming pools, hammams & saunas, but not all. This is all very beneficial for those wanting to stay healthy and active.
14. Good Transportation System
There are all kinds of transportation facilities available in Turkey. From railways, airways and buses to Taxis, trams and cruise ships.
Turkish Airlines facilitates easy & comfortable travel in and around Turkey in addition to outside countries at very low & affordable prices. Sometimes it can even be cheaper than travelling via coach! This can make a huge difference to those wanting to visit family and friends back in their homeland and for their family and friends to visit them too.
The new Istanbul airport is rising firmly in the global aviation scene with its unique architecture, strong infrastructure, superior technology and high-level travel experience it offers. Istanbul Airport, that has one of the largest terminals in the world, was deemed worthy of the “5-Star Airport” award according to the evaluation of London based Skytrax, one of the most important organizations in the international arena. Thanks to the measures taken against COVID-19, Istanbul Airport became one of the two airports in the world that was certified with the “5-Star COVID-19 Airport” rating, in addition to the “5-Star Airport” rating.
Turkey is a big country; it is almost 1600km long and 800km wide,
so, to travel all around Turkey on the road can be very time-consuming. Alhamdulillah, there are international and domestic airports in every major city so you can easily travel from one place to another via air as well as by road.
Turkish roads are very well developed and signposted, you can also find maps at different points on the route. Travelling by road in a car gives you the freedom to go wherever you want whenever you want as well as a stop for breaks or pictures when & where it’s convenient for you. I must point out though, Turkish driving isn’t any different from other Muslim countries, so much patience is needed.
Currently, you can rent a manual car for about $50 per week. Prices may vary between regions and are subject to change, however, it will still be seen as a good price for anyone coming from another European country where prices for rentals will be much more expensive. There are no discounts when it comes down to renting a car for a longer amount of time or paying monthly for it. Locals see cars as a more privileged way to travel as it is more expensive as compared to other methods of transport in terms of keeping & running a car, whereas public transport is very frequent, affordable and convenient.
Bus travel is the simplest and the cheapest way to travel in Turkey. There are luxury coaches, buses, and minibuses all over the country, with plenty of bus routes helping people to travel from one city to another at low costs. The buses and trams in Turkey are very modern and comfortable, they are air-conditioned with a Wi-Fi connection. Some routes and buses have specified stops and some you can jump on and off anywhere along its route you want and pay according to the distance you travelled.
Turkish Railways are also good, useful & relaxing too. If you’re like me & enjoy the scenic views of travelling, you will love the train. There are plenty of international and local trains with different routes in most of the cities. You can also reserve seats and buy tickets in advance online. Tickets are moderately priced; however, buses can be faster than trains if travelling the same route.
Taxis are easily available all-around Turkey. They look similar to the American style cabs in their bright yellow colour, so you won’t have any difficulty spotting them. It’s important to tell the cab driver your destination though and agree on a fixed price beforehand. This will prevent any misunderstandings, rip-offs and make your journey a lot quicker. There are handy Apps such as BiTaksi that can make your experience more convenient.
For more helpful Apps you can use in Turkey read: “Top mobile phone apps to use in Turkey”
I tried my best to summarise the benefits of making Hijrah to Turkey, however, the fact of the matter is, there’s nothing like first-hand experience. There’s no way you can conclude all benefits as in my eyes there are so many. Additionally, what might be a good thing for one person can be a bad thing for another and vice versa. It really does depend on what you are looking for and why. Having said that though, Turkey Property Beys are here to help you find out just that, that is what we are here for so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us with any queries or extra information.