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Back to Turkey?
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coffeespoonman



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 462
Location: At my computer...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:14 am    Post subject: Back to Turkey? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I left Istanbul for a job in China five years ago, after spending six not-always-but-quite-often-lovely years there. When I left, the dollar was at 1.70, Gezi had not yet happened, and aside from the occasional odd rant from Erdogan, it was business as usual over there.

Obviously, things have changed in the time I was gone, but most importantly (for me anyways), I've recently gotten engaged to the love of my life, who is unsurprisingly Turkish. She already lives in China with me (long story), and she's happy to live abroad for the moment, though to be honest, I think it's just about time to get out of China. The next destination is open for discussion, but Istanbul makes sense for a lot of reasons, so I'm writing to ask for advice from you all.

I'm happy to take a step or two back professionally in order to increase quality of life, but I'd rather not fall all the way down the stairs, if you know what I mean. I'm MA and DELTA qualified, 11 years teaching experience, mostly in higher education, with several years of line management experience at very good institutions both in Turkey and China. I know I'll never get the same salary in Istanbul, and that's ok, but if I did move back there, I wonder if there I would have any options apart from the standard 20 hours in a hazırlık classroom (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Just wanted to ask the board if you have any suggestions, given all the changes in the market that I missed out on. Is there any way comfortably back into the Istanbul scene for someone like me, or is 2016-17 really a terrible time to try to come back?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Nebbich



Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 42
Location: Turkey

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:00 pm    Post subject: Back to Turkey Reply with quote

Honest answer:

If I were you, I'd forget here for the nonce unless you want to go to Kayseri to build up the bank a/c. Why not try for ODTU/METU in North Cyprus? Easy access to Turkey for your other half and to the EU on the other side. Good money, fine staff housing and not so many of the problems of Turkeyland.

Good Luck!
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coffeespoonman



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 462
Location: At my computer...

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nebbich, that's a good idea.

What was that about Kayseri, btw? Just curious. My partner's family is originally from there, and while I doubt that I would want to live there, I'm still curious.

Good pide though. Smile

CSM
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 14674
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

News of the end of the Ottoman Empire has not yet reached Kayseri. Like Diyarbakir without the Kurds. Reactionary Islamists on every corner.

Last edited by scot47 on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wasatchteacher



Joined: 24 Jan 2014
Posts: 20
Location: TURKEY

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, with your expertise, and you really want to consider working at a job for around 5,000-6,000 Lira a month? Geez.
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JohnRambo



Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can get a gig at a private university, you can live fine, but don't work for a public one, because 3,500 TL is too low considering the rents over here.
If you make 5,000 TL at a private university and your spouse works a bit, then you should be fine. Of course, many of us expats are nervous about the political situation. After all, a Russian plane was shot down, Kurds are being armed by Russia. The Turkish Army may temporarily quiet the East down, but that could easily start again. Overall, it's safe in Istanbul at the moment. If my spouse was Turkish, I would consider coming here. You seem to be set on moving here anyway. If things don't work out, you can leave, of course. It's not a permanent thing.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 898
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard from colleagues of mine that the average EFL teacher in Istanbul makes around 2,800 TL monthly in salary...and that 5000 TL monthly salary is a kings ransom....and savings are minimal at best. Me thinks salaries are so low due to so many 20 something+ year old unemployed native speakers around shopping for work. Shocked Shocked
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gamze90



Joined: 31 Oct 2015
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EF - maybe in a language school. But I know many people who are qualified (degree and CELTA) and they are making between 2500/3000 USD NET housing allowance included. There is a LOT of money in Istanbul ıf you know which schools to apply to
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 898
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gamze 90,

Salaries in Istanbul are LOW.....average TEFL teacher makes less than US 1,000/Month....however on April Fools Day salaries may rise!!!!! Laughing
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JohnRambo



Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
I have heard from colleagues of mine that the average EFL teacher in Istanbul makes around 2,800 TL monthly in salary...and that 5000 TL monthly salary is a kings ransom....and savings are minimal at best. Me thinks salaries are so low due to so many 20 something+ year old unemployed native speakers around shopping for work. Shocked Shocked


You make about 3300 TL net as a public university teacher. It's not very much. At some private universities, you can get around 5,000 TL. Of course, you have to be lucky, have contacts to land those positions. Working at English Time and what not isn't worth it. Life's too expensive, in terms of the rent, to want to stay long if you're working for English Time. The public universities are barely good enough when it comes to the salary. Of course, if your wife works and you work at a public university, and you somehow find some privates, then you'll be fine. Or, if you find work at an international school or private university, you'll be fine. Good luck saving money, generally.
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gamze90



Joined: 31 Oct 2015
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get into k12 schools - koc, enka, mef, hisar, terraki all pay around 3000USD inc housing allowance. I don't know anyone who is making less than 1500usd working in a koleji
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crobizzle



Joined: 16 Oct 2015
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The previous post about getting into a k12 school is correct, however, there are other trade-offs. Many times you become a slave to the school if you work for a private school (expect to have long working days, and some weekend responsibilities, as well as a long commute if you're in Istanbul). Another thing to be aware of is that MEB (the ministry of education) will only approve your work permit if your Undergraduate degree is in the area you teach in. I've had this problem the whole time I've been in Turkey, and unless the school also has a university (like MEF) where they can apply for your work permit through the university instead, the chances are slim that they could hire you.

Good luck!
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 898
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Most men live lives of quiet desperation...and then there are those EFL teachers who live on a dream of savings in Turkey"...EF EDU Shocked Shocked
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coffeespoonman



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 462
Location: At my computer...

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies. I agree with most of you that it does seem that this is the wrong time to come back, but will still keep my eyes open for surprise opportunities.

I've never done K12, but I suppose that could work if we decide that we really want to move back for good. Thankfully, my degrees are all in English (the subject), so it shouldn't be too hard to get work in that respect. With her salary on top of mine, Istanbul would probably be doable.

Thanks!

CSM
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kona



Joined: 17 Sep 2011
Posts: 178
Location: Seattle, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coffeespoonman wrote:
Thanks for all the replies. I agree with most of you that it does seem that this is the wrong time to come back, but will still keep my eyes open for surprise opportunities.

I've never done K12, but I suppose that could work if we decide that we really want to move back for good. Thankfully, my degrees are all in English (the subject), so it shouldn't be too hard to get work in that respect. With her salary on top of mine, Istanbul would probably be doable.

Thanks!

CSM


Given your experience and qualifications, have you considered GCC countries?
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