Istanbul meets all of these criteria.
There are several reasons why visitors flock to Istanbul, and there are even more advantages to living and working as a digital nomad here. Its unique combination of cultures, which spans two continents, is unparalleled in the Western world. Even better, the megacity's liveability, low rates, and excellent infrastructure make it a great location for a few months of remote work.
The Meeting Point of East and West is Diversity
Istanbul is the world's only metropolis to cross two continents: Europe and Asia. Greek colonists constructed the city on the Bosphorus waterway in the 7th century BC. It was known as "Byzantium." The Byzantine Romans transformed the village into a significant metropolis throughout the years, renaming it "Constantinople" in the 4th century AD after Emperor Constantine. Constantinople became the Byzantine Empire's capital and a global cultural and trade center. The Ottoman Turks took Constantinople in 1453 and dubbed it "Istanbul." It remained a global powerhouse for decades before becoming the new Republic of Turkey's economic and cultural hub in 1923. Istanbul's history is rich and varied, and vestiges of that rich past may be seen throughout the 15-million-strong metropolis. Istanbul is becoming a melting pot of cultures, ideas, and architecture. Istanbul is a microcosm of Turkey, which is a hugely varied country.
In Turkey's largest city, you may find everything from traditional Muslim districts to fashionable bar sections with nightclubs. It's a place where East and West collide, philosophies clash, and people unite. Istanbul is a fantastic destination to live and work as a digital nomad because of its variety. In other words, you'll learn something new every day and experience the true meaning of diversity, which is one of the primary motivations for exploring the world full-time.
A Never-ending Cultural and Gastronomic Offer
Few cities can match Istanbul in terms of cultural and culinary attractions. Within a few hundred meters of the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern, and the world-class Archaeological Museum in Sultanahmet's ancient Ottoman district. There are magnificent palaces like the Dolmabahce, scenic districts like Galata, and intriguing oriental shops like the Grand Bazaar outside of the Old Center. You couldn't fit all of Istanbul's sights into a few pages, and seeing everything would take months. Apart from ancient sites, Istanbul's gastronomic options are endless. In this sense, my favorite dining and drinking spots are Taksim, Kadiköy, and Cihangir. Istanbul is the world's tenth most visited city, and even in 2020, millions of visitors came Turkey since the government maintained the borders open and put in place necessary security measures.
Overall, Istanbul will ensure that your digital nomad existence is filled with adventure.
Historic sites are wonderful places to work from, but digital nomads are naturally interested in remote working options. Don't worry, Istanbul has enough to offer. Istanbul, as Turkey's economic hub, attracts tens of thousands of ambitious young professionals and entrepreneurs from around the country and the Middle East. Even better, as a digital nomad, there are plenty of coffee shops, coworking spaces, and other places to work from.
Renting an Airbnb in Taksim or Levent, one of Istanbul's contemporary commercial areas, is the greatest option for a remote worker. There are several coffee shops, residences with high-speed WiFi, and reasonable coworking spaces in both districts.
Infrastructure, Hospitable Residents, and Livability
The infrastructure in Istanbul is also passable in most locations and first-class in others. Strong WiFi is accessible throughout the city, and SIM cards may be purchased at any time. The shopping centers are top-notch, including everything you'd find in Western Europe or North America. Istanbul does have some sanitation difficulties, although they are only in certain districts. Overall, the infrastructure is adequate, and you won't miss any Western conveniences, resulting in an extremely pleasant atmosphere. Outside of the tourist areas, English levels aren't fantastic, but you'll get by. If you wish to go off the beaten path, knowing a few Turkish words will come in handy. When it comes to crime, Istanbul does not have a huge problem. The majority of tiny offenses are motivated by opportunity. As a result, common sense will suffice to claim that the Turkish megacity is safe.
The majority of remote employees seek to take advantage of geo-arbitrage and relocate to a less expensive city. The depreciation of the Turkish lira benefits digital nomads in this way. In recent years, the city has become more costly for natives, and the cost of imported goods has increased, yet Istanbul remains very reasonable for nomads earning dollars or Euros. According to Numbeo, the cost of living is 63 percent cheaper than in New York City and 54 percent lower than in Los Angeles when compared to American cities of similar size.
Istanbul Airport and the Public Transportation System: The World's Gateway
The last significant benefit of picking Istanbul as a nomad base is its public transportation system — as well as its gleaming new airport. Istanbul's underground system, which connects the city's major transportation centers, is quickly expanding. Even better, streetcars link the smaller areas, and the Bosphorus ferries make continent-hopping a breeze.
The brand-new Istanbul Airport completes the city's superb transportation network. This airport, which opened in 2019, is without a doubt one of the greatest in the world. The new airport is one of the busiest on the globe, with flights to every continent. You'll be able to choose a flight to South America, Russia, Southeast Asia, or Australia to continue your vacation.
With the crowd and hardships in transportation in the city, working from home has become a nice alternative in Istanbul in the past 5 years. Especially with the pandemic and lockdowns, remote work has been improved and became much more popular than ever. Without the traffic problem and time loss, working home-office has saved so many people from waking at very early hours or arriving home late. If you want to work from home but are not sure where or how this is possible in Turkey, visit istanbul.com for further information
Frequently Asked Question
Is it possible to work from home in Turkey?
-In general, yes, and it would be totally legal. Working from home as a:
A foreign corporation employee, a freelancer, a business owner, and so on.
A foreign employee working for a foreign firm with headquarters outside of Turkey is a classic example of a remote worker in Turkey. "Foreigners are prohibited from working or being hired without acquiring a work permit," according to Turkey's International Workforce Law.
Remote labor, on the other hand, will be permitted under Turkish legislation provided it does not benefit a local person or company and is not rewarded in Turkey.
Is a working permit required if I work remotely from Turkey?
-In Turkey, you won't require a work permit if you work online or as a freelancer. As long as you are not doing business with Turkish persons or firms, receiving payment from them, or submitting invoices to them.
Is it difficult to apply for a residence visa in Turkey as a remote worker?
-Fortunately, Turkey has a number of simple residency schemes that practically anybody may apply for. By applying for a residence permit in Turkey, you can obtain a so-called "digital nomad visa." The major options for obtaining a permit are to rent an apartment for a year, enroll in a university, or enroll in a language program. With a residence permit, you must have a rental contract and demonstrate that you are financially capable of living in Turkey.
Do I have to pay taxes when working from Turkey?
-When working remotely from another country, taxes should be a top priority. You do not need a work visa in Turkey if you work for a foreign corporation or run a business, but you must consider where you pay your income taxes. If a digital nomad works in Turkey for a long time and receives payment in a local bank account, she or he must file and pay income taxes in Turkey. As a result, we advise you to put all of your earnings in a foreign bank account. As a result, if you are paid from a US source to a US bank account, it is exceedingly improbable that you would ever pay Turkish taxes.
Do I have to pay for my social security in Turkey if I work remotely?
-Different laws may apply depending on your place of origin and where you pay social security. You will not be required to pay for social security in Turkey if your usual country of residence is a signatory to the European Convention on Social Security or a bilateral social security agreement with Turkey. If your normal country of residence is not a signatory to the European Convention on Social Security or a bilateral social security agreement with Turkey, you must contribute to Turkish social security after a three-month exemption period.
Is it necessary for me to locate a coworking space in Turkey?
-We recommend finding a coworking space since, especially in a city as large and congested as Istanbul, cafés, homes, and the entire city may be rather noisy. And, because new coworking spaces are always opening in Turkey, you should be able to discover one that is ideal for you, particularly in Istanbul.