Tales from Turkey – My move to Kemer
by Colin Guest
Shortly after accepting a 10-month contract in Turkey as a quality advisor, I flew out to Turkey in 1998. Little did I know at that time, this would be the start of a whole new life for my late wife and me. The contract was a five-star hotel complex right on the beach, near a small village named Kemer. This was an hour’s drive from the city of Antalya down on the Turkish Mediterranean. The hotel’s location was perfect, with it still one of the best hotels in the Kemer area. My wife, who arrived one month after me, loved Kemer. Even though there were less than five Turkish speaking English living there, everyone was friendly and made us feel very welcome.
With clean, fresh air, beautiful mountain views, and a small but excellent marina, it was like living in paradise. I guess I should not have been surprised when my wife said she would like to live in Turkey after my contract finished. She said,
“When you finish your contract, why don’t we buy a piece of land and have a house built? Here is much better than Spain.” This being where we had previously thought about going to live. The result being we later had a house built in a small village on the outskirts of Kemer. On coming to visit our house while it was under construction, a Turkish friend said,
“Colin, this is perfect for you. I am sure by living here. You will live ten years longer than if you stayed living in England.” I am sure he was right as from the time we moved into our new house, we enjoyed living in Turkey. We found there was very little crime in our area, with it quite safe to walk around. Both shopkeepers in Kemer and people living in our area, we found very friendly and helpful. The health system, since those early days in Turkey, has grown out of all recognition. In all the main cities in Turkey, there are many new hospitals with all the latest technology. Speaking from personal experience after undergoing two operations in Turkey, I found the treatment and care offered to be first class. There is now an ever-growing number of people visiting Turkey to have operations here, as there are usually no long waiting lists and much cheaper.
On the housing side, things are now easier for foreigners to buy property in Turkey. The quality of buildings here is now much better than years ago, with prices generally cheaper than in England. Real Estate agents both here and in England say it is easier to buy a property here, as you don’t need an Avukat (lawyer). Although this may be true, I strongly recommend using one, as the money spent is well worth the cost.
My name is Colin Guest; I am a retired expat Englishman, married to a Turkish woman. I have lived in Turkey for over 20 years. I am very interested in writing and have had several articles published online, and one in a UK expat magazine. At present, I am writing my memoir about my working life on high-class interior finishing works, mainly to 5-star hotels and palaces. The memoir is in 16 chapters and covers projects in the Middle, Far East, and North Africa.
Each chapter includes a mixture of life-threatening, interesting, funny, and some crazy incidents, which occurred in them. One such is the revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran. Another one is the revolution that led to the fall of President Marcos of the Philippines. Working on palaces in Brunei for the Sultan and on a variety of 5-star hotels gave me an understanding of how royal and rich people live. My being an expat enabled me to visit numerous exotic locations at little or no cost to myself. It also caused my interest in the environment and wild animals, so my memoir is entitled, Follow in the Tigerman’s footsteps.
You can find out more about me at www.colinguest.com.