One look at the skyline of just about any of Turkey’s large metropolises and a story is told, a large silhouette cast of huge modern skyscrapers and apartment towers, offset by the stark contrast of domed roofs and minarets, clear evidence of the exotic mix of the modern and ancient cultures, and over 10,000 years of history that makes up the glorious nation of Turkey. The enchantment continues well out of the big cities and across the entire landscape, with deserts interrupted by volcanic lakes, and ancient ruins telling tales going back to biblical times, and otherworldly regions such as Cappadocia, with an eerie, magical presence, due to its deep moonscape valleys and underground cities.
Turkey is made up seven unique regions, each with its own character, defined by an often contrasting terrain and climate to its neighbours, and a distinct set of cultures and traditions. Turkey also boasts a little over 8000 km of coastline, also with a varied contrast of picturesque, coastal terrains. Heading deeper in land, be prepared for flower filled valleys, cotton fields and banana plantations, and snow capped mountain rangers. Turkey can best be defined by its diverse landscape, and the warm, generous, family orientated people, who live within its borders.
Teaching English in Turkey
Turkey’s ambitions to join the European Union is increasing an already high demand for good TEFL teachers, with schools and business pushing their pupils and employers to improve their English language skills. It’s estimated that public schools alone are already requiring excess of 30,000 English teachers, so there are no shortage of jobs all year round, with opportunities for teachers of just about all levels of experience and qualification (though a TEFL certificate should be seen as a bare minimum, with many schools preferring teachers holding an additional university degree.
Don’t expect to make your fortune in Turkey, salaries are reasonable and the cost of living is low, but it’s very hard not to be seduced by Turkey’s exotic social scenes, or opportunities to explore the big cities and vast landscapes; one shouldn’t expect to leave Turkey with any significant savings (although a wealth of photos, friends and memories are pretty much a guarantee!).
Salaries vary depend on your level of qualifications and experience, but teachers can expect to earn anything from around 1300 lira to 2200 lira (€560 to €940) per month, after tax. With the low cost of living your outgoings should be around 800 lira to 1800 lira (€345 to €770) per month, depending on your lifestyle.
Where to Teach
With most teachers preferring to head straight to the big cities of Turkey, here are the 3 we considered to be your best options for TEFL teaching:
Istanbul is famed for being the only city in the world spanning across two continents. Istanbul’s split personality is all part of its calm, and being the economic and business capital of the country, there are plenty of TEFL jobs to be found here.
Ankara is Turkey’s capital city and home to many of its educational and political institutions. After Istanbul, Ankara has the country’s largest offering of TEFL jobs with plenty of opportunities for native and fluent TEFL teachers.
Izmir is Turkey’s second largest port and one of the country’s major tourist destinations, with well over 1 million visitors each year. Izmir is also home to many private language schools and offers plenty of TEFL jobs for those wanting to live by the coast.