Home / Teach English in Turkey the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022

Tefl Jobs In Turkey

Since there has been political unrest in Turkey, visitors have avoided visiting this once-beautiful place. Turkey should be near the top of your choice of TEFL locations if there are no restrictions. Check your own government’s recommendations regarding how safe it is to travel at the time of your trip—a good choice for non-native English speakers and freshly qualified EFL teachers alike. A TEFL certificate, as well as a university degree, are prerequisites for receiving a work visa. People in this region of the world are eager to learn English, so even though salaries aren’t usually high, the TEFL industry is thriving.

Turkey is a nation that lies on the easternmost Mediterranean Sea coast, straddling the continents of Europe and Asia. The country is roughly three times the size of mainland Britain, and it has a population that is nearly 25% higher. It has a long history, with records going back to 2400 BC. The Walls of Troy (the city notably attacked in Homer’s Iliad), the Suleymaniye Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque are all well-known locations. In addition, Istanbul is renowned for being the only city with half on each of the two continents, Asia and Europe.

This guide contains everything you need to know before moving over to become an English teacher in Turkey. You can learn about the lifestyle and culture as well as the sorts of roles available for those who would like to teach English in Turkey. We have also included helpful information about the cost of living and how to make the most of your time there. So read on to learn all about the pros and cons of teaching English in Turkey.

Types of teaching jobs in Turkey

Language Schools

The most well-liked and dependable job for English teachers in Turkey is teaching at a language academy. These positions typically include training adults who want to broaden their skill sets. Your job search should begin with larger, more reputable language schools like Berlitz, English Time, and Wall Street English, but smaller neighbourhood schools may also have openings.


The best-paying and most prestigious English teaching positions in Turkey are mainly found in universities. Holiday pay, a dynamic workplace, and a salary rather than an hourly wage are all likely perks of your position. Although university employment often goes to current employees and alumni, it’s not unheard of for foreign professors to land prestigious university posts, making these positions very competitive. You will probably require a TEFL certification, a college-level teaching degree, and substantial teaching experience in order to be taken into consideration.

Private Schools

Private school English teaching is a well-paying, secure career, but it is also quite competitive, much like jobs at universities. Although it is worthwhile to apply for open positions at private schools, particularly if you have extensive teaching experience, inexperienced educators will have a greater chance of landing a job with a language institution as an English teacher in Turkey.

Private Tuition

Of course, no matter where you choose to experience your TEFL life, you can top up your income by teaching English in Turkey as a freelance private tutor. You will find local people willing to pay for English lessons but be sure you are not charging too much, or they won’t come. You could also teach English on the internet to anyone in the world. If you are self-employed in any country, you need to check their rules and regulations and comply with any requirements of reporting for tax purposes.

Where to teach in Turkey

English teaching positions are widely available in Turkey. Finding a trustworthy employer who will pay you enough, give you appropriate hours, and help you during the transition will be your biggest issue. You should also be looking for somewhere that you will enjoy calling home, depending on whether you enjoy a busy city or more rural experience as an English teacher in Turkey.

Istanbul is the most sought-after location for teachers in Turkey because there are the most English teaching positions there. In addition, due to its well-known role as the nexus of Middle Eastern and European influences on Turkey, it also has the most significant concentration of ex-pats.

However, other Turkish cities, including Ankara, Izmir, and Adana, also have teaching positions open to them. These are more difficult to come by, but they can be more fruitful for someone seeking a complete change in pace and environment. Due to their propensity for being more laid-back and easygoing than Istanbul’s major city, coastal cities are incredibly well-liked.

When to apply for a job teaching English in Turkey

Turkish universities and private schools generally hire English teachers during the summer before the start of the academic year. However, jobs do open up all year round, particularly close to the beginning of the second term in February.

Since programmes are offered all year long, there is a lengthier hiring cycle for positions at language academies. Start your application process a few months before you want to move, but it’s ideal to be adaptable in case they need you sooner.

Work visas

You will require both a resident’s visa and a work visa in order to be able to live and work as an English teacher in Turkey. If you’re fortunate, your employer will cover the administrative fees and associated costs, but this is not always the case. So before you start the procedure yourself, make sure you examine what they offer to cover.

If you are required to pay for your own visas, the resident permit typically costs approximately €55 annually, and the work visa typically costs about €120 annually.

Classroom culture

It is imperative to research and understand the cultural nuances you will experience in the classroom while teaching abroad. There can be vast differences in the way students and teachers interact, so ESL teachers should be respectful and understanding while adapting to a new classroom environment.

In Turkey, the culture is quite conservative, and it is not advised to bring up religion or other potentially controversial subjects in the classroom when you are an English teacher in Turkey. Spend time observing your colleagues as they are the best guide on the culture and behaviour expected when teaching English in Turkey.

Here are a few additional tips to know before teaching English in Turkey:

  • There will be much less work during the month of Ramadan, so make plans to cope with that period.
  • Classroom settings are usually friendly and relaxed when working with adults, so these jobs are for you if that is the way you want to teach English in Turkey.
  • Turkish timekeeping can be a bit lax, so prepare for late arrivals and get used to it – you won’t change it!
  • Female teachers may encounter disrespect from some men in the classroom. If this becomes an issue, you should immediately bring it up with your employer.


Turkey has some of the lowest incomes in the region, but even so, if you plan your spending well, you may afford to live comfortably. Many TEFL jobs come with free housing or a housing allowance, making it simple for you to move in and determine how much money you’ll have left over at the end of the month. Your lifestyle will have a significant impact on how much you spend during your time as an English teacher in Turkey. Expect to spend more money than someone who is living locally if you want to enjoy the best entertainment in a big city and spend your time in Western pubs and restaurants.

You’ll spend more money at the grocery store buying imported food; therefore, eating just locally produced food will save you more. It is always advisable to live and eat like a local if you want to make your money go further as an English teacher in Turkey. Since public transportation is affordable and the country is so beautiful, you’ll enjoy travelling during your free time and getting to and from work as an English teacher in Turkey is easy.

Turkish food is renowned throughout the world and, provided you stick to the diet, is a fantastic long-term justification to reside there. Expats frequently discover that by becoming fully immersed in Turkish culture, as well as by shopping locally and eating at Turkish restaurants, they are able to get so much more out of their TEFL experience. Additionally, it’s a fantastic chance to interact with locals and learn a little bit about their culture.

In order to provide the most accurate cost of living figures, we use numbeo.com, the world’s largest cost of living database, updated regularly.

  • Accommodation: £268–£390/€330–€490
  • Utilities: £60/€70
  • Health insurance: Cost of a typical visit to a GP: £24/€29
  • Monthly transport pass: £22/€26
  • Basic dinner out for two: £12/€14
  • Cappuccino in ex-pat area: £1.65/€2
  • A beer in a pub: £2.53/€3
  • 1 litre of milk: £0.57/€0.65

Tefl Jobs In Turkey: KEY POINTS






Bachelors degree



120-hour TEFL qualification



Public & private schools


  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Bursa
  • The average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 1,500–5,000 lira (£170–£575/€215–€710) per month. Freelance rates are around 40–170 lira (£4–£20/€5–€24) per hour, often at the lower end of the scale.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions and is required for your visa
  • Prerequisite university degree: A degree is required to get a visa for Turkey. Some top positions require degrees in English or an MA in linguistics.
  • Term times: September to June
  • Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • Language: Turkish
  • Teaching programmes: Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Private Language Schools, International Schools, Universities, Corporate gigs, Summer Schools
  • Age restrictions: None
  • Previous teaching experience: Beneficial but not always necessary

It won’t take long if you read a few articles regarding TEFL teaching in Turkey before you run into one or two horror stories. There are a lot of bitter former TEFL teachers on the internet that had a bad experience when teaching English in Turkey. There have been reports of schools forcing teachers to work on tourist visas, withholding documentation so the teacher cannot leave, paying salaries late, and other dishonest behaviour. Many educators on the ground, nevertheless, think that Turkey is changing. While there may be proof that some schools were terrible just a few years ago, it’s not improbable that things have significantly improved. Standards are rising. Please read our essay on avoiding TEFL frauds and dishonest employers.

To obtain a sense of how things are now, it is helpful to speak with recent or current staff members at a school before you commit to teaching English in Turkey. This works best in rural areas and goes hand in hand with the pavement pounding technique. Don’t take the first job you’re given; if you’re qualified with a degree and a TEFL, you’ll have plenty of offers. Instead, wait until you discover a position that seems right to you. If at all feasible, visit the school in person to get a feel for it. Make sure you carefully review all the terms of your contract and keep your employer accountable for their promises.

Facts about Teach English in Turkey the Complete Guide for TEFL Teachers | Reviewed May 2022






8.43 crores






Turkish Lira








Tefl Jobs In Turkey: FAQS


How much can I earn as an English teacher in Turkey?

The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 1,500–5,000 lira (£170–£575/€210–€710) per month. Freelance rates are around 40–170 lira (£4–£20/€5–€23) per hour, often at the lower end of the scale. Salary will vary depending on your qualifications and the type of institute that you are working for.

It is not particularly expensive to live and work as an English teacher in Turkey if you adopt local practices. But, of course, if you find a position with housing included, that will save you a large chunk of money each month.

You really need a degree to get a job teaching English in Turkey as it is a requirement of the working visa process.

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