How to Travel Turkey Guide for Russian Citizens

In our blog, you may find the ultimate guide to arriving in Turkey from Russia. Turkey always has been a famous country. But, the latest international and political incidents made Turkey a new destination for migration and permanent residence, in addition to the summer holidays.

Let’s start with the general recommendations of the Russian Federation Embassy in Istanbul.

Check the validity of the passport and the need to obtain a visa.

The detailed explanation of this recommendation is you should check your passport’s expiry date and if you need a visa.

pass, map, passaportArticle 7 of the Law of the Republic of Turkey dated April 4, 2013 No. 6458: “The entry of a foreign citizen into the territory of the Republic of Turkey will not be allowed if holder's passport at the time of entry expires earlier than 60 days from the date of expiration of the current visa, residence permit, or visa-free stay.”

So, according to the law, your passport must be valid for more than 60 days from the date of your visa-free stay, current visa, or resident permit expiration. For Russian citizens arriving in the Republic of Turkey under a visa-free regime, their passports must not expire earlier than 120 days from the date of entry to the country.

If a Russian citizen arrives in the Republic of Turkey on a visa, the validity of the holder’s passport should not expire earlier than 60 days from the date of expiration of the visa.

Download the mobile application "Foreign Assistant". (Зарубежный помощник)

The official mobile application of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia "Foreign Assistant" is intended for interaction between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and citizens of the Russian Federation temporarily staying abroad, their notification (informing) about predicted or occurred emergency or crisis situations in the host country.

In addition, with the help of this application, citizens of the Russian Federation temporarily staying abroad can get access to the necessary reference information on countries, institutions of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and other useful information.

• Have a contract of voluntary medical insurance.

document, health, insuranceIn accordance with Russian legislation, payment for medical care abroad (including medical evacuation from a foreign state to the Russian Federation) is carried out in accordance with the terms of a voluntary medical insurance contract (insurance policy) or other documents valid for receiving medical care outside the territory of the Russian Federation.

In the absence of these documents, the costs of providing medical care are paid by the Russian citizen himself or by persons interested in providing him with medical care outside the territory of the Russian Federation.

These are the general recommendations from the embassy. Actually, there are much more things to consider and know while arriving in Turkey. So, let’s look at ways of arriving in Turkey and which is the best option for you.

Visa Rules for Russians in Turkey

Citizens of the Russian Federation can stay in Turkey for 60 days in 180 days without needing a visa. So, travelers who don’t want to stay longer than 60 days don’t need a visa. But, for longer stays, having a residence permit is a must. You may take a look at our residence permit in Turkey page for more information about the types of residence permits and how to apply for them.

After doing the early preparation for traveling to Turkey, let’s look at ways how to go to Turkey in the most suitable way for each situation.

Best Options for Arriving in Turkey

The distance between Antalya and Moscow is about 3.000 kilometers. So, it is really long distance to go by car. The most comfortable option for arriving in Turkey is mostly by plane. It takes approximately 5 hours to travel from Russia to Turkey by plane. But, the time extends as the distance gets longer and connecting flights. So, you may find below which airports in Turkey have flights from and to Russia, and to which airport.

AntalyaMoscow, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Voronezh, Grozny, Krasnodar, Nizhny Novgorod, Mineralnye Vody, Orenburg, Samara, Kaluga, Ufa, Saratov, Astrakhan, Novosibirsk, Belgorod, Arkhangelsk, Perm, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Chelyabinsk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Tyumen, Syktyvkar, Krasnoyarsk, Surgut, Omsk, Khabarovsk Novy, Vladivostok, Irkutsk, Kemerovo, Zhukovsky
AnkaraMoscow
Alanya - GazipasaMoscow
BodrumMoscow, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg
DalamanMoscow, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, St. Petersburg
IzmirMoscow, St. Petersburg
IstanbulMineralnye Vody, Perm, Nalchik, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Moscow, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Grozny, St. Petersburg, Makhachkala, Sochi, Zhukovsky

Although there are charter flights starting from an average 100-150 $, the price for a one-way flight ticket to Turkey starts between 200-300 $ and goes up according to the if the flight is connected, the departure city, and the arrival city. If thinking about 4 or family members, the cost will be nearly 1500 $ - 2000 $. So, if you are living close to the Turkish borders or looking for a more affordable way, entering Turkey by road can also be preferable.

The other option to enter Turkey is by road. There are three border gates closest to Russia. The three of them are located on Turkey - Georgia border. The names of the border gates are Sarp, Türkgözü, and Aktaş.

These border gates are located in the northeast end of the country. The location of the gates is too far away from the major cities such as Antalya, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Bursa.

The distance is long by car, but it will be clearly more affordable than the flight, especially for large families. Then, let’s look at how much approximately will be it cost to go to Turkey by car, in our example, from Moscow.

  • 320 $ for gasoline
  • 25 $ for car insurance for Georgia
  • 50 $ for car insurance for Turkey
  • 65 $ for toll roads.

These costs do not include side costs such as food, hotels, and extra expenses. The total amount needed will be nearly 500 $, which is not even a ticket for 2 while going by flight.

Let’s go on from our example, which is from Moscow to Antalya, it will be 3700 km in the shortest route. This distance can be completed in approximately 5 or 6 days. It must be considered that travelers will be passing through two borders, one to Georgia and one to Turkey. For the Sarp border checkpoint, you may see the approximate distance to Russian cities below.

CityDistance to Sarp CheckpointApproximate Travel Time
Stavropol920 km16 hours
Krasnodar1160 km20 hours
Rostov-on-Don1255 km21 hours
Voronezh1800 km1.5 days
Samara2150 km2 days
Nizhny Novgorod2320 km2 days
Moscow2350 km2 days
St. Petersburg3000 km3 days
Yekaterinburg3100 km3 days

Please don’t forget that approximate travel time always changes your driving speed, the general traffic density, and the weather. It must be also noted that the border checkpoints will be less busy at night. So, planning your trips gets more important. The documents needed for crossing the border by car are;

  • Vehicle registration certificate (техпаспорт)
  • Green Card insurance policy in international standards
  • Driver's license

Also, keep in mind that while crossing the Georgian border, Russian is enough to communicate. But while crossing the Turkish border, you will need English to communicate with the officers. After the Sarp checkpoint, it will take 1500 km to Izmir, 1420 km to Antalya, 1250 km to Istanbul, and 920 km to Ankara.

Legislative Rules of Entering and Staying Turkey by Car

There are some rules while staying in Turkey with a foreign car. These rules include;

  • The travelers must be the owner of the car or they need a power of attorney from the owner.
  • The residence permit holders can temporarily bring their car to Turkey for 2 years
  • Visa-free travelers can use their car as long as their visa-free period
  • Only the closest relatives of the owner can drive. This includes husband and wife, children, and parents. The other people are prohibited from driving the foreign car, excluding emergency situations.
  • If the residence permit holder wants to use their car for more than two years, the owner must pay the tax of the car and an extra %18 VAT.

These are the general rules for entering and staying in the country with a car. Now, let's take a look at how to bring our loved ones to the beautiful country of Turkey.

General Information for Bringing Pets to Turkey

pet, dog, bag, travelFrom the far, bringing a pet to Turkey can look very challenging. But actually, knowing the required documents and the regulations earlier makes the process easier and fast. The required documents for bringing a pet to Turkey are;

  • A microchip is mandatory when bringing any pet to Turkey. The microchip must be implanted in the pet.
  • International veterinary passport. The passport must be filled in English. It also must include the marks of compulsory vaccinations. These vaccinations include 2 shots against plague, parvovirus, and rabies. Systematic deworming treatment every 3-4 months is also a must.
  • Rabies vaccination must be done at least one month ago entering the country and must not be done more than 1 year ago. The vaccination must be in the World Health Organization standards.
  • Complete vaccination is not mandatory. But it can be asked in some airports. So, it is advised to do the full vaccination for your pet.
  • Deworming and insecto-acaricide treatment must be done 24 - 48 hours before departure. It must be done with certified preparations.
  • Form-1 Veterinary Certificate. It is a certificate issued by the state veterinary stations. It must be considered that this certificate has limited validity, which is around 5 days.
  • And last, a certificate that proves the animal is not getting transported for breeding.

These are required documents for bringing your pet to Turkey. But while traveling, there are also some regulations. Your pet must be in a container while the flight. The container dimensions standards are;

  • Height: the height of the animal in a standing position
  • Length: the animal’s body length plus the half length of the animal’s paws
  • Width: the two widths of the body of the animal
  • The container must be ventilated. The bottom section of the container must be lined with absorbent material. The container also must have handles.
  • General flight rules for planes describe that the weight of the container must not exceed 8 kg. The container’s dimensions must not exceed 115 cm in the sum of 3 measurements.

Also, it must be noted that the animal must be clean and healthy. Reservations for pets must be done at least 24 hours before the flight. Only two animals can be transported in the cabin of the plane at a time. So, it is good to register the pet as early as possible.

After the long preparation period, it is now time for choosing where you are going to stay in Turkey.

How to Find Residence in Turkey?

skyscraper, blue-sky, city, istanbulEverybody has different reasons to move to Turkey. When asking how to move to Turkey, one big consideration is choosing the right place to stay. For shorter stays, the hotels and tourist facilities are ideal. But for longer stays, choosing the right place and property type is crucial. Also, it must be noted that it is possible to stay in Turkey by buying property for longer periods.

Renting an apartment in Turkey is the most considered option for Russians, although the new popular option for buying a house in Turkey. There are several ways for renting a residence in Turkey. 

The most preferred and easy option is real estate portals. Sahibinden.com is clearly the best option for looking for an apartment or house to rent on the internet. 

The other option is looking for local real estate firms. This will take more time and effort for looking for your next home in Turkey. But, it also has a chance of finding an unknown gem at bargain prices.

Among foreigners, especially Russians, it is popular now to buy a property in Turkey. Even, If the property meets the requirements, the property owners can apply for a residence permit. You may see the details of the Turkish residence permit on this page.

Practical Daily Information About Living in Turkey

There is a long list of things to know before moving to Turkey. The Republic of Turkey is a secular, modern, and democratic social state. Although the major portion of the population is Muslim, there is NO official religion in Turkey. There are various minorities living in Turkey, from different religions and ethnicity. 

In major cities such as Antalya, Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara, foreign schools and universities are available for the education of ex-pat communities. So, travelers should know that Turkey is a secure and cosmopolitan country.

There are three ways of receiving money in Turkey from Russia. The first and most popular way is bringing money cash. The other option is using the Zolotaya Korona method. It is an international money transfer service. The last way is having a Ruble account in DenizBank. You may receive money from your Russian bank account to this account if your Russian account is not under sanction.

How to Get a Turkish Bank Account?

For a Turkish bank account, you must have a tax ID. Foreigners can get their tax ID from tax offices by applying with their passports. After getting the tax ID number, you may have a Turkish bank account with these documents;

  • Original passport and a translated copy of the passport
  • Turkish tax identification number
  • Utility bill to your name and address from your country (To prove your address)

Debit cards in some markets are available for depositing, withdrawing, and spending money. “Papara” is the most used debit card in Turkey. These are useful for getting a card without long procedures. But to own a debit card, you must be a holder of a SIM card and telephone number registered in Turkey.

Another big consideration is telecom operators. There are various Turkish telecom operators which offer several packages for foreigners. The list of telecom operators in Turkey for the most popular ones is;

  • Vodafone
  • Turkcell
  • Turk Telekom

The tourist usage packs from these operators will cost around 20-30 $. There are also permanent SIM cards for those who want to stay longer. Also, you must be noted that foreign mobile phones only work for 90 days in Turkey. After this period, you must register your mobile phone to the tax office with your passport, which costs around 200 $.

As a social state, Turkey has developed modern medical institutions and hospitals. The citizens of Turkey and residence permit holders can benefit from free health services in the state hospitals. You may read more about healthcare in Turkey on our guide page.

FAQ About Moving to Turkey

Q: Is Turkey safe for Russians?
A: Yes, Turkey is one of the safest countries for Russians. There are hundreds of Russians living in Turkey and millions of Russians visit Turkey each year for their holidays.

Q: Can I communicate Russian with people in Turkey?
A: Russian is not a popular language outside of Antalya. In Antalya, nearly every part of the city has Russian-speaking people. But in most cities of Turkey, English is usually enough for communication.

Q: Which way is better when going to Turkey?
A: Going to Turkey by car is advantageous if you are living near the Georgian border or if you have a large family. Going by plane is more comfortable but it will cost more.

Q: How much money do I need in Turkey?
A: In Turkey, the lowest average income is 5.500 TL, which is around 350 $. But for living, there will be more needed. The approximately 600-700 $ for a single person and around 1000 $ for a family of 4 will be enough. The costs for residence such as residence or hotel excluded.

Q: If I bring my pet to Turkey, will be any problem?
A: Turks are animal lovers. You may see cats and dogs around the streets. So, there won’t be any problems with your pet.

Q: Which city is ideal for a Russian?
A: The answer is simple, Antalya. Antalya is the city with the largest Russian population in Turkey. But other cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, and Bursa are also suitable for Russians.

Q: Can a foreigner buy or rent a car in Turkey?
A: If a foreigner is a holder of a residence permit, they can buy a car in Turkey. But, the topic is deep and needs general knowledge of the law. So, you may take look at our blog about how foreigners can buy a car in Turkey. Foreigners can rent a car in Turkey normally with the renting firms.

Q: Do I need a visa to go to Turkey?
A: Russian citizens can stay in Turkey for 60 days in 180 days without needing a visa. For more stays, a visa or residence permit is required.

Q: How can I stay in Turkey for a long time?
A: The shortest way to live in Turkey for longer periods is by buying a property. As Antalya Homes, we are giving consultancy on residence permits and citizenship. If you are planning to buy property in Turkey, contact us to get more information.

These are the most important things to consider about moving to Turkey. Turkey is a beautiful country, not only for passing holidays but also for living permanently. The benefits of moving to Turkey are also countless. 

There are various cities that offer unique experiences while living where Europe and Asia meet. With the offering of a secure, modern, comfortable, and vibrant lifestyle, Turkey will continue to become one of the most popular destinations to move and live.

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Created: 03.11.2022, 10.00Updated: 14.11.2022, 11.32
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